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Streamlining the Onboarding Process for New Vendors

by Tom Kennedy | insiderPROFILES

April 1, 2011

Creating the data for a vendor record, as with any manual process, can result in errors and omission of important data. Tom Kennedy, founder of BackOffice Associates, introduces a cloud-based solution that helps streamline this process, and he walks readers through the standard process — and benefits — that an SAP customer would go through to enter new vendor information into the SAP back-end system using this solution.

With most data governance processes — for example, the process of creating the data for a vendor record — a single person is rarely solely responsible for the data entry. While the purchaser might input the vendor’s name and address, an accountant could enter the payment terms and credit limits. In fact, some companies have up to 10 people involved in the process of adding a new record to the vendor database. As with any manual process that involves multiple inputs, this data collection process can result in errors and omissions of important data. In addition, such a process is time consuming and lacks external validations or internal tracking procedures.

To help companies streamline this process, BackOffice Associates has come up with a new global, cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution:, which can help improve business performance by automating and validating the data collection process for adding a new vendor. This comprehensive solution provides a layer of secure access for vendors, allowing them to supply relevant information to your system, without needing to infiltrate your firewall or access any of your existing systems. In addition, the solution automatically validates the vendor data with third-party sources, further ensuring that the data will be error-free and business-ready (saving valuable time).’s Collaborative Process of Onboarding New Vendors

So how does work? Here’s a look at the standard process that an SAP customer would go through to enter new vendor information into the SAP back-end system using (see figure below).

  1. When the SAP customer is ready to do business with a new vendor, the company’s SAP data entry users can enter an request and fill in any vendor information that they have (such as the vendor’s name and the main contact’s name and email address).
  2. The information entered in the request form is then validated and enriched against the business standards built into and third-party sources, such as AddressDoctor and Dun & Bradstreet, as well as CranSoft custom-built, proprietary validations.
  3. The solution automatically sends a workflow email to the vendor with a URL linking directly to the system. This allows the vendor to modify the data before the information is entered into the SAP system. Note that the vendor can access only its own information. has a “firewall” between the vendor and the company’s data entry systems to ensure data security.
  4. The data the vendor enters is also automatically validated against the business standards and third-party sources.
  5. The solution automatically sends the vendor request out for approval. During this step, any users that the company has designated as approvers can review the information and approve or reject the request.
  6. If the approvers accept the request, generates a PDF and emails it to a predefined number of data entry users who can enter the data into the SAP system. If the approver rejects the request, the system will request an explanation that is then sent back to the SAP user who initially requested to add the vendor record.
  7. The request is finalized in when the person who submitted the original request clicks the “complete” button. 

Companies can also customize this standard process to meet the organization’s business rules and needs. In addition, the solution uploads and stores documents required for validation purposes, making the process easily auditable.

The onboarding process for creating a new vendor record using

The Path to Secure Vendor Onboarding

Built on BackOffice’s web-enabled, multilingual, Unicode-enabled CranSoft platform, provides a workflow-enabled, secure, collaborative process for collecting and validating vendor data. With this solution, companies can efficiently satisfy the demand for an auditable, secure process for creating vendor records. For more information on this solution, visit


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