What is the role of e-procurement within companies?


It is now possible for companies to use an e-procurement service that allows them to organise purchasing management for their activities directly on the internet. This digitalisation of the purchasing process is an innovation that is gradually finding its place within corporate purchasing. Once implemented, it offers a number of advantages: automation of administrative management, selection of appropriate suppliers, effective control of expenditure. Purchasing departments that have implemented this type of purchasing solution would like nothing more than to go back to the way things were. Find out more about the role of e-procurement within companies in this article, and open the door to a reorganisation project.

Performing the purchasing function online

The purchasing function coversall actions relating to the acquisition of goods and services required by a company. To manufacture the products it distributes, it needs raw materials. Similarly, to provide the services it offers, the company needs to surround itself with the right stakeholders. The purchasing function is therefore essential. Purchasing requirements vary from one department to another within a company, and purchasing organisations need to adapt accordingly: production purchasing, indirect purchasing, strategic purchasing, etc. Purchasing is a broad field, which is why it needs to be equipped with the right tools.

E-procurement has brought about major changes in this area, in particular the ability to manage purchases online. E-procurement is different from central purchasing bodies, which were the embodiment of optimised purchasing before the arrival of the Internet. When you don’t use a dedicated solution, you have to use alternatives. Likeother means of communication such as the telephone, email, or even visiting suppliers directly. Or delegate purchasing management to external service providers such as central purchasing bodies. In short, this is no longer a practice that reflects the current challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and it involves organisational changes. Online supplier management is a vector of opportunities– seize them!

Facilitate access to supplier offers

One of the main benefits of digitising purchasing is that offers from your potential suppliers are much quicker and easier to access. They are brought together in electronic catalogues that are easy to navigate. The buying experience is becoming significantly different, in line with modern purchasing behaviour. Websites dedicated to corporate purchasing generally classify suppliers by purchasing category or family. This makes it easier to search for and select products in line with a company’s purchasing policy.

You can also directly compare supplier offers, which is one of the most time-consuming tasks without suitable e-procurement software. The essential information about each offer is just a few clicks away. Then it’s up to you to make the right choice of suppliers whose terms and conditions are best suited to what your company needs. It all adds up to time savings that are well worth taking into account.

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Optimising the purchasing function

The purchasing function has only been established as a norm in the business world in recent years. As a result, certain aspects of the purchasing process need to be optimised. Purchasing strategy is enhanced by the use of an e-procurement service, as it facilitates interactions with suppliers and reduces the risk of input errors. E-procurement allows you to quickly determine whether the services on offer match what you are looking for for your business. Internal customers are more independent and collaboration is more effective.

Using e-procurement also makes the purchasing process more straightforward:

  • Interactions that normally take several days are automated and instantly communicated
  • You can validate your purchases yourself to save time if the conditions are right
  • An invoice is sent directly to you and automatically reconciled with the order

These actions are specifically those that take the longest to complete. Errors can sometimes creep in, because the people responsible for validation are not infallible. It’s easier to trust a computer programme to ensure that the information is reliable. That way you don’t have to worry about your orders being carried out correctly, or about an unexpected error creeping in.

Helping to optimise costs

A good purchasing function is able to optimise costs to prevent everything from becoming too expensive. Including e-procurement in your purchasing procedure is one way of ensuring that this is the case. Among other things, it greatly simplifies the steps involved, which can sometimes take weeks to complete.

Here, with just a few clicks, you can take actions that would have taken several days, but which would also have cost a lot more. As the human factor is less involved in making purchases, economies of scale are possible. In fact, it costs less toautomate the administrative management of a procedure than to spread it across a multi-skilled workforce. The cost of placing orders is the indicator to measure here, as it benefits directly from an e-procurement type tool.

There is no longer any doubt that both the purchasing department and the company’s general management benefit from the implementation of e-procurement in a company. There are many benefits to be had. Weproc is an innovative purchasing management solution designed for SMEs. Ask for a demonstration and project yourself into a reorganisation project that will benefit your company.


Want to learn more about our procurement management software Weproc? Contact us or request your free 15-minutes demo below!

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