We often introduce Jakamo as a unique software solution for manufacturing companies to manage their supply chain collaboration. But what exactly is the difference with the traditional supplier portals which have been there for over twenty years? Here are the four main differences.
1) Connecting companies
Supplier portals, often additional modules of ERP, are company-specific solutions designed for a single company, even though a mass of people from supplier companies is using it daily. External users from suppliers are logging in to the supplier portal to make actions or search information. So, supplier portals can’t establish a connection between customer and supplier because the use is based on suppliers’ individual persons. Evenmore, suppliers’ personnel may have 20 portals of their different customers which they need to login each day.
Jakamo is designed for the manufacturing ecosystem – it means that any company in the ecosystem can use the solution for their own purposes. Companies are able to connect with each other by establishing a digital relationship in Jakamo. With Jakamo’s patented* networking logic, the information between customer and supplier becomes transparent, traceable, visible and real-time. Jakamo creates corporate memory between companies – if people change their jobs, information remains and won’t leave with the people.
2) Wide scope of industrial processes
Supplier portals are typically designed to share purchase order transactions. Customers can make their purchase orders available to ERP’s supplier portal. Suppliers can login to the portal and fill in the order confirmation and download the PO for their own use. That’s it.
We know that the companies who are producing a complex industrial solution need to take care lots of more collaboration in addition to the purchase orders. Something is requested, offered, agreed, changed, claimed, audited and developed. And there is always a process behind these actions. These cross-company processes are available in Jakamo as dedicated applications. All applications are free to use for all companies who are using the platform. The wide scope of industrial processes is designed for manufacturing companies by supply chain professionals in the field of manufacturing industry. Every company using Jakamo gets the benefit from the joint system and process development made by professionals using Jakamo.
3) On-going communication
The supply chain professionals all know that there is a strong human effect between customer and supplier. Even though the major volume of transactions would be automated, there always exist needs for changes that require communication. Especially when talking about complex delivery projects or common product development. When using supplier portal, the communication is nevertheless tackled by sending emails. It separates the data and communication in (at least) two different places, which makes change processing slow because the information is not available in one common place for all who need it.
When using Jakamo you can forget the emails – the communication is covered. In Jakamo, every single PO, claim and change request have their own discussion feature. It makes the communication fast, accurate and traceable allowing thecompanies a hassle-free collaboration. Instead of writing electronic letters, an on-going communication makes the collaboration a way more effective.
4) Scalable integration
Besides manual use of traditional supplier portals, the efforts to automatize the cross-company processes have leaned heavily to EDI type of solutions. In addition to lacking the wide scope of industrial processes and separated discussions in emails, the EDI solutions have been point-to-point investments. It’s been appropriate solution only to business relations with high volume transactions. Therefore, EDI’s are not an optimal solution for modern ever-changing agile manufacturing networks.
When company integrates its ERP with Jakamo Order application, they can send POs directly from ERP to Jakamo. Supplier confirms POs as requested or with changes in Jakamo, and all confirmed order rows are updated automatically in customer’s ERP. Jakamo’s unique networking logic makes it possible to connect and utilize one, single integration with the whole supplier ecosystem. The supplier can also pull the PO’s automatically from Jakamo to their ERP through similar one-time integration. There is no need for point-to-point integrations anymore. There is no need for big investments. Jakamo provides clear API documentation, which allows a quick and smooth technical integration setup – only minor resource needed from customer company.
As a conclusion, in ecosystem economy, the value is created in business relationships between customer and supplier. The requirements for information transparency, symmetric real-time data, on-going communication and action traceability are different than 25 years ago. Supplier portals were born before there was a clear picture of these crucial requirements – that’s why they lack these capabilities. Jakamo is a modern solution, which has been designed to fulfill all the requirements to execute business effectively in highly networked ecosystem economy.
* Jakamo’s system, method and apparatus for network management based on business relationship information is granted with US Patent in 2016.
Jarl Matti Anttila
CMO & Co-founder of Jakamo
+358 41 439 2581