Procurement managers and procurement teams may have their work cut out for them without the right procurement tools. Ineffectual procurement and acquisition strategies can lead to unnecessary risk, dark purchasing, harmful data inaccuracies, detrimental supplier issues, and an overall longer purchasing cycle. Procurement teams need to avoid wasted time, squandered opportunities, and wasted resources that stem from ununified and inefficient procurement. Instead, they should embrace a future-minded process with six tips for improved eProcurement and acquisition. Read about these helpful tips below.
Tip #1: Maximize eProcurement Planning
According to Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), the process of acquisition should involve coordination of all relevant acquisition personnel to create a plan. Acquisition teams should develop a strategy for not only facets of acquisition, but also post-acquisition management after purchasing. The following materials and tasks should be gathered and performed in a centralized fashion:
- Need for Justification
- Budget Approvals
- Review of Applicable Laws & Regulations
- Identification of All Personnel
- Coordination of the Acquisition Steps Per Organizational and Governmental Requirements
- Managing the Purchase Post Acquisition.
HOT TIP: With CobbleStone Software's leading eProcurement software - Contract Insight® - the tasks above can be performed and united on one central platform! Procurement management teams can positively transform procurement and acquisitions with rapid and automated approval routing, rules-based document collaboration, intelligent workflow and task escalation, integrated purchase order management and eSourcing software, and so much more.
Tip #2: Perform Procurement Market Research
Due diligence with market research when undergoing procurement processes will help procurement teams to establish a firm understanding of which vendors and suppliers can fulfill the product or service needed at a given time.
According to FAR, proper market research is defined as a means of "collecting and analyzing information about capabilities to satisfy" an agency's or organization’s needs. Leading procurement professionals should take care to examine which vendors are available to supply the best relevant products and services. As part of their proactive procurement research, teams should identify vendors’ capability when providing the service or product along with price and past performance information.
Tip #3: Prepare a Bid Solicitation
A robust and thorough solicitation typically specifies the following:
- Organization's Industry or Background
- Current State/Situation
- Preferred State/Situation
- Key Dates (Bid Release Date, Questions Due Date, Bid Due Date, Anticipated Contract Award Date, and More)
- Terms and Conditions
- Payment Terms
- & More
Once a solicitation is prepared in a centralized and seamless fashion using a robust procurement software platform like CobbleStone Software's Contract Insight®, the buying organization can afford potential vendors and suppliers opportunities via varying acquisition types. Depending on the organization and solicitation type, the opportunity may be advertised publicly. A few of these bid types include the following:
- Sole Source
- Best Price
- Best Value
- Request for Proposal (or Information and Quotes)
- Contract Purchase
- Seal Bid
- Private (By Invite Only), Public, etc.
Tip #4. Master the Selection Process
The vendor or supplier selection process for procurement and acquisition typically involves many steps - but it is significantly streamlined with the aid of leading procurement solutions such as CobbleStone Software.
Procurement specialists, business users, and other authorized stakeholders can use Contract Insight® to easily review and compare responses from vendors, rate qualifications, compare pricing, and evaluate how well they meet the terms and conditions of the solicitation - among other useful capabilities. The decision-making process should be made with key stakeholders and lead to contract negotiations of the final award terms of the contract or purchase order.
Tip #5. Closely Monitor Performance
Your work is not done once the purchase is complete.
FAR recommends continuously monitoring post-award acquisition. This includes, but is not limited to, using AI-based procurement and contract management software for creating a plan and metrics to rate the awarded vendor as well as measuring performance. It is important to set reminders to check in on key contract and performance terms, and CobbleStone Software's automated alerts are incredibly useful in this regard. If applicable, set task alerts and notifications to check in on budgets, rebates, volume discounts, milestones, and options to cancel or renew favorably.
Tip #6. Close Out Confidently
Once the performance term is complete and the contract or purchase is not renewed, ensure that the acquisition is fully closed out. This may include items, per the terms and conditions of the contract, to be returned, exit interviews to be conducted, and inspections to be done - just to name a few possible tasks.
Successful e-procurement and acquisition starts with having the right process in place. Ensuring that the critical items are being addressed and that there is a plan in place will set you and your organization up for success. Coupled with advice from your own organization’s legal counsel, these tips can help reduce risk, standardize the purchasing process, and improve the bottom line when contracting with vendors.
Procurement Professionals Love Contract Insight
Overseeing the entire procure-to-pay and acquisition lifecycles may seem to be daunting at first, but your procurement team does not have to fret. CobbleStone Software's Contract Insight is acclaimed and preferred by procurement professionals across the world because the integrated software suite makes procurement so much more seamless, centralized, efficient, and more success-driving - aiding procurement, legal, contract management, and other professionals in better managing contracts, vendor/customer obligations, and various agreements.
CobbleStone is user-friendly, low-friction, rapid to implement, and easy to adopt. CobbleStone’s proprietary contract intelligence engine VISDOM® AI can transform static contract data, bid analysis information, and purchases into the dynamic central foundation that brings about proactive opportunities for better vendor and contract oversight, purchasing processes,, and risk management.
Join so many procurement and contract management professionals with a proven procurement management software solution. Request a free demo of Contract Insight today!