Procurement departments can encounter detrimental issues without the proper procure to pay software solutions. Improper procurement planning can bring about unnecessary risk, dark purchasing, deleterious data inaccuracies, harmful supplier issues, and a procurement cycle that is rife with bottlenecks. Procurement teams should not have to be bogged down by wasted time, missed opportunities, and misallocated procurement resources due to disorganized and lackluster procurement planning and execution. They can instead streamline and simplify the procurement process with procurement software as a service integrated with contract management software. Here's how to overcome procurement challenges by reaping the benefits of leading procurement software.
What Is E-Procurement?
E-procurement, which is short for "electronic procurement," is the sale and purchasing of goods and services via a web-enabled interface. Such an interface can include e-procurement software, and goods and services may include equipment, supplies, software as a service, enterprise resource planning, and more. Sales and purchases relevant to procurement can involve business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-government (government procurement) processes.
How To Solve Procurement Challenges
Organizations can solve procurement challenges by mapping out a centralized process for tackling the procurement process. Such an organized process might involve the following stages in order:
- Purchase Justification
- Budget Approvals
- Review of Applicable Laws & Standards
- Recognition of Procurement Process Personnel
- Commencement of the Acquisition Process Per Organizational & Governmental Requirements
- Full Post-Acquisition Management.
Procurement teams can positively transform procure to pay processes with fast and automated approval routing, rules-based procurement collaboration, intelligent workflow automation, task escalation to promote accountability, powerful purchase order management integration, robust eSourcing, and much more.
But how can organizations enjoy the procurement tools mentioned above?
It's simple: with leading-edge eProcurement software.
An E-Procurement Software Platform - Problems Solved!
Automated Procurement Requests
Procurement management can start off on the right foot with an eProcurement software system that supports a diverse pool of request options. With advanced procurement applications, requesting parties can complete a standard requisition form that can trigger a detailed form review process that helps determine if a given request requires a bid process, if an existing contract can be utilized instead, or if a new purchase order should be created.
Robust digital procurement software applications also proffer an intelligent request wizard tool. The wizard helps users rapidly and easily address a series of dynamic questions. After that, the system can provide the RFx type that will be leveraged based on organizational guidelines. Furthermore, the request wizard also helps users determine if they can instead use an existing contract.
Organizations can consequently draft a new request record via a seamless process. This request record can be edited, revised, and reviewed throughout the procurement contract workflow. Next, the procurement software user assigned to budget review can receive an alert to perform the budget review. Lastly, additional bid requirements can be assembled prior to bid formalization and bid publication.
Bid Management Enhancement
With leading procurement software as a service, bids can easily be advertised publicly or by invite-only – straight from the system. Seamless procurement software and a bid listing service integration can support healthy competition between prospective vendors. Thus, buying organizations can reap more value from awards, and vendors can be seamlessly connected with buying organizations.
Next, prospective vendors can ask pertinent questions about bids. Straightforward question and answer tools can assist organizations in remaining connected with potential vendors.
Due dates for questions and answers can be configured within digital procurement software so that potential vendors are only permitted to submit questions in a time frame determined by the buying organization advertising the bid. Once that determined due date has passed, submissions are no longer accepted by the procurement management software. Alerts and notifications can be configured for when questions arrive as well as when due dates are on the horizon.
Vendor scorecards and response ratings with digital procurement software can keep buying organizations virtually assured that they choose the potential vendor that is most aligned to their specific requirements. Bid rating weight configuration allows organizations to place the value of specific criteria over others when reviewing bid Q&A responses and scoring bids. Easily digestible bid tabulation reports can be utilized to integrate pricing and scoring line items for a comprehensive yet simplified overview of bids.
After that comes the exciting part: vendor awards! After the awarded vendor is chosen, an email can be sent to that winning vendor via the digital procurement software sourcing record page. Configured email templates can make the process a breeze for buying organizations. Furthermore, buying organizations can send emails to prospective vendors that were not awarded - informing them that a different vendor has been selected while thanking them for their contributions up to that point.
After the award stage, organizations can commence the contract lifecycle seamlessly thanks to the powerful integration between procurement software as a service and contract lifecycle management software. A new record can be initiated or the procurement software record can be synced with an existing contract record. Regardless, the process is simplified via the sourcing record.
For next-level, future-minded contract record creation, contract AI can help organizations import contracts into their procurement management software systems. User-friendly data extraction can intelligently map and categorize contract data. The inclusion of contract data, key dates, and contract clauses can be significantly streamlined – granting organizations control and visibility to compare, categorize, search, and report on contracts, risk variables, and risk exposure.
View the video below to learn more about contract intelligence.
Your All-in-One Procurement Platform
With powerful AI-based digital procurement software, organizations can address a variety of procurement challenges, such as:
- task management, intelligent workflow automation, full vendor administration, vendor performance analysis, and contract negotiations oversight.
- spend analysis - with analytics tools for contract amounts, budget data, budget approvals, vendor invoicing, fiscal year spend management, purchase order control, and payment processing
- vendor and supplier relationship management and oversight and full procurement analytics.
- meeting and exceeding procurement KPIs such as those for vendor value and supplier obligations, contract benefit realization, contract workflow processes, and data-driven contract management processes and contract management decisions.
Now that you are aware of how to overcome procurement challenges, it is time to introduce you to the foremost eProcurement software solution for your needs: CobbleStone Contract Insight®.
CobbleStone Contract Insight is visionary, critically acclaimed, scalable, web-enabled, and seamlessly integrated eProcurement, contract management, vendor management, and eSourcing software hailed as a pioneering system for organizations in a vast array of industries within the public and private sectors. Forrester names CobbleStone a Leader in CLM software and it's easy to see why!
Discover why thousands of procurement professionals and contract managers trust CobbleStone® with their contract management needs. To learn more about CobbleStone’s procurement and contract management software suite, book a free demo with a CobbleStone Contract Insight expert today!
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Are you interested in future-minded contract management software tools? In our blog - 6 Critical Contract Management Tools for 2021 – learn how to leverage industry-leading CLM software tools for streamlined, user-friendly, and low-friction contract lifecycle management success!