6 Key Procurement Tools to Confidently Finish Out Fiscal Q3

08/14/20

CobbleStone provides key procurement tools for success.

As the end of the third fiscal quarter draws nearer, the fact remains that the manual management of contracts, vendors, bids, and purchase orders can prove difficult and ineffectual.  Methods that involve paying per solicitation can grow quite costly.  Here's how to unlock six key eProcurement software tools for procurement prosperity through the third fiscal quarter and beyond!

The Key to an Effectual Source-To-Contract Process

Limited visibility can leave organizations with an imperfect vendor pool.  Furthermore, an unnecessarily complicated procurement contract management system database, an inefficient sourcing platform, and a contract lifecycle process that is prone to bottlenecks can hinder organizations from performing successful contract administration.

A solution for eradicating the issues mentioned above is an effective source-to-contract management process.  Leveraging cutting-edge contract management software, organizations can positively transform their procurement process from bid requests through vendor contract creation.  A plethora of user-friendly tools can structure and streamline virtually all e-procurement process steps.

Procurement Tool #1 – Procurement Workflow & Request Wizard

Leading contract management software gives organizations a diversified array of request options.  Procurement teams can complete a standard request form that can trigger a review process to determine if the request will require a bid process or can utilize an existing contract within an organization's contract repository.  Trusted source-to-contract management software platforms can also provide an intelligent request wizard.  With this helpful utility, users can quickly answer a sequence of dynamic questions that help determine the type of RFx to be created, as well as whether or not they can reference an existing contract instead.

After a request record is drafted, it can be edited and reviewed during the completion of assigned workflow tasks.  After that, the budget record can be reviewed when the user tasked with budget review is notified, and additional bid requirements are gathered.  After that, organizations are ready to formalize bids.

Procurement Tool #2 – Templated Request Authorship & Online Bid Advertisement

A scalable procurement management software solution can help organizations produce accurate, comprehensive, timely, and formal request documents.  Through the merging of record request data with clauses from an organization's pre-approved clause library, procurement teams can manage multiple document versions and templates for the rapid generation of documents, and the subsequent convenient exportation as a standard file format.

Once a request document is formalized, organizations can set bids to be advertised publicly or by invite only – straight from their procurement contract management system!

The power to interchange clauses with a pre-approved clause repository and convenient bid advertisement control can significantly streamline request creation and the vendor selection process.

Procurement Tool #3 – Q&A Portal for Prospective Vendors

Once an organization has successfully written a request and advertised a bid, prospective vendors are allowed to ask relevant questions.  Helpful question and answer tools within reliable eProcurement software can help organizations to remain on the same page as their vendor prospects.

Organizations can set due dates for questions and answers so that vendors are only permitted to ask questions within the window of time that best suits the needs of the organization advertising the bid.  Once that established date has passed, the organization's system will no longer accept responses.

Furthermore, users can receive system alerts when a question is submitted, as well as when due dates for those questions and answers are approaching.  Organizations are also equipped with options regarding how they answer bidders.  Questions can be answered one-by-one or on a spreadsheet that is made public for prospective vendor consumption.

Procurement Tool #4 – Vendor Rating & Scoring

Vendor scorecards and response ratings with leading-edge eProcurement solutions can help organizations to be confident that the vendor most aligned with an organization’s needs is awarded.  Bid rating weight control allows organizations to measure the weight of specific vendor response criteria over others when scoring bids. Easy-to-use bid tabulation reports can be leveraged to include scoring and pricing line items for fast overview of bid results.

Procurement Tool #5 – Easy Vendor Awards

Comprehensive source-to-contract management solutions provide line item auctioning functionality, which helps organizations enlist specific bidding for individual items.  The feature can be quite beneficial for bid processes that allow organizations to award multiple vendors for separate aspects of a bid.

Organizations can parse out bids, meaning they can call out certain items, proffer a space for vendors to select items and provide their expected unit price, and have specifications sent back to their system for respondent comparison.

After that process is completed, organizations can finally award a vendor!

Once a vendor is chosen, an email can be sent to the awarded vendor directly from the sourcing record page within the awarding organization's system – informing the vendor that they've been awarded.  This award notification process can be expedited through the use of a pre-approved email template.  Additionally, emails can be sent to unselected vendors thanking them for their response while letting them know that a different vendor has been selected.

Procurement Tool #6 – Fast New Contract Creation

After a vendor has been selected, organizations can undergo the contract lifecycle.  A new record can be created within the software system – or the sourcing record can be linked to an existing contract record – directly from the sourcing record page with which the organization has been working.

For the creation of a new contract record, contract management AI within procurement and contract management software allows organizations to import contracts into their system.  From there, they can leverage user-friendly data extraction tools that intelligently map and categorize data so that users do not have to manually key in individual fields.  Thus, the importation of contract clauses, key dates, and data input is streamlined – providing organizations with visibility to search, report, compare, and classify legal contracts, risk, and risk exposure.

Once the new contract record is created or linked, organizations can follow their standard contract lifecycle management process.

Solve Common Procurement Challenges

The tools above can be used to solve prevailing procurement challenges that many organizations face, such as:

  • Day-to-day task management involving negotiation, vendor performance management, and vendor administration.
  • Spend analysis encompassing budgets, contract amounts, vendor invoicing, payment processing, purchase control, and fiscal year spend tracking.
  • Streamlining operations regarding contract workflow automation, improved vendor and supplier relationship management, and overall procurement analysis.
  • Meeting expectations pertaining to supplier obligation fulfillment, vendor value improvement, timely and data-driven contract management decisions, contract benefits realization, and proper contract workflow escalation for issues such as disagreements and errors.

Unlock the Door to Superior Procurement!

Now that you are privy to six helpful tools for streamlined, efficient, cost-effective, and comprehensive procurement management that can increase your organization's ROI, it's time to enlist the aid of a source-to-contract management solution.  The solution you need is CobbleStone Software's Contract Insight®!

Contract Insight is a widely-acclaimed, web-based, and secure contract management, eProcurement, purchase requisition, and eSourcing platform that has been deemed the leading contract management solution by organizations in a variety of industries for over 25 years.

Learn more about CobbleStone's enterprise contract management and procurement solution with a free demo today!

Request a CobbleStone Software Demo

Sean Heck

Written by Sean Heck

Sean Heck is a Content Marketing Specialist at CobbleStone Software

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