As original QSPs, we’ve lived and breathed Quick Base for 18 years, and we wanted our entry for this hackathon to use the most exciting and current technology we could apply.
The 1,000+ solutions we’ve built include some advanced Procurement apps for Intuit and others, and we thought there was an opportunity here to create something much more modern, scalable and compelling, using our patent-pending Form Engine for Quick Base, Pipelines, and other new, cutting edge functionality.
Vendor Management and Source-to-Pay procurement are still largely legacy processes, including a lot of forms, agreements, transactions and interaction between Buyers and Suppliers that are done offline and outside of source systems. So there is a lot of opportunity to improve the way organizations everywhere do those functions.
Our inspiration and opportunity here is to speed up the Procurement world with Quick Base.
What it does
Our S2P Lightning solution is the answer, built for the hackathon and production-ready to immediately improve these areas of the business for the large majority of Quick Base customers and prospects.
The scope is Vendor approval, onboarding and management, Purchase Requisitions to POs, through Invoicing, with Pipelines that extend Vendor and Bill (Invoice) creation and sync in the Buyer’s accounting system (Quickbooks Online in this case). It modernizes and maximizes efficiency in this Source-to-Pay chain of processes common to all organizations.
It is a next-gen lightweight, agile solution and technology beyond Docusign and other stand-alone 3rd party apps that have to be cobbled together with Quick Base. Instead it empowers Quick Base, and is the only completely Made-for-Quick Base solution with patent-pending functionality that other systems don’t have.
In our solution’s scope, almost every step in the standard business processes need to be centralized across parties; the solution must be able to create, execute and output real business forms/agreements/documents with signatures. Our S2P Lightning entry creates a complete, fully-integrated solution that most organizations need, in part or in whole, today.
It fits below the big ERP solutions like Coupa, SAP Ariba and others. It is much quicker to implement, has advanced Form Engine and other functionality theirs doesn’t, has much lower cost and overhead, is easier to use and maintain, and is more easily customizable and extensible. And all a customer needs to use it is their Quick Base subscription with a Form Engine subscription add on. And since the Form Engine will soon be available to be added to their Quick Base subscription, so they’ll only need Quick Base.
If you haven’t seen our Form Engine, you can see a quick overview video here
Source-to-Pay (S2P) can be a value creator or an expensive burden for every organization, depending on how well it is done. Docusign and other tools claim, with Forrester and other expert studies’ support, that there is massive value in digitizing agreement processes alone, which is just part of the problem in our scope. Our solution delivers most of the same value elements that core Docusign and other e-sign and Procurement apps claim, only better, with Quick Base. It improves supply chain speed and quality, lowering costs and risk at the same time, and we make it a uniquely short step for a company to go from doing it poorly to doing it better than their competitors.
It is also easily extensible to handle more Procurement processes, or adapted to handle core Employee/HR and Customer processes.
How we built it
It is a relatively simple app by design, but has extremely advanced technology, with Form Engine forms and other custom development, Webhooks, Notifications, and Pipelines working under the hood.
Challenges we ran into
Our team put a lot more effort into the development and refinement of the solution than we initially envisioned, because it is no small task to digitize and automate a common area of business beyond anything that has been done before. The touchpoints and handoffs between parties in the workflow are extensive, so it took longer, and we found more room to improve it than we could do before deadline. Also having a sizable number of our team members working on different parts of a whole, and trying to make it all come together seamlessly was very challenging.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that this solution showcases so many of the amazing features of Quick Base, and really highlights the power of Quick Base as a workflow workhorse. We also believe that the simple but very powerful example of Pipelines enabling closing-the-loop with Accounts Payable is a very compelling and perfectly complements how Advantage’s Form Engine helps to close the loop between Supplier and Procurement.
We think this solution proves that Quick Base doesn’t have to replace ALL systems to be of high value - and that the ability of Quick Base to integrate and, with the help of the Form Engine, digitize high touch workflows yields unparalleled value compared with other competing solutions.
What we learned
We learned that it is awesome to be able to take an area of business pain common to so many organizations and transform it into a solution that is so powerful, easy, and attainable with very little cost. It feels great to build a solution that will bring amazing ROI to the supply chain of most any organization.
What's next for The Future of Source-to-Pay, in Quick Base Today
It is designed to be highly extensible and scalable, and was templatized so this same architecture can be re-purposed to solve big Employee and Customer processes just as well. We plan to employ it for as many Quick Base customers as would like to improve this part of their businesses with Quick Base, and also offer the Employee and Customer management versions as well.
Innovations in this Solution include:
- Gives Buyer company an advanced, real-time, digital system, and puts all their Suppliers on the same system.
- Use of the patent-pending Form Engine for Quick Base to digitize legal forms, agreements and documents into online Quick Base forms, for Adding, Editing, and View/PDF Outputting records, all in one.
- Complete elimination of paper, emailing and 3rd party stand-alone forms execution and repositories.
- Reduction in number of forms and documents, and process steps needed in standard Procurement processes.
- Data-driven automatic generation of the forms, agreements and documents needed.
- Automation and acceleration of lots of manual steps and interactions.
- Automatic generation of QR codes for mobile versions of all forms, that are dynamically updated with changes to source documents.
- Data-driven automatic generation of QR codes for informational assets, to extend information from the system into the physical world: providing mobile access to it on any equipment or other materials purchased.
- Buyer and seller share one set of forms and source of truth, and we simplified and reduced the number of process steps and forms needed to accomplish transactions.
- Form and agreement auto-generation and routing for input, processing and approvals, in Quick Base, fully integrating the workflows.
- Utilizing PDF Data Parsing functionality: creating Quick Base records with the parsed data out of pdfs, and attaching the pdfs. Like DocParser, but made for Quick Base.
- Advanced use of QR codes, and automated generation of QR codes to digitize information and other assets and provide access to them in the physical world with mobile devices.
- Give Quick Base the easy ability to add e-signatures natively to any form or document.
- Create a solution where most or all of a company’s employees and vendors can be Quick Base users, interacting more efficiently in the same enterprise-level app.
- Use of smarter form technology that gives legal forms Quick Base data validation, with IP address and geo-location capture, improved Radio Button and other functionality.