E-procurement software results in cost savings because automation reduces the time and money spent on completing tasks and managing data complexity within the procurement cycle. A reduction in errors not only makes processing time faster, but it also reduces the time and expense required to discover, investigate, and correct those errors.
Evaluation of e-procurement software
Implementing any new software in the organization can be tricky as it has to be customized according to your organizational needs, should be compliant with your procurement policies & they must be flexible to be integrated with existing systems, business structures, and work with your employee culture.
Here are a few pointers to assess an e-procurement software for your organization
Integration with existing business systems
The main point to consider in the e-procurement software assessment is that of how well it integrates to your existing systems. You will need to check with your vendor on their capabilities to integrate with business systems and on how these integrations are facilitated.
E-procurement software should have the ability to simplify the process of matching business docs purchase orders, invoices, and payments. Any request raised through e-procurement system must track and reconcile the docs received against that request.
Another checklist for e-procurement software is to evaluate whether it has the ability to reconcile with the bank transaction records. Automatic updating of payment details against the purchase transaction will simplify the process of reconciliation.
An e-procurement software should be able to provide control & visibility on business spending. Setup budgets against vendors, purchase orders, departments or various other parameters to control business spend. Gain control and make data-driven decisions to manage business finance.
Invoice Processing or Non-PO Processing
E-procurement software must be able to process an invoice or non-purchase order. These could be invoices like utility bills wherein the invoice is received without raising a purchase order. Payments released against these invoices are auto-matched ensuring transparency and increased productivity.
Multi-Level Approval Process Control
E-procurement software should be highly flexible & configurable allowing you to customize multiple levels of approval-flow based on the organizational hierarchy. Multiple approvals can be configured involving various stakeholders depending on the action being taken. Approvals can be at a purchase order level, invoice level or at a payment stage.
In today’s digital era, often employees use multiple devices – phone, laptop, and tablet, and it is crucial to select a requisition solution that works across devices. Procurement solutions that are built with responsive design technology will adapt to the screen size of any device as employees move from one device to the next.
The most important part of dealing with any software is through its product training. The company that is selling the software should be well equipped with lots of training modules. Few common training modules are:
- Documentation – The e-procurement software vendor should be providing you with ample product documentation explaining how to use their product and its features.
- Webinars – E-procurement software vendor can also conduct product training through recorded webinars and can answer any questions raised by the attendees.
- Live Online – One more method of product training is through online way. The product training expert company can fix up a time slot with your employees and conduct an exclusive online training just for your team.
- In-Person – A product training expert from the e-procurement vendor can visit your company, get your team in the conference room and then do a dedicated training.
The major component involved while evaluating an e-procurement software is product support. The company that is selling the software must also provide you with enough product support. Few common product support methods are:
- Online – The company can have its support team members through chat or email. In case your team members face any issues, they can email to the product support team of the e-procurement software company and get help.
- Business Hours – The e-procurement company can also have its support team providing you the support through phone calls, email, chat, groups etc., during business hours. This is one of the fastest ways to receive the support provided you also have similar working hours.
- 24*7 – An e-procurement software vendor can have a dedicated support team 24*7 just to resolve any issues that you may face while using the product. This will, of course, come at an added cost and depends on how critical the system is to your business.
When you’re trying to evaluate the e-procurement software to your organization, make a list of your organizational requirements and start checking out the ones that meet your requests using these aforementioned pointers. Try to negotiate with multiple software providers before finalizing on one.
How can Finly can help in optimizing your procurement requests?
FinlyFinance suite is one such e-procurement solution that automates the business processes, such as order processing, vendor payments, invoicing etc. Our cost-effective e-procurement software system helps to streamline purchasing processes eliminating paperwork, providing better control over spending and saving time and resources for your team.
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