Take Procurement Management to the Next Level With the Right Tool
With so many strands and complexities forming part of the procurement management activities of an organisation, persevering with using traditional manual workarounds to coordinate them is becoming increasingly inefficient in today’s competitive market. A robust procurement management tool is therefore essential for companies who expect their procurement activity to be cost-effective, accurate, and productive, as well as represent the best possible value for the business.
Let’s explore some of the key features of the most advanced procurement suites on the market and consider how they can transform the purchasing activities of your company.
High-growth organisations have unique needs and challenges
While it’s fair to say that the vast majority of modern organisations have the potential to benefit from a solid procurement management tool, they hold particular benefits for companies that are quickly expanding in size and turnover.
Organisations that are expanding quickly are in an important growth stage of their life cycle and therefore have specific needs. They are likely to be forming relationships with a number of new suppliers and agreeing to contractual terms with them. Therefore, they need to be able to onboard new vendors quickly and have a structured way of inputting and matching supplier terms and details to purchases.
They are also likely to need to closely watch spending against budget, and therefore need a robust way of tracking this, at such an early stage in their development.
Procurement management tools can offer them the following benefits:
Significant cost savings
A procurement tool makes it much simpler to track spending on purchases versus budget, make reasoned comparisons between vendors, and evaluate past spending in order to make well-judged purchasing decisions.
Improvements in efficiency
Using an automated purchasing tool allows users to identify poor performing vendors quickly, reducing the likelihood of their causing productivity problems or driving up costs. The reporting features within the software also allow users to drill down into performance across a range of areas, with the potential to identify productivity improvements across the board
Reduction in inaccuracies and better data quality
Data errors and inconsistencies can cost precious time and money to sort out and can make the whole procurement process inefficient. Using an automated procurement tool results in more structured and consistent workflows and less human intervention, reducing the error rate and improving the quality of data.
Similarly, you can more easily adhere to compliance and regulatory requirements since all purchasing data is stored electronically within the procurement tool.
The suite spot: why pick a procurement suite over a stand-alone solution?
There are a whole host of procurement tools available, and it is fair to say that your organisation’s individual circumstances will influence the type of system that you eventually choose.
However, it is often the case that using a whole procurement suite with a range of features can offer you more measurable and sustained benefits than a simple stand-alone tool. Why?
First, you can take advantage of the integration that comes hand-in-hand with a procurement suite, allowing you to quickly and easily link invoice and purchase order processing to vendor information and payment systems for much more streamlined and organised purchasing workflows.
In addition, a procurement suite generally offers users a range of reporting and analytic tools, capturing data from the whole procurement process. This can help your business to monitor and evaluate a range of performance KPIs to gauge the effectiveness of your procurement activities and make targeted improvements where necessary.
Choosing the right procurement solution: 5 major contenders to consider
There are an increasing number of procurement systems on the market and it can be tricky to know how to navigate such a choice. While different solutions inevitably suit different needs, there are a few tools that stand out.
SAP Ariba is one of the most widely used procurement software that offers the broadest set of capabilities on the market. It offers user-friendly and intuitive shopping experience to the users using easily configurable reports and dashboards.
Its seamless integration with the world’s largest supplier network is the big differentiator from other tools in the market. Similar to all other SAP products, the pricing of SAP Ariba is on the expensive side. As a result, not all organisations can afford to purchase this tool.
This offers users a range of industry-leading features, from flexible purchase order processing with real-time insights, to sophisticated vendor management including vendor rating and self-service. It has a range of smart spending insights to keep your budget on track, as well as advanced vendor performance analytics to streamline and simplify your existing purchase processes.
Coupa is another industry’s leading procure-to-pay suite of applications that streamlines procurement processes to realize optimum savings. It offers an array of tailor-made functionalities like automated catalogs and punchouts to web-based forms, real-time budgeting, and PO management.
Precoro is a cloud-based spend management solution designed to help companies control their spending and generate savings. Although it focuses primarily on spend analysis and management, its modules also extend to cover an array of other verticals like purchasing, finance, sourcing, and supplier management.
Procurify is another leading contender in the cloud-based procurement software front. It enables businesses to gain more control of an organisation’s spending. Users can track spend across the entire organisation and retrieve financial reports with certainty.
Get the edge with a smart procurement tool
For organisations that are growing quickly or have more complex procurement activities, using a comprehensive procurement tool can be a great way to ensure that your purchasing tasks are taken care of in a timely and cost-effective way. Take a look at the top procurement software, take them on a trial run, and see how easy automated purchase management activities can be.