Customer Story

Freshworks Slashes Supplier Onboarding Times and Boosts Efficiency

Freshworks automates workflows, strengthens security, and speeds up onboarding with Graphite.


Freshworks helps businesses of all sizes deliver exceptional customer and employee experiences using AI-powered customer service, IT services, HR, and sales and marketing software. Today, more than 67,000 companies in 120 countries, including such renowned brands as American Express, Bridgestone, Databricks, Fila, Nucor and Sony, use Freshworks solutions.


Before Sheel Patel, Head of Strategic Sourcing, started at Freshworks at the start of 2022, the company relied primarily on email communication for new supplier requests and onboarding. In fact, much of Freshwork’s sourcing was done manually, which resulted in a longer time to onboard new suppliers and increased information security risks.

“We’d get a request and then have to engage with our security and legal teams as applicable individually,” explains Sheel Patel, “and it was all done via email.” 

This meant a lot of back-and-forth as business units struggled to keep track of numerous email threads. The stakeholder making the request was responsible for collecting the required documents from suppliers, like W9s and new supplier forms. 

Furthermore, all critical supplier information was collected in an Excel spreadsheet. The data had to be manually validated, and there was often the added frustration of submission errors or incomplete information. This manual data collection and validation slowed operations.

As a result of the manual work required, supplier onboarding took an average of four to six weeks. The entire workflow from initial request to completion was lengthy, and there was no visibility into the process.

To tackle these issues, Freshworks sought a solution to fast-track supplier onboarding, automate workflows, fortify data security, and boost overall efficiency.

Solution: Why Graphite?

After carefully considering various choices, Freshworks chose to partner with Graphite.  “Where Graphite had a leg up was a combination of allowing vendors to input their own data and provide the required verifications, all while automating the sourcing workflow,” says Patel.

Sheel Patel
Head of Strategic Sourcing

Automated workflow

The Graphite’s workflow management features enabled Freshworks to automate previously manual tasks, reducing the back-and-forth spent collecting and verifying data and the potential for human error. Patel elaborates, “What Graphite effectively allowed us to do is move out of this entirely manual workflow which existed within email.”

Data validation

Suppliers are onboarded in Graphite, where the data is validated for accuracy and maintained by suppliers. Any suspicious data is flagged for further investigation, and the appropriate parties are alerted immediately when a supplier’s information changes or a risk score increases. This validated data seamlessly feeds into Freshworks’ ERP system, eliminating duplicate records and inaccuracies.

Information security

Automated security and compliance reviews are performed within Graphite to mitigate risk. Freshworks can conduct comprehensive screenings against sanctions lists, enforce export compliance, and initiate security reviews as needed. 

All documents are managed in one location, eliminating the need to juggle information across spreadsheets and emails. This central system offers stakeholders from various teams, including security and legal, complete visibility into the supplier onboarding process.


Patel says the partnership with Graphite has “reduced our risk and brought a lot of automation.” What used to take four to six weeks can now be done in as little as one week, and this speedy process became even faster because 2,500 of Freshworks’ suppliers were already part of the Graphite network.

Sheel Patel
Head of Strategic Sourcing
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