Discover how to efficiently integrate eSourcing with other procurement technologies and systems. Gain insight into how to successfully integrate eSourcing to optimise your procurement strategies in a modern landscape.
ESourcing has been around for nearly 20 years and in that time it’s evolved into the sophisticated, streamlined, and technologically advanced online software we have today. It’s significantly enhanced the supply chain’s efficiency, with the biggest advantages for the procurement processes.
In this blog, we’re going to look at how eSourcing can drive procurement forward and how to integrate it with procurement software systems to save time and costs and ensure supply chains run smoothly.
Transparency is the name of the game
Within all the benefits eSourcing provides, transparency stands out. Traditional, manual sourcing keeps suppliers in the dark about their competition, as well as the status or progress of the selection process. Sorting, evaluating, and creating a shortlist from dozens of proposals is also time-consuming and keeps key staff from their core activities.
ESourcing opens up the process, for buyers and suppliers. This has two major benefits:
1) The suppliers can see that every bid is evaluated in the same way. The process is fair; everyone gets the same treatment.
2) It builds trust. Because all suppliers and proposals are treated equally, they learn to trust the system.
ESourcing tools can also automate most of the time-consuming tasks. This improves accuracy and frees up time so that employees – and processes – work more efficiently.
What makes eSourcing so special?
ESourcing software creates a hub or platform from which features and functions extend.
Instead of having multiple clusters that manage different aspects of sourcing and procurement, there is a single point of contact that enables transparency, flexibility, efficiency, and communication, and supports management, evaluation, reporting, and all other processes in the sourcing and procurement processes.
Benefits of eSourcing
ESourcing has many inherent benefits, including:
Scalability: Software has the flexibility and capacity to multitask, that is, to manage many projects simultaneously. Software can also be scaled up and down, to add new projects and suppliers or remove them when necessary.
Standardisation: Standardised documents, forms, and processes simplify data storage and analysis. All suppliers complete their forms according to the same templates, which levels the playing field and makes it easier to extend into international markets.
Contract management: eSourcing software can cover the entire contract management cycle, from awarding the contract to notifications that contracts are about to end.
Data in real-time: New data is incorporated immediately, so everyone who has access to the system can get up-to-the-minute information. This feature combined with transparency enables buyers to spot potential risks and take steps to avoid them.
Cumulative knowledge: The more information added, the more information available. ESourcing tools use the data available to see patterns and trends in the market as well as supplier performance. They can generate reports and analytics at any time to aid decision-making. Tools can use accumulated information to provide more detailed and comprehensive reports and analytics for review and evaluation.
What can eSourcing do for procurement?
Procurement primarily deals with buying, or in this case, awarding contracts. However, those who work in procurement need to know exactly what it is they’re paying for and trust that the quality of the goods, works, and services is assured.
This is where eSourcing’s benefits come to the fore.
Automated eSourcing technology handles the bulk of procurement-related tasks, including:
Request for Information (RFI) or Pre-Purchase Questionnaire (PPQ), which is like opening an enormous umbrella that covers many suppliers, some of which are new to the supply chain. All of those under the umbrella are asked to provide business-related information.
Request for Proposal (RFP) or Invitation to Tender (ITT), which is when qualifying leads are asked to provide an official proposal. Proposals are based on information provided by the buyer that goes into greater detail about the contract and what precisely is required.
Request for Quotation (RFQ), which is when buyers make their final decision. There are two methods that deliver the best supplier.
1) Plain old negotiation to get the lowest price with the best value for money.
2) EAuctions where suppliers bid on the contract until only one remains.
All-in-all, eSourcing tools enable transparent bidding, negotiation, and quotes and attend to document, proposal, and contract management.
How to Integrate eSourcing with Procurement
Integrating eSourcing with procurement or eProcurement systems requires a specific system: Integration platform as a service (iPaaS). The approach integrates cloud procurement software and eSourcing technology, linking systems, processes, and data on one centralised platform.
ESourcing and procurement integration isn’t simple and typically requires an expert hand. Some eSourcing and procurement software providers ensure the two systems are correctly integrated and fully functioning.
The results of successful integration between the two systems include a bird’s eye view of the entire supply chain. Real-time data can be obtained at any point and used to make insightful – and critical – decisions quickly and proactively. This minimises risk and can facilitate collaboration as teams or departments work together to overcome risks or capitalise on opportunities for growth.
Integration pays off in other, perhaps unexpected, ways. Job satisfaction, for example, because employees are freed from repetitive and time-consuming tasks and can focus on their actual role in eSourcing or procurement.
ESourcing Boosts Procurement Systems
In the beginning, we said we’d look at how eSourcing benefits procurement and how integration impacts the supply chain.
We established that eSourcing software on its own improves procurement and supply chain efficiency and helps with business growth. After integration, efficiency can be further bolstered, due, in part, to happier and more productive employees.
Automation of eSourcing and system-wide transparency appear to be the biggest drivers of efficiency and seamless supply chain management. However, there are other benefits that also play a role, including the standardisation of paperwork that can lead to growth globally.
Delta eSourcing provides eProcurement solutions that overcome the challenges and enhance the benefits of online procurement software. Book a free demo now for more information on our integrated procurement systems.