E-procurement is something that more and more businesses are embracing today. With supply chain being a very important pillar of businesses, newer tools are replacing processes that can be automated and optimized. So, is e-procurement for you? How is it better than other solutions such as RFP? Here is a brief outline of what it is and its features.
What is e-procurement?
E-procurement refers to the digital processes related to procurement of products and services for a business operation. It is a big part of the entire supply-chain process and plays an important role in the functioning of a business. In very simple terms, it can be defined as any digital business-to-business purchase. However, within this definition, it relates to many aspects of these purchases and these include-
E-procurement is often compared to Request for Proposal (RFP) because this was considered the norm before e-procurement became prevalent. This was a system where businesses would send out proposals requesting for services/products that they required and invite suppliers to submit their applications. This was primarily document-based and was done manually in the beginning. The same process evolved into a more digitized version with some aspects of it taking place on computers. However, the advent of e-procurement was a game-changer.
Here is a look at the features of e-procurement that make it a great service for businesses over the document-based RPA process.
Time is saved
Time is an extremely important resource for businesses and e-procurement scores very well in this area as it saves a lot of time by optimizing the iterative and repetitive processes that traditionally took a lot of time to do manually. From vendor short listing to approvals and follow-ups, automated e-procurement tools are very useful for letting a piece of software take care of all the background processes at the click of a button.
Although it could take a little bit of time to transition from RPA to e-procurement and to set up the processes, the time saved during the actual implementation will make up for it early on.
Paperwork goes for a toss
The immediate advantage of implementing e-procurement over RPA is that the physical documentation part will disappear to make way for completely digital operation. Your file cabinets will thank you for doing away with the paperwork and the added advantage is that the entire process will become more accurate. You will not have to go through pages and pages to re-check on that deadline or confirm a transaction. With less paperwork, it will also be easier for your business to scale-up and take on more operations with e-procurement tools to deal with the increased processing.
It helps avoid lock-ins
The e-procurement solutions available today make it very easy for businesses to always evaluate what is working for them and what is not working and then make decisions. You do not have to be stuck with less efficient tools. It is easy to switch to other solutions with minimal effort and resources. The software will let you export data easily and integrate it with any other software tools that you implement. So, the set-up is very adaptable and can let you implement multi-sourcing solutions as well. This way, you can customize the solutions as per your needs and bring the best of the available tools together.
It increases cost-efficiency
E-procurement solutions are big money savers in the long run as they help with expense tracking as well as cost control. With a system in place to monitor the entire process of procurement, cash leaks can be checked automatically. Also, by helping you optimize your suppliers and letting you choose the most cost-effective one through a more efficient process, e-procurement also helps in saving money through that channel. It also can help in tracking spend visibility and help in better planning of the finances. So, in many different ways, directly and indirectly, e-procurement solutions end up saving money and also helping you spend money in the right avenues.
The security features of e-procurement are better than RPA by leaps and bounds. From assigning permissions, creating standard operating procedures to assigning workflows, there are great tools that build in security features into the procurement systems for your business. Because the procurement solutions are centralized, the security aspects can be managed and monitored efficiently without any hassle.
The accuracy of all the aspects of the procurement process improves exponentially with e-procurement software. From budgeting, communication across the process to monitoring deadlines, there is a lot of control and accuracy that comes in with e-procurement solutions. This also contributes to optimization of many other related processes, saving time, resources and money as well.
Convenient for suppliers
With technology transforming more and more areas of business, upgrading to e-procurement can be a great advantage for your suppliers as it makes it easier for them to integrate their processes with yours. Apart from being able to access a wider range of suppliers, you will also be able to integrate e-procurement solutions with larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems which streamline compliances and much more for convenient relationships with other businesses.
E-procurement solutions have great user interfaces for ease of use. They also have great communication tools for your business to establish a great customer relationship with your suppliers. There are tools that offer automated customer services at every step of the procurement process and this is a great way to keep your suppliers happy as well as smoothen out the flow of processes within your business as well.
There are many tools available that offer competitive e-procurement solutions. To discuss your specific needs and to find the right solutions, get in touch with SupplyNote for information, support and guidance with implementing the same.