E-procurement Software: Role in Supply Chain

ControlHub
April 7, 2022

Your procurement department is fantastic. It has a great procurement process that examines suppliers, buyers, and the supply chain every month.

Every once in a while, the team decides to switch suppliers based on numbers the procurement department saw during the previous month’s activity. They noticed that one supplier kept raising prices every week, and your company had to charge customers more for the same products. Then you had to answer to your customers.

It is going to take two months to switch to a new supplier. 

Your engineers even balked at the lower quality raw materials the supplier gave them. It caused a few mechanical breakdowns that kept the busy production line down for three hours while mechanics tried to fix the problem.

The delays could have cost you a long-standing customer who had been with you for 20 years.  

Luckily, e-procurement software can help you with supply chain management to mitigate potential issues before they become real problems.

How does e-procurement software help your company?

You already understand that procurement within your company needs input from every department in your SMB or enterprise.

Finance needs to know how much to budget for raw materials, equipment, parts, and supplies needed to keep your production lines running smoothly. Engineers need to know how much raw material or parts they can purchase based on the budget. Sales can project how many new accounts might come in within the next three months to make budgeting and spending easier. Your procurement department, which has the most investment within the procurement process, can speak to suppliers and the supply chain and how it affects the company’s budget.

Everyone comes together to create a procurement strategy for the entire company.

There are budget reports, expense accounts, purchase orders, and everything you need to make this work. 

Where does all of this information live?

Enter e-procurement software.

What is e-procurement software?

E-procurement software allows SMBs and enterprises to manage spending on goods from suppliers through automated processes, all completely online with cloud-based access.

Automation ranges from purchase order generation and inputting vendor information to three-way matching and invoice payments.  

Managers and administrators, from department heads and lead engineers to the owner and the finance team, see larger views of the company’s procurement while viewing who authorizes purchases and from what suppliers.

For example, your lead engineer for Lines 1 through 5 gets an alert at the end of a shift that the day supervisor for Line 3 needs more 3-inch bolts to complete the HVAC motor assemblies for next week. One batch from a supplier was bad.

The day supervisor put in a purchase request through the procurement system using her tablet computer right there on the line. All the way on the other side of the plant, the lead engineer got the email alert and approved the request within five minutes. He was able to approve the rush request, which added 10 percent to the costs of the order, because it’s for a huge customer.

E-procurement software not only expedited the alerts to get the order out quicker, but it also flagged the problem noted by the shift supervisor about the bad batch of 3-inch bolts they received from a supplier. 

How does e-procurement software play a role in supply chain management?

Your chosen e-procurement solution plays a vital role in your ability to optimize supply chain management

Particularly when it comes to just-in-time manufacturing and agile models, supply chain management is crucial to how these types of companies deliver goods. They need to vary their suppliers in case one can’t deliver, and they need the right storage spaces for raw materials and inventory. Your warehouse, loading bays, production managers, and line supervisors all need to know about supply chain issues so they can make decisions daily, weekly, and monthly about how to run the plant at various levels.

For instance, production crews that handle storing finished goods and raw materials need to know the output of lines every week so they can arrange storage spaces properly while they wait for logistics companies to get trucks here.

As part of your procurement process, managers need a streamlined way to fill out purchase orders for raw materials and supplies that keep lines moving forward through the normal course of conducting business.

Overall, supply chain management affects the goods flowing through the production lines of your procurement-heavy company.

Where does e-procurement software come into play with the supply chain?

Thanks to advanced software with robust data-gathering and analytics, e-procurement software is becoming the industry norm for manufacturers and hardware-centric companies of all sizes.

Because your supply chain is vital to your business model, you really can’t afford not to have some kind of procurement software. It’s part of the way your company works. It’s as vital to your success as the supply chain itself because e-procurement software can identify strengths and weaknesses when managing your suppliers. 

What are the benefits of e-procurement software for my supply chain management?

Your company needs a robust procurement system to manage all aspects of your purchasing. The right procurement software (AKA purchasing software) lets you make decisions about your supply chain on many levels.

Contract Management

Your procurement department always looks for the best deals by negotiating with current suppliers and finding new ones. 

And rightfully so. A savings of 5 percent on the supply side, without raising prices on the production side, can lead to higher profits, improved cash flow, and the ability to invest in newer equipment or more employees. 

Procurement software can alert your teams to anything outside the norm. Did a purchase order have a higher price on it due to something a supplier changed? Let’s say one engineer saw a single purchase request like this, and a second engineer saw a similar issue. Both people weren’t aware that there were two anomalies in the same week. 

However, you, as the business owner, saw the anomaly because your e-procurement solution alerted you to the problem because you set it up that way. You set alert parameters, and the system worked by giving you real-time alerts when something was amiss. You can tell your procurement team to talk to the supplier to find out what’s going on.

Automating contract management through your procurement software  lets your team set a review schedule for suppliers with calendar reminders to keep your team on track. 

For example, each supplier gets quarterly and annual reviews. Teams can review, gradually over the last month of each quarter, how much the company spent on each supplier, whether prices went up, and whether or not the company should seek a different vendor or raise prices for finished products.

Automating the review process allows your procurement department to focus on other tasks in supply chain management, like figuring out the best possible vendors to go with.

Plus, the data gathered by procurement software provides valuable insights to the procurement department so it can make the right decisions.

Automating Mundane Tasks

E-procurement software lets teams implemented automated activities for supply chain management such as vetting suppliers based on pre-selected criteria, creating contracts, sending our RFPs, and alerting team members to any anomalous data, giving your procurement team more time to spend on higher-level tasks like strategy, pricing, and managing purchases and spending.

Boosting Supply Chain Management Efficiency

E-procurement software boosts operational efficiency for supply chain management. When more staff automates more tasks they used to do manually, it frees up their time to do other work in the procurement department, such as finding better deals from suppliers, diversifying suppliers, and negotiating with vendors. 

For example, your lead engineer receives three purchase order requests from different staffers. They are all for the same supplier. Before approving the purchase requests, the engineer notes that the three purchase orders could be consolidated into one that would trigger a larger order that gets a discount with an alternative supplier, saving the company 10 percent on this purchase. The individual staffers may not have realized this, but a higher-level look and alert system within the e-procurement software generated a notification that created an opportunity to save money.

Let’s say your company only used purchase order software to automatically generate purchase requests for suppliers without the in-depth analysis that a procurement software system can generate. 

You would have missed out on a way to save money. Imagine multiplying that 10 percent discount over 10 purchases a year when your procurement system analyzes your data from suppliers. 

You see the potential cost-savings that can grow over time.

Another efficiency boost comes from daily and weekly tasks. Let’s say the automated process saves 10 people 20 minutes a day because purchase orders and approval workflows are automated. 

That’s 200 minutes a day. Multiply that by 270 working days a year, and you can see how a shift in 900 hours of work per year can pay dividends for your company by giving employees more time to shift priorities to elevate your company to new levels of thinking.

Why does my company need e-procurement software?

It can save you money and it’s the industry standard now.

Implementing the right procurement software for your company gives you peace of mind that supply chain management issues can be handled as soon as they are noted rather than during end-of-month or end-of-quarter reports.

Having a better understanding of your suppliers as a whole lets you make decisions about pricing, salaries, sales, and staffing levels. 

ControlHub’s purchasing software
gives you a platform to help with supply chain management as you seek to optimize your procurement department, control spending, and grow your company into the powerhouse you know it can be.

Contact us to request a demo. You won’t be disappointed.

Learnings

Eprocurement software plays a crucial role in supply chain management for hardware-centric and procurement-heavy companies. It allows for streamlined and automated processes in procurement, including purchase order generation, vendor information input, and invoice payments, while also providing a larger view of the company's procurement process.

The software also enables real-time decision making and alerts in case of any supply chain issues. Furthermore, e-procurement software helps in contract management and identifying any discrepancies in the supply chain, leading to improved profits, cash flow, and the ability to invest in new equipment or employees.

Hence, for companies to succeed in their business model, having e-procurement software is becoming an industry norm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What exactly is e-procurement software?

E-procurement software is a powerful tool that automates and streamlines the procurement process. It allows you to manage your spending on goods from suppliers, generate purchase orders, match invoices, and keep track of vendor information effortlessly. 

How does e-procurement software benefit my company?

 E-procurement software offers numerous benefits. It optimizes supply chain management, enhances contract management, saves time and money through automation, and increases efficiency by helping your team make informed decisions and identify cost-saving opportunities. 

Does e-procurement software promote collaboration within the company?

Absolutely! E-procurement software facilitates seamless communication and collaboration among different departments in your company. For example, it enables your lead engineer to receive real-time alerts about faulty parts and quickly approve purchase requests, ensuring smooth production.

Is e-procurement software suitable for small and medium-sized businesses?

 Absolutely! E-procurement software is designed to benefit businesses of all sizes, including SMBs. It offers cost-saving opportunities, enhances efficiency, and helps SMBs manage their procurement process effectively, just like larger enterprises. 

Can e-procurement software help with supply chain management?

Yes! E-procurement software plays a pivotal role in supply chain management. Whether your business follows just-in-time manufacturing or an agile model, e-procurement software optimizes your supply chain by consolidating purchase orders, identifying cost-saving opportunities, and facilitating real-time decision-making. 

How does e-procurement software save me money?

By implementing the right e-procurement software, you can save money through enhanced contract management, better negotiation with suppliers, and identifying cost-saving opportunities. It helps you make informed decisions and maximize your procurement efficiency. 

Is e-procurement software easy to use?

Yes! E-procurement software is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. It simplifies the procurement process, automates tasks, and frees up time for your procurement team to focus on strategic activities. It's like having a personal assistant who never takes a coffee break! 

How can I get started with e-procurement software?

Getting started is easy! Reach out to us today and request a demo of our ControlHub's purchasing software. We'll guide you through the process, showcase the features and benefits, and help you unlock the potential of e-procurement software for your company. 

<Is e-procurement software an industry standard?

Absolutely! E-procurement software has become the industry standard for efficient procurement management. Many companies across various industries have adopted it to streamline their processes, improve collaboration, and achieve cost savings. 

What makes e-procurement software stand out from other solutions?

E-procurement software stands out due to its ability to automate tasks, optimize supply chain management, enhance contract management, and promote collaboration within the company. It saves you time and money while providing real-time decision-making capabilities and a better understanding of your suppliers. 

Can e-procurement software help my company thrive?

Absolutely! E-procurement software is the key to unlocking your company's potential. By streamlining and automating your procurement process, it frees up time for strategic activities, enhances efficiency, and empowers you to make informed decisions. With e-procurement software by your side, your company can thrive and reach new heights.

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