No. eLink™ Gateway is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that is hosted in the cloud. Your company does not have any responsibility in owning or maintaining the eLink™ Gateway solution and its servers. Your monthly subscription fee allows your company and its authorized users to access and use eLink™ Gateway.
Does eLink™ Gateway have a maximum limit to the number of authorized users, departments, groups, cost centers and accounts that it can support?
No. eLink™ Gateway can support an unlimited number of users, groupings, departments, cost centers, accounts, and transactions. Our SaaS offering is highly scalable and on demand.
Yes. The solution is entirely browser-based. An application for reading PDFs is recommended in order to view order receipts, etc.
Yes. eLink™ is fully configurable and fully supports punchout vendor catalogs. This will require some integration between eLink™ Gateway and the punchout vendor.
Yes. In order to maximize the savings opportunities offered by eLink™ Gateway, it is recommended that your vendors be required to submit the full content of their catalogs to be hosted within the eLink™ Gateway environment. These catalogs will be presented to your buyers in a single shopping site or marketplace where they will be able to compare products side by side or where eLink™ Gateway’s comparison-shopping algorithm will be triggered to guide your buyers to the best value product to be purchased.
Typically, your authorized buyers will only be able to purchase products from vendors that you have authorized to be part of this marketplace. This is a “closed” marketplace that consists only of your company’s chosen vendors, typically those that you already have a contract with. However, eLink™ Gateway is also able to support an open marketplace if you would like to make one available for your buyers.
No. VIT is simply the provider of the eLink™ Gateway solution. It is not a reseller of your vendors’ products. Your vendors will sell directly to you and you will pay them directly. eLink™ Gateway is simply the application or software that will host the vendor catalogs and your multi-vendor shopping catalogs and it will facilitate the online process of guiding your purchasers to your preferred products or to the products deemed to be of best value.
eLink™ Gateway uses an algorithm in its data analytics to find products across multiple vendor catalogs that are deemed to be perfect matches and comparable products that would yield the best value and/or savings.
Yes. Access to eLink™ Gateway is driven by the user’s role and permission. Most users are allowed to browse and purchase products while others may just be allowed to browse. Some may be designated as approvers while others may place orders that require approval. Some may be designated as Super Users while others have standard user permissions. Settings may be updated at any time.
Yes. You may limit the product assortment for a single user or for a group of users. You may limit specific products or categories of products.
No. eLink™ Gateway can host an unlimited number and size of vendor catalogs. The system is highly scalable, reliable and secure.
Will our vendors have access to the system so they can submit and apply additions and changes to their catalog content?
Yes. eLink™ Gateway has a Vendor Portal where vendors register their company and authorized users and where they will upload new content and make changes to existing catalog content. Pricing updates are also submitted by the vendors via this portal.
Does eLink™ Gateway support approval workflow for user orders, user profile changes, vendor registration and vendor catalog changes, pricing changes and other automated tasks that the client may require approval for?
Yes. eLink™ Gateway supports approval workflow as may be required by the client. Depending on the client requirements some approval workflows may require custom code to be added to eLink™ Gateway and charged at an additional fee.
Are all users required to select the product substitutes or would they have an option to decline the substitute?
The client decides whether a substitute is recommended or required. The client also defines which user(s) the substitutes will apply to. Recommended substitutes allow the user to decline the substitute and purchase the selected product.
Click here to see a list of system features and capabilities. Call us if you have a specific need that is not included in the list.
Yes. the subscription fee includes a standard level of training and support. Click here to see the standard offering. Additional training and support is also available.
Can we keep our current ERP and procurement platforms? Is eLink™ Gateway able to communicate or integrate with these systems?
Yes. eLink™ Gateway is designed to work with your existing systems via integration. The requirements for integration are discussed in detail during the Assessment & Discovery phase of the implementation. The cost of integration is determined by its scope and complexity and will be quoted after a full assessment is completed. Click here to learn more about eLink™ Gateway’s integration capability.
Does eLink™ Gateway only offer a front-end online shopping solution or does it also offer some back-end processing and reporting capabilities?
eLink™ Gateway supports the front-end online shopping via its Shopping module. It also supports back-end processing and reporting capabilities via its Customer Service/Data Analytics module. Further, it supports client and vendor access to their profiles and related data such as catalogs, rules, credentials, etc… via the Administration module.
Yes. The typical workflow consists of the creation of the order via the online shopping catalog, the approval of orders as may be required by the client, the creation of the vendor purchase orders and the transmission of the orders to the vendors. The standard order transmission is via email to the vendor but other formats and methods are also supported.
Yes. Some clients elect to use eLink™ Gateway as a front-end solution only specifically for its online catalog hosting capabilities and for multi-vendor online shopping solution. In this scenario, eLink™ Gateway transmits the shopping cart contents, in the client’s required format, to the client’s system and stops the eLink™ Gateway workflow at that point.
We have very complex processes and requirements. How can we best evaluate if eLink™ Gateway is fully capable of supporting our needs?
The best way is to contact us and schedule a time to have a call to discuss your needs and expectations. We are well versed in the procurement processes along with the challenges and opportunities they present and we are confident that we can work together to identify the ways that eLink™ Gateway can be your solution of choice. Call us at 704.296.2987 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The implementation timeline is dictated by the scope and complexity of the client’s workflow and integration requirements. It is also dependent on the number of vendor catalogs to be hosted and the scope and complexity of the vendor integration that may be required. The less integration, the shorter the timeline. Click here to learn more about client implementation and the vendor onboarding timelines.
eLink™ Gateway has a set of standard reports that is available but it is also capable of producing special reports as defined by the client. Most clients have specific reporting needs and these reporting requirements are identified during the Assessment & Discovery phase. The system records a significant amount of data on every order transacted all the way down to the ordering user. Catalog data provided by the vendors are also available for reporting and to assist in analyzing the spend pattern of your authorized users. The raw data is available to the client in their required format in case the client would prefer to do the data mining and reporting using their own systems.
Do we have to learn to be “experts” in the eLink™ Gateway system or would VIT allocate resource(s) to perform the tasks/jobs that are typically the client’s responsibilities?
VIT may assign Operations/Technical resources to clients. Together, we will agree on a scope of work for this service.