Your Guide to Procurement and Sourcing Software
At one time, all of the procurement process steps were essentially an “analog” process—in other words, everything was done on typewriters or by hand and filed in cabinets. You would have spent endless hours on phone calls with vendors and suppliers, keeping conversations and facts and figures straight.
Then, better computing and the Internet came along with the most basic types of procurement sourcing software, perhaps the first and most flexible: spreadsheets. These could be challenging to try to master, and they still required a certain skill set to use them effectively.
Read on to take a look at procurement management software and how it can work best for you.
Procurement and Sourcing Software Types
The best procurement software types and different options are continually changing, although there are distinct procurement software types designed to streamline efficiency when purchasing and sourcing.
Very often, these types of software will be combined into one program for software procurement best practices.
Common procurement management software includes:
- Supplier Information Management. Also referred to as ‘supplier onboarding’ or ‘supplier registration.’ This allows you to have all supplier master information handy in one place with the supplier able to make self-updates and allow you to request periodic updates.
- Contract Management. It allows you to use pre-created contract templates and also keep track of important contract data, including expirations and revisions.
- Spend Analysis. Spend analysis allows you to understand your spending patterns in sourcing categories as well as monitor compliance with preferred suppliers or contracts.
- Supplier Management. Different from onboarding, this allows you to keep a rating of suppliers as well as monitor performance for easy reference.
- eInvocing. It allows you to receive invoices electronically.
- Supplier Discovery. This type of software procurement strategy allows you to look for suppliers and vendors that may suit your particular needs when you’re shopping for a new vendor.
- eProcurement. eProcurement software is easy procurement software—it allows you to search the catalogs of contracted suppliers for pre-approved products and services. You can also create requisitions, which you can then convert into purchase orders.
- Combination Solutions. There are procurement and sourcing software available that offers P2P (procure-to-pay) as well as source-to-pay options.
There are also software solutions that offer a complete suite (all of the above) or a complete supplier management suite, or a complete eProcurement suite.
With procurement and sourcing software, different businesses require different things, so you want to choose what you think is best for you.
What are the Benefits of Procurement and Sourcing Software?
Using one type or a combination of different types of software can offer benefits, such as:
- Reduction of errors. With a computerized system, fewer errors are likely.
- Overall efficiency. Using software can help streamline and reduce multi-step or manual processes.
- Savings. Software can give you insight into total spending and budgets, drive competition which can help you save money.
- Centralization. Every department is now on the same page when you use procurement and sourcing software.
To hear more about procurement and sourcing software or request a demo of our software, contact EC Sourcing Group today by calling us at 973-936-9672, to see how we can help streamline your procurement process.