An e-procurement or online procurement solution helps organizations with managing organizational procurement – only that it operates completely online. Instead of using spreadsheets or the clunky on-premise solutions which don’t properly work half the time and are too difficult to operate, these e-procurement solutions almost work the same way as e-commerce solutions and give users many more benefits. Let’s talk about some of them.
With a procurement solution, processing is done quickly. There are no delays in taking requisitions and approvals from one step to another, and all the stakeholders are notified regarding the tasks they have to do, so that they can get to it. Also, reminders can be sent to them so that it will not stay unresolved for long.
Centralization and Visibility
With a procurement solution, all the operations can be decentralized and control and visibility centralized. There is complete flexibility for administrators to accord privileges and implement checks and approvals so that these privileges are not misused. With the centralization, there is also the visibility which means that employees can be held accountable for all their actions. The software will provide users with a complete log of all the activities so that auditing is possible.
Another important thing that comes with the software and one that spreadsheets cannot offer you is procurement analytics that comes with the software. using these analytics, you can easily figure out how good the performance of your suppliers is, and how well your requirements are being met. This analytics provide you with an accurate and complete picture of all your procurement efforts and point out any deficiencies or process gaps so that you can take action to fix them.
The usual procurement cycle takes place in this manner – the individual or department which needs a product raises a requisition, it goes through an approval, after which the procurement team gets it. Then, a procurement specialist sets the purchase in motion, inviting tenders, which are reviewed and the best one selected. Once done, a purchase order is raised, and then the product is delivered, after which the procurement specialist verifies and notifies the individual or department which raised the original requisition. As one can see, the process is long and requires several stakeholders from different units to work together.
If collaboration is not effective and absolute, the process gets delayed, and the whole organization suffers. With spreadsheets and diverse communication tools, this level of collaboration is difficult to attain. However, the solution is built to naturally encourage collaboration and ensures that every stakeholder is at the top of his or her work.
One thing that nothing that can beat e-procurement solutions is in access. The software will offer users complete access to their data from anywhere, and if they so desire, through mobile applications too. Vendors today are flexible and can even build smartwatch apps for customers if they need it.
Another characteristic of online solutions is that there needs to be no maintenance of the solution. Since the vendors are still in control of the data, it is done by them, and it is one less worry for organizations.