Partnerships are Integral to the Modern Enterprise

In today’s globalized market most companies operate within dispersed networks consisting of business partners, resellers, suppliers, vendors, and more. These external participants allow businesses to access markets and products that would be difficult to reach through in-house logistics alone, in the process they can help improve order fulfillment, service quality, and operational efficiency while substantially reducing costs.

Unfortunately, these advantages are anything but guaranteed.

If your organization wants to reap the benefits of a smoothly functioning supply chain, then it has to ensure that all of its external data is consolidated under a reliable integration process that allows complete visibility across its third-party network.

This sort of comprehensive view is only possible if correct, accurate, and validated data is collected when business partners are onboarded.

At this initial stage, new channel partners need to be screened and prequalified to minimize the risk of fraud or regulatory non-compliance and other issues. At the same time, you need to have up-to-date information at hand on things like inventory, payment cycles, delivery times, and scheduled production.

But remember, the clock starts ticking on all of these disparate data points almost as soon as they’re received so you need a reliable system for recording and tracking updates as well.

Custom Coding Vs. Automated Data Integration

vendor onboarding

Traditionally, we’ve seen two ways of dealing with this challenge. The first is an in-house solution that would require your IT team to create manual onborading processes for extracting, validating, and standardizing vendor data. The second is an automated approach in which purpose-built data integration tools are used to create ETL pipelines for all of your incoming files.

Solving Partner Onboarding Challenges at Wheel Dealer

As an online automotive marketplace that provides listings for new and used automobiles in a number of regions across the United States, Wheel Dealer is dealing with a near-constant flow of data from car dealerships throughout the country.

Incoming vendor listings contain up to 21 data points encompassing everything from car mileage and color, to transmission types. As you can imagine, creating processes for collecting, preparing, and delivering this data to Wheel Dealer’s frontend portal is no easy task, especially as the business continues to scale upwards.

Data Extraction

Vendor data arrives in disparate formats and file types. Wheel Dealer needs to extract inputs and feed them to their integration flows.

Data Preparation

Incoming data needs to be validated against pre-set parameters and standardized to align with the frontend portal.

Process Automation

Integration flows need to be set up to run whenever new files are dropped.

Dynamically Updated

Integration flows should automatically adjust to changes in source files and errors should be logged as they occur.

Read How Wheel Dealer’s Solved Their Data Onboarding Challenges

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