Everyone in the procurement and purchasing fields knows that sourcing is generally a process of getting the best product from top suppliers with good terms and price. eSourcing isn’t much different. However, with advanced eSourcing tools, you can streamline your sourcing process, unlock new opportunities, and be more strategic, improving your procurement process and supply chain.
The right eSourcing software is a central part of eSourcing best practices. However, learning new eSourcing tools may require adjustment, particularly as you navigate your way through the process.
Read on for tips on how advanced eSourcing tools should be a part of your best practices. Navigate eSourcing platforms to provide the best outcome for you, your customers, and your suppliers.
1. Always Be Clear in Your Specifications
When using advanced eSourcing tools, you’ll have a comprehensive eSourcing dashboard, a web-based, online platform where you’ll advertise sourcing needs. The more details you provide, the quicker you can eliminate suppliers who won’t fit your needs. Ensure your specifications are clear, concise, and relevant. Excessive or irrelevant information can slow the process and/or deliver a poor outcome. Specificity also benefits suppliers, giving those qualified a chance to find business opportunities that fit their niche.
2. Use eSourcing Strategically
Knowing when to use advanced eSourcing tools is imperative. eSourcing isn’t the best fit for all sourcing—it works best with raw materials, construction materials, manufacturing components, and similar items. However, you may want to pass on eSourcing for highly customized products or services.
The benefits of eSourcing tools are many, but your platform should be intuitive. Ensure you and your team are familiar with the process and your suppliers. Like any software or tool, results may not be optimal if it isn’t used correctly. It’s also wise to remember that not every category should go to auction, so ensure your sourcing event is positioned well before proceeding to an auction.
3. Be Reliable and Quality-Oriented
One of the benefits of eSourcing tools is having robust features, such as spend analysis, managing RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs, and supplier relationship management (SRM)—which will help you make better choices. Using these advanced eSourcing tools correctly is a hallmark of best practices. Some things to consider:
- Consider the entire supplier pool rather than only looking at price.
- Focus on quality over cost, and evaluate both to determine the best option.
- Some eSourcing solutions are better for indirect categories, while others are best for direct categories.
4. Choose the Right Advanced eSourcing Tools for You and Your Suppliers
Supplier feedback is also an important piece of eSourcing best practices. Choosing the right advanced eSourcing tools helps you and suppliers have more positive outcomes.
Must-have features that your advanced eSourcing tools should include:
- Electronic RFP and RFx management
- Online Q&A portal
- Online bid reviews
- Electronic bid document management and creation
- Electronic vendor awards and contract creation integration
- A centralized platform
- Electronic line item bids
Intuitiveness is also important. Your advanced eSourcing tools should be intuitive enough to ensure a positive user experience for you, your team, and your suppliers. Once you’ve implemented an eSourcing solution, it’s best to survey the suppliers to get feedback. When performing eAuctions, running a mock auction before the actual event can also help suppliers feel more comfortable with the process and the software
For additional eSourcing best practices or to schedule a demo of how Simfoni eSourcing can help your process, contact us today.