The Exostar All-in-One Supplier Portal platform is a multi-enterprise information hub and/or a suite of supply chain solutions. It aims to comprehensively support interactions with all suppliers across a range of processes, including planning, logistics, quality management, procure-to-pay, supplier onboarding, supply risk assessment, vendor-managed inventory, sourcing, and supplier information management.
The Supplier Portal is a foundation component to Exostar’s All-in-One supply chain offering.
Exostar’s Supplier Portal is designed to significantly improve the effectiveness of the current individual supply chain applications by providing a digitizing platform that intelligently links the diverse functions together and adds modern communication, collaboration and usage technologies.
Exostar’s Supplier Portal platform includes some of the following benefits:
- Modern UX/UI, which translates into ease of use and friction-less interactions.
- Cutting edge system architecture, which, allows for use across channels and devices while enabling the experience of an “unbound” or “headless” port.
- B2B Transaction and Commerce support through the enablement of data exchange, business process management, catalog management, or integration.
- B2C User Access Experience Management which ensures the right people have access to the right information and services through the roles and permissions allocated to certain individuals or groups.
- B2E Collaboration and Knowledge by enabling organizations to work together toward common goals through support for conversations, information sharing (DMS) (roadmap), and group interactions in teams.
- Ease of Use
June 2018 marks the introduction of the Exostar Supplier Portal and provides the following benefits and features:
- Supplier Portal application structure/ multi – tenant solution capability
- System Roles and Permissions
- Application Administration functionalities
- System Widgets
- I Want To
- Messaging Service
- System Administrator Announcements
- User Profile Page
- Feature for Managing Portal Administrator
The significant new features of Supplier Portal 1.0 are:
Supplier Portal application structure/ Multi–tenant solution
The Supplier Portal is designed so multiple buyers are able to subscribe to the application and own a portal independent from other buyers’ portals. This design allows each portal to act as a standalone application specific to the owning organization. During Release 1.0, the Portal team laid out the foundation for this design and created an application structure such that each buyer’s portal displays as a separate application behind Exostar's Identity and Access Management (IAM) Platform (formerly known as MAG), and users whom have access to multiple portals see each portal as a separate application on their IAM Platform dashboard.
When a buyer subscribes to the Supplier Portal, they are added as a Tenant organization of the Supplier Portal and a portal with a unique URL is then created for them.
The implemented application structure helps support the multi–tenant solution of Supplier Portal, along with allowing a customized, unique solution for all tenant organizations.
Portal Roles and Permissions
Due to the large number of features and sensitivity of information Suppliers and Buyers can share using the Supplier Portal, the application requires specific roles and permissions as a way of restricting users to specific actions.
Release 1.0 introduced several application roles, which help restrict and manage the actions performed by users of the Portal. Roles in the portal can be specified for the general portal or per area of the portal. During Release 1.0, the following roles with associated permissions have been implemented as a way of managing the users who are or are not able to perform specific actions within the portal and/ or portal areas. Roles and permissions in the Supplier Portal application may be allocated to internal Exostar employees, users of the tenant organization, and/ or users of supplier organizations who are subscribed to the Portal. The available roles are:
- System Administrator: Role solely reserved for Exostar personnel to primarily create requested portals for tenants.
- Portal Administrator: The highest hierarchical role in a portal, whose primary function is to overall manage the areas within the entire portal.
- Area Administrator: The role whose primary function is to overall manage an area to which they are assigned the Area Admin role.
- Page Manager: The role whose primary function is to create pages with widgets within an area.
- Role Manager: The role whose primary function is to manage users in roles within an area.
- Content Editor: The role whose primary function is to create and manage the content (primarily within widgets) in an area.
- Viewer: The role who may just view pages, widgets, and other content within an area
Once a Buyer makes the decision to subscribe to the Supplier Portal as a portal tenant, the application administration process begins. This process begins with an Exostar System Administrator creating the portal, and spans all the way to the management of the portal by users of the tenant organization. In order to ensure a seamless flow of all application administration, the following features were introduced during the Supplier Portal Release 1.0:
- System Administrator functionalities for creating new tenants and portals
- Portal administration functionalities including:
- Management of the portal by tenant users
- Area Administration
- Page Administration
- User Role Administration
- Area/Area Properties Management
Each page within an area of the Supplier Portal acts as a dashboard, which features one or more widgets to communicate information or allow for widget specific functionalities. Each portal page is able to feature a different set of widgets selected by users with authorized permissions for editing content of the specific page and/ or area. During release 1.0 of Supplier Portal the following system widgets have been introduced as part of the Supplier Portal functionality:
- “I Want to”
- This widget allows users to perform specific actions. As of release 1.0 the actions available in this widget are related to different applications such as Partner Information Manager (PIM) and Vendor Qualification Manager (VQM).
- “News” Widget
- This widget allows authorized users of the tenant organization to add RSS feeds, which will be visible to all users with access to the area in which the page resides.
- Notices Widget
- This widget is used to allow authorized users of the tenant organization to broadcast documents or links with business specific content to the users of the portal and allow the users to download or view them. Furthermore these widget can be searched.
- Apps Widget
- This widget provides a list of links to all applications the user is subscribed to through MAG. This widget allows ease of use to all users by giving immediate access from the Portal to the desired application.
Supplier Portal 1.0 has introduced a messaging service to allow users of the Supplier Portal to securely communicate with other users who are subscribed to the same portal. All users regardless of role may send a message to one or more users and the recipients of the message may reply to the message.
The messaging service has been introduced to provide ease of use and a secure means of communication for the users of each portal to communicate with other users of the same portal.
User Profile Page
Supplier Portal 1.0 features a User Profile page, which allows a user to view their account details with the following information.
- User’s Name
- Login ID
- User’s Organization Name
- User’s Exostar ID
- User’s role for the specific area being viewed
This page is featured as a read – only page for users to view their profile information. If any updates are needed at this time the users are required to make changes via MAG.
Manage Portal Administrator Functionality
The Supplier Portal has many roles of which, the Portal Administrator is the highest in the roles hierarchy. The Portal Administrator is able to manage all portal areas, pages, widgets, and users. Given such a wide range of permissions and actions permissible to this role the role management for the Portal Administrator must follow a different process than the management of other roles, which is done by the Role Manager. The Portal Administrator role cannot be managed by users of just the Role Manager role.
As of Supplier Portal release 1.0 the very first Portal Administrator of the Portal must be assigned by an Exostar System Administrator after which, users with the Portal Administrator role may add or remove additional Portal Administrators.
The process to manage this role has been implemented due to the responsibilities and wide range of permissions allocated to the Portal Administrator.
This enhancement has been implemented in a way to indicate to users that they will be directed to PIM, however, without the expectation to land directly on the specific form.
The Supplier Portal team will benefit from the new features. If you have any product feedback, you are welcome to contact our support line or send us an email at email@example.com.