How to bring your suppliers into design conversations

Liam Waghorn

April 17, 2024


min read

Why supplier collaboration is a problem

Manufacturers recognize the value of engaging suppliers sooner, and they might even have initiatives around supplier collaboration.

But, the reality is: the tools and processes engineering teams use aren't built to do this effectively.

Tools like email, PowerPoint decks and spreadsheets weren't built to capture and action external design input. For teams attempting to do this, they might be gathering feedback via PowerPoint, but now there's a new deck for every supplier that you have to manage and keep in sync. And then a new set of meetings for every supplier just to screen share and spin CAD.

It's no wonder we hear the same thing over and over from design engineers: "I didn't do this to be a PowerPoint engineer."

So, what happens? 

Teams only engage suppliers when it's necessary. And that's often late in the process when change is most costly, most risky and most likely to cause delays.

There's a better way.

CoLab Portals to close the gap

Using Colab, engineering teams can get design feedback from suppliers early, often and securely. 

They do this using a Portal. A Portal in CoLab is a dedicated space for engineers to share files, get design feedback and resolve issues with their suppliers.

In this video, Liam demonstrates: 

  • How to create a Portal for supplier
  • Configuring Portal permissions
  • Inviting suppliers into a design review
  • How to gather and action feedback from supplier within a Portal

Engineering teams who use CoLab turn their supplier into partners.

**Pro tip: When working on a file that’s shared with suppliers and separately to an internal team. That feedback is separated in a single master file, so all feedback is collected in a single place.

For more information on supplier collaboration in CoLab see:

Want to see how this might work for your team? Schedule a 30-min. demo with a product expert.

Get a Demo
April 16, 2024

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