Tradeshift Magellan 1 arrives, further strengthens commerce for all

April 12, 2017 Tradeshift Editorial Team

Building on our strong history of innovation, this week we’ve announced Magellan 1, our first product update of the year.

Ferdinand Magellan, the 16th-Century Portuguese explorer, was the first to organize a voyage that circumnavigated the globe in effort to find a faster way to the Spice Islands, marking a huge milestone at the dawn of global commerce. As the business commerce company, Tradeshift is also removing barriers, collapsing distances, and bridging divides to increase access to commerce for every business, everywhere.

In Magellan 1, users will discover completely redesigned collaboration functionality, new capabilities to Tradeshift Buy, a new documents user interface, and a wide range of invoice processing efficiencies. With business analytics, managers can now get more actionable insights about their operations driven by our new data warehouse. We’ve also taken great care to empower suppliers through the self-management of profiles, and, in the process, we’ve taken steps to provide the most accurate supplier information for buyers. Below is the breakdown.

Embedded Network Collaboration

We’re excited to introduce Universal Inbox, which embeds our networked collaboration capabilities within apps across the Tradeshift platform. It works like the popular tool, Slack, and will be integrated into all of our products. No other vendor has this. It allows for real-time messaging and allows you to share documents, information about suppliers, and products in the same place. There’s no need for complex UI and workflows to carry out processes that are better suited for familiar one-to-one text conversations. You don’t have to move from application to application to share and view content, and you don’t have to shift from one screen to another: Instead, there’s one view where users can maintain context at all times regardless of where they are on the platform, resulting in a very user-centered experience.

As the above screenshot depicts, Universal Inbox enables a three-pane interface consisting of a user’s inbox, conversations, and an app or document, like a purchase request. This single view makes it easier for users to track multiple conversations, keeps both internal and external conversations organized, and allows reference to any document or content related to a conversation. Being able to take a conversation to any relevant context will save users a lot of time, minimizes miscommunications, and will boost their productivity.

Universal Inbox makes its debut in Tradeshift Buy, where it enables automatic internal collaboration between procurement and employees. This feature, called procurement assistance, also supports internal approvals. The functionality will soon support collaboration scenarios in Tradeshift Pay and Tradeshift Connect.  

Within Universal Inbox, users are free to invite Ada for a conversation. Tradeshift Ada is our recently announced AI layer that helps users with responses to questions and requests and even makes context-based suggestions, such as apps to consider. Ada is also a significant release with information available on her own site, blog post, and video.

Greater precision for invoice processing

Customers will now be able to further increase efficiencies in invoice processing. In Tradeshift Pay, procure-to-pay teams can find more collaboration and validation features, including custom validations, to ensure incoming invoices can be processed successfully and match to actual orders and deliveries.

List validation enables on-the-fly business configuration. Incoming invoices can now be validated against a list (e.g., orders, locations, vehicle numbers, or any invoice field(s)) that can be created and maintained by business users. In other solutions, custom validations require custom fields and workflow that need to be developed and maintained by the IT department. With Tradeshift, custom business rules can be configured on the fly without building custom code or workflows. Any invoice deemed invalid is returned to the supplier so they don’t slow things down. This results in faster-paid invoices, more accuracy, and greater processing efficiency.

The release also delivers cross-network order collaboration that is flexible to match existing business processes and makes it easy for suppliers to communicate orders, change orders, send advanced shipping notices, and share invoice information. Companies can compare multiple types of purchasing documents – up to seven – to ensure that buyers and suppliers are completely aligned on orders and delivery. This capability covers automated 2- and 3-way matching, non-PO, and Invoice Against Contract among other possibilities that facilitate and automate deep supply chain processes.

Magellan 1 offers a document flip service that allows external apps to leverage the Tradeshift platform to validate and create follow-on purchasing documents for order collaboration. Tradeshift partner Quyntess will be using the service to enhance their order collaboration app for direct materials.  

More powerful shopping

This release also includes more powerful shopping capabilities in Tradeshift Buy. The upgraded punchout feature seamlessly links to external supplier catalogs allowing users to bring items back into a purchase request, with their unique pricing and/or configuration. This ensures the right price based on agreed upon pricing and configurations with suppliers. The new shopping feature also enables returns of goods and services to the Tradeshift purchase request.

For larger order quantities, Tradeshift is also now supporting order quantity price scales, enabling companies to realize better pricing.  And finally, we’ve made upstream improvements and validations in shopping to reduce much of the downstream work, such as tax coding and invoice processes.

New mobile-enabled document user interface

The release introduces a new purchasing documents user interface (UI). The new document layout enhances the user experience for procurement and AP users so they can quickly access  purchasing information such as goods receipt. The beautiful UI is mobile-enabled and easy to use so that users can work on any device and carry out tasks anywhere. User adoption will rise since the new UI enables your teams to be responsive to requests and keep processes moving forward faster.

Supplier empowerment and greater information accuracy

For suppliers, we’ve redesigned the supplier profile page to improve scalability and provide more capabilities for self-service management. (Think of it as the B2B equivalent of a LinkedIn company page profile). We’re empowering suppliers to help ensure the accuracy of their information and strengthen the integration between supplier profiles and their connected buyer-side customer ERP systems.  

Each buyer will now have access to a set of specific supplier information that is buyer-specific.

Buyers can now approve or decline updates a supplier makes to their profile, as well as enable supplier information to auto-populate into Tradeshift profiles from their ERP systems. With our new integration scenario, buyer-side customers can ensure that their supplier data remains accurate, up-to-date and consistent across all of their systems of record.

Buyers can now easily survey suppliers across the network to gather information about their capabilities, certifications, company size, industry, and other data at any time. Suppliers, in turn, can set custom sharing options to segment what they choose to share publicly and with different buyers. This all adds up to greater information sharing, collaboration, and digital connectivity between buyers and suppliers.

Lastly, any registered Tradeshift user can now view supplier profile pages to foster more commerce opportunities while buyers can better understand who can meet their needs.

Interactive Operational Business Analytics

Tradeshift Business Analytics now includes a significantly enhanced set of capabilities for gaining insight to how the business is performing operationally. At the center of it is an enhanced data warehouse that powers customized, high-impact and actionable metrics that are provided to users in a smart, easy to understand, and highly contextual manner.

Managers can create custom dashboards and customize them, as well as generate out-of-the-box reports to help monitor their supplier onboarding, and procurement and AP processes, for instance. They can get deeper insights through new drag and drop and drill-down capabilities, and have multiple options when analyzing data, including graphical KPIs and the ability to export data downloads to .csv or .xls. From there the reports can be combined with data from other sources for more advanced analysis. With the data, procurement managers can find opportunities to improve supplier onboarding and other supplier performance metrics, while AP can report across metrics such as volume of invoices, POs, exceptions, matching, and more. In turn, finance can use these insights to improve cash flow and management.

Stay tuned as Tradeshift continues to modernize B2B commerce with new and exciting capabilities in Magellan 2 next quarter, including the production release of Ada.

About the Author

Tradeshift connects buyers, suppliers, and all their processes in one global network. We help you transform the way you work with suppliers today – and adapt to whatever the future brings.

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