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Answered

Confirmation from Vendor

info 2 months ago • updated by Sancho Leath 1 month ago 9

When you set up a new project and hit the START TRANSLATION button, the vendor receives the new job, you can send him/her the PO. But how do we know that the vendor has accepted the job or viewed it?

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Answer
Answered

Hi All

@info There's no confirmation uppon manual Vendor assignment by the PM. Here system assumes the PMs know their Vendors and the selected one is a proven reliable business partner of yours. If the PMs are uncertain of hat they've should always send an availability request/job offer prior to the Vendor assignment.

@Snacho I'm very eager to read your proposal of a functionality that would be useful in the scenario you're describing. Because for me, this is a difficult one. If the Vendor had an accident, is injured, there's a typhoon, whatever makes the access to a mailbox impossible, are we safe to assume that the Vendor is not able to access mail but is able to log in to the Vendor portal and click a button?

Laszlo is reluctant to additional e-mails so we need to keep that in mind and the solution shouldn't increase the e-mail traffic between Vendor and PM. 

As I said this is a tough puzzle for me.

Best regards,

Marek

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I'm most interested in this answer. We tried to find a solution about 3 years ago when implemented XTRF, but couldn't. XTRF support offered a kind of a custom solution (adding a "Confirm" button to Vendor portal for an extra development fee), but their idea was to send an email to the PM, which actually would make things worse by increasing the number of mails our PMs receive.

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The current system design is based on hope and good faith ... hope that the vendor receives the email notification and is conscientious enough to say something if things have changed since the acceptance of the job offer. Now when the vendor who has agreed to a job is sick, had an accident, or is otherwise unable to access his/her email, we have a problem until the deadline passes and the PM notices that something is wrong. A system solution is long overdue, as indicated by Laszlo.

Answer
Answered

Hi All

@info There's no confirmation uppon manual Vendor assignment by the PM. Here system assumes the PMs know their Vendors and the selected one is a proven reliable business partner of yours. If the PMs are uncertain of hat they've should always send an availability request/job offer prior to the Vendor assignment.

@Snacho I'm very eager to read your proposal of a functionality that would be useful in the scenario you're describing. Because for me, this is a difficult one. If the Vendor had an accident, is injured, there's a typhoon, whatever makes the access to a mailbox impossible, are we safe to assume that the Vendor is not able to access mail but is able to log in to the Vendor portal and click a button?

Laszlo is reluctant to additional e-mails so we need to keep that in mind and the solution shouldn't increase the e-mail traffic between Vendor and PM. 

As I said this is a tough puzzle for me.

Best regards,

Marek

I am pretty sure they are talking about Smart Projects here, but in Classic Projects there is a "confirmation link" where the vendor confirms they have downloaded the files. We have rephrased the email and are asking vendors to "Confirm they have accepted the job" by clicking the link.


Perhaps something similar can be created by XTRF? E.g. maybe there is a choice where the assignment status is Accepted and then the vendor have to confirm the job before it goes to Started?

Alexandros, I'm getting interested :) And what happens when the vendor clicks the confirmation link?

EDIT: I've just checked in help - the PM gets a mail, right? I wouldn't be much happy about it, as it means that the PM has to keep track of job acceptance, not done in XTRF automatically :(

The way XTRF meant for this to be used, it is simply a confirmation from the vendor they have downloaded the files. 

The way we have changed it is:

  1. In the assignment email, we have added an instruction: Confirm your availability for this assignment by Clicking Here.
  2. We use the file confirmation link in the "Click Here' above
  3. We then get an email which was supposed to be for confirming they have downloaded the files, but which we have changed to say:

Dear {Project Manager Name},


Provider {Provider Name} has just confirmed job no. {Job. ID}


So, this way the providers know they need to confirm the Job and the project manager can track (e.g. by using a standardized subject in the confirmation email together with Outlook rules) whether providers have confirmed their jobs or not. 

Unfortunately, the status cannot change using this method (e.g. from Accepted to Started), but you CAN change the setting so XTRF sends the assignment email and PO in the Accepted status instead of Started.

We find it is a nice workaround until XTRF implements a different way.

Thanks much for this! I believe we'll implement your workaround. Keeping track of confirmations in Outlook is still better than nothing :)

This is especially painful when a job is changed, cancelled, must be reassigned etc. We have to call or email the vendor and ask if it was started at all.

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Hi Marek,

The root of the problem that job statuses do not make sense (at least, in our practice).

Open and Offers Sent and Cancelled are OK, no doubt about them :)

Accepted: The real meaning is "Assigned" or something like that, but not accepted, for sure. It simply means that the PM thinks that a specific vendor should do this specific job in the future.

Started: The real meaning is "Ready to Start", i.e. technically, the vendor CAN start this job, because they have everything needed.

"The real started" status: This is what we miss very much... Whenever the vendor confirms that they actually started the job, we should see that in XTRF as a job status. AFAIK, there is no built-in solution for this at the moment.

Ready: The naming is quite misleading. In fact, it means "Finished". Ready can be interpreted as "Ready to start". However, this is a problem for new XTRF users only, after a few days practice, they learn to interpret this correctly.

The email solution has two main drawbacks:

- The least important is increasing mail traffic between the vendor and the PM.

- The HUGE problem is that the PM has no information about the real status of the job, unless he/she keeps track of the vendor confirmations manually.

Best regards,

Laszlo

I believe what we are looking for is a differentiation between what Laszlo called "Ready to Start" and "Started" as well as making the time between sending the vendor the actual job until the job deadline less of a blackbox. The current combination of receiving no further confirmation from the vendor or the system after sending the job and not having any job deadline reminder options in Smart Projects leaves the PM quite vulnerable.


In practice, we assign the vendor through job offers. Once ACCEPTED, the vendor will either wait a few minutes, hours, or days before receiving the next notification that tells him the job is ready to start, which currently has the STARTED status in Smart Projects. If we called this job status JOB SENT (similar to OFFER SENT) and only advanced the status to STARTED once the files are downloaded from the VP or the memoQ project is checked out, the system would have a new gauge to prompt an alert or reminder to the vendor. Let's stick to alerts (screenshot) for now, as this is the part of the system that needs overhauling anyways and could be quite useful. After a set amount of time (e.g. proportion of overall job duration) has passed without an advancement from JOB SENT to STARTED, an alert is triggered. With one click, the PM can get to the project and job concerned. If we now added a reminder option on job level for the PM (e.g. additional Job action from drop-down menu), we would create more transparency and put the PM in a stronger position to do his/her job.