Ineffectual procurement strategy can lead to elevated risk, dark purchasing, supplier issues, data inaccuracies, and a drawn-out purchasing cycle or procurement cycle.  To avoid wasting time, squandering opportunities, and mismanaging resources with a disjointed and inefficient procurement process, these are the best procurement features you should be looking out for.  

Procurement workflow and request wizard

The procurement workflow begins with requests for goods and services.  The eProcurement software system you choose should provide a diverse expanse of request options. With leading procurement management software, users 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 that will be initiated based upon organisational guidelines and rules.  It can also help you decide 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 intelligent requests and online bid advertisement

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 your library, procurement professionals 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 your 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 that decided date has passed, the system can be set to 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.  Organisations 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 that is 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

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 you’ve completed the steps mentioned above, you’ll be in good shape to select the right vendor.

Once the winning vendor is selected, you can advise them via a direct email from the system’s sourcing record page.  Pre-approved email templates can speed things up even further.  You can also send emails to advise unsuccessful vendors.

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.

You need a one-stop solution for better procurement

The centralised and unified functionality mentioned above can help organisations to 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 fulfilment, contract benefit and opportunity realization, contract workflow escalation, and data-driven contract management.

Experience comprehensive procurement management

Now that you know some great procurement month ideas and features, it’s time to enlist the aid of a comprehensive source-to-contract management software suite.

Four’s Contract Insight is a secure, acclaimed  procurement software used by organisations in a variety of  industries within public procurement spaces and private sectors.

To find out more, contact John O’Brien, CEO at Four Business Solutions – global business consultants and software integrators specialising in business process improvement.