⚡️ Gatekeeper Expert - Only "Onboarded" Vendors ⚡️

Discover how to take control over your Vendor base by enforcing good practices for new Contract requests

   Take Control

      Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes

        Estimated Configuration Time: 15 - 30 Minutes



Sections in this article

Use Case Introduction



Require Existing Vendors

Prompt Vendor Onboarding

How This Looks to your Users

Additional Configuration: Approving new Vendors by exception

Additional Reading



💡 Use Case Introduction 💡


If you've implemented due diligence procedures for managing your Vendors and their contracts, you will want to make sure these procedures and polices are followed, right?


We believe that your vendor management tool should be working for you on this - not forcing you to deal with contract managers who ignore your procedures (or find ways around them entirely)


To do this, you can leverage a few very simple configuration settings to decide what should be available to your users

Removing the ability to request new contracts with non-onboarded vendors - or at the very least, requiring that vendors are currently going through your onboarding process - can ensure that you are retaining control of your budgets, your supply chains and crucially your compliance to any industry standards so that you're covered if auditors come to visit...


Example Demonstration 





The Configuration 🛠

NB. This specific setup makes the assumption that you have configured a "Vendor Onboarding" workflow and a "Contract Request" workflow already

In a workflow where your users request new contracts, you can make one simple switch to drive better adherence to your supplier management processes

Part 1 - Requiring EXISTING Vendors

Mandate that vendors must have been previously onboarded/approved before they can be used for new Agreement/Service requests

Step 1) In your request form for a new agreement, rather than using the Supplier Name field within the Contract Data form section, add in the predefined Supplier Core Data Section:

Step 2) In the Contract Data Section, set the Supplier Name field to be automatically populated based on the Supplier Data Form Section

Step 3) In the Supplier Data section, edit the Supplier Name field, changing the input type to "Select Existing Dropdown Values Only" (also make the field mandatory)


Part 2 - Prompting/Suggesting a new Vendor onboarding request

Providing your users with next steps if they cannot proceed with a new contract after your above restrictions

Step 1) Get the link for your Vendor Onboarding Request Form

If this is a brand new process and you don't have the link readily available in an internal wiki or stored in your bookmarks, you can get it from Gatekeeper:

You can get this here for Employee Portal Forms:

You can get this here for Public Forms:


Step 2) Head back to your Contract Request workflow form & edit the Supplier Name field


Step 3) Set the text, link & link text to prompt users when they cannot find a desired Supplier record

If you wish to immediately allow this vendor to be used for a contract request after the user has initiated the vendor onboarding:

Step 4) In your Vendor Onboarding workflow, ensure there is phase containing the ⚙️AutoAction Create Supplier immediately after the submission phase:

💡This AutoAction must set the Vendor to be "Live" for it to be selectable in your Contract Request workflow form



How this looks to your users 👀

After these configuration updates, your users will only be able to select onboarded vendors and will be pushed to request a new vendor onboarding if they have a new Vendor they wish to contract with!

Part 1 - Following the prompted link to request a new supplier onboarding

Part 2 - Navigating back to the initial form after starting the vendor onboarding




Approving new Vendors by exception ☑️ ☑️ ⚠️ ☑️ 


"Step 4" of the ⬆️ above configuration settings ⬆️ addresses a key potential problem which could come from forcing a vendor onboarding:

If a user was rushing to request a new contract and was told "You must wait several days/weeks for the Vendor Onboarding to finish before we can begin negotiations for the new service agreement" they would be quite non-plussed, to say the least!

This is why - in the above example - the Vendor is immediately created & set to Live in the Vendor Onboarding workflow

One major worry that you might have here is that - while it avoids delays to contract negotiations - it could lead to executing an agreement with a vendor which did not meet your compliance standards

To mitigate this risk, you can allow that vendors who are currently in the process of being onboarded can begin contract negotiations. However, a "final approval" would be required by a Procurement (or Vendor Management/Legal) team before the contract is signed in order to validate that the onboarding has been successful


🛠 If you already have a 'Pre-eSign Approval' phase  in your Contract Workflow 🛠


Part 1 - Creating the Conditional Approval

Step 1) Head to your approvals phase & hit Edit This Phase

Step 2) Navigate to the Approvals tab

Step 3) If it is not already so, set your approvals to 🔘 Parallel

Step 4) Hit ➕ ADD NEW PARALLEL APPROVAL and select the user/team who should verify the vendor is onboarded

Select 🔘 Conditional before hitting ✅ Save

Step 5) Under this new approval group, hit ➕ ADD to set the conditions for the approval

Step 6) Select Supplier Data / Approval is one of Awaiting Approval


Part 2 - Configuring a Conditional Transition

If using conditional transitions to dynamically navigate to this approval phase, make sure this "Approval = Awaiting Approval" is added to the list:

Step 1) Head to the phase before your approvals phase & hit Edit This Phase

Step 2) Navigate to the Transitions tab

Step 3) If it is not already so, set your transitions to 🔘 Conditional

Step 4) Hit ➕ ADD TRANSITION  And name your new transition something like "Approved | Vendor Onboarding Check Required"

Obviously this applies to the transition being based on an Approval being performed to move a workflow card.

You should set the name to be based on the action which applies to your workflow

Step 5) Add 2 conditions  to your transition

First, select the action which should move the card (i.e. Submission/Approval)

Next, add Supplier Data / Approval one of Awaiting Approval

Step 6) Set the Transition to Phase to your approvals phase, then set the rule to Live


Part 3 - Add phase instructions to check the vendor onboarding status


🛠 If you DON'T have a 'Pre-eSign Approval' phase in your Contract Workflow 🛠


Part 1 - Add the Phase

Step 1) Add a new phase called "Vendor Onboarding Approval ✅"

Step 2) Hit Reorder & Minimise to position this phase immediately before the eSignature stage

Part 2 - Configure the Phase: Description/Access/Form/Approval/Transitions/Notifications

Part 3 - Configure the Conditional Transition

Step 1) Find any transitions which point to the phase after your new "Vendor Approval"

💡 Pro-tip, you can do this by trying to Archive it

Step 2) For each of these transitions, add a NEW duplicate conditional transition

Step 3) Use all the same settings for the new transition, except add an additional condition:

Supplier / Approval is Awaiting Approval



Additional Reading 📚


⚡️Parallel Workflows - Contract Request ⓧ New Supplier Onboarding

Discover how to enforce a similar requirement for Onboarded/Onboarding Vendors but this time with a Vendor Onboarding workflow process starting automatically for incoming contract requests