How to Optimize Your eProcurement Software Platform
If you work in procurement, you are likely already using software. Gone are the days of writing out purchase orders by hand, meeting all vendors and suppliers in person, and filing every last bit of paper. These days, everyone in the supply chain is using procurement management software.
However, eProcurement software has been around for over 20 years, and there’s a good chance that it’s time to take a closer look at the software you’re using to see if you can optimize it or streamline it, to help your business and procurement process run more smoothly and efficiently. Not all eProcurement software platforms are created equal, and some platforms will work better for some companies than others. But generally, there are some features that every software package should have, and if you find yours lacks or a little outdated, it may be time to upgrade or optimize.
Your eProcurement Process: The Basics
Before evaluating your eProcurement software platform, you should take a hard look at your overall process and think about what you want procurement software to do for you. If your current software isn’t working or fails in some areas, reevaluate your needs. Generally, most companies want procurement software solutions that:
- Evaluate and vet potential suppliers
- Manage supplier performance (ongoing)
- Manage purchase requisitions and purchase orders
- Select suppliers
- Identify service needs
- Manage workflows of approvals
These are the most basic needs, and if your current eProcurement software platform is falling short of these primary goals, it’s time to look for something new.
Your eProcurement Software Platform: Top Procurement Software Features
Current procurement software trends are focused in a way that meets all those basic needs and more—from helping you vet suppliers to handling inventory management. Some of the features you want to consider are:
- An easy-to-use interface. Considering that this is an interface that everyone in your department will need to learn, you don’t want to opt for software with a steep learning curve. One of the downsides of early procurement software was the steep learning curve and figuring out all of the nuances of the program. You want an interface that everyone can use and understand with minimal training. These days, software should be Amazon-easy.
- Transparent communication. Look for an eProcurement software platform that allows for easy, transparent communication that offers compliance checks and enables all stakeholders to have real-time alerts so that everyone has access to information.
- Supplier management. You want a system that allows for strategic supplier management as well as other tools.
- Audit software. You want audit software included in your bundle and risk management, so you can weigh risk as you go through the procurement management process.
- Budget software. A key feature you need is the ability to budget and make informed purchasing decisions.
- PunchOut catalog integration. This gives you access to online marketplaces, which is a must in the modern procurement management process.
You may find that you also want other features included in your software, as they’re a necessary part of your procurement process; these are just a general guide of features you may want to insist on as part of your eProcurement software platform.
After you’ve implemented eProcurement and everyone is comfortable using it, you might consider eSourcing as well as contract management solutions to manage these other upstream activities to ensure that the entire supplier management process is automated and streamlined.
To learn more about eProcurement software platforms that we offer, or to request a demo, contact us at EC Sourcing Group today by calling 973-936-9672 to speak to a member of our team.