Your Guide to eSourcing Platforms
Not long ago, sourcing was still an “analog” process, with a lot of back-and-forth communication via phone calls, emails, and meetings in person. Technology has finally caught up with sourcing and procurement—evolving processes by leaps and bounds in a relatively short amount of time. Now, eSourcing platforms work to improve on your strategic sourcing by simplifying it and making it more efficient. Ensuring you have the best eSourcing tools with features that fit your needs can streamline your sourcing process, positively affecting your procurement processes and supply chain.
eSourcing Platforms: The Must-have Tools
There are several must-have features that every company can benefit from. These include:
- Easy-to-use interface: The best eSourcing platforms provide RFx management and electronic RFP capabilities that are easy to use with an intuitive interface. Within the RFx functionality, there should be many other features in your FlexRFP eSourcing, such as purchase requisition, bid evaluation tools, electronic signatures, vendor scorecards and response ratings, and should be equipped with real-time analytics so you can monitor activity and measure performance.
- Automatic notifications: This feature can help notify you when new bids or RFxs have been posted, so you can access them quickly without repeatedly checking back.
- Q&A Portal: A built-in Q&A portal allows users to ask questions and give feedback about the RFx and get responses from vendors quickly and conveniently. It also helps cut back on repetitive questions.
- Electronic advertisement and bid document creation: Creating (and saving) your bid documents and advertising them can now be performed on a digital platform. Rather than store them on a desktop, for example, your platform will have everything generated and saved for you for easy access.
- Contract management: When conducting an eAuction, your platform should allow you to inform the winning vendor they’ve won the contract, while also notifying competing vendors they did not win. With AI-enabled contract drafting, your software can make an automated template that sends to the winning vendor for their electronic signature.
eSourcing Platforms: Other Features to Consider
For the best outcomes, you need a platform with robust features that go beyond the basics.
Strategic supplier management is invaluable when it comes to eSourcing and eAuctions, enabling you to create a catalog of suppliers and run various RFx exercises with them to assess and evaluate their suitability. By analyzing this information over time, you can gain insights into which suppliers are delivering the best results and value for your business. This information can then be used to determine which suppliers to work with in the future.
-Spend analysis features allow you to upload reports, so you can identify and track rogue and maverick spend (a.k.a., tail spend), allowing you to address the problem with actionable data. This helps save money and increase efficiencies in the procurement process.
–Integration with your ERP and P2P applications is another important consideration. Make sure your tool provides the necessary integrations for a seamless process. This will ensure the system integrates seamlessly into your workflow.
Takeaways: Ease of Use, Customization, and Additional Benefits
One of the most important features of your eSourcing platform is that it’s intuitive and easy to use. A large learning curve will slow you down, frustrate your team, and affect your suppliers.
Another important takeaway is that eSourcing software can be customized to your exact needs, by adding features or taking some away. A composable, individualized platform will streamline your sourcing process and promote greater efficiency leading to cost savings—ensuring you’re not paying for any features you don’t need.
Overall, some of the biggest benefits of using eSourcing software include:
- Provides transparency into sourcing process for vendors
- Allows for better productivity and collaboration
- Minimizes manual processes
- Gives you access to real-time information
- Allows you to measure strategic sourcing KPIs, such as compliance rate, PO cycle time, supplier lead time, vendor availability, and supplier defect rate, among others
To learn more about implementing an easy, composable, and exceptionally cost-effective eSourcing platform, speak to a Simfoni representative today about conducting a demo.