1. What suppliers are available for me to use?
BirchStreet will create a private purchasing portal for your organization with your suppliers and products. As part of our implementation process, our Supplier Adoption Team will on-board your suppliers into the BirchStreet system. However, many of your suppliers are most likely already online as we have on-boarded (adopted) over 200,000 industry suppliers on behalf of our existing customers.
When we start a new implementation, we typically run a cross-reference to see how many of your suppliers are already online. Typically, 70-80% of new customer suppliers are already adopted. Send us a list of your vendors and we will be happy to run a cross reference for you.
2. How are my suppliers implemented?
First, our Supplier Adoption Team will work with you to prepare a communication to go out to your suppliers. This is typically an email from you introducing BirchStreet as your eProcurement system and explaining the supplier implementation process.
Next, our Supplier Adoption Team will contact your suppliers and assist them through the adoption process. Our team provides simple catalog templates to upload product and price information into BirchStreet.
BirchStreet provides initial and ongoing supplier training so that the suppliers can continue to maintain accurate product information in the system. The BirchStreet support line is also available to your suppliers should they require any assistance.
3. How are catalogs in BirchStreet maintained over time?
It is very important that product information including pricing be kept up to date in the system. Typically, suppliers maintain catalog data via BirchStreet’s supplier-facing part of the portal. From here, they can upload catalog updates and receive their orders.
4. Can I review price changes before they are shown to my users?
Yes. BirchStreet has a set of features called Price Regulation. These allow you to setup approvals and notifications on catalog updates so you can review them before they are shown to your users. We also offer a series of reports that allow you to track and monitor catalog updates coming from your suppliers.
5. How long does it take to adopt a given number of suppliers? For example, 50 suppliers?
Technically, the supplier adoption process can be completed in a few days. However, if the supplier is new to BirchStreet, it can take 3-4 weeks for most suppliers to submit their information. Once the product data is submitted to the Supplier Adoption Team, it goes through a review process before it is live in BirchStreet.
6. Do all of my suppliers have to go through the adoption process of obtaining catalog content?
No, catalogs are not required. BirchStreet has a feature called Supplier-on-the-Fly that allows users to setup suppliers and transact with those suppliers through the system without a catalog. The Supplier-on-the-Fly setup process is very short and only requires basic supplier information. Items that your users frequently purchase can be input and permanently stored in their personal order guides to make the re-ordering process quick and easy. Typically only national or regional suppliers go through the adoption process. The rest are implemented using the Supplier-on-the-Fly feature.
7. If I am using a BirchStreet GPO Partner like Avendra or HSM, how are my suppliers adopted?
When using a GPO Partner, the supplier adoption process is much shorter because the GPO suppliers are already in our system. Therefore, the supplier adoption process only applies to your non-GPO suppliers.
8. How do you adopt international suppliers?
The same supplier adoption process applies for international suppliers. We adopt suppliers all over the world.
9. Do you ever get push back from suppliers?
BirchStreet rarely receives push back from suppliers. We have found that suppliers want to cooperate because they want to do business with you and they know that getting online makes it easier for you to buy from them.
10. Do you charge suppliers?
No, BirchStreet does not charge the supplier for the supplier adoption process. However, there are some things we may charge a supplier for, such as a custom interface to their back-office system.
11. How much effort does it take suppliers to become adopted on BirchStreet?
BirchStreet developed the eProcurement system and the supplier adoption process to make it as easy as possible for suppliers be on-boarded and to participate in your eProcurement initiative.
12. Can BirchStreet create electronic interfaces with suppliers?
Yes, BirchStreet has implemented a wide variety of electronic interfaces with suppliers including, cXML Punch-outs, flat-file interfaces, EDI interfaces, and CSV transfer files. BirchStreet can implement virtually any kind of electronic interface as long as it is a secure and reliable technology.
13. What happens if I choose to adopt a supplier, but I decide later to use a different supplier?
If your company chooses to not use a supplier that has already been adopted for you, BirchStreet can easily remove access to the supplier. The Supplier Adoption Service can be used at any time to adopt new suppliers.
14. Not all my suppliers serve all my properties. How does BirchStreet handle this?
The BirchStreet System includes a set of features called Catalog Exposure, which allows us to configure the catalog to show only the appropriate products for each property. Using Catalog Exposure we model each supplier’s territory so that only the properties within a given supplier’s sales region will see that supplier online. Additionally, the Catalog Exposure feature allows us to setup rules based a wide variety of property attributes (brand, ownership, management, type, etc.) so that only the right products are exposed to each property.
15. What resources does my organization need to contribute to the Supplier Adoption process?
We need a list of your suppliers sorted by spend volume so we can prioritize the supplier adoption process. We need contact information for your high priority suppliers. We need you to send out an email introducing BirchStreet to your suppliers (we can provide a number of different formats for this email). BirchStreet will take it from there. Sometimes suppliers are slow to respond and we may, from time to time, need you to contact these suppliers.
16. How do I track the progress of the Supplier Adoption process?
The Supplier Adoption Team can send you weekly reports from our Supplier Adoption Tracking System. Every supplier interaction as well as overall progress is tracked in the system.