Creating a Subcontractor/Vendor Portal
Creating a subcontractor/vendor portal can provide many benefits for both you and your vendors. Most folks who have accomplished this have developed custom websites that required a very heavy investment. With Omnidek, sub/vendor portals can be developed and deployed within a short period of time, and with very minimal cost.
Some of the benefits of creating a sub/vendor portal are:
Giving the vendors an opportunity to submit their invoices directly through the portal eliminates the time and cost related to processing paper based invoices
Vendors get an immediate status update as the invoice moves through approval, and if more information is required, the community collaboration of the portal provides a seamless and controlled dialog between all parties related to the invoice.
Subcontract invoices can be setup to show the sub where he stands with the contract, retainage, change orders, and payments…in real time. As the pay apps are entered into the portal, balances are automatically updated from the job cost system to eliminate timing and summary balance errors.
Omnidek has built-in signature functionality for those documents that need to be executed. Or you can integrate Docusign.
Add EFT payments and the portal can provide an end-to-end paperless accounts payable workflow
Omnidek is fully integrated to most ERP solutions, so there is no double entry. Once the invoice is approved, it is handed to the ERP system seamlessly
The portal can support the facilitation of many other documents related to the vendor process: Prequalification, lien waivers, purchasing, receiving, and filing.
Story Construction, (the names are changed), wanted to create a vendor portal that their sub-contractors could join and enter their draw request. The process they had was very paper-based and was prone to errors which created tension between the company and its subs when it came time for payment. Also, because of the nature of the business, the subcontractors where small trade companies and their accuracy left lots to be desired. Compounding the problem was the volume of subs: Over 100 submitting request weekly!
They purchased a subscription to Omnidek for 15 users which covered their internal processors and approvers along with an interface to Viewpoint Vista. With Omnidek, the subcontractors were using the built-in portal so their licenses were at no cost.
We integrated the Vendors, Jobs, employees, cost types and phase codes to the portal, and created an automatic export to Viewpoint accounts payable once the draw request were approved.
We wanted to track the contracts and draws within Omnidek instead of Viewpoint because of the simplicity and flexibility of managing a high-volume list of scheduled work with each contract, and the ability to quickly create the contracts and scheduled items.
Next, we created the draw request form (see above). We wanted it to be very simple so that the subs would be able to join the portal and fill out their request without much instruction. Also, we wanted to provide them with reports that would give them a quick "insight
" to the status of their draws.
We then setup the portal and invited the subcontractors to participate. With Omnidek, this is built-in functionality along with setting up adequate security roles for the subs. Once the subs signed in, they were shown a dashboard where they can enter their
draw request, review reports, and collaborate on issues with draws. We added balance information on the draw form so the accuracy of the information was taken care of automatically.
Once the draw was submitted, it was routed to the project manager of that job, then to an executive project manager for final approval and signatures. From there the request was uploaded to accounts payable, along with an image of the draw form. Since all the data was validated with Viewpoint's ERP, there was no need for double entry.
This is a weekly process with over 100 subcontractors. We project that our accounting department will be able to realize a 1/2 equivalent FET reduction, or about $3000 in cost per month. Offset that with the cost of Omnidek, the net gain will be about $2500 per month in time and material cost.
The next process will be to automate the change order workflow.