In previous versions I have created custom entities for Vendor and Supplier. Here are some of the setup I did, of course always depends on business needs.
- 1:N Supplier to Product relationship
- Added fields for supplier details
- 1:N Contact to Supplier for POC at organization
- 1:N User to Supplier for POC within our organization
- If you are not using the out of the box quote to order to contract process then you will need to accommodate for Product inventory and qty on hand limits.
- Used Goals and Rollups to set minimum inventory levels and restock alerts
- Make sure finance is involved in the design of this process as they may be particular about how reordering is handled. While users may want it automated there might be internal requirements, specifics on contracts with suppliers that require some additional review.
- Created relationships for Contract and opportunity records
- This was needed to improve reporting since you cannot report out on second tier relationships. For example - how many opportunities are coming related to this particular supplier who is delayed delivering. If the supplier relationship is not on the Opportunity record itself you cannot get to it.
These were the key items I thought mattered. There is always more, but you should not need to purchase an alternative supplier tracking software.