How to choose the right purchasing management software for your company

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Choosing the right purchasing management software can be like fighting in the trenches. With so many products on offer and so little concrete information, it’s easy to get lost in the flood of information available online. It’s important tocarry out an in-depth, detailed analysis of the various options available to find the one that best meets your needs. You’ll need to consider a number of factors, including the software’s features and its price, to find the best possible product.

To begin with, it’s important that you clearly define what you need from a purchasing management solution. Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, it will be easier to identify a software package that perfectly matches it. Next, compare the features offered by each solution and determine which are essential for your business or professional activity. Lastly, consider the cost and choose the one that offers the best deal for your budget!

In this article, we’ll take a look at the steps you need to take to define your requirements, as well as the main features to consider when choosing purchasing management software.

How to define my company’s purchasing process?

Bring together the stakeholders

Organisations adopt purchasing software to drive savings, process efficiency, compliance and the effective use of contracts. The internal purchasing process impacts many different types of end-user in different industries and locations, and involves many different types of spend (direct & indirect purchases). Each department within the same company may have its own way of operating, which can complicate the task. That’s why it’s imperative that each of the departments affected is included in the process to ensure you select the right solution for your needs.

To get the best idea of your needs, you need to determine :

  • The departments affected (IT, procurement, accounting, etc.)
  • The end users (internal customers, approvers, finance department, legal department, etc.)
  • The final validator: without their approval, the project will never be implemented.

Each party must be defined and invited to present their use cases and requirements. Purchasing management is first and foremost a team effort requiring real-time collaboration.

Frame your purchasing process internally

Each department should detail the internal procedure to be followed, to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

In the vast majority of cases, your internal purchasing process might look something like this:

1) An internal specifier creates a purchase request and sends it to their manager for approval.

2) The manager retrieves the requirement and checks whether it is necessary, and whether the budget is available. It may be that it is not this same manager who monitors the management of the department’s budgets, but a dedicated person in the finance department.

3) If the requirement is validated by the department, the purchase request is forwarded to the relevant Purchasing department.

4) The purchasing manager receives the request and forwards it to a buyer according to their workload.

5) The buyer has 2 choices:

– There is a supplier listed on the supplier panel who meets the requirement. There may already be a contract in place to obtain a pre-negotiated price. An order can be placed directly.

– If this is not the case, the buyer creates a call for tenders in collaboration with the internal specifier, in order to define clear and concise specifications, which will then be sent to the suppliers consulted. These suppliers can be sought directly on the internet, or via sourcing tools available on the market.

Inviting tenders is still the most effective way of finding the best supplier (in terms of quality, cost and deadlines).

6) After this consultation phase, the most suitable offer is selected and can be converted into an order once it has been approved by the specifying department.

7) The department in charge of receiving & stock management may be involved in the procedure, in order to check that the order received corresponds to the order placed.

8) The accounts department comes into play to move on to the financial part. The invoice sent by the supplier must be checked and reconciled with the purchase order issued. The financial departments are the guardians of efficient commitment management. All supplier invoices must be checked by the finance department before they are sent for payment. This ensures that supplier accounts are kept up to date.

In this example of a purchasing process, 5 people are involved. The more people involved in the process, the more effective risk management needs to be. It depends on each company, but each of the procedures needs to be defined upstream of the search for the right software. If this is not done, the time taken to select a solution can be considerably extended.

How do you choose the right purchasing management software?

Gather information on each person’s requirements in order to define the necessary modules

Once the procedures have been defined, the next step is to define the modules that will be useful to everyone. Every company is different, but the modules generally required are as follows:

Purchase request management: used to send a requirement to an approver or to the purchasing department in order to start the procedure.

Consultation management: Once the purchase request has been validated and sent to the purchasing department, you can put several suppliers out to tender to find the one that’s right for you.

Order management: This classic module lets you place an order directly with your supplier. This order can be a validated purchase request, or a supplier’s offer submitted during a consultation.

Invoice management: The next logical step after placing an order. The best way to do this is with software that automatically reconciles the invoice received with the purchase order issued.

Budget management: Some software packages allow you to monitor your budgets automatically and in real time. This avoids having to reprocess different Excel documents.

Supplier management: This module is also a classic. It allows you to centralise all your suppliers in one place, so that each stakeholder has access to them. It is also very effective for monitoring and managing risks.

Product catalogue management: This module enables you to monitor your company’s consumption, as well as making available the various products and services available from your suppliers.

Contract management: This module is not necessarily available from all suppliers of purchasing management software. However, it is a very effective way of tracking consumption and, above all, finding out which products and services your purchasing department has worked hard to negotiate.

Once you’ve defined your modules, all that’s left to do is find your purchasing management solution!

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What are the criteria for choosing purchasing management software?

Research the different solutions that may be right for you

These days, the Internet remains the main solution when looking for software. However, a number of criteria need to be taken into account before embarking on this jungle of data.

There are a large number of seemingly similar purchasing solutions on the market. Each one offers more or less the same modules. However, the differentiating factors are as follows:

Ergonomic and intuitive interface: In 2023, it is vital to choose a tool that is simple to use and easy to understand. If this is not the case, internal users risk abandoning the tool because it is too complex.

Customer service: The sinews of war remain the proper use of the tool. Customer service must beclose to you. Nothing is more irritating than a company that is not there to assist you when you need help.

Prices: An important criterion for many companies, but be careful not to degrade the quality of the software in favour of a lower price. It’s better to spend more on software that’s effective and in use, rather than spend less on software that doesn’t do the job, and that you won’t be able to get your hands on.

Data localisation and hosting: Data management is becoming a real challenge. Choose a French company, with data hosting also located in France.

These 4 criteria are the most common. There are others, which may be different depending on the company and the specific need.

It is also advisable to check whether or not there is an integration system between the applications already in use within the company and the new software chosen, in order to optimise its use and implementation. New features and regular updates should also be taken into account, to ensure that the software remains up-to-date and effective over the long term. Once these criteria have been analysed, the right software can be chosen to meet the company’s specific needs.

The benefits of purchasing management software

Purchasing management software enables companies to improve their purchasing processes. It offers a variety of functions to facilitate purchasing management and improve efficiency. There are many benefits that such software can bring to a company, including:

Better visibility and control over spending because everything is centralised to monitor budgets, track invoices and perform in-depth analysis in real time;

– Greater accuracy when entering data, thanks to theuse of a single database;

– The ability toautomate certain processes to improve efficiency;

Better collaboration between the various parties involved (buyers, approvers, suppliers, etc.) thanks to transparent communication.

A smooth purchasing process thanks to workflow and alert systems

How can purchasing software improve my company’s performance?

Using purchasing management software is essential for improving the performance and operation of your business. You can obtain information on suppliers and their offers, compare prices and find the best deal in terms of quality and price. What’s more, you can track your purchasing history and record all the important purchasing data.

It also enables your company tooptimise its purchasing processes by setting up automated rules to facilitate decision-making. You can easily define budget limits by category or product so that everyone can stay within the limit without having to carry out a complex manual analysis. What’s more, this software can be used to effectively plan your purchases so that your business can benefit from the best possible value for money.

Finally, you will also be able to monitor the supply and consumption of products purchased by your company to ensure prompt delivery to end customers without compromising the quality of the product or service sold. In addition, it is possible to create reports that can be used to analyse current market trends or determine which products are particularly in demand by your end customers, enabling better overall management of available stocks.

Which is the best purchasing management software for my company?

The best purchasing management software for your business will depend on the size and specific needs of your organisation. If you’re a small business, you may be better off with a simple, low-cost system that meets your most immediate needs. Larger companies may need a more robust system, capable of integrating different types of data and automating certain tasks. There is a wide range of software available on the market, depending on the type of entity you run: SME, ETI or large company.

To find the purchasing management software best suited to your business, it’s important that you take the time to compare the different products so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. Your choice should take account not only of the price offered by each supplier, but also of the features they provide and their ability to adapt their offering to the specific requirements of your business sector.

Optimise your purchases with Weproc!

Optimise your purchasing by using our simple and intuitive purchasing management solution. Plan, place orders and track your purchases easily, from anywhere.

Visualise the requirement, control the expenditure, receive the order and reconcile the invoice.

All your purchasing data is centralised and accessible to everyone, from anywhere.


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

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