Anyone who entered the workforce before PCs were ubiquitous can remember things like entering line items in an actual ledger book, typing up forms, and of course, ordering supplies and materials over the phone. If you had to use a purchase order for requisitions and get it approved, there was more of a possible delay and a hassle — but also more of a paper trail.
The beauty (well, one of many) of e-procurement is that is provides transparency without creating additional work. It’s more streamlined and much easier for everyone involved, but also makes it possible to track spending and easier to analyze spending patterns.eProcurement and Audits
That’s a good ability to have, not only in terms of reducing your overhead and running a leaner, more agile business, but also in terms of audits. You might have to perform audits for compliance purposes if you’re in a heavily regulated industry, or you may wish to perform an audit if you think a large or longitudinal project has gone over budget and you’d like to know where and why. Perhaps you’d like to do an internal audit to find out if there’s a “maverick buyer” who needs to be a little more careful with spending!
You might never need to perform an audit, but it’s good to know that the transparency inherent in e-procurement makes it an option.Comparison of Vendors
E-procurement also makes it more important than ever that you communicate well with your vendors and make the most of your relationships with them. You’ll need to make sure that the terms and procedures you use mean the same as when the vendor uses them. Clearly defined vendor relationships are just another way that e-procurement helps increase transparency and keep spending under control.More than Just Supplies and Parts
E–procurement isn’t just about making sure you get the best price on equipment and the supplies and materials you use most often.
For example, it can also be used to order and track your company’s spending on services such as training, maintenance, repairs and consulting, printing and marketing services, advertising, and even market research. You could find yourself saving money on products and services you never thought your e-procurement system could help with!
Most businesses switched their bookkeeping and accounting functions to automated solutions a long time ago — that old ledger book is long gone. But procurement is still done by phone or email in many organizations, perhaps with only a handful of people in charge of ordering — a system that is difficult to track and not transparent at all.
If you’ve been wondering about how e-procurement can help save your company money and time, or have any other questions, contact us and we’ll provide the answers you need.
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