Ineffectual procurement strategy can lead to elevated risk, dark purchasing, supplier issues, data inaccuracies and a drawn out purchasing or procurement cycle.  As we enter the procurement month of March, organisations can find new ways to innovate the fulfillment of purchasing goals.  So stop wasting time, squandering opportunities and mismanaging resources with a disjointed and inefficient procurement process.   March into procurement month with your eyes open for these, the best procurement software features for your processes.

Look for procurement workflow and request wizard

The procurement workflow begins with requests.  The eProcurement software system you choose should provide you with a diverse expanse of request options. 

With leading procurement management software, requestors can fill out a standard requisition form to trigger a configured form review process that helps determine whether or not a request should involve a bid process, whether an existing contract can be used instead, or whether a new purchase order is needed.  Trusted procure to pay software also proffers the assistance of an intelligent request wizard.  This innovative tool for procurement automation helps users quickly answer a set of dynamic questions that can determine the RFx type initiated based upon organisational guidelines and rules.  It can also be decided whether an existing contract can be leveraged.

From there, a request record can be drafted.  Request records can be edited, revised and reviewed throughout the contract workflow process.  After that, the assigned user for budget review can receive an alert to perform the budget review, based on a pre-configured alert setting.  Next, additional bid requirements are collected.  Finally, a bid is formalised and put into place.

Seek a solution with intelligent requests and online bid adverts

Leading procurement management software can help organisations generate rapid, formal, full and accurate request documents and materials.  With the ability to intelligently merge request record data fields with pre-approved clauses and templates from an organisation’s library, procurement managers and procurement teams can oversee templates and versions for rapid document generation and convenient document exportation into standard file formats.

Once a request proposal document is formalised, bids can be announced.  They can be publicly advertised or made available by invite-only – directly from an organisation’s integrated procurement and contract management software platform.  Seamless integration between contract management software and a bid listing service sets the stage for healthy competition between prospective vendors.  Consequently, buying organisations can attain more value from contract awards, and relevant vendors are easily and quickly connected to relevant buying organisations.

The capability to automate clause management with the aid of an organisation’s pre-approved clause library and an intuitive bid advertisement process can expedite record creation and vendor selection processes, so be on the lookout for these helpful features…

Keep your eyes peeled for a user-friendly Q&A for prospective vendors

After an organisation drafts a request and advertises a bid, vendors can ask pertinent questions. 

As you search for the greatest solution for your needs this procurement month, be on the lookout for valuable question and answer tools that can help buying organisations and vendor prospects remain in sync.

Question and answer due dates can be configured so that potential vendors are only allowed to submit questions in the allotted time that fits the needs of the advertising, buying organisation.  After the submission deadline has passed, the system can be set to automatically stop accepting vendor submissions.

Additionally, procurement management software users can be set to receive notifications when questions are posted, as well as warnings when due dates are drawing near.  Organsations are also afforded options for how they respond to vendors.  Buying organisations can address questions one at a time or provide a spreadsheet of answers made publicly available to the potential vendors.

Watch for simple vendor rating and scoring

Vendor scorecards and response ratings can keep organisations reassured that they choose the vendor best aligned with their specific needs.  Bid rating weight control allows organisations to consider certain criteria over others when scoring bids and reviewing vendor responses.  Easy-to-digest bid tabulation reports can be used to integrate scoring and pricing line items for a quick overview of bids.  Make sure to select a procurement software solution that streamlines vendor rating and scoring.

Reap the benefits of easy vendor awards

This March, be on the lookout for a procurement software system that provides line item auctioning functionality.

This helpful tool helps organisations enlist specific bids for specific items.  This can be very useful for bid management processes that allow organisations to award multiple vendors for different aspects of a bid.

You can emphasise specific items of a bid, provide an area for vendors to choose items and deliver their expected price, and have the bid specifications sent back to their system for respondent comparison.

After buying organizations have completed the steps mentioned above, they are ready to award the best vendor!

Once the winning vendor is awarded, an email can be sent to the selected vendor straight from the system’s sourcing record page.  Pre-approved email templates can hasten the process even more.  Furthermore, buying organizations can provide emails to vendors that were not selected.  The email can let unawarded vendors know that a different vendor has been selected while thanking them for their contributions and interest.

Look out for seamless, quick vendor contract creation

If you are searching for a leading procurement management software solution, seamless vendor contract creation is ideal for centralising processes.  How does it work?

Well, after the award phase detailed above is complete, organisations can easily commence the contract lifecycle process.  A new contract record can be created within leading-edge contract management software, or a procurement record can be synced with an existing contract record.  In either case, a CLM procedure can be started easily via the sourcing record page that has been used throughout this process.

For even more robust contract record generation, contract management AI can assist organizations in importing contracts into their contract management software system.  User-friendly data extraction tools intelligently map and categorise crucial contract data.  The import of key dates, contract data, and contract clauses is significantly streamline – grating organisations oversight and visibility to search, report, compare, and categorise contracts, risk, and risk exposure.

After a contract is linked or created, organisations can follow to their standard contract lifecycle management steps.

You need a one-top solution for better procurement

The centralised and unified functionality mentioned above can help organisations overcome a wide variety of procurement challenges, including:

  • vendor administration processes, task management, vendor performance analysis, contract writing, and contract negotiation
  • spend analysis, including budget amounts, contract amounts, vendor invoicing processes, fiscal year spend management and tracking, payment processing, and purchasing control
  • structuring intelligent contract workflow automation, vendor and supplier relationship management, and full procurement analytics
  • meeting (and ideally exceeding) KPIs for vendor value and supplier obligation fulfillment, contract benefit and opportunity realisation, contract workflow escalation and data-driven contract management.

Experience comprehensive procurement management

Now that you know which features you should look for during procurement month to tackle procurement automation from start to finish, it’s time to enlist the aid of a comprehensive source-to-contract management software suite.  The solution you need is Contract Insight from Four.

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.