Vendor Reorganization and Clean-up

For this project, I focused on organizing our vendor base on one specific platform, to help save my company time and money. I had approximately a dozen vendor databases that needed updates, so I needed some help from one other team member. I took this into consideration when laying out my goals and week-by-week plans here:

Goal Setting

My main goals were as follows:
*Removing any unused vendors in our databases.
*Updating the name format in two separate fields in our database.

My stretch goal was as follows:
*Update payment method on frequent or new vendors.
*Remove duplicate vendors.

Week-By-Week Plan

Week 1: Plan out how I will complete this process.

Week 2: Create a guide for another team member.

Week 3: Begin updates to vendors with a team member.

Week 4: Continue week 3 or work on stretch goals.

Although there were a lot of vendors to go through, it was almost a fun process to update them all since I love to organize things like this! With a team member’s help, we quickly had nearly everything updated in a short time frame.

This allowed me to begin pulling reports showing all of the updated vendors in our database. Having the reports of this database gave me a clear view of how I could update the payment method and which vendors this process applied to overall.

These same reports showed me that finding duplicate vendors may take a little bit more time, but that it can be done.

Goal Progress 
How things went with each goal, including roadblocks and wins!

My first main goal was to:
Remove any unused vendors in our databases.

What went well?
: This was the simplest part of the goals, because we had to only verify two things on the vendor profile. Had they ever been paid, or had they been paid in the last two years? If not, then it was removed, this allowed us to clear unused vendors quickly.

What didn’t go so well?: I hadn’t realized until later in the project that adjusting the vendors can affect other systems that we sync with. Unfortunately, the vendor data didn’t work well with all of the systems, but we were able to work around the changes okay. I’m considering this a lesson in clearer communication on my part. 

My second main goal was to:
Updating the name format in two separate field in our database.

What went well?
: We had a very good system for updating the vendor information. Since we could organize the vendors by letter, we could focus totally on A, then move to B, then to C. So when we needed to pause at the end of the day, it was an easy transition to jump back in during the next day.

What didn’t go so well?: We have three areas for vendor names in the profiles. First/Last areas, full name or company name, and the name to put on the checks. This made this step more time consuming since there we so many areas to fill in.

My first stretch goal was to:
date payment method on frequent or new vendors.

What went well?
: While going through the vendors, it was easy to identify which vendors needed to be updated to direct deposit payments. I ultimately found that this is a process that I can pull a report for on a weekly basis. This really increased the value of this goal, and now we can regularly update payment.

What didn’t go so well?: We need e-mails for vendors to get them connected to the faster payment structure. We didn’t always have them, so this slowed down the payment updates for some vendors.


My second stretch goal was to:
Remove duplicate vendors.

What went well?
: I quickly was able to figure out how our system “merges” and cleans up copied or duplicated vendors. I also recognized that this could be added as a step to pulling the vendor reports for updating payments.  

What didn’t go so well?: When I pulled the vendor reports to update payments for vendors, I found that I could also look for duplicate vendors this way too. That was harder than I originally expected since the duplicates wouldn’t be identical. This is going to be a work in progress step of this new report I will implement.

What did I learn from this?: Always verify with other software users in the company how database updates will affect them! We did run into a couple small syncing issues, though we worked them out, it still would have been nice to avoid this by communicating more clearly with other team mates. This is a great lesson to learn for the future though!

What will roll over into the future months? 
: I will continue to complete a weekly “scrub”, where I will be pulling reports of all the vendors and finding who needs to be sent an “ePayment” requests and see if I can find any additional duplicate vendors. This still needs to be streamlined, but I am sure that this will help the company as a whole.

How did this project benefit my company?: I see two main benefits so far. First, that this project triggered me to begin working on a weekly report that will help us find who need to be set up with “ePayments” which saves the company money, over sending checks out. Second, that removing unused vendors can keep the database clean and help avoid issues later on down the road. 

Overall, I’m happy with this project… and I’m excited to work my new weekly scrub report.

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