Top 12 E-procurement Features You Need for Your Business
What Is E-procurement?
The process for purchasing products and services for your business through online portals/platforms is called e-procurement. It is entirely a business-to-business arrangement.
Selected E-procurement Software Features for Your Business:
It can be pretty challenging to identify if a particular procurement software can fulfil the needs of your business.
Your business needs procurement software that gives you complete visibility and enhanced control over your internal procurement processes.
Mobile and Easy-To-Use Interface
We cannot elaborate enough on how an easy-to-use interface is vital in eProcurement software. Using a complex procurement platform will require a lot of time and cost to train your team to work with it.
Your e-procurement system must align with the principle of less and more. A simplified software stack means faster induction at all levels and a more fluid transition that doesn’t hinder the daily running of your organization.
It is necessary to understand that software is most liked by users when it requires as little training for the user as possible. Procurement software is adopted quickly by users only when it is easy to use, and the end-user doesn’t have to work with complex functioning, making it a successful investment in e-procurement technology. Choose a platform that can help offer you mobility, ease, and seamless integration with your business processes.
Communication is essential for all stakeholders to know what’s happening in the procurement process. Your software should be accessible via a mobile app and accelerate the procure-to-pay process with automated workflows, compliance checks, multi-level approval routing, and collaboration tools. With these procurement software features, staff receives email notifications and in-app alerts on their mobile phones, so they can review and fast-track approvals no matter where they are.
Choose transparent software that alerts stakeholders of transactional activities. An effective e-procurement solution offers purchasing teams, managers, and all users’ visibility according to their role and authorization level, so they’re empowered to make informed spending decisions.
The entire process should be simple, centralized, auditable, and backed by competent customer support.
Your e-procurement system should have supplier onboarding functionality to ensure that purchasing occurs only with approved suppliers—Drive-spend under management by purchasing from contracted suppliers that offer the best value. Increase your purchasing power by leveraging your data and negotiating better terms with volume discounts and early settlement agreements.
Auditability and Risk Management
Effective e-procurement software improves audibility. Be sure to source a solution that offers audit trails that detail transactional and user activity, with the date and time stamps. This transparency promotes accountability – a powerful driver of changes in spending behaviour.
You can also mitigate transaction risks by deploying an e-procurement solution that quantifies budget impact and risk levels before any costs are incurred. This procurement software feature provides valuable insight that enables proactive spend management.
Budget Insight and Control
Budget visibility empowers users to make informed purchasing decisions. Your e-procurement platform should provide authorized staff with access to real-time data and the ability to report on budgets vs. actuals.
Your chosen tool should drive budget control with the ability to track all spending and projects against budgets, with dashboard insights into available and committed expenditures.
Protect working capital by configuring your spending policies in your e-procurement platform. Your solution should actively manage policy compliance to guide employee spending behaviour, enhance audibility, and provide the internal controls you need to maintain profitability.
Time - Saving Automation
Cornerstones of any procurement solution – efficiency and time-to-value, driven by automation. Your answer should automate workflows to:
- Improve accuracy
- Reduce human error
- Free-up valuable time to focus on more strategic initiatives
- Accelerate procurement cycle times
On top of all these benefits, automated procurement software features also reduce the burden on your AP team and empower all users to be more efficient, accountable, and informed in their decision-making.
Configuring workflows shouldn’t require any additional time or money. Workflows should be automated, with multi-level escalation and no manual intervention from the end-user. Your procurement workflows must supply approvers with alerts and email notifications to prompt action and flag potential risks.
With an automated approval workflow system, you’re able to drastically reduce the time needed to approve purchase requests and mitigate risk throughout the approval process. You are saving your organization even more time and money.
Vendor PunchOut & Internal Catalogues
Streamline business purchasing and gain access to business-only pricing and volume discounts with vendor catalogue integrations. For instance, by deploying a solution that offers the likes of a PunchOut catalogue integration, your staff can access online marketplaces with thousands of products from approved suppliers within the e-procurement interface. This catalogue integration is supported by your procurement software’s approval workflows and electronic purchase order capabilities.
The result: fast, secure, and familiar online shopping experiences with automated spend controls and a streamlined strategy for channelling spending to contracted suppliers.
Visibility and Business Intelligence
A key objective of e-procurement deployments is to gain visibility of expenditure by spend category. The ability to analyse and report on historical and real-time data is key to understanding how your business spends money and where to cut costs. It makes business intelligence a key procurement software feature for you to pursue in your solution.
Your e-procurement software of choice should offer integrations with financial systems, ensuring accuracy and process efficiency. Choose e-procurement software that complements and extends cloud or on-premise ERP or accounting solutions for end-to-end procure-to-pay efficiency.
Fast, flexible deployment
Implementing some procurement platforms can take numerous months or even years to deploy successfully. Avoid this slow time-to-value and deployment by choosing a robust yet agile cloud procurement solution.
Cloud solutions are scalable, cost-effective, and easy to maintain. You’ll benefit from regular software updates, cloud security, disaster recovery, and remote deployment options.
Choose an E-procurement Solution With All the Features You Need
Ultimately, your solution should reduce your costs through the collective proficiency of all the procurement software features listed above. Identify saving opportunities, maintain budgets, purchase at the lowest price, and eliminate rogue or maverick spending.
If your current system fails you, it may be time to consider options that tick all the boxes and provide an efficient solution to your business-specific procurement needs.
Future-proofing your business includes implementing procurement processes that last you well beyond the trappings of tech upgrades. A sustainable e-procurement solution facilitates digital transformation. It enables integration with your tech stack and keeps up with the rapid changes in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI).