Successful businesses have production lines that continuously produce finished goods and deliver them to clients on schedule. The same applies to the services sector. You have the client and the workforce to take care of and deadlines to meet. This can only happen with a seamless procurement management system.
What is a Purchasing Platform?
A purchasing platform or procurement software is a suite of tools that help you manage purchases effectively. The tools in cloud procurement software include:
- Administrator management
- Purchase order automation
- Procurement process automation
- Supplier and supply chain management
- Spend analytics
- Contract management
- Procure-to-pay optimization
- e-Invoicing, processing, and tracking
- Inventory management
- Accounts system integration
These digital tools on a unified platform help you shift from manual processes to procurement and supplier management systems.
Importance of a Purchasing Platform
Whether startups or small and medium businesses and large enterprises, it is never too early to invest in procurement automation software. Here is why you should speed up the digital transformation of your procurement process:
1. Process Streamlining
Standardize and automate the purchasing process. Predict the demand using AI-based systems and automatically place orders for the raw material with your suppliers. You can dynamically select suppliers based on distance, reliability, cost, and other parameters.
2. Better Data Accuracy
Manual procurement management often leads to lost purchase orders, double entries in the registers, missed deliveries, or duplicate payments. Procurement management software puts all data in a single system with access-based control over the team members. It sets an automatic approval system that eliminates any chances of mistakes or duplicate payments.
3. Adequate Spend Management
Procurement management software gives you a bird’s eye view of the equipment and raw material. Using intuitive dashboards, you can quickly fix problems in the supply chain to reduce spending.
4. Low Cost and Build Value
Spend less time on firefighting in procurement management and focus on growing the business by reaching out to newer markets. Find better suppliers and raw materials, provide better pricing to your customers and reduce your time to market.
How Does Purchasing Software Drive Business Growth?
A digital purchase platform facilitates omnichannel fulfillment and warehouse automation and helps your business grow in the following ways
- Use customized metrics to get a real-time and 360-degree view of where you are spending the money.
- Know where to reduce, allocate, or increase spending for business growth.
- Nurture supplier relationships and negotiate better pricing for their products or services.
- Track maverick spending and duplicate or fraudulent invoices.
- Eliminate paper-based procurement by shifting everything to the cloud. Access anytime and anywhere.
- Set up automated workflows to reduce any bottlenecks or manual approvals.
- Make strategic business decisions with the help of the latest spending data, trends, reports, and audits.
Tips to Choose the Best Procurement Software
Discuss with the management, executives, and procurement managers, and list all your pain points. Review software options, take product demos, and take time to choose the procurement management software that best suits your business needs. A few tips for selecting the best procurement software are:
- On-premises vs. cloud-based – Cloud-based software or Software as a Service (SaaS) is quickly gaining popularity. It not only saves the overhead of managing a physical server but also the staff. You only pay a monthly subscription fee and access the system from any geographic location on any device.
- Legal compliance – Cloud-based systems ensure that you meet regional or international legal compliance, including data security. The system should save you from data compromise both at the hardware and software levels.
- Analytics capabilities – Analytics is the core of business decisions. Without cutting-edge analytics, you cannot reap the full benefits of the procurement system. The system should help you optimize the processes in real-time to keep your business running at full steam.
- Technical Support – While most businesses consider the software’s features, they overlook the technical support. It is crucial to get a quick resolution when something breaks down. Each minute wasted equals time and money.
The right procurement management system can manage every step of the procure-to-pay cycle. It provides a data-driven understanding of roles and responsibilities, be it the finance team, executives, procurement teams, and senior management.