Bench Leave Fall Image by Pepper Mint from PixabayRootstock Software has released the Fall ’22 version of its ERP software. Headlining this release is a new Digital Supplier Collaboration suite, including a Request for Quote feature. With supply chains disrupted first by COVID, then geopolitical instability and now the cost of living crisis, supply chain management has become critical. The new release aims to address this need for manufacturers. The addition will help Rootstock customers to better manage suppliers, deepening partnerships.

Raj Badarinath, Chief Product Officer at Rootstock Software
Raj Badarinath, Chief Product Officer at Rootstock Software

Raj Badarinath, Chief Product Officer at Rootstock, commented, “Today, supply chain disruptions are the new normal. Facing increased volatility, manufacturers need to be able to receive timely digital signals, so they can oversee their ‘plan-source-make-deliver’ cycle. Rootstock provides such insights, enabling manufacturers to manage their supply chains, as well as source and collaborate with suppliers—all this from within our ERP solution. In essence, they have the visibility to mitigate disruptions as they emerge.”

“In these turbulent times, supply chain leaders are striving to build in resilience, especially with lengthening lead times. Toward this end, they’re collaborating closely with suppliers to address global supply chain risks and coordinate strategies such as near-shoring. In addition, the way this process was handled in the past—using spreadsheets and email—must be modernized and brought into the digital age. Rootstock ERP enables online RFQs that can be broadly disseminated and managed via a digital marketplace.” 

Taking Supplier Management seriously

With this release, Rootstock has added or enhanced several supplier management features on its solution, further extending the leading manufacturing ERP solution on the Salesforce platform.

Digital Sourcing

Using a new supplier portal built on the Salesforce Experience Cloud Rootstock customers, connect with suppliers. The portal enables manufacturers to add new suppliers and automates the onboarding process. Every supplier also has visibility to RFQs posted. The supplier can then respond to the RFQ online, making the process easier and more consistent for the manufacturer. The procurement team has visibility of all the responses and can compare each quotation. They can compare each competitive bid across dimensions such as costs, availability, lead times, and reliability.

The procure-to-pay automation starts even earlier, with customers able to generate purchase requisitions, which can either convert to RFQs on the supplier platform or be managed through employee expenses. Once the decision is made on which supplier to work with, the purchase order is generated automatically. It will flow through the system, tracking deliveries, dates and locations for complex purchase orders. The ERP solution will connect every element of the goods through delivery, inventory management and the manufacturing process with traceability for key components as required.

Supply Chain Dashboards

Within the ERP solution, users can configure dashboards to measure supplier performance and metrics. The inference is that these dashboards can compare different suppliers or dive into a single supplier ahead of a performance review or meeting.

Where KPIs are flagging, users can drill down into performance to see the root causes of an issue. Perhaps a supplier is delivering later than a target value. The users can drill down to see which orders have impacted this KPI and what issues lie behind the issue.

Real-time Supplier Collaboration

The Supplier collaboration tool can still communicate and notify suppliers via email. However, Rootstock and Slack customers can now set up secure Slack channels, ensuring communication is private and instantaneous, enabling real-time conversations using Slack chats, audio and video calls. Slack also enables document sharing reducing the time taken by asynchronous email communication.

Reducing Supply Risk

When combined, these new features enhance collaboration, identify issues faster and ensure a better relationship. When issues begin, they are noticed faster, and manufacturers can react faster with suppliers to mitigate risks, troubleshoot issues and avoid shortages of key components before they affect production.

For example, perhaps a supplier is suddenly unable to meet the demand. Rootstock retains the history of alternative suppliers, and manufacturers can swiftly place new orders to manage any shortfall. Whilst these new deals may be at higher rates, they may avoid the loss of production time.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Rootstock has enhanced an area that ERP solutions have historically neglected. Third-party solutions integrated into the ERP have often provided the supplier portal capability. Rootstock has now taken advantage of the Salesforce platform to extend portals to suppliers. The details around this release are light.

Stu Johnson, vice president of product marketing at Rootstock, reveals more information in a recent blog. However, it does little to expand on the information provided. Rootstock did not provide any further details about what is in the release.

Johnson does explain four key benefits of the new solution, though, which are:

  • Search for new supply sources
  • Optimise purchase prices
  • Reduce Business Risks
  • Manage strong supplier relationships

These sound good, but it is up to the manufacturer to add suppliers to the portal rather than providing access to a supplier network such as SAP Ariba or Infor Nexus. More information will be provided in a webinar focused on the Med Tech industry on Thursday, November 17, 2022, 2:30 – 3:30 pm EST. Sign up here to learn more about supply chain disruptions and solutions in the Medical Technology industry.


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