The Overview

When a healthcare system with 15 hospitals and 30,000 employees became overwhelmed by the time it was taking to manage vendor relationships they decided to implement Lawson Supplier Portal and Supplier Order Management Technology. They brought in Surety Systems to help guide them through best practices and provide expertise on the new Supply Chain Management modules.


“which led them to bring in a team from Surety Systems able to provide both functional and technical expertise to guide them on best practices…


The Challenge

The Accounts Payable department was inundated with vendor calls — suppliers looking to check on their order status or invoices, etc — and it was having a significant impact on their performance. The healthcare system already had Lawson contract management system so they decided to implement the supplier portal and supplier order management technology to help alleviate the problem.

Supplier portal is a powerful web-based tool that serves as a self-service tool for suppliers. It allows suppliers to register, update their information, check in the status of their orders and invoices and more.

The healthcare system had limited IT resources available to work on the project and Supplier Portal would be a new environment for their existing team — which led them to bring in a team from Surety Systems able to provide both functional and technical expertise to guide them on best practices, educate their in-house team, and provide additional technical experience.


The Solution

The project was a joint effort with members from both the supply chain and accounts payable teams. With help from Surety Systems, the assembled team decided to implement a central repository for all supplier information.

This solution would allow them to automate more pieces of the process, following best practices to fully leverage the module’s capabilities. Suppliers would be able to attach documents and the system would automate numerous levels of approval; once one employee validated a supplier change or request, the system would notify the next person who needed to review the account.

The combined team met with each of the departments in the corporation that works with outside suppliers. During those meetings, they determined what documents and processes needed to be incorporated into supplier portal.

Together they created a plan that would meet the various requirements of each group. For example, if a supplier noted in their application that they’d need remote access to the company’s IT systems, the process flow would automatically send an email notification to the IT team that handles security.

The tool was then implemented as planned and Surety’s team helped create documentation for suppliers to walk them through the new system and worked to transfer complete knowledge of the system to the in-house team.


The Results

Unlike many companies who see an amazing demo and then purchase a product but never manage to implement it to it’s full potential, this healthcare system was able to implement and effectively leverage the Supplier Portal module.

With help from Surety, they set up a supplier self service system and automated a great number of tasks their team previously had to handle manually. The system will save their accounts payable team several hours each week — freeing them up to focus instead on tasks more critical to the business.

Are you ready for similar results?