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In this blog post I want to highlight a few of the features we built in Business ByDesign when it comes to creating business partners such as suppliers.
There are different ways of finding new suppliers. Normally buyers have some kind of evaluation process before they actually start using a new supplier. To support this process ByDesign includes Requests for Quotation (RFQs). In case you want to have hard fact data to be able to decide about the best supplier to use, it make sense to include new suppliers in such an RFQ-process.
To send out RFQs to companies you need to have them created either as a supplier or as a bidder. In case you are still in the evaluation process creating a bidder makes more sense because a bidder can only be used in an RFQ but not yet in a purchase order or a purchasing contract.
Once you want to use a bidder as a supplier, just flag him as supplier.
Now, how do you exactly create a bidder or supplier in the system?

Create new suppliers and customers by importing a Microsoft Excel list

There are several ways to create new suppliers. Of course you can do it manually – and there are some nice features supporting you doing that which I will explain later on.
But in addition to that you can also upload new master data using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. This makes of course even more sense if you are creating customers instead of suppliers because using a spreadsheet also allows you to create multiple customers at once. This could be the case, for example when you are coming back from a trade show with lots of business cards or if you get a download file from a marketing research company.

Supplier Directories and Address Validation

When manually creating a supplier you also have the possibility to search and select suppliers from so-called supplier directories. Companies such as Dun & Bradstreet offer those directories that you can easily connect to your ByDesign system. You can search those directories using search criteria such as
- industry
- product categories
- locations
- company size
- …
You also have the possibility to integrate certain webservices that allow you for example to find the address of a supplier automatically based on the telephone number you entered. Again this makes even more sense when creating a customer. Especially if you established a telephone integration: In that case the system will recognize the telephone number automatically if a new prospect is calling and wants to order something. This helps you to create this new customer significantly faster in your system.

Duplicate Check

Once you save a supplier the system will check if this supplier already exists in the system by performing a duplicate check. This helps you preventing to create multiple entries for the same company in your system. Business ByDesign will even check if this company already exists as a customer. If that’s the case you just need to assign this customer the role of a supplier instead of creating a new entry for it. For your employees it can be important to know that a supplier is also a customer of you (or vice versa). In general we are planning to add more functionality around this feature in the future.

Product Categories

Furthermore you are able to define per product category what a supplier is allowed to deliver or is not. This is only working in a restricting way, meaning that it’s allowed to send purchase orders or RFQs to a supplier including any product category unless you forbid it explicitly.


Last but not least you can add several contacts to your supplier or customers including all the contact information you need.
And if you really don’t find a suitable place to enter your desired information, you can just add new fields to your screen on your own. E.g. you could add a field to be able to store a link to their personal Twitter account.
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