Updated: May 5, 2021
In the second blog post in our To Me, To You series we're looking at one of the key features of the To Me, To You project, the supply chain portal that we're going to be developing to support both sides of the supplier-customer relationship.
When we developed the first version of Elements Docket in 2019, we envisioned it as a tool that predominantly made life easier for operators on the factory floor by making ‘paperwork’ quicker and easier to record using contactless technology as a modern order tracking technology. However, once we gave it to our first set of beta testers we found that the team that were benefitting the most from Docket were the sales and accounts staff. Slightly baffled, we delved deeper into this and found that the live Work-In-Progress screen meant that customer queries could be answered much quicker, by accessing live order information from their desk rather than having to call or walk down to the factory floor in search of the order.
After finding that a live view of workflow could streamline customer enquiries, we decided to go a step further and develop a feature we call Trackable. Inspired by the use of tracking codes by delivery companies we sought to create a feature that enabled customers to access a live view of where their order is up to at any time. Using Trackable, a manufacturer can provide a customer email; so that when the order is started, the customer receives an email with a link to their personalised order page, where they can see what has been completed and what work is in progress (below).
Whilst trackable has provided a great tool for B2C manufacturers creating one-off order for individual customers, it has always been our plan to develop Trackable into a larger portal containing all orders associated to a customer, making it more suitable for B2B manufacturers that may have multiple ongoing orders with one supplier at any one time. So when we applied for the Digitising Supply Chains call, we knew instantly that this needed to form the basis of our project.
As part of the To Me, To You project we will be developing a detailed customer portal, enabling customers to view all their incoming orders, including live progress, any documents uploaded (such as invoices, drawings and certificates of conformity) and even a comparison to plan, which we will visit in more detail in next week's blog post. The below images are initial sketches of how we envisage the portal will look and, to a point, function. A supplier will select their customer when creating an order in Docket, which will then add the order to the customer's portal, allowing them to access all the information they need in one place, no emails needed.
Next week we'll be taking a deeper dive on the intelligence we're going to be developing, to provide suppliers and customers with an assessment of whether an order is going to be delivered on time, or whether it is slipping behind schedule based on previous order data.
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