What to look for in an eProcurement platform
So, you’ve finally had enough of the piles of paperwork and lengthy time spent on manual procurement cycles. The thought of transitioning your employees and processes to an eProcurement platform may seem complicated, but ultimately, it’s an upgrade that’s well worth it, not only for the time and cost savings you’ll gain, but also for the convenience and efficiency it will bring to your team.
When looking for a digital procurement solution that brings your procurement cycle online, there’s a lot to consider beyond just securing a fair price for your company.
Here’s how to get started on choosing the right eProcurement platform for your needs.
1. Is it just an online portal?
Some solutions bill themselves as an eProcurement platform, but only handle the intaking of bids through an online portal. But receiving bids is only one part of your purchasing process. If you’re going to take your procurement online, it’s worth taking the leap and digitizing your entire process with an end-to-end solution. A proper platform like bid&tenders can intake, check for compliance, allow for evaluations online and award contracts – all through one portal.
2. Does it have suppliers?
A lot of systems look great at first glance, but if they don’t have many suppliers on board and looking for procurements, chances are you won’t see an increase in viable bids. An established eProcurement platform has thousands of suppliers active in the system so you can generate new transactions from the moment you get started. And of course, a higher number of bids on your procurements creates healthy competition that drives better pricing for you.
3. Does it allow addenda?
With traditional procurements you can’t make changes to the terms, or even add new documents to them once they’re out the door. But when you switch to a full-service digital procurement system, you can update requirements and make addenda on the fly. This subtle benefit is one of the most significant ways digital procurement has disrupted the industry. Purchase requirements inevitably change, and the last thing your company needs is to miss out on bids because a procurement had to be completely reissued. The ability to make updates to an existing request is a big time saver, so make sure your eProcurement platform can do this.
4. Does it release new features?
While the procurement field doesn’t change a lot, technology is constantly improving the purchasing process. So, it’s best that whatever digital procurement solution you choose is committed to adding new features and functionalities to its platform. It’s also important that customer feedback is considered, so the updates you’re receiving are for features you actually want. High-quality procurement systems often run client focus groups, and actively encourage users to submit enhancement ideas to improve the service. This is the best way to ensure you're always using the product that works best for you.
5. Does it offer support?
Launching new software into your company can be scary. But with the right level of service, the process should be quick and painless. Any eProcurement company that cares about the success of its customers will support you from the start. Look for those that will help you customize tools, create templates, facilitate your change management process and help onboard your suppliers. And even after the platform is operational in your department, 24/7 access to a dedicated customer service team for both you and your suppliers should be offered.
Look no further
Choose one that does all of the above and more. Digital procurement platform bids&tenders covers your entire procurement life cycle from setting up your opportunity, to receiving and evaluating submissions, managing contracts, and supplier performance. We also offer unlimited support to you and your suppliers for technical solutions, so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Schedule a demo of our platform to see how we can help you optimize your purchasing process.
Checklist: eProcurement Platform Requirements
The five questions above are only the basics! We've developed a comprehensive checklist of eProcurement platform requirements to help you research different options available, based on common legislative and organizational requirements. Download the checklist now.