A Comprehensive Guide to Procurement Platforms
Connecting the three crucial ‘P’s–people, processes, and paperwork–procurement has grown from a typically small branch of the business to a core, indispensable operation. In fact, workplace advisory organizations like HCMWorks rate procurement and other supply chain processes as highly important as sales and for the success of any for-profit business. This is why corporations around the world are scrambling to pick the right procurement platforms.
To fully understand what they can do for your business, you’ll need to get a firm grasp of the concept of procurement platforms.
What are procurement platforms?
Procurement platforms are dedicated environments where the processes central to procurement can be created, installed, and run, covering every task in the procure-to-pay cycle.
Procurement platforms are designed to streamline the process, help business users procure the right item at the right price, and build strong relationships with vendors.
The 5 key modules in a procurement platform
eProcurement platforms are usually designed in a modular style, with separate elements taking care of procurement functions. These are usually the top 5 choices:
Given that most organizations have a complicated hierarchy (due to sheer numbers at enterprises, and due to multiple roles in SMBs), purchase requisitions can feel as tricky to master as those ‘wacky wire’ games at carnivals.
If you’ve got an eProcurement platform with a dedicated purchase requisition function, you can cut down redundancy, delays, and inconsistencies in the process.
Consider this quote from the Supply Management Handbook: “It often costs organizations more than $100 in administrative expenses to generate a purchase order… In many firms, the cost of managing and generating a purchase order can exceed $200 per transaction.”
Traditional purchase orders simply aren’t cutting it, and this needs to change. Businesses across the world today use digital purchase order solutions like the one offered by Kissflow Procurement Cloud. Digital procurement platforms like this can drive positive changes in productivity and cost efficiency by streamlining purchase orders.
Manual invoice systems, the kind that are delivered through email and monitored through clunky spreadsheets that routinely cause errors, cause major bottlenecks in procurement.
The payment cycle gets delayed, receipts are often lost, and this costs the organization precious time, resources, vendor relationships, and reputation.
With invoice approvals from a solid eProcurement platform, businesses can stay ahead of receipts, shipping, taxes, invoices, and hit deadlines with ease.
Transparency is key in vendor management, and any good eProcurement platform needs to execute this function while maintaining full disclosure. This way, your procurement team has the tool they need to pick the right vendor.
With a good procurement platform, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and errors in your vendor management process, and establish fruitful relationships with all the right vendors.
Disorganized filing cabinets, a common feature of manually managed contracts, can be the failure of an entire procurement department, however qualified or experienced its team members.
By bringing order and structure to contracts, you can easily keep track of them. Organized contract management means an improvement in procurement as a whole.
Streamline Your Procurement Process With Kissflow
Features every competent procurement platform needs
Onboard, maintain, and manage vendors in an easy-to-use, efficient platform.
Fluid forms help you capture, approve, and keep track of purchase requests.
Issue POs and generate orders automatically from approved purchase requests.
Approve your invoices on the go and perform quick three-way matching.
Optimize spend with tailor-made rules, insights, and approvals.
Customize workflows, fields, and more with drag-and-drop tools.
Before you choose your purchasing software
Ask yourself these questions before choosing a procurement solution
1. Can it cover the entire procure-to-pay cycle?
When you’re paying for procurement software, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of the functions it can cover. The procure-to-pay cycle represents the core functions that make up the bulk of the purchasing department’s responsibilities.
If the software is branded as a comprehensive solution, it needs to be able to accommodate all these functions.
2. Does it offer three-way matching?
This is a simple litmus test. If a software doesn’t offer this simple yet crucial feature, it would be a big stretch to call it a ‘procurement solution’.
3. Does it offer documented improvements in procurement functions?
Tall claims are well and good, but only actual numbers show that the procurement solution can follow through and make good on these claims. For instance, Kissflow Procurement Cloud offers to reduce purchase order processing time by 75%.
4. Can you integrate it with other solutions?
Often, purchasing data from your procurement software needs to reach your finance and accounting systems like Xero, Quickbooks, and more. A good procurement solution needs to provide easy integration with finance, accounting, and ERP systems, and more.
5. How will the implementation and updates work?
It’s 2019 already, and you don’t have to compromise on a cloud capability. On-premise solutions typically need an expert to come in and set the tool up for your organization and help out with updates whenever they come in.
Cloud-based solutions like Kissflow Procurement Cloud need practically no time to set up and are designed to update automatically and non-intrusively.
Why pick Kissflow Procurement Cloud
If you are having a hard time finding the right procurement system, here’s a good option to consider: Kissflow Procurement Cloud. This is a comprehensive cloud-based procurement software solution that handles all of your core processes within the procure-to-pay cycle.
Procurement teams can run everything from vendor onboarding to invoicing management, taking advantage of a host of benefits specific to digital procurement. Faster purchase order processing, flawless procurement data management and integration with accounting and ERP systems are all typical advantages of taking procurement digital.
Try the Kissflow Procurement Cloud demo today and see how easy and smooth your procurement operations can be!