With the help of modern technology, businesses can automate a huge part of their daily task and benefit from the saved cost and time that technology offers them. Having said this, technologically advanced procurement tools have still not caught on.
From using Internet of Things or Blockchain technology to Big Data, we still see only a fraction of businesses taking use of these technologies instead of using Microsoft office softwares for every purpose. To mention, Microsoft Word, Excel and Access are being used in many businesses, small companies to corporates for many purposes that they may not even be that efficient in. Handling the business workflow and managing Supplier Relationship Management are examples.
In this new decade, we are obligated to use better management systems and tools to simplify processes, save time and cost by replacing the old methods and instead, adapting new technologies.
To dive more into the topic of Procurement, let’s simplify what it means first. Procurement processes consists of collecting supplier details, managing company budget on different projects, and once a decision has been made, putting in purchase orders.
Currently, companies not taking advantage of the most modern technologies, have procurement departments whom are forced to have many tabs open on different platforms in order to make the right decisions. However, new technologies, allows them to use one single platform to manage each part of their duties in one place.
When we talk about these technologies, they don’t have to be department or procurement specific. Many of these technologies can be used company wide for many different departments and processes to simplify many tasks and unnecessary time employees spend which can be minimized using better suited platforms.
Before we mention these tools, it’s important to keep in mind certain aspects that may differ from business to business which will come to play when you decide which tool will be the most beneficial for your company:
-Automation : Procurement automation should include a workflow to 1) handle purchase orders, 2) receive approvals from managers and executives, and 3) simple tracking that avoids the need for data entry.
-Budget Oversight : 1) Real-time oversight including for funds that haven’t yet left your bank account but for which you’re already committed. 2)Team and project budgets you need to be very clear about which teams are spending and why. 3) Comparisons with previous periods it’s always valuable to see when spending either spikes or slows compared with recent months or quarters.
-Approval Tracking : Your procurement tool should include rules about who can spend and on what.
-Team Collaboration Ease : A business should want a tool or platform that will walk them through each purchase, in-line with policy and without overcomplicating things.
– Integrations : Lastly, before you decide to adapt any of the tolls mentioned below, make sure it will be easy to connect to the other vital parts of your finance ecosystem.
Let’s jump into our suggestions for tools your business can benefit from:
1) Ultimate Purchasing Control tool: Pecoro
Precoro calls itself “ground control for purchasing.”
It helps your business create custom purchase orders easily, track manager approvals, and assign each payment to the correct budget as you go.
For the businesses with complex and ongoing procurement needs, this is a very good option.
To offer you flexibility for important information you need, a small but very useful aspect is the ability to create “free forms.” While you can use templates and keep things simple, users can also add extra fields to procurement forms to make sure that all important information is captured.
Pricing: Plans start at $29 USD/month per user.
G2 rating: 4.4 Capterra rating: 5
2) Simple RFQs: Promena e-Sourcing
Promena helps businesses handle sourcing and manage suppliers.
Specifically, those businesses who need to put out RFQs (requests for quotation).
When you put out an RFQ, Promena will handle each bid and keep them all nicely organized. This is a time-consuming (and therefore costly) aspect of many procurement teams’ jobs.
From there, Promena manages the process right through to reporting:
It is at the same time a useful way to manage each purchase easily, and also a powerful tool to look back at recent spending and see where your money has gone.
This empowers your finance and procurement teams to be both high-functioning and forward-focused.
Pricing: Promena e-Sourcing offers custom quotes.
G2 rating: 4.5 Capterra rating: 5
3) E-commerce Procurement: Orderhive
OrderHive is an online inventory management system.
This tool is aimed specifically at e-commerce retailers – companies selling goods online directly to consumers.
It includes a wide range of features including:
Order and inventory management
Purchase tracking (including barcode systems)
Warehouse and returns oversight
Invoicing and payments
Analytics and reporting
Orderhive works with every major e-commerce platform, including eBay, Amazon, Shopify, and Etsy.
Pricing: OrderHive offers a 15-day free trial. Paid plans start at $49.00 USD/month.
G2 rating: 3.6 Capterra rating: 4.5
4) ERP: Oracle Procurement Cloud
For companies at the “full-scale ERP” end of the spectrum, it’s hard to look past Oracle’s procurement tools.
These are actually made up of six capabilities:
Purchasing: Automate procure-to-pay
Self Service Procurement: Manage employee requests for goods and services
Sourcing: Increase savings and reduce negotiation times
Procurement Contracts: Streamline the process and ensure supplier compliance
Supplier portal: Collaborate directly with suppliers
Supplier Qualification Management: Assess supplier risk and see all activities throughout the relationship lifecycle.
Your business should probably go for Oracle Procurement Cloud alongside some of the company’s other ERP technology. This could include its Financials Cloud, Performance monitoring, or Risk Management solutions.
Pricing: The full Procurement Cloud suite is $625 USD per user/month.
G2 rating: 4 Capterra rating: 4
5) Expense Management: Haslle
Haslle gives you visibility and control of all your business expenditure by:
1- Issue virtual and physical cards to your employees, teams, projects and subscriptions
2- Define spending limits for every spending category
3- Fund cards when employees need to spend real-time
4- Approve limit and purchase requests on the go
5- Make smart decisions with recommendations on purchases before approval
6- Provide Full Control to Finance teams
7- Track purchases from order to payment
8- Define custom budgets per team or project
Aside from these features, you can connect Haslle with your accounting software because:
– Haslle seamlessly works with your accounting system and saves you precious time on repetitive tasks. You can now import all expenses categorized and organized with a single click
We hope you have benefited from this article on procurement tools your business needs.
Every business has unique needs. Thankfully, certain modern technologies have allowed tools to be created in order to make your business more efficient, save time and cost.
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