What Is eSourcing Software?

eSourcing is a digital way to source suppliers. Using a web-based system, buyers can use an eSourcing platform to collect, compare, and ultimately select suppliers. eSourcing is a small yet vital part of procurement, which affects the overall supply chain in a positive way if it’s carried out correctly. Having the best eSourcing suite can help make eSourcing more seamless for you and your suppliers. Read on to learn more about eSourcing platforms and software and how to look for the features you need.

What Are the Benefits of an eSourcing Platform?

There are many benefits to having the right eSourcing platform or eSourcing forum, which uses digital tools to manage your strategic suppliers and suppliers. An eSourcing manager can use a platform to strengthen relationships with suppliers. The right platform benefits both buyer and supplier. Some benefits of a platform include:

  • Transparency and visibility. Your software should have itemized ranking, analytics, and real-time feedback. This gives you insight as to where your suppliers stand with a side-by-side comparison. Suppliers also have transparency and visibility during certain functions, such as reverse auctions.
  • Allows smaller companies (suppliers) to compete for contracts. This is one of the biggest benefits for suppliers, as they have access to a playing field (such as in a reverse auction) that they normally wouldn’t get to participate in.
  • Time-saving. The “old” days of sourcing were quite tedious, even when spreadsheets emerged as a tool. eSourcing is streamlined and easily optimized in modern times, and it speeds up the process for everyone involved.
  • Improves buyer-supplier relationships. The “analog” way of sourcing and the constant back-and-forth can lead to breakdowns in supplier relationships. The transparency, visibility, and equal chance to win the contract all strengthen your relationship with suppliers.
  • Increases spend under management. eSourcing and other strategic initiatives give you a better chance to increase spend under management.

There are many benefits of an eSourcing platform for both buyers and suppliers, but if you’re just beginning or are switching to a new eSourcing forum, it may take some time before you and your team and your suppliers are well-versed in using the system. While eSourcing software is generally intuitive, expect to have a bit of a learning curve before you fully implement it.

eSourcing Platforms: Must-have Features

Not all eSourcing platforms are the same, and it may take you some time to find the right match for you. However, generally speaking, when shopping for eSourcing software, ensure it has these features:

  • Structured collaboration
  • Second round or post-bid negotiations features
  • Questionnaire and score carding capabilities
  • Searchable template library for easy reuse of content
  • Analytics for post-bid evaluation
  • Event dashboards
  • System defined roles
  • Live buyer training
  • Live auction capabilities
  • Scenario-based optimization for generating award scenarios that satisfy both operations and procurement

These features will make your eSourcing and procurement processes more efficient and seamless, thereby improving the supply chain.Image of a blue CD-Rom for an article about What is eSourcing Software?.

For more information about eSourcing platforms or to request a software demo, contact EC Sourcing, a Simfoni Company, through our web form located here. We want you to reimagine the way you think about procurement.