The vendor portal in Dynamics AX 2012 was based on the enterprise portal and used the SharePoint platform as an underlying architecture. If you’ve ever tried to do an amendments to this solution beyond standard functionality you probably have an alsore from the process and you’re not recommending this again. I’ve personally worked a lot lately with the Customer self service portal amendments for AX 2012 and it was much harder and more problematic. Luckily I was blessed with a great developer to assist me, but I will not willingly though my self in to a similar project in the future.
Now that Dynamics AX is totally based on a cloud framework it opens new possibilities. The Customer self service is not available yet, but an early version of the Vendor portal, Manager self service and Employee self services are available.
The early version of this functionality brings a limited set of features, but it is promised to be further developed quite rapidly. The potential for this platform is enormous and it is a crime to let this feature be left untouched by any purchasing organization.
I want to show you how easy it is to set up access and the basic features of the vendor portal, so let’s take a closer look.
The person using the Vendor portal has a personal relationship with the solution and is identified as a contact in the Global adresse book.
I presume you know how to create a vendor, so I won’t show you that. It is however important that the user is connected to the right vendors (Yes, plural!) as this is how the records shown will be limited.
To connect a vendor to a contact you simply have to add a relationship to you Global adresse book contact (Common > Global adresse book) and vendor company.
Best way to do this is initially adding the contact from the vendor form like this:
If the person is contact for multiple companies can simply repeat the process in the other companies and select the user from the duplicate check dialogue and selecting to use the same contact record.
After the contact has been created you would have to create a user and associate it with this contact.
Go to the System administration > Users > Users and add a new user. In the “Name” field you enter the contact person name and add the “Vendor (External)” role to the user.
The limitation to the login is that the user must have a Azure AD account. Many vendors would have this. If they do not have it you can create an account for them in your own domain.
To add an external domain you simply add the domain name in the domain field. It should be a direct reference to the top domain like for acmeoffice.com https://sts.windows.net/acmeoffice.com in the domain field.
If it doesn’t work I’ve noticed that for some Office 365 subscriptions the name of the domain can be extrapolated from their SharePoint.com subdomain. For example for acmeoffice.sharepoint.com try the domain: https://sts.windows.net/acmeoffice.onmicrosoft.com
And if it doesn’t work, try contacting the vendors IT department or Microsoft to get the proper domain.
So now you should have a user connected to your ERP solution let us take a look at what features are available.
Last step is to activate the vendor account to use the portal features.
The Purchase order collaboration settings determine how much automation you want in the process. You can set it to be disabled, no auto confirmation and auto confirm. It means that you can get the orders to be automatically confirmed based on the feedback from your vendor or that you must manually confirm them your self based on the feedback.
Once it is activated and the user logs on they will be greeted with the default dashboard.
Currently there is only one feature and that is Purchase order confirmation, but there will be more functions in the future.
The purchase order confirmation function will let you interact with the vendor by sending purchase order confirmation requests.
If the vendor contact is associated with multiple vendors they must select the right vendor to view by selecting it in the vendor selector at the top of the work center.
The vendor will see the summary of open confirmed orders and orders that are pending for confirmation request.
By pressing “Show” in the overview they can get an overview or simply by looking at the overview directly confirm or reject the order.
After the order is reviewed they can approve or reject the order. A comment can be added to the action.
The order is placed in the “Open confirmed purchase order” and will stay there until it is received.
Meanwhile back at the office…
While waiting for feedback the status of the purchase order will be “In external review” and when confirmed it will get the status “Confirmed”. Confirmation also is automatically posted.
When the order is rejected the status for the purchase order still be “In external review”, but have the order type of “canceled” as well. The purchasing agent can the control the comment made by the vendor by checking the Confirmation request journals that is found on the Purchase pane on the Purchase order.
If rejected, the agent will update and send a new confirmation request or request the order to a new supplier either on the same order on a new purchase order. The existing order does not have to be updated as the order is of type: Canceled.
You can send multiple requests and the journal entries works as a logg.
That covers the existing feature today. I’m looking forward to the next update to see what has been added.