When we purchase goods and services, we follow a process that has either been taught or developed by ourselves from experience with the aim of always getting the best value. A best value process can work well on a day-to-day basis, however generally it does not consider the longer-term needs and commercial objectives when purchasing for a business.
This is where the idea of procurement comes in as its objective is to deliver longer term strategic value to the business that will help it to achieve its commercial objectives. It does this through its involvement in every part of the process from sourcing goods and services to managing contracts and suppliers. Purchasing is tactical and procurement is strategic.
For the purchasing to deliver more strategic value there needs to be a higher level of transparency and control over every aspect of the process. This will result in getting a competitive edge, be this through sustainability, diversity, innovation or just financially. The list is long and will vary from company to company, depending on what is important to them.
One quick fix solution to deliver the procurement goals through sourcing is to have an easy-to-follow sourcing policy and process and to keep track of every activity.
eSourcing software has been developed to make this process even easier to follow to get best value by enabling users to create sourcing activities, with clear selection criteria and by inviting suppliers to respond directly within the system. The responses can then be easily evaluated and compared before awarding the business.
Using an eSourcing system saves precious time by removing the need to re-create the process every time and wasted resource trying to find records of historic events. It delivers consistency to the way that suppliers are engaged with. Crucially it has a transparent ROI (Return-on-Investment) due to the savings that it generates, which are generally between 10 to 20%, depending on what the goods or service are, the industry and country.
As with all software solutions there are different ones available and each will have its own merits depending on the exact requirements. One eSourcing solution that has been designed specifically for SMEs is oboloo. It’s an intuitive and simple solution that also incorporates contract, supplier and savings management to enable companies to be supplier smart. To learn more please visit www.oboloo.com