The Xchange vendor portal is an e-commerce platform that facilitates seamless integration and collaboration between suppliers and CrunchTime food service customers.
Using the CTX vendor portal, suppliers can automate the exchange of information with their customers from the time an order is created until the time payment for those goods and services has been processed. Vendors will also be able to automate price updates, bid on new price requests, share documents, and exchange PO specific notes with their customers from a single platform.
By joining the CTX community, vendors will have access to the hundreds of supply chain professionals who use CrunchTime each day to procure the goods and services that their businesses rely on.
The Sign-up Process
Only vendors invited to join CTX by their customers are permitted. Here’s how the sign-up process works:
- A vendor’s customer (the restaurant) will initiate the process by sending an email inviting your company to conduct business on CTX.
- By clicking on the link contained in that email, you will be directed to the CTX website (https://www.ct-xchange.com).
- Now users may set up their profile credentials, contact information, payment information, and the access rights for team members using the CTX.
- Once an account for a company has been created, you will be able to access your orders that have been processed through CrunchTime and collaborate directly with your restaurant customers on-line.
For questions, concerns, technical support or additional training, please contact the CrunchTime! Xchange help desk at 617-963-7734 between 8am and 6pm EST or connect to the CrunchTime User Portal for additional support options.
The goal of CTX is to improve communication efficiency, to shorten transaction times and payments cycles, and to reduce the time and energy around lingering PO credit issues.
Data Integration and Workflow Management Tools
Transaction workflows can be managed interactively through the CTX or through bi-directional “real-time” electronic EDI integration. The electronic integration can be customized to work with whatever interfaces your back-end systems support, but this includes internationally recognized ANSI x.12 standards, proprietary standards, and CrunchTime standards.
Each CrunchTime customer can set the workflows that are relevant to their business (for example, are you required to confirm back to them that you received their order) and the CTX will support those workflows on a customer by customer basis. With sufficient user credentials, you will be able to see all of your CrunchTime customers from a single log-in. Likewise, from the CTX, you can configure which users at your organization will see which orders from which customers.
Streamline workflows to include:
- Order transmission
- Confirmation of order receipt
- Confirmation of terms (advanced shipping notice)
- Electronic invoicing
- Physical reconciliation at point of receipt
- Payment confirmation
- Configurable alerts inform the partner of any changes to workflow statuses (new orders, etc.)
- Users on both sides can link documents that can be shared by both parties, including scanned invoices or pictures of product during physical receipt of goods. In addition, users can share immediate feedback from the receiving process including information regarding quality of product and services.
- The platform isolates all order discrepancies and provides interactive tools for remediation of contract pricing and invoice quantity discrepancies.
- On-line communications during the confirm terms and payment remediation phases provide an audit trail for all correspondence between companies regarding changes to specific PO’s.
- The system supports real-time uploads of catalogs and price/product updates. This can be performed interactively through the CTX or custom integration.
Visibility and Access to the CrunchTime! Customer Community
- Trading partners may upload marketing materials and develop an on-line presence on their company profile page.
- CrunchTime customers can query the CTX database for information regarding the trading partners that are participating on the platform and get referrals for quality of product/service from primary contacts at other CrunchTime customers.
Supply Chain Analytics
- All data is stored at the transaction level.
- Where permitted by customers, vendors will be able to benchmark their service performance for a specific customer against other anonymous vendors.
- Vendors can review their own performance (fill ratios, service quality, product quality, etc) by market, customer and location.
Can I upload attachments to CTX?
Yes, you can upload documents to CTX during any of the workflow stages.
Can I recommend substitute items on CTX?
Yes, during the confirm terms stage, in which you are providing your customer with confirmation that you will provide the product at the price and quantity requested, you can suggest alternate products. The customer will have the ability to accept or reject the substitute and explain why. They can also build a database of allowable substitutes as part of this process.
What will the process look like as we suggest alternate products?
In the header of each PO, the system will track the thread of conversation back and forth (and keep permanent history) of the dialogue used to decide whether or not the substitute will be allowed by the customer. Your customers will be able to develop a data base in CrunchTime of acceptable and not acceptable substitutes.
Can we get forecasted consumption data so we can plan our buying and production more effectively?
The system tracks this data and we agree that the information would be valuable. We will work with our user community to work out the mechanics of this feature and will likely provide this in a future release.
Is the alerting configurable based on the workflow?
In phase 1, alerting will be the same for transaction movements in all steps of the workflow. You can set the alerting to be hourly or daily.
Can we include transportation data and other costs on the electronic invoice?
We are presently gathering requirements from a number of customers and plan to add this capability at a later date.
Concerned about Security. Who can see what data?
(1) Your customers will not be able to log into the Vendor Portal, this is exclusively a vendor tool. (2) Vendors will only be able to see their own customer data and NOT the data from any other vendor. (3) You will be able to segment customers within the Vendor Portal so that users will only see the customers directly relevant to them. (4) Our data center is hosted in Boston and our stringent security standards are subject to random 3rd party audit throughout the year (SSAE-16 Audits).
Who will determine the business rules of what can be changed and when?
Your customers will determine the business rules of what can be changed and when. We will work with our customers to make sure this is flexible and robust enough to meet the practical requirements of their vendor communities.
What will show up on the documents the system produces?
Everything that is produced today will be available from the portal. If there are additional requirements, we should identify them as soon as possible so we can incorporate them into the product roadmap.
Can Agricultural Certificates be uploaded to the system?
As with any document they can be uploaded in real time. It is unclear that this meets the full requirement of this inquiry. We are awaiting more detail to provide a final determination.