7 Essential eSourcing Software Tools for 2022
eSourcing is such an essential part of procurement. When eSourcing is optimized, it can positively affect procurement and the overall supply chain. So, what is eSource? eSourcing is sourcing done digitally—tools that aim to simplify, streamline, and improve procurement and strategic sourcing overall. The eSourcing software you use is also important. It needs to be intuitive for you and your team and the suppliers. Many eSourcing parts are imperative. If you’re shopping for eSourcing software, there are some must-have features, particularly for 2022.
1. Centralized eSourcing Software Platform
Your eSource system should include a source-to-contact centralized eSourcing management platform. A centralized platform will give you information about your suppliers and other eSource events. Some of these include:
- You can see all information you need to know about your suppliers
- You will be alerted if a PO can be released if a request needs a formal bid or RFP
- Being able to see if a company’s budget is available
- Ability to see which contracts are active
Monitoring and seeing everything in real-time is a great asset for eSource resources.
2. Electronic Line Item Bids
Electronic line bids are also part of the centralization of eSourcing software.
Electronic line item bids allow buyers to compare responses from suppliers. This side-by-side comparison makes it more efficient and gives you all the necessary information to make a quick decision. Your aim is to find the lowest unique bid, which is not always the cheapest. The right eSourcing software allows suppliers to leave comments, so you get the overall picture, not just the lowest bid. In addition, the suppliers will enter expected unit prices so that the buyer can compare, which streamlines the process.
3. Electronic RFP and RFx Management
Solid electronic RFP and RFx management is a must-have for any eSourcing manager, and it is an integral part of eSourcing software. It would help if you had the correct sourcing management system and eSourcing forum for your needs. This may include must-have features like RFx templates, budget approvals, electronic signatures, vendor scorecards, and more. Having all of the eSource data in one place speeds up the process.
4. Online Bid Reviews
Online bid reviews are a terrific way to compare bid responses. It can be quite inefficient if you’re comparing bids from various locations. Having online bid reviews as a part of your eSourcing software can change that. You can:
- Compare scoring
- Use the portal
- Use the Q and A portal
You can also complete a compliance check to see if the vendor has any past poor ratings by conducting an OFAC search.
5. Q&A Portal
Continuing with the theme of centralization, a Q&A portal adds to the transparency of the process. It can be incredibly difficult to keep track of questions and answers between you and suppliers when they’re in various notes, emails, and other places. Having a Q&A portal with your eSourcing software suite gives you a place where both you and your prospective suppliers can ask questions, and it will always be in the same place for you to review.
6. Electronic Vendor Awards
Of course, awarding the contract is one of the most important parts of eSourcing. eSourcing fits into procurement as procurement fits in the supply chain. Electronic vendor awards speed up the process: awarding a vendor the old-fashioned way can take up to seven days, which is inefficient. As you look for eSourcing software, make sure it includes eSignature capabilities.
7. Electronic Bid Document Creation
Old-fashioned document creation could take forever, but electronic documents can help make eSourcing even easier. Instead of creating new documents every time, your eSourcing software should have its own (and your former) templates to choose from. Your software will also allow you to advertise publicly or privately. You can also pre-release opportunities to a general pool to gain attention. Electronic bid document creation also strengthens your relationship with your strategic suppliers and suppliers.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about eSourcing software or schedule a software demo, contact EC Sourcing, a Simfoni Company. We want you to reimagine the way you think about procurement.