Managing Multiple Vendors in an Order Portal System

One way B2B commerce solutions are leveraged is to manage orders that are then fulfilled by multiple vendor partners. For some, a full-blown marketplace solution may be overbuilt for what they need to do, which is simply pass along orders to various vendors for fulfillment, and then receive back shipping information.

So here’s a few ways a more comprehensive commerce solution like Zoey can plug the gap between standard eCommerce and marketplace solutions. With these capabilities, you can manage multiple vendors within an order portal, simplifying the ability to capture orders with multiple product sources, and fulfill them simply and successfully.

Proper Data Architecture

Many commerce solutions have ways to tag and catalog your data within its system, but they tend to put limits on the number of data fields a product can have, or how many products can be linked under them, creating artificial challenges in building an ideal data structure.

However, if you can create a field that lets you label which vendor each product is sourced and fulfilled from, you can get a healthy start in building out what you’ll need to use a commerce solution to manage multiple vendors.

Split Orders Ability

Step two is a solution that can split orders by data. Imagine an order with five products on it – 3 products are sourced from Vendor A, and 2 products are sourced from Vendor B. Presume you’ve been able to label your products with a data field as described in the previous section.

If that order can be split into two, creating one order with each vendor’s products, you’ve taken a key step into making it easier to fulfill that order, since you now have segregated the items into orders fulfilled by a single vendor.

Working with Vendors

From here, there’s two approaches that can enable those vendors to be able to access and fulfill those orders.

Restricted Staff Accounts

For vendor relationships where the vendor is accessing your commerce system directly, the ability to set up Restricted Staff Accounts allows sellers to provide access to a vendor, but only displaying orders that are to be fulfilled/processed by that vendor. Vendors can then update orders, apply shipping information, and view what orders have come in since they last checked, among other steps.

API, CSV or other Data Transfer Options

Alternatively, for vendors that run a more automated process, commerce systems that provide various ways to submit data in bulk – APIs, CSV exports, and so on – can use the vendor data attribute referenced at the start of this article to provide an easy filtering mechanism for a vendor to know which data is relevant to them by pre-filtering it on the commerce system’s side.

Similarly, an API push back to the commerce system, a CSV import provided by the vendor or other means can be used to update the orders with shipping tracking information and status updates when an order is fulfilled and on the way.

See How Zoey Can Equip Your Business for Success

Multi-vendor sales is just one of the many ways Zoey can be leveraged to help modern B2B commerce businesses succeed. To see how we can help you specifically, click the button below to request a conversation with our Customer Success team:

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