Creating Vendor Templates
Setting up Vendor Templates
A video format of this guide can be found at the end of the article.
Vendor Management in Vendorful allows you to gather information about your vendors, and Vendor Templates are how you dictate what information you need and the structure of that information. Vendor Templates are designed to be customizable and reusable to make sure your templates are consistent across vendors. In this guide we'll look at how to create these templates.
Vendor Templates are composed of Attribute Groups. Attribute Groups are composed of Attributes. Let's look at each of these pieces individually.
A Vendor Template will hold the Groups and Attributes which contains all the information that you would like to know about a Vendor. You might decide to create one template which you assign to all of your vendors. Alternatively, you can create different templates to assign to vendors in specific fields. For example, you might want to create different templates to assign to IT vendors and Food Service vendors since their pertinent information is likely to be different. To view and create Vendor Templates navigate to Vendors > Manage Your Vendors in the top menu and then click the "Manage Templates" button.
If you have any existing templates they will be shown here. Clicking the name of the template will drop down a list of groups in that template and clicking on those groups will drop down a list of attributes in that group. The pencil on the right side of the bar will take you to the template edit page. The red "x" to the far right will delete the template.
To create a new template, simply click the "Create Template" button and provide a name for the new template. Once this is done you will be taken to the template edit page where you can add groups to the template.
Attribute Groups are a way to organize individual attributes. When creating a template you can add any group that has been created to the template. This makes it easy to manage templates that might have certain sections in common without having to recreate that group for each template. In our IT and Food Service example earlier it may be useful to create a "General Information" group to ask for basic things like vendor name, location, mailing address, or contact information. This group can then be added to both templates and then groups related to IT and food services would then be added to their respective templates.
As with the Vendor Templates view, clicking the name of a group will show you the attributes in that group. The pencil icon allows you to edit the group, and the "x" will remove the group from the template. This only removes the group from the current template. The group is still available to add to other templates or even re-add to the current template. You can manage all available Groups by clicking the "Manage All Groups" button.
Note: Since groups are shared across templates, any changes you make to a group while editing a template will also change that group for other templates as well. Again, this is to make sure your information collection is consistent across vendors.
To add a group to a template click the "Add Group" button. This will bring up a popup that will show you a list of groups that have been created and can be added to your template. Clicking the name of the group will show you a preview of the attributes in that group. To add it to your template click the "+" on the right side of the bar. You can filter the list of groups using the search box at the top of the popup.
To create a new group type the name you would like to give it into the search box and then click "Add Group". This will take you to the Edit Group page.
This is the meat and potatoes of Vendor Templates. This is the view where we will choose exactly what information we would like to record about the vendor as well as setting the fields which we would like the vendor to fill out about themselves.
The main part of this view shows the current state of the Group and which Attributes are currently added to it. Again, clicking on the name of the Attribute will allow you to edit it, and clicking the "x" will remove the Attribute from the Group. You can also click and drag each Attribute to rearrange them within the group.
Note: The same rules that applied to Groups also apply to these Attributes. Attributes are shared across Groups so any change you make to an Attribute here will affect other Groups which use the same Attribute.
On the left side of the view is the Attribute list. Any Attributes that have been created will appear in this list and can be added to the current group by clicking the double arrow icon or can be edited by clicking the Attribute name. New Attributes can be created by clicking the "Add Attribute" button at the top of this list. Let's take a look at the fields that are available when creating or editing an Attribute.
Name: The name of the Attribute. This is what will be used to label the Attribute when the template is being filled out.
Type: This is the field that dictates how this piece of information is collected. There are a few options here:
- Short Text: A text input that you expect to be 1 sentence or less.
- Number: Any sort of number input.
- Long Text: A text input that is suitable for longer entries of text like descriptions.
- Selection: This input allows you to provide a set of options that can be selected. There is also a toggle to allow for multiple selections.
- Document: This input allows for uploading documents.
- Date/Date Time: These inputs accept dates or dates and time respectively.
- Checkbox: This is a simple checkbox to be used for Yes/No questions.
Expiration: This field allows you to set a time when the answer for the Attribute expires and needs to be updated. This can be set to expire periodically or you can select "Per Value" to allow the user to input the expiration date when filling out the template.
Visibility: This field sets the permissions that vendors have for editing or even seeing the Attribute.
- Editable: This allows the vendor to edit the Attribute. Use this for information you would like to get from them.
- Read-only: The vendor will be able to see this, but only you and your team will be able to edit it.
- Hidden: This type of Attribute will be visible and editable by you and your team but will be hidden from the vendor. You can use this to keep track of things like "Is the vendor a preferred vendor?" and other information you would like to keep track of about the vendor, but not allow them to see.
With our templates created we are now ready to assign them to vendors. View our article Assigning Vendor Templates to see how to do this.