Most customers maintain vendor/supplier master data in their SAP instance or some form of Vendor Master Module and it is a complex object with a variety of child tables such as General Data, Company Code Data, Sales Data, etc. While all of these are critical for effective vendor management, for self-service requisitioning and PO execution, Coupa generally requires only 15 key attributes for the vendor.
The key attributes required for the vendor object focus on the Vendor Master Record, PO Communication method (cXML, Email, etc), Hold status and a few others such as Payment Terms, Shipping Terms, etc. that are primarily used for defaulting within Coupa. This is, by design, to simplify the data capture within Coupa and focus on the key attributes that are required for effective self-service procurement and Payables process through Coupa.
Coupa also allows Suppliers to be restricted to certain Company Codes as they are in SAP and will also allow this relationship to be integrated via flat-file or API as Suppliers are opened and blocked in each company code. For earlier releases, we have developed client-specific solutions to properly model the supplier data in Coupa to allow for this functionality if needed. Note that Coupa does not have a vendor partnering model as SAP does but we have worked with some of our SAP customers to load the data to Coupa and display to users in such a way that allows them to see the partner relationships if needed.
Most of our customers lock down the Supplier data edits in Coupa and drive edits to the vendor master information through the integration from their SAP instance. We utilize the Custom Roles and Permissions in Coupa to prevent users with enhanced roles such as Buyers or AP supervisors from being able to edit the Supplier data and to support your compliance requirements around vendor management.
The Coupa Standard integrations provide a mechanism to either create new Supplier records or modify existing Suppliers. You also have the flexibility to run the integration at different intervals from as frequent as 5 minutes to weekly or something less frequent. Most customers choose to interface only a subset of their vendors. The rationale is to feed only suppliers with some activity over the last 2 years or less. This will change for each customer, but will need to be addressed as one of the integration considerations and will require a process in place to manage exceptions. There is customer effort to do this analysis and identify the optimal list for integration.
Integration is most commonly completed via Coupa Standard Flat File format. Here is an example of a standard flat-file that can be produced to load your Vendor data into Coupa:
Sample supplier data file (change extension to csv after downloading)
REST APIs are available for those customers who need more control over the process or need real-time integration. It is a common practice to leverage the standard flat-file format for bulk loading your initial set of Suppliers.