4 ways to improve vendor relationships for your fashion business with Fortude’s Vendor Portal


Clinton has been working as a procurement manager for a renowned fashion manufacturer for the past two years. His work has always been stressful – from coordinating purchase orders to their vendors based across the world, to ensuring the goods arrive on time. He is constantly on edge and firing emails in all directions when crunch-time is near.

But his days of accomplishing a million tasks manually with zero visibility into how far vendor shipments have progressed have now come to an end. Fashion manufacturers who are on Infor M3/CloudSuite only need to integrate their system with Fortude’s Vendor Portal, and they can eliminate manual vendor coordination, centralize all regulatory and compliance documents and increase visibility of vendor operations.

Tailor-made for the fashion industry, the Vendor Portal syncs with Infor M3, and is well-equipped to handle the complex shipments and unique demands of the trade. The user interface is simple, and a three-hour training is all you need to onboard your vendors.  Another distinguishing feature of the portal is its independent user management module. Vendors don’t need Infor M3/CloudSuite licenses to be on the portal so manufacturers can create accounts for vendors independently.

So how does this portal work?

Once you create a purchase order on Infor M3, the information will sync with the Fortude Vendor Portal. This would generate a notification to your vendors who would then be able to access and acknowledge the Purchase Order on the Vendor Portal. After the purchase order is confirmed, the vendor can update ex-factory dates, acknowledge prices and provide periodic updates based on the status of the goods.

Moreover, based on the goods that are to be shipped, vendors can upload the necessary regulatory documents and it will immediately sync with Infor Document Manager (IDM). You will receive a notification to pre-check all documentation and close any gaps, to ensure 100% document compatibility at the point of landing so all goods can be easily cleared with customs officials.

The portal will also help create a pack plan, with the ability to categorize based on size, color and other factors, and also issue the Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN).

The Fortude Vendor Portal – How it works

Take for example, a leading premier US sock and legwear distributor who consulted Fortude to move out of their legacy system and onto Infor CloudSuite Fashion. Along with the CloudSuite solution, Fortude also introduced the Vendor Portal to the distributor. The tool has enabled the distributor to connect with its vendors via a unified interface and gain vendor activities.

This blog breaks down how Fortude’s Vendor Portal can help you enhance and drive vendor relationships and business operations via your Infor M3/CloudSuite system.

  1. Elimination of email and courier-based communication

    Vendor communications via email could lead to miscommunication within organizations as they need to monitor the messages and go back and forth to multiple vendors. Emails often get tangled in multiple threads and courier communications can be delayed if the required officials are not around to make the necessary updates.

    This is where the Vendor Portal comes in. It can facilitate seamless communication and collaboration between your procurement teams and vendors. Not only can it  eliminate the need for email and courier-based communication for shipping and regulatory documents completely (just like in the case of the US sock and legwear designer and their experience with Fortude’s Vendor Portal), but it can also ensure efficient and transparent communication throughout the purchase order lifecycle.

  2. Real- time visibility

    All manufacturers and distributors are keen to know the movement of their shipments – this helps them plan better and create more realistic sales plans and strategies. The transportation component is also susceptible to change because of unexpected changes in socioeconomic conditions, and even sudden changes in weather.

    With Fortude’s Vendor Portal, you leave minimal room for assumption because both your vendors across the supply chain and your team have access to the portal. This ensures more accurate updates that are consistent across the supply chain. For the sock and legwear designer, Fortude’s Vendor Portal has helped create greater visibility into the purchase order acknowledgment, pricing acknowledgment, monitoring ex-factory date, as well as container loading and shipment status at the point of dispatch.

  3. Real-time integration

    Imagine having to transfer all your vendor data to a new system to ensure your vendor portal can operate without hiccups? It’s bound to be a time-consuming process. If there are gaps in your data once transferred, you would need to take a few steps back to make sure you haven’t missed anything – that’s double the work!

    With Fortude’s Vendor Portal you don’t have to worry about the manual transfer of data because the tool integrates with your Infor M3/CloudSuite solution – all the information on your system will be automatically fed into the Vendor Portal.

    In our customer story, real-time integration with the business’ core ERP meant that there was zero manual data processing required across its multiple systems.

  4. Eliminate manual vendor coordination

    There’s no doubt that manufacturers must put in significant hours to ensure all aspects of their vendor transactions flow smoothly. Most of this work happens manually – from documentation to packaging, and dispatch. Depending on the scale of your business, there would be a handful to a few dozen professionals allocating their time to do this work manually. However, their time can be better utilized if the necessary processes are put in place.

    With Fortude’s Vendor Portal, most of this manual work can be handled on the system; thereby freeing up key resource time to take on more meaningful, value-driven work.

    The customer we supported by implementing Vendor Portal eliminated manual vendor coordination, freeing resources to work on value-adding activities.

Leverage the Vendor Portal

If your fashion business lacks a system to streamline vendor transactions, it’s time to rethink your approach. Much like the leading US sock and legwear designer mentioned in this blog, there are many that are reaping the benefits of the Vendor Portal.

Your purchase orders, regulatory documentation, and packaging requirements could be on disparate systems. Organizing shipments and getting full visibility of their movements can be a painstaking process. Fortude’s Vendor Portal can streamline these processes more effectively, giving your teams greater visibility into shipments that are being sent across by multiple vendors. This will in turn help enhance your vendor relationships, ensuring there’s more clarity on expectations, documentation, and timelines.

For employees like Clinton and fashion businesses that are struggling, the Vendor Portal may feel like the portal to Narnia. Keen to learn more about how Fortude’s Vendor Portal can support your business? See what it has to offer.