First of all, if possible, we encourage customers to do as much ‘cleaning’ of your vendor master as possible before integrating them with Coupa. This means ensuring you have good contact info for suppliers and removing any unnecessary duplication from vendor masters.
As companies think about how they want to integrate their suppliers there are a few dynamics to keep in mind. The 2 main ones are:
- How many different ERP instances will these vendors be coming from?
- Does a single supplier have multiple ordering points in your current ERP vendor master?
- The downstream impacts of managing catalogs and content in Coupa for duplicated suppliers
If the vendors are coming into Coupa from multiple ERP vendor masters or multiple purchasing organizations within a single ERP, then you may have duplicates of a single supplier entity. For example, you may have OfficeDepot in each of your ERP instances. There are 2 ways to handle this scenario:
- Flatten the suppliers coming into coupa so each supplier entity in each ERP creates it’s own separate supplier in Coupa.
- Consolidate suppliers in Coupa (so have one OfficeDepot in Coupa) and have custom fields added to the supplier record, and populate those fields with each applicable Vendor ID. Then in the transaction document integrations back to your ERP, logic will need to be included to route the correct Vendor ID on each PO and Invoice.
If a single supplier has multiple ordering points then you will need to flatten the ERP vendor master to create one supplier in Coupa for each ordering point. Coupa only has one ordering point (email, integration connection, CSN account) per supplier.
As you decide your supplier load strategy please keep in mind the downstream impacts of your decision. If you flatten out your vendor master then it may complicate it for your suppliers to help you manange content. Some common scenarios that arise:
If you have 4 different ERP’s and duplicate OfficeDepot for each ERP, but you also ask OfficeDepot to load a hosted catalog from the CSN, they would need to load 4 different catalog files. This is complicated for the supplier. A solution would be in this situation would be for a customer resource to take the suppliers single file and split it into all necessary files, or use a punchout catalog that can be duplicated 4 times (there’s a bulk loader for punchout sites).