Whether due to natural disasters, government regulations or economic pressures, sourcing has become a hotter topic than ever. Retail and restaurants, in particular, are under pressure to source intelligently while minimizing unnecessary costs, something that can be tough to do without adhering to modern best practices and using currently available technology, such as purchasing software. A truly comprehensive approach to procurement, with a system that can fully integrate with your spend management and supply chain functions, offers a dramatic competitive edge in a crowded market, which is why we’re seeing interest and implementations climb drastically each year.
So what exactly makes e-procurement such a game changer?
- Accuracy – Not surprisingly, procurement can be a complex process, made all the more chaotic by adhering to manual processes. With human intervention comes errors and, as competent and creative as even the best-trained employees can be, they are prone to momentary lapses in attention that can cost companies thousands each year. E-procurement solutions bypass much of the data entry side of procurement, which helps eliminate opportunities to make mistakes. Beyond that, having access to your company’s previous purchasing data can be invaluable for forecasting and keeping your finger on the pulse of the overall big picture in procurement.
- Efficiency – Let’s face it: there’s nothing efficient about managing anything via paper. Beyond the storage concerns and the hassle of keeping track of endless boxes of paper-based procurement data, having the ability to instantly access all pertinent purchasing information is invaluable. Additionally, with all ordering functions automated through an e-procurement system, purchasing can be handled quickly and according to established policy, with pre-set authorizations and catalogs.
- Negotiations – According to Spend Matters, enabling bidding amongst suppliers can make a huge impact, with 55% of incumbent suppliers reducing their prices as much as 15 percent when placed in competition. Using technology to track costs amongst multiple suppliers can help ensure that you are getting the best quality at the lowest price, which can make a drastic difference, particularly in organizations where adhering to the status quo has become the preferred strategy for procurement. With some e-procurement solutions offering built-in catalog management, companies can ensure not only that they are getting the best deals, but that their employees are making the most of any negotiated contracts.