Antiquated procurement processes can prove cumbersome and reduce the value of procurement.  In addition to being ineffectual, manual management of suppliers, bids, contracts and purchase orders may prove challenging.  It’s time to change the perception of procurement from a tedious function to a beneficial process that – once reimagined – adds value.  Here’s how to leverage eProcurement software for a winning procurement process.

Manage requests and procurement workflow automation

Innovative contract management software equips organisations with a diverse array of options for streamlining requests.  You no longer need to laboriously acquire request data and draft request documents manually.

You can configure a standard request form that triggers a review process to determine if you need a full bid process or can apply an existing contract within an organisation’s contract repository, thus reducing the headache of wasted time.  Credible source-to-contract management software also offers an intelligent request wizard.  Using this convenient tool enables software users to quickly answer a series of dynamic questions that help to determine a) the type of bid documents required and b) if it might be possible to leverage an existing contract – again, significantly expediting the request process.

Once a request record is created, it can be edited or reviewed as necessary throughout the completion of workflow tasks.  From there, the budget record can be reviewed once the user assigned to budget review is alerted, additional bid requirements can be gathered,and organisations are prepared to formalise bids.  Thus, requests and procurement workflow helps to keep employees engaged, reduces time wasted and centralises request data.

Simplify request authorship and online bid Advertisement

Organisations don’t have to waste time painstakingly gathering request data for the creation of request documents and the posting of a bid.  A scalable and user-friendly procurement management software platform can help with the production of formal, timely, comprehensive and accurate request documents.

With the capability to merge request record data with pre-approved clauses from an organisation’s clause library, procurement professionals can manage virtually unlimited versions and templates for the fast creation of documents and expedient exportation into standard file formats.

After a request document has been formalised, organisations can configure whether bids are advertised publicly or as invite-only – straight from their procurement software solution.

Organisations can avoid a static request authorship process with dynamic request document data merging with a pre-approved library.  Furthermore, future-minded online bid advertisement keeps the vendor selection process exciting, streamlined, and consolidated.

Innovate communication with suppliers

Leading eProcurement software offers helpful q&A functionality so that organisations can remain on the same page with prospective suppliers.

You can assign due dates for questions and answers, so that prospective suppliers can only present questions within a time frame that best suits your own bid schedule.  When that due date has passed, your system ceases to accept responses.

The process is further enhanced by the the fact that eProcurement software users can receive system notifications when a question is submitted by a vendor, as well as when due dates for questions and answers loom.  The innovation continues with features that allow organisations to choose how they answer bidders.  They can answer questions one-by-one or via a spreadsheet that can be made public for vendor prospects.

Easily rate and score vendors

Manually taking notes on supplier prospects is a tedious process that should be left in the past. Supplier response ratings and scorecards provided by advanced eProcurement software solutions can help organisations feel confident that they select the supplier most aligned to their needs.  With bid rating weight control, organisations can configure the weight of specific supplier criteria over others when scoring bids.  User-friendly bid tabulation reports can be utilised to include scoring and pricing line items for a rapid and easy-to-understand overview of bids.

Improve supplier awards

Cutting-edge procurement software can transform the way you award suppliers.  Advanced line item auctioning functionality helps organisations recruit suppliers for individual items.  This feature is helpful for bid processes that permit organisations to award several suppliers different aspects of a single bid.

Organisations can parse out bids.  This means that they can highlight specific items, offer an area for suppliers to select items and provide expected unit prices, and have input details into their procurement system for supplier response comparison.

When the process is complete, organisations are finally ready to award a supplier.  An email can be sent to the chosen supplier straight from the sourcing record page within the system.  A pre-approved email template can expedite the award notification process.  Emails can also be delivered to the remaining suppliers thanking them for their participation and telling them about the award.

So instead of sending disparate emails separately and manually tracking line items, this process helps streamline supplier awards, participant notification and line item auctioning.

Create supplier contracts fast

Rather than needing to regroup after a supplier is awarded, gather details and manually draft a contract, organisations can embrace procurement innovation.

Once a supplier has been selected, organisations can quickly and seamlessly commence the contract lifecycle.  A new supplier contract record can be created within the system or the sourcing record page can be linked to an existing contract – straight from the existing eSourcing record page.

Contract management AI built into eProcurement and contract management software solutions allows organisations to import contracts into the system for the creation of a new contract record.  Users no longer need to manually and cumbersomely enter data fields.  Instead they have access to intelligent data extraction tools that categorise and map data.

As such, the importation of contract clauses, data and key dates is hastened and optimised – giving organisations the visibility to classify, search, report, and compare contracts, risk and risk exposure.

Once the contract record and sourcing record are linked, organisations can then follow their standard contract lifecycle management process.

It’s time to embrace procurement innovation

If you’re looking for a centralised and cost-effective procurement strategy, Contract Insight is a forward-thinking purchasing and contract management software platform.  Four’s acclaimed eProcurement, eSourcing, and contract management software suite can be used to solve common procurement challenges, such as:

  • daily task management involving supplier performance management, negotiation and supplier administration
  • spend analysis involving contract amounts, budgets, supplier invoicing, payment processing, fiscal year spend tracking and purchase control
  • expediting intelligent workflow automation, supplier relationship management and general procurement analysis
  • supplier value improvement and bligation fulfilment, contract benefits realisation, timely and data-driven contract management decisions and appropriate contract workflow escalation for matters such as disagreements or disputes.

Contract Insight is CobbleStone’s acclaimed, web-based contract management, purchase requisition, procurement, and sourcing platform that has been hailed as the leading solution for over 25 years by organisations in a variety of industries.

Contract Insight from Four

Contract Insight is a cloud-hosted (SaaS) or deployed (on-premise) contract management solution.  The acclaimed platform is trusted by thousands of professionals for their contract management, legal document management, procurement and sourcing needs.  Used by many Fortune 500 companies, Contract Insight gives you real time visibility into your contracts. It doesn’t just shore up your security; it will help you meet contract compliance regulations, centralise your contract management and improve your overall contract administration process.

For more information, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in FinanceSupply Chain and Operations, across a broad range of industries.