A Municipalities Guide to eSourcing
eSourcing refers to a buyer’s ability to collect different bids from suppliers using an online sourcing solution. Sourcing electronically instead of leaving a paper trail saves time, money, and is a much more efficient way to procure goods and services. eSourcing software is a must for local governments and municipalities for many reasons. One benefit of using an eSourcing system for eSourcing managers on a public level is the transparency and visibility involved when using the right type of software.
What Is eSourcing? What Are the eSource Parts?
The eSourcing process for both the public and private sectors is similar. The process for eSourcing managers is as follows:
- Request for information (RFI). The buyer creates a questionnaire to assess a supplier’s suitability for the project.
- Request for quotation (RRQ). The buyer invites the supplier or suppliers to submit a quote for the goods/services. This can also be combined with a request for proposal (RFP), allowing the supplier to quote a price and answer questions.
- Evaluation. Using eSourcing resources and automation, the buyer evaluates suppliers and compares prices more quickly and easily.
- eAuction. An eAuction is an eSource event where suppliers compete for the job primarily on price. Buyers can hold a standard or reverse auction, where suppliers bid competitively and the buyer selects a “winner.”
- Award. The buyer chooses the best supplier and the contract is awarded.
What Are the Benefits of eSourcing for Local Governments and eSourcing Managers?
The benefits of eSourcing for local governments and eSourcing managers are many. Municipalities easily come under scrutiny at the public level, and using the right software is a must. In the past, governments and eSourcing managers would turn to documents and spreadsheets for Sourcing, but modern software provides much more robust features. Some benefits of eSourcing for local governments include:
- Improves efficiency by reducing bid cycle times
- Offers transparency and visibility for other team members, the supplier(s), and the public eye
- There is reduced risk when using eSourcing software, as you can make a more informed decision
- Frees up procurement professionals for other tasks
There can be some drawbacks to eSourcing. However, there are not many. It’s wise to keep in mind the human factor when using technology so as not to create an over-reliance on technology. Integration with existing systems is also key. eSourcing is but one part of eProcurement and the supply chain cycle, so ease of integration is important. Your team may also be resistant to change, making learning new software more difficult. However, reassure them that eSourcing software will streamline your process, not make it more complex.
How Does eSourcing Software Improve Sourcing for Municipalities and eSourcing Managers?
One of the most notable improvements for eSourcing managers when using eSourcing software is cost reduction and time savings. Choosing intuitive and easy-to-use software is a must, so your team can be onboarded and trained quickly, but once the software is learned, it becomes second nature. Using software also improves contract accuracy and offers real-time reporting and tracking, ideal for when you have to make decisions on the fly. There can often be roadblocks in eProcurement and eSourcing, however, software helps streamline those bumps in the road.
What Are the Must-have Features of Software for eSourcing Managers?
As you begin to hunt for eSourcing software that works for you, keep in mind some must-have features you should consider. These include:
- Automated reporting
- Seamless communications
- Electronic bid submission and advertisement
- Sealed bids & electronic bid opening
- Online bid analysis
- Automated RFP scoring
To learn more about municipal sourcing for eSourcing managers, or to request a demo, contact Simfoni eSourcing at 973-936-9672. We want you to reimagine the way you look at procurement.