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Release announcement

Announcing Connect improvements for March 2008

20 March 2008

New Vendor manager dashboard, status tracking, and browser added to Connect

The latest release of Connect introduces some new Vendor Management features. You can now:

  • Use a Vendor management dashboard to get a better picture of your current vendor pool
  • Track the vendor through the qualification process by assigning them a "New", "Review", "Approved" or "Rejected" status.
  • Add a requirement to your searches and job postings to include only "Approved" vendors
  • New Vendor Browser to manage and review your private vendor database

Dashboard and Status Tracking

  • When you log onto Connect, the vendor menu will now show the total amount of private vendors
  • Click on your vendor button to get to the new dashboard for Vendor Managers, which shows how your current vendors and needs are organized. Clicking on any of the status bars will take you immediately to that group of vendors or needs.
  • Each vendor can be assigned a Status by you. There are 4 possible settings - "New": Someone who has been manually entered or newly imported from the directory into your private database, "Review": a vendor which you might be still reviewing or testing; "Approved": a vendor which is available for use by your team and has been approved, and "Rejected": a vendor which you have decided not to use or include in future evaluations.
  • When you are viewing your vendors in a list, or editing individual vendors - you can update the current status as needed. The updates are immediately reflected on your dashboard.
  • When searching, you can use the new "Vendor Database Status" criteria and select the vendor status you are looking for.
  • When adding someone to your private vendor database, you can specify the vendor status

These features provide more vendor management control and tools to manage your private vendor database.

Vendor Browsing mode

Building upon the existing Connect Directory, we've created an interface for easily browsing, sorting, searching, and editing your private vendors. Some new features:

  • Ability to quickly manage database of thousands of private vendors (tested over 15k)
  • Default 25 vendors displayed at a time (adjustable)
  • Show profiles expanded by default (adjustable)
  • Quickly sort by vendor status (approved, review, etc.) and by vendor category
  • Streamlined interface tailored for Vendor Managers
  • Manually add a vendor and immediately show them in the result list
  • Speed and quality improvements

Connect Usability

A number of small usability enhancements were made to the Connect platform. These include:

  • Revised how the quick search options are displayed. You can now open each option to review the choices before selecting a search.
  • Selected search criteria are now highlighted in a different color
  • The link to see the full profile is now available on the results page.
  • Previously, some rates appeared hidden which were not selected to be hidden. They now show correctly.
  • Revised the menu options for the result list of vendors, and introduce the results button bar
  • It is now easier to rename the Search by clicking on the Edit Icon next to the search title

Tell us what you think

Thank you to all of you who have shared your feedback to help us improve Connect. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming! You can contact us by by submitting this feedback form, or sending email to [email protected].

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