We can do (almost) anything online today, so why not company purchasing too? Procurement management is going paperless and many companies are now opting for e-procurement.
It’s a solution that allows companies to save money and streamline the entire purchasing process, which is great news for companies looking to improve business performance! But how does it work in practical terms? Does it meet your needs and is it in line with your purchasing strategy? Here’s all you need to know to decide if it’s time to take the plunge!
Definition | What is e-procurement?
E-procurement (or electronic procurement) refers to a set of tools that optimise purchasing. It has progressed significantly since it was first created more than twenty years ago. Today’s e-procurement solutions are online platforms through which purchasing teams can manage the entire process with ease. It offers a range of features from a product search function to ordering and invoicing. These solutions are particularly suitable for large companies with a high purchasing volume. Everything is paperless and centralised, making the procurement strategy more transparent, straightforward and efficient. Its many advantages include: span tracking, expenses, deadlines and monitoring.
Context | How did e-procurement come about?
- the digitalisation of the economy and e-commerce
- the rise of new supply management solutions such as EDI, ERP, SCM, and SRM
- increasingly complex buyer needs
- a more precarious economic context and increasing competition
But how does it actually work?
Concept | What does e-procurement allow us to do?
- access catalogues (e-catalogues) or a special interface (B2S available at prices negotiated by the manager in line with contractual conditions)
- choose products
- access a list of suppliers
- manage calls to tender
- approve and send orders
- submit and validate orders (respecting the company’s approval process, i.e. its “approval workflow ”)
manage invoicing: paperless invoices are generated automatically
E-procurement allows paperless management of all these processes, which offers many advantages!
Advantages | What are the benefits of e-procurement?
- for suppliers: this tool streamlines collaboration through improved monitoring, transparence and tighter control over contracts
- for the company: it provides greater visibility of overall spending, better monitoring, and real time savings when it comes to ordering and delivery
In an upcoming article we will go into more detail on “how to choose the right procurement/e-procurement solution”.
To sum up, e-procurement allows companies to enlist technology to optimise and manage the procurement process with ease. These have become must-have tools for many companies due to their impressive range of features and their user-friendly design. What if you switched to SaaS? You could benefit from the many advantages that going paperless provides to better manage your purchasing process!