E-Procurement: Digitizing its Internal Purchasing Processes

Digitization is a word that many people have on their lips. Regarding purchasing, we are hearing more and more about e-procurement or electronic procurement. What is it about? And how can such a solution benefit your business?

E-procurement: What is it?

It is an internal purchasing platform for the employees of one company. It references suppliers of the company, defines a specific right of access, and a budget for each buyer, and manages orders. As you could understand, its main objective is to manage the entire procurement process for a company in one tool.

We are also observing the deployment of this type of platform with central purchasing agencies, which connect suppliers and buyers more easily thanks to a digital platform while keeping an eye on prices.

A good example to illustrate the idea of the central purchasing body is the hotel market. Their objective is to gather all the suppliers of everyday products (food, cosmetics, equipment) in a single platform and to let the hotels of their group make their purchases directly online.

To meet all the needs that a company may meet, an e-procurement platform is built with bricks (called functionalities) which can be activated or deactivated.

Features of an e-procurement solution 

The objective is to support companies throughout their process: from Sourcing to Payment and to respond to a maximum of cases online:

Choice of lists and referenced products: The purchasing team will be responsible for selecting suppliers and referencing them with their products or services on the platform.

Organization of product visibility: The configuration will also manage product visibility according to end buyers. We can for example imagine that the IT department will only see products such as computers, screens, cables and will not be able to see all food products, and vice versa for example.

Automation of validation workflows: For each of the end-user, it is possible to determine a specific workflow with spending limits or verification needs. This is a feature that will allow you to reduce errors and unnecessary expenses on large amount of orders.

Price fluctuation management: This point applies mainly to central purchasing offices which have the possibility of blocking the evolution of negotiated prices for their buyers.

Online payment: Payment is facilitated by online payment. No need to make a request to the purchasing department and therefore must wait for their validation to place an order if the allocated budget obviously allows it.

Immediate and accessible invoicing: Each invoice is accessible on the platform as soon as the linked product is dispatched. There is no longer any question of losing invoices among the multiple emails received because they are all listed directly in the tool.

As you can see, an e-procurement platform can bring a lot to your business, especially in improving processes. But not only. The implementation of such a platform will also have a direct positive impact on productivity and costs.

Advantages of an e-procurement platform

Regardless of the sector of activity in which you operate, launching an e-procurement platform will necessarily be beneficial.

1. All purchasing and sales activities are carried out and saved in a single tool, guaranteeing total transparency of information for all stakeholders. This information is also available at any time of the day, to ensure better continuity of activities.

2. From all these results an increase in productivity. Each employee will be able to act alone without waiting for the presence or validation of a second person. The same is true for information retrieval since, as we said, all the information is available 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. It is also important to mention that the products on the platform already reference the products necessary for the company. Research is therefore easier, and the loss of time around negotiating costs is avoided.

3. The purchasing department is responsible for making products available at the best prices so that everyone can benefit from the advantages of such a digital tool. Productivity gains and control over employee expenses ensure that the implementation of an e-procurement platform results in cost reduction.

The establishment of an e-procurement platform can only be beneficial to your business. You have a large choice as to the choice of solution.

Which solution for creating my e-procurement platform?

There are many solutions on the market. The best way to get an overview is to do research on Google. 

Depending on your business and needs, one solution may be more relevant than another. It is up to you to see and question the suppliers of these solutions directly to gather the right information!

And then it's up to you!

Post a Comment