Every business—from food service to manufacturing—has a procurement department.
Procurement departments work together with several other parts of a business to ensure suppliers are holding up their end of a contract and that your company obtains the supplies (or services) it needs to operate successfully.
Procurement software is useful in many industries and can help businesses with running this essential part of their business. Here are five benefits of using procurement software at your company today.
In P2P (procure to pay) systems, requisition is a critical part of daily procurement operations. Doing them manually takes a great deal of time and opens the department up to mistakes or errors. Automated requisitions are easier to use and are much more consistent.
They’re also quite fast and secure. Procurement management software systems can automate the creation, approval, and execution of purchase orders (PPOs). It also straight streamlines the entire buying process, effectively reducing costs and manual labor associated with the requisitions phase.
Budgeting is a key part of procurement. It helps you understand your cash flow, make better decisions, and plan for the future. Utilizing procurement software to assist with your budgeting efforts helps you keep track of your budgets across every department.
You can also customize your budgets to assess particular areas or identify high-risk areas. With all the data immediately available for assessment, you can use it to make better decisions, assess spending risk, and eventually save money along the way.
Supplier Risk Management
Managing supplier risk plays a significant role in any supply chain manager’s job. Risky suppliers can cause massive problems, especially when they fail to meet expectations. Risk management starts with data collection and tracking.
Your procurement software should be able to collect and store data about your suppliers. Variables include financial stability, delivery performance, and quality. These metrics help you assess risk long-term and provide a data-driven analysis point to help you identify problems. Risk assessment also heavily depends on collaboration and communication among teams.
By utilizing this key functionality of your procurement software, you can mitigate the fallout from existing risks and prevent potential risks from affecting your company’s performance.
Unified Platform For Products and Services
At most companies, buying guides exist to help streamline the purchasing process. Unfortunately, things can get a little out of hand when you deal with multiple companies and multiple guides. That’s why you need a single platform for products and services.
That way, you don’t have to search through multiple systems. It should have an easy-to-use interface to add products and services as well as integrate with existing ones. Moreover, I should allow you to track your spending easily.
A unified platform for products and services makes it easy to find what you need quickly, easily, and efficiently, making it one of the most vital features of any procurement system.
Contract Lifecycle Management
Managing contracts at your business can be a cumbersome affair. In addition to setting up the contract, you also need to track payment terms, delivery schedules, and performance evaluation/metrics. If a dispute occurs—or a supplier isn’t complying with the established parameters of the contract—procurement software can help you take swift corrective action.
The process can be complex, but fortunately, procurement software offers businesses a comprehensive solution for managing contracts in real-time.
The contract lifecycle consists of creating the contract, ensuring it’s airtight by the legal department, and setting it up to establish a relationship with your suppliers. Most contracts are created from templates, so that’s the first step of contract management setting up the template.
Then it’s time to create the contract. Once the contract is created, it must be reviewed for accuracy. Relevant stakeholders need to ensure in terms of the contract work for the upcoming business relationship. Then it is simply a matter of approval and reviewing contract performance.
This final step is where your procurement software will help you the most. You can keep track of terms, deliverables, performance, and more to determine if the contract is still viable or must be terminated. When the contract reaches its expiration date, you also need to decide if it’ll be renewed or let it lapse.
To ensure that all contractual obligations are met on time and within budget, it is important to have an effective system for tracking these activities.
By implementing a strong software solution and automating contract management at your business, you can avoid manual labor-intensive tasks and become much more efficient in handling your contracts—not to mention maintaining more control over your contracts overall.