SMEs, or small-to-medium-sized enterprises, are an important aspect of the economy. While every nation has a slightly different approach to their categorization and classification, they retain global significance for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is simply due to numbers. SMEs plainly outnumber big businesses, and handily at that. In turn, this means that they also employ a vast number of people, as a collective, even more than the titans of industry. As such, since there is such a huge number of SMEs that sprawl the economic segments, SMEs also have a wide spectrum of procurement needs. As an SME owner or decision-maker, it’s important to know which e-procurement system will be best for you and your team. 

The best e-procurement system for SMEs is going to vary based on that organization’s specific needs. In fact, in order to develop an effective and efficient e-procurement process, one must consider the unique procurement needs of that organization based on a variety of factors. From the operational needs of the organization’s specific employees to the variances in raw materials and other products needed for continual production. In other words, there’s not a single e-procurement system that’s one-size-fits-all. Rather, some procurement practices, techniques, and strategies are better suited for specific industries. 

Therefore, building familiarity with all of the most common e-procurement systems and strategies will help inform the development of an e-procurement system that optimizes your SMEs procurement lifecycle. 

Developing Your E-Procurement System

Procurement today is an entirely evolved process from what it used to be. With industry standards and best practices dictating the need for a variety of e-procurement systems, there’s an overwhelming amount of information, and a wide spectrum of providers to choose from. 

Procurement is, by nature, an organizational-wide activity. It affects production and operations, affects day-to-day productivity, and even involves finance, accounting and inventory as well. As such, it goes to reason that many procurement professionals rely on more than a single procurement software.

Procure-To-Pay Software

Procure-to-pay software is a very common e-procurement system. Regardless of industry or economic segment, procure-to-pay software is powerful and comprehensive in nature. The procure-to-pay software manages the procurement lifecycle from start to finish. 

With features that are designed to make vendor and supplier short-listing, RFPs, and reverse-auctions a breeze, your front-line procurement professionals can allocate their time elsewhere and focus on more meaningful business activities. This e-procurement system doesn’t stop there though. It truly manages the entire sourcing in the supply chain process. 

Once a contract is awarded to a supplier or vendor, this software then moves it through the next phase of the procurement lifecycle, making it easier, more efficient, and more transparent. 

Contract Management Software 

The other half of the e-procurement system solution that is extremely common is finding the best contract management software for your business. Contract management software is a popular choice as a part of an e-procurement system because of the importance and value that it adds to the firm. With contract management software, your contract manager will have access to deeper insights that are data-driven. Essentially leading them to make more informed decisions, that will save money, time, and energy. 

An e-procurement system should optimize the time and energy of your staff, boosting their productivity, and ultimately leading to a more efficient, cost-saving, and the cost-effective organization overall. 

Wrapping It All Up

Having an e-procurement process is almost essential to survival for SMEs. As the economy continues to become more competitive, the firms that capitalize on new technology, while it’s still new, will almost certainly have an edge against their competition. 

Developing a strong e-procurement system that addresses the specifics of your company’s needs, while also effectively boosting productivity and reducing the overall procurement cost will elevate your business as a whole, and protect you against unseen and unpredictable supply-chain liabilities. 

For more information on how to develop an e-procurement system, the best procurement technology, or anything else related to procurement, keep browsing ProcurePort. ProcurePort is the internet’s premier place for everything procurement from technology and software, to information and knowledge, and everything in between.