Today’s enterprises expect their procurement organizations to drive greater strategic value. The ability to accomplish this is tied directly to how efficiently procurement manages its end-to-end operations and how well it can unlock key insights across its operations. But relying on manually-driven legacy or in-house technologies, with their inherent limitations, can’t provide procurement with either the visibility or the fluidity that is mandated from the function in the digital-first era.
This is where eProcurement software makes a huge difference by helping organizations achieve procurement transformation through smart automation and analytics. The outcomes: improved visibility, compliance and decision-making across source-to-pay (S2P) operations.
How Enterprises Can Choose the Right eProcurement Platform
Here are some important pointers.
Integration With Legacy Systems
The ability of eProcurement software to integrate with existing systems is absolutely critical. Cloud-based eProcurement solutions are increasingly, and not surprisingly, in demand today as they can seamlessly integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Their ability to “play nice” with legacy systems, as well as adapt to existing business structures, makes them a highly effective and economical solution.
Advanced Data Reporting
In an era where data has become procurement’s most prized asset, cloud-based eProcurement technology that unifies purchasing and accounts payable presents decision-makers with insights and visibility that can reveal roadblocks and new avenues for growth. Whether that involves forecasting cash flow, understanding preferred supplier payment methods, or identifying potential fraud, advanced reporting through simplified procurement dashboards will go a long way in helping leaders effectively plan and strategize.
Mobile Procurement Technology
Cloud combined with mobility can produce better results for procurement organizations. Mobile procurement technology drives S2P efficiency while improving collaboration. It paves the way for buyers and suppliers to coordinate more effectively and easily. Mobile-native procurement technologies prioritize “collaboration” as an intrinsic feature, reinforcing strict security and eliminating the need to share sensitive information via email.
Application of Emerging Technologies
It’s generally acknowledged that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, robotic process automation (RPA) and blockchain can impact procurement in myriad ways, delivering improved results across end-to-end operations. eProcurement platforms that can leverage and integrate new technologies offer a huge advantage to enterprises in terms of their ability to drive rapid innovation and transformation.
The Right Buyer-Supplier Match
Every organization is unique in terms of the scale of its operations, the nature of its processes, and the industry that it operates within. This means that companies tend to engage providers whom they see as an extension of their business, and who complement their core strategies and requirements. Buyers should look to partner with flexible technology providers who can customize their product to meet the exact needs of the buying company. A software system that has the right number of features — not too many, not too few — and is in line with the business strategy of the organization is more likely to serve the ultimate purpose, and therefore to deserve the label of “solution.”
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
It’s imperative that enterprises consider the TCO, including implementation and integration costs, change management costs, scalability, and other factors. Overall costs should be compared with the potential savings resulting from reduction in unregulated buying, reduced processing times and accelerated payments.
SMART by GEP is an eProcurement software platform native to cloud, touch and mobile technologies. It delivers comprehensive spend, sourcing and procurement functionality in a single, unified platform — spend analytics, savings tracking, sourcing, contract management, supplier management, procure-to-pay. SMART by GEP leverages innovative technologies such as AI, RPA and big data to optimize procurement operations. It works with any F&A or back-end ERP system, such as SAP or Oracle.