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Collaborate with your vendors on monday.com

What is vendor collaboration?

The operations and IT teams are responsible for a whole range of different activities including ensuring the office space is equipped with the necessary facilities for all employees at all times. This can include purchasing of new computers, screens, desks, drawers and the likes. 

IT and Operations teams usually work with specific vendors to purchase their equipment, to ensure their best prices as well as make the ordering and delivery process easier.

Why is it important?

For this process to be managed efficiently, it requires the IT and Operations teams to be on the ball, constantly monitoring broken equipment , ordering new things for the new joiners, and updating the database.It requires organization and easy collaboration with outside vendors. One place, that can manage all the ordering, delivering and updating of delivered goods to streamline and keep things in check.

This guide will walk you through the steps to create a simple, streamlined process to make sure you and your vendors are collaborating as efficiently as possible.

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Step 1: Create your shareable, collaborative board! 

  • Create a shareable board

To get started, the first thing you’ll need to do is create your shareable board so that you can work and communicate on your monday.com board, along with external vendors. 

To do so, create a new board, and select the option “Shareable”.

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Note: Once we’ve set up our board and we’re ready to go, we’ll share this board with our vendor, so that we can start interacting in one place!

 

  • Build out your board structure

Depending on how you and the team work, you can organize your board to fit your particular workflow. Check out below how we’re organizing our board:

Groups

Groups allow you to break down and organize your tasks into time periods, phases or anything else that you need. We would like to keep track of all our new, pending requests, and completed requests in one board. In this case, we’ve divided our groups into “Pending Requests” and “Completed Requests”

Columns

Columns are a useful way to reflect all important pieces of information in one place, keeping them visual and accessible. 

We’ve added the following columns to our board to streamline the process, and track all that’s relevant when dealing with procurement.

 

  • Creation date column to track the date when we first put in the order with our vendor
  • Number columns to represent the # of the item we will need (eg. 5 new laptops) as well as to track the price per item
  • Formula column to calculate the expected cost based on the price and number of items.
  • Status columns to represent the status of the request, as well as if the pricing quote was approved or not. 
  • File column to add in quotes, and receipts 
  • People column to assign IT or Operations team members responsible for this item

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Note: We’re using a simple "Multiply" function to calculate the number of items by the price per item column: MULTIPLY({# of items},{Price per item})

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Items

Each item will represent a new order sent in to the vendor. It will first be added to the group “Pending requests” which will be moved to “Completed requests” upon completion.  

 

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Step 2:  Share your board with your vendor!

Now that your board structure is complete, start sharing! Remember, because this is a shareable board, we can simply add our external vendor to the board. They will get access only to the boards I share with them.  To learn more about shareable board, check this out {link.

Adding them can be done by going to the "Guests and Subscribers" button on the top right corner, adding your vendor's email address to the Board Guests option. 

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Step 3: See breakdowns of your board data

Chart View

With the help of the views on your board, you can flip whatever data you have on your board to give you a visual breakdown of what’s going on. 

You can add the Chart View to reflect at a glance how many orders are in each stage of the process or to see a breakdown assigned IT /Ops team member. In the example below, you can see the number of requests in each stage of the ordering process, stacked by its quote approval status.

To add the Chart View, click on “Main table” on the left top of the screen, click on “Search more views”, then scroll down to “Chart”. To learn more about the Chart view, check this out.

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To learn more about other board views that you can add to your board to powrer it up, check this out.

 

Step 4: Communication is Key!

Say goodbye to long Excel sheets, million-page email threads and spending 15 minutes searching every channel to find that latest order you sent in to your vendor! With your monday.com board, you can cut out all the unnecessary extra emails, and keep it all in one place! 

To interact and chat with your vendors, you can use the Update Section

Here, you can add comments, add instructions, reminders and anything else you might want to discuss, keeping all your communication with your vendors in context. 

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To discuss pricing and negotiate with your vendors you can use the annotation feature. All you need is to open up a file you've uploaded to your file column, and start communicating. To learn more about annotation, check this out.

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Step 5: Power up your board with Automations

Putting in requests, calling vendors for updates, waiting around, receiving the order, updating your files, switching platforms, updating the vendor.. we know the drill. Whose got time for all that anyways? With the help of monday.com’s powerful automations, you can cut down on the wasted time and get updated with personalized notifications. 

To add an automation, click on the automation icon on the top of your board, then select the relevant automation. Such automations that you might want to add to your board are as follows:

1) Whenever a new request has been added, notify the vendor. This will cut down the need to send an email with the order as well as verifying that the vendor received it!

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2) Whenever the status pricing quote has been approved, notify the vendor that they can continue with delivery. This will speed up the entire process, making things move smoother and be frictionless!

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Tip: An entire chain of automations can be set up with every status change triggering a new notification, moving the item and more. Learn more about this here.

 

Step 6: Integrate your favorite tools into monday.com for maximum efficacy!

Do your vendors like to receive their requests via updates or even text messages? That's no problem at all! You can step it up by integrating your monday.com account with external platforms such as your email (eg. Gmail, Outlook) and with messaging platforms (eg. Twilio, Slack) and many more!

In our case, we're going to create a quick Twilio integration, to allow us to notify our vendor via text message whenever a new request is put in. 

To do so, click on the plug icon on the top of your board, then select the relevant platform you'd like to integrate with. To learn more about the exact steps to integrate with Twilio, check this out.

 

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To learn more about all our useful integrations to help make your monday,com account your centralized work hub, check this out

 

Step 7: Create Dashboard Overviews to gain Insights 

We're strong believers in tracking data and making data-driven decisions. As such, our easy-to-setup, visual dashboards allow you to gain overviews and insights on all relevant IT information, including collaborating and managing your vendors!

We've created a dashboard that allows us an overview of everything IT-related. We've added the following widgets to our dashboard:

  • Numbers widget to track, compare and display the amount of money spent on IT equipment in each quarter and our open IT tickets
  • Battery widget to display the progress of our IT tasks from across our entire account
  • Workload widget to show the resource allocation of all our IT teammembers
  • Chart widget to display another visual breakdown of all current tasks being handled by the IT team

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To learn more about dashboards, check this out.

There you go! You're officially ready to get started collaborating with your vendors in one easy, interactive platform!

 

If you have any questions about this or anything else in this article, feel free to reach out to us at customer success at [email protected]