Supplier Documentation Management System
Why manage supplier documentation?
Plant engineering equipment vendors sell machines and accessories in the context of a concrete plant installation and are obliged to ship the equipment along with all of their own and third-party documentation. While in-house documentation is typically modular and complete in the sense of legal requirements, it is difficult to keep track of documentation for components that are acquired from third-party manufacturers. In reality, there is a large variance in quality and completeness of such documentation, and if it is sent at all along with the product, it is often provided in English instead of the required language, in paper, or as a download link. Or the vendor relies on having sent the same documentation in the context of a previous project, but to a different purchaser. In any case, the documentation is provided to the purchasing department and in the context of the purchase order, not to project management and in the context of the sales order.
Supplier documentation management means to systematically collect all relevant documentation from the vendors and provide them to project management in a view grouped by sales projects, and review and release documentation elements with lifecycle states and finally publish the resulting documentation for the project.
What is Supplier Documentation Management System?
- Documentation Service Provider (DSP)
Purchasers can create new purchase orders by entering them manually or importing them from an ERP system. The product must be categorized to tell the system what it is (e. g., a motor, a conveyor belt or a transmission), who the end customer is and which target market the project was sold to. Based on these information and configurable rules, SDMS determines the legally required set of documentation and the languages and formats of the required data. This decision takes into account rule sets like the Machinery Directive, house requirements of the end customer and language associations for the target market.
Such a request can be created without having assigned a specific vendor. Purchasing department can request proposals from possible vendors and attach the documentation requirements in text form that can be exported from SDMS in multiple languages (configurable).
Once the vendor has been chosen and the order has been placed, SDMS sends a link to the request page to the supplier by email. After login, the supplier sees a complete list of all documents that must be provided with the hardware, and their statuses. The supplier can now upload the files needed. If one document contains information for multiple slots, it can be uploaded once and referenced from the other locations. When a document is uploaded, the associated review and / or DSP users are notified and can see the new documents in the link SDMS sends to them. Review / DSP can either accept the documents or reject them - in the latter case, the supplier must provide them again in corrected form. At any time, any user involved can comment in the context of an entire request or one individual document. This mechanism is also used to provide feedback from review to supplier when a document gets rejected.
At any time, all documents in a sales project context can be exported into a folder structure, or (with plugins) into target systems for further processing. This way, supplier documentation is managed end-to-end from proposal of the vendor to delivery of the end product. With SDMS, withheld payments because of incomplete documentation belong into the past.
SDMS is based on the Open-Source Enterprise CMS Cinnamon.