The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right eProcurement Software in 2021
There are so many options on the market when it comes to eProcurement software, and there has never been a better time to get started on the process of comparing providers and making the final choice of software to suit your business needs.
After all, when so many other areas of your business benefit from increased automation and sophisticated technology, why should your procurement function be left behind?
What is eProcurement software?
eProcurement software is a cloud-based software that enables finding, buying and managing the spends on goods and services completely online. It provides digital and automated tools to support businesses, define vendor policies, and offers a greater level of transparency into the system.
The best eProcurement software is able to effortlessly combine the strategic and transactional aspects of an organization’s procurement function, for maximum benefit. Transactional procurement activities relate to tasks that are performed regularly and contribute toward the smooth running of the function such as purchase order generation, product catalog maintenance, etc.
Strategic procurement activities are more directly related to achieving the overall aims and objectives of the procurement function and the wider business too. Examples of strategic procurement activities include developing fruitful and effective relationships with vendors, risk mitigation, etc. eProcurement software offers users a range of features to support with both aspects, enabling a holistic and integrated approach to procurement management.
Top benefits of using eProcurement software
An increasing number of smart organizations are recognizing the tangible benefits of using an eProcurement software solution, here are some of the most noticeable advantages.
Efficiency and productivity improvements
Use of an eProcurement system is a great way to identify poor performing suppliers at an early stage of the process, before issues such as high costs or productivity problems would normally become apparent through manual analysis. This is because eProcurement software has inbuilt reporting functionality to track and compare supplier performance across a range of metrics, highlighting areas of weakness and prompting further analysis.
Measurable cost savings
Tracking spending on purchases versus budget is much more streamlined and straightforward with eProcurement software. This technology provides the procurement team with better data to make clearly reasoned purchasing decisions based on comparisons between vendors and historical spending data.
Lower error rates
Inaccuracies and inconsistencies relating to purchasing data can cost precious time and money to sort out and can lessen the efficiency of the whole procurement process. An eProcurement solution offers more structured and consistent workflows and less human intervention, reducing the error rate and improving the quality of procurement data.
Features to look for in eProcurement software
With so many choices in the eProcurement software market, trying to compare functionalities between different providers based on what value they could potentially add to your business can often feel futile. Different systems naturally offer various features, have strengths in terms of their areas of focus or expertise, or are naturally better suited to different sizes or types of business.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand your company’s unique requirements when choosing a solution and undertake a thorough needs analysis prior to evaluating the market for software providers. However, there is a group of features that are integral to the successful working of eProcurement software. Thus, you should prioritize a software solution that offers the following, as a minimum:
- A range of well-designed yet customizable workflows and template documents that allow you to fully automate the repetitive parts of the procurement process, while adhering to policy, regulatory, and legal compliance.
- Advanced supplier management features so that your procurement team can track and evaluate vendor performance, onboard new vendors easily, and collaborate in real time with vendors instantly to minimize errors or issues.
- Powerful reporting capabilities to analyze performance and ensure compliance across the spectrum of procurement management.
- Automated three-way matching to ensure that only authorized purchases are reimbursed and maverick spend is eliminated
- Tools to support procurement managers in setting and enforcing budgetary controls across the purchasing cycle to prevent fraud and costly errors.
- Functionality to create online product catalogues that can be maintained and updated instantly, offering verifications to reduce employee workload and error rates.
Top eProcurement software on the market
A quick internet search will yield scores of eProcurement software choices, making it potentially overwhelming and hard to know where to start in narrowing the field down. To make things easier, here is our pick of the top three systems out there:
Kissflow’s intuitive and innovative cloud-based procurement suite that has many industry-leading features, from automated purchase order processing with real-time insights, to advanced vendor management workflows including vendor rating and self-service.
Coupled with smart insights to keep your budget on track, as well as advanced vendor performance analytics to streamline your existing purchase processes, Kissflow Procurement Cloud is a force to be reckoned with in the eProcurement market.
Coupa is a good choice for organizations looking for an easy-to-use, easily accessible eProcurement solution with a range of features to support key procurement activities such as budget and inventory management and approvals.
A particularly useful feature is its compatibility with ERP systems, allowing for easy integration if you use such software. This has the potential to offer fewer data problems or discrepancies and more streamlined procurement experience.
Particularly suitable for larger or medium-sized organizations, SAP Ariba offers a cloud-based integrated platform across the whole source, procure, pay cycle. It features smart spending analysis insights, online and fully automated supplier transactions, and automated invoice capture, workflow, and approval. Its robust service helps organizations to achieve compliance, visibility, and control while cutting costs and risks.
Why Kissflow Procurement Cloud has a clear advantage
One of the main selling points of Kissflow’s Procurement Cloud is the fact that it is ease of customization while offering an array of inbuilt functionalities. This makes it ready to implement, but also gives plenty of customizable options so that it can be tweaked to suit your organization’s existing processes.
The free trial helps to give you an idea of just how straightforward your purchasing activities can be when the Kissflow Procurement Cloud is handling the day-to-day workload of your procurement department.
Technology is the new age of procurement — don’t get left behind!
Maybe your organization is still trying to carry out its day-to-day purchasing tasks manually or by using outdated databases and complex spreadsheets. If this is the case, now is the time for it to spread its wings and realize some of the measurable benefits that an eProcurement solution can offer.
Cloud-based eProcurement software can cut down the workload of your purchasing team while raising productivity and efficiency. Consequently, it can do so at a price that you can afford based on a subscription fee model aligned to the size of your organization.