When you deploy e procurement technology in your business, you’ll want it to offer you the best return. That’s how you’ll grow your business and justify the investment. We’ve created a list of e-Procurement best practices, so you can enjoy the benefits of this technology.
1. Secure Support Throughout The Business
Change is hard for people, and the only way your deployment of e-Procurement is going to be a success, is if you are promoting its use throughout the company. Senior leaders in your business and influencers in your teams should be recruited to promote the benefits of the e-Procurement system.
If leaders and influencers are on board with the new system, the rest of the company will start to use it.
2. Have Concise But Detailed RFI, RFP and RFQ
When you send out a Request For Information (RFI), Request For Proposal (RFP) or a Request For Quote (RFQ); you’ll want to have relevant responses. This cannot be done if you don’t give the right information or give too little information in the requests.
Think about what you need carefully, and ensure that all requirements are listed. For instance, if you require materials of a certain quality, put those down. Not being specific enough can lead to suppliers either offering products that are too low in quality or too expensive. This can also raise supply costs in the long-term.
3. Don’t Go For The Lowest Bid
This isn’t always true, sometimes the lowest bid is the right bid. But there are going to be times, especially in a reverse auction scenario, where the lowest bid has a pricing structure that means you’ll be paying more than you realize.
Instead, look at the whole contract and the costs and quality of the deliverables. Then, and only then, can you ascertain what supplier is best for your business.
4. Engage With Vendors In Reverse Auctions
Prices and quality alone don’t make good partnerships. You need to know that you can speak to suppliers about issues, changes in demands and other details. The only way you can do that is to engage with suppliers during the reverse auctions.
This can be easily done when you have online chat facilities built into the software, like with ProcurePort. When chatting with suppliers, you’re looking at how they address you, answer your questions and the response time.
5. Employ A Procurement Checklist
Checklists are a fundamental tool that can be used within the e-Procurement process to determine what stage the procurement process is at. A checklist can be kept on paper, but these can be lost, mislaid or inaccurate. Digital versions are often more accurate and you can link the action on the checklist to a specific document on your computer system.
Procurement checklists are great for ensuring everyone in the procurement team is on the same page, while also reducing processing times and preventing wastage.
6. Look At The Entire Purchase-To-Pay Process
When you’re implementing a new system in the business, it’s unlikely that only one area will be affected. Often many departments or jobs will be affected by the e-Procurement process. Therefore, before you implement your new system, analyze your entire Purchase-to-Pay process to ensure you’re including everyone who is affected.
This way you can maximize savings made throughout the business by optimizing processes across the company, not just in the purchasing departments.
7. Benchmark Your Current Procurement
You’ll never know the success of your e-Procurement process if you don’t have a benchmark to test it against. Therefore, before implementing a new e-Procurement process (after finishing reading this e-Procurement best practices guide of course), benchmark the costs, time and other metrics you want to measure when the new system is in use.
Measurable results will not only help you see the benefits of your e-Procurement system, but will also help you sell the system to your staff.
Reading e-Procurement best practices guides or investing in technology alone will not allow you to save money in your procurement system. You need to match the investment of the software with on-boarding staff and ensure they are using that technology in the best way.
Only then will you realize the potential windfall that e-Procurement software can offer your business in your continued push for better profits.
Do you want to learn more about e-Procurement? Do you want to know more about our all-star rated software? Talk to a member of our team to find out how your business can benefit now.