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Guide to E-Procurement

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Last editedDec 20222 min read

All businesses have their own unique requirements for their daily operations. Whether it’s raw materials for a manufacturing company or point-of-sale systems for a small shop, there are always a number of different things that you need to get hold of in order to run your business smoothly. But what is the best way of going about this, and what is e-procurement?

One popular strategy is known as e-procurement, which is essentially a way of acquiring any necessary materials, equipment, supplies, services and more. Also known as electronic procurement or supplier exchange, this refers to the process of acquiring these essentials through a web interface or other networked system. Keep reading to learn more about the e-procurement definition and how you can make the most of it.

What is e-procurement?

Before getting into the specifics, it’s useful to give an e-procurement definition. So what is e-procurement, exactly? Well, it’s a process that began around the same time as the internet was becoming more widely accessible, in the 1980s. Back then it was a simple system that allowed for businesses to exchange files and documents.

Since then, the process has developed significantly, and there are a number of different e-procurement software options that can help you to carry this out. It eliminates the need for any physical documents and paper-based processes, replacing these with an electronic workflow to allow you to access the goods and services necessary to operate your business.

How does e-procurement work?

There are a number of different steps to carry out if you want to use e-procurement in your business. First of all, you should do some research, as there is a wide range of different e-procurement software solutions available on the market. The choice can be a bit overwhelming, so make sure to consider your company’s specific needs beforehand.

Once you’ve found the right option for your business, you’ll have access to technology that allows you and your employees to search through online catalogues and purchase the goods and services that you need.

What’s more, it gives you greater visibility and control over all your procurement processes, from supply chain management through to strategic and financial planning.

A lot of e-procurement software is what is commonly known as SaaS, or Software as a Service. This means that you pay a monthly (or perhaps annual) subscription fee that gives you continuous access to the services, as well as a cloud-based system that allows you access data from different locations.

E-procurement benefits

It’s an increasingly popular process, and there are a number of different e-procurement benefits that might make you consider switching to a digital workflow. Since it cuts out a lot of manual work, it can save you both time and money. Some of the main advantages of e-procurement include:

  • Automation of labour-intensive tasks, such as selection of suppliers, negotiating price and dealing with a variety of different documents. Not only is this more efficient, but it’s also more cost-effective.

  • Greater visibility around your spending. E-procurement software allows you to easily see where your money is going, helping you to identify maverick spends and areas where you could save money.

  • E-procurement means you can make the most of discounts by combining different orders or by making bulk purchases.

  • Better communication. With centralised processes and cloud-based data management, all members of your business can access the same data wherever they are. This means that everyone can be on the same page, and you can easily access information without having to consult others.

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