Last updated on JULY 14, 2016
Applies to:Oracle Supplier Lifecycle Management - Version 12.1.2 and later
Oracle iSupplier Portal - Version 12.1.2 and later
Oracle Site Hub - Version 12.1.2 and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.
The purpose of this document is to show the basic steps to setup Supplier Lifecycle Management (SLM) where the supplier profile administrator can set up an audit template and reuse this template to periodically audit suppliers via a Request For Information (RFI). After the suppliers respond to the RFI, their entries are reviewed by the buyer and the RFI is 'Completed'. Once the RFI is completed the mapping setup automatically synchronizes to the Supplier profile with the correct values.
While there are regulatory requirements for some types of organizations to keep key supplier profile elements up to date, this is also an important process for many non-regulated organizations that are looking to meet Corporate Social Responsibility standards that they have set for themselves. Supplier Lifecycle Management enables administrators to utilize the Request for Information (RFI) tools to gather and manage supplier compliance and profile information that are required on an anniversary basis. The Buyer can define key compliance information that is required from suppliers and then store the feedback provided by the supplier into the supplier master profile record.
CLARIFICATION OF OPTIONS FOR UPDATING SUPPLIER PROFILE UDA DATA
Essentially, suppliers are provided two methods to update the User Defined Attribute (UDA) attributes in their profile data.
Method 1. Direct Update by Supplier in Admin tab:
Where data entered by a supplier is information that is not mission-critical, does not have to go through stringent review / approval process, those UDA regions can be exposed to suppliers directly for them to update from the "Admin" tab of iSupplier Portal. Any updates they make directly go on to the supplier profile without any approval.
Using this direct update method, UDA security setup determines which
a) UDA groups are opened up for suppliers to update at will
b) UDA attribute groups that are visible to suppliers but cannot be updated
c) attribute groups that are completely hidden from suppliers
CAUTION: While a supplier updates UDA values directly in the profile, the updates are immediate even when in draft mode. And if the Buyer updates somewhat simultaneously, it is possible that the supplier entered values are overwritten depending on the timing of the update by buyer vs. update by supplier (Internal Reference <Bug 18347204>).
Method 2. RFI and Requirement Mapping:
Where supplier's updates are to be reviewed / verified / approved, the RFI requirement mapping is the right approach. In this, each question asked to the supplier / internal evaluator is mapped to a particular UDA attribute. This way, the administrator / evaluator can see the supplier's responses and determine if the data is good enough to go on the supplier profile.
IF ... the customer is looking for a way to
a) collect information from supplier and evaluator
b) review, validate and approve those entries
c) upon completion of the exercise, transfer the collected information to the supplier profile
THEN ... the correct way to implement this requirement is through requirement mapping. Requirement mapping is a one-time setup done at the RFI template level before cut-over, and the mapping gets copied over to every profile audit RFI created, using that template. Since it is a one-time activity, even if the customer needs to map numerous attributes, it can be done with only the one-time effort, and reused repeatedly.
When the UDA region was added in the create responses page, all that was done was to use the SAME region that would otherwise be visible in the "Admin" tab of iSupplier Portal. The same UDA security restrictions apply. It was done to allow suppliers to:
1. Have visibility to what data was entered earlier on those UDA attributes, and update them by entering answers to the questionnaire (to do this, the UDA security should be set up to provide read-only access to those attribute groups).
2. While answering a questionnaire, allow suppliers to also provide updates to any data that they are free to enter in UDA attributes that fall under method (1) above. It may be beneficial to add a message through personalization to clearly indicate that any changes entered here will be directly updated to the supplier's profile.
Essentially, the customer should determine whether a particular UDA attribute group falls under method 1 or method 2. If it falls under method 1, set up security profile to allow supplier to update the data any time he wants, without needing approvals or verification. If it falls under method 2, use UDA mapping. These are the only two methods available today.
The solution in this document describes details for Method 2 using the RFI and requirement mapping process to allow suppliers to submit updates in response to RFI requests for update to supplier profile UDA attributes.
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