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Overcoming Roadblocks to Implementing Your eProcurement System

In the world of B2B procurement; eProcurement Systems are steadily rising to become the most popular of the available procurement systems. Simply installing an eProcurement System is not enough. There can be a number of roadblocks and hindrances that may need to be overcome. Overcoming the possible barriers might be very easy, especially when your system is accompanied with knowledgeable professionals who are available during and after the transition to eProcurement.

The eProcurement System should have within its structure the ability to “think” and “act” along the line of your corporate procurement policies. In other words it should have an intuitive interface. Such an interface allows users of the system a shortened learning curve since it will follow a progression that is somewhat familiar to them as they get started.

A system may not be able to access every SKU from every vendor a company uses. This roadblock is preventable by selecting the right system in the first place. The system should be able to access and run every SKU from every vendor, inform and update the order status and even provide all of the information and analysis of the procurement history. It should also feature an efficient and single check-out process.

Tracking the frequently bought items or services for accurate turnover and “low level” or “time to buy” alerts will make things easier helping protect companies from “out of stock’ positions especially for those companies who keep inventory levels at a minimum or have adopted a “just in time” policy.

Another hindrance could be a system that cannot provide comparisons of the prices and other features from a variety of vendors or resources. Talk with your eProcurement provider about this and determine if such a module is either part of your system or it can be adaptable.

An intuitive and unified interface may not enough to solve every possible problem. This is when a professional staff at your eProcurement provider who are willing to hear and act on your behalf is critical. Solutions could be discovered if the eProcurement system provides an effective search engine that delivers accurate and relevant content in compliance with all corporate procurement policies.

All of the possible solutions should also be categorized and the services and goods must be organized in a precise way. Reliable data analysis should also be accessible in order to gather all of the important information on how to solve a certain problem.

Solving any roadblocks can lead you to many benefits not the least of which is saving time and resources and a more efficient workflow.

Because of rapidly evolving technology eProcurement systems are becoming smartphone-enabled. Roadblocks or hindrances to implementing an eProcurement systems can be overcome. Solutions provided by professionals are flexible and can be adapted for use in any type of business.

February 28, 2013
BY Bellwether
Roadblock 5: Vendors Fail to Jump Aboard

You can look at any business anywhere in the world and find systems. Some are more basic, some are paper-based, and some utilize modern technology. One such business system that is based on technology in the workplace is an eProcurement system. This particular system can be server based inside a physical location or it could be cloud-based so any device with internet access can work within the system from anywhere. An eProcurement system can be used in all aspects of business – business to consumer, business to business or even business to government, sale of services, work and other supplies. However, despite all the wonderful benefits of using an eProcurement system there are still many roadblocks that can make it less than successful.

One roadblock that can prevent the successful use of en eProcurement system is when the vendors that a company does business with fails to jump aboard and work within the new system. Many companies barely get out of the starting gate after hitting this roadblock. They spend considerable time planning, preparing, and training and then they are ready to start using the system only to find uncooperative vendors. Some vendors failure to see that interfacing with an eProcurement systems adds value to their clients and whatever modifications or adjustments they need to make are merely a normal cost of doing business. Vendors must decide about integrating with these other systems and see if the upfront and ongoing costs necessary to administrate are worth the investment. If they decide against it, they must also factor in the cost of lost business not only from this particular company, but if they use a well-respected procurement system, they also risk losing business in the future from multiple businesses due to lack of integration in this one system. However, if they decide to move forward with integration, the vendor must work to ensure the security of their own systems when tying into other outside systems.

One challenge all vendors face are ensuring that the online catalogs that interface with other systems are accurate. Depending on the programming involved it may be very easy or very difficult to update the catalog. If updates require a lot of expense or time vendors may let it slide by simply putting it off or by making a deliberate decision to ignore. However, once a business has decided to integrate and maintain accurate catalogs that will involve an important commitment of resources. Making this commitment may require hiring experts with the necessary technical writing and coding skills.

In conclusion, even the best eProcurement systems can be rendered partially ineffective without the participation as well as the integration of the vendors. Partnering with vendors able to and willing to fully integrate into the purchasing system will serve your business well in the long run. If you choose to go with vendors that have limited integration you are already at a distinct disadvantage such as lost productivity, wasted time, and eliminating the value of more analytical capability.

February 26, 2013
BY Bellwether
Roadblock 4: Your eProcurement System is Not Integrated into the Organization

In every business system, you can have a lot of roadblocks that will be a hindrance for you to reach success. However, in every possible roadblock, you can use different procedures in order to solve and fix it. Let’s look at the eProcurement System a business or organization chooses to use. There are a number of roadblocks that prevent an eProcurement system from working to its full potential and a number of possible solutions. One of the most common roadblocks facing any company with an eProcurement system is that it is not integrated into that organization fully and completely.

The business world today is changing at an even more rapid pace. Due to this fact, eProcurement systems should be able to adapt and change at that same rate of change or be left behind. When procurement processes and policies change the system has to keep up. Even employees who primarily operate within a different software system based on their department would do well to ensure the eProcurement system is kept up to date as it will in turn help remove hindrances to their own systems. Procurement processes such as oversight, analysis and shopping should be readily available to adapt and adjust. In the event that the eProcurement system is not flexible enough employees will determine that it is simply too much of an inconvenience to the rest of the business operation. When that happens the end result is poor adoption rates. However, even those businesses that seem to everything in order and the most flexible system possible to adapt to quick changes may run into problems if all that flexibility means high cost maintenance. It may even degrade the agility of business if they require IT personnel to come into the picture to implement that flexibility with changes in contracts, shipping terms or payment.

Proper eProcurement deployment is essential to have full integration in the organization. Demonstrating confidence within the system is also very important especially if backed by upper management. If upper management sets the tone from the very beginning that will trickle down through all levels. As the system is deployed the vendor should provide in depth, thorough training. Vendors must also provide training going forward and not simply stop after deployment. That training must be amendable and adaptable as the business changes and evolves.

Although improper integration of eProcurement systems into organizations is a commons and significant roadblock, it is very possible for you to get through this problem. 

February 21, 2013
BY Bellwether
Roadblock 3: Your eProcurement System Fails to Provide an Efficient Workflow

There are many different ways to conduct purchases in the business world today. One of the most effective types of conducting this business is through the use of an eProcurement system. eProcurement systems utilize electronic procurement for many common transactions between buyers and sellers. This particular type of business transaction utilizes the internet and other networking services. The purchase and sale of the services, supplies and work can be easily incorporated into an eProcurement system. Some of the procedures of the aforementioned supplier exchange are the business to consumer, business to government and the business to business. However, it is also possible for your eProcurement system to fail and be unable to provide a workflow that is both effective and efficient.

When a system is limited by the technology that it can interface with workflow is impeded. For example, a procurement system limited by using paper is highly restricted as to how the workflow takes place. Having technology in place to move procurement to an electronic format does not automatically mean optimum workflow. Some systems may be device-dependent; meaning the only way to access and interact is via desktop or laptop computers. Highly mobile executives who interact in all other areas of their business through the use of a mobile device may not be able to interface with the system. They will only have the opportunity to do their job once they are located in a fixed location with access to a desktop or laptop and internet access.

Workflow can fail if the system used fails to work. eProcurement systems are gaining wide acceptance in businesses of all sizes as more and more convert from older paper-based systems. Workflow should be automated as fully as possible in order to avoid rise to their full potential. In order for you to avoid failure in this area it is very important to ensure the capability to model all of the corporate policies of procurement and automate workflow. It is also very possible for you to manage all of the important details in different activities such as invoice approvals, purchase orders, invoices and even requisitions. Policy details may potentially include approval and spending hierarchies. Purchases may even include things most business never consider such dangerous and hazardous materials. Every business requires purchasing in some capacity; we’ve all heard the term “you have to spend money to make money.” Well every purchase can involve workflows that are tied to automated system to increase efficiency.

Ineffective eProcurement systems will not be able to do the procedure of tracking quantities that are specific for a particular material. This will depend on the time and location of the material and where your business is located. Having the business involved pay a premium to track and to monitor the materials manually would be the best-case scenario. On the flip-side of this situation, in the worst-case scenario there is a possibility that failing to monitor and to track such materials can be a threat to the public security and safety. In this event, the particular business has the potential to violate certain regulations and laws putting the entire business at risk of being shut down all due to an ineffective procurement system.

It is essential to have agility in all aspects of the business including the procurement system in order have effective and efficient workflow.

February 19, 2013
BY Bellwether
Roadblock 2: eProcurement Solution Fails to Funnel Prioritized Content

An eProcurement system is an electronic system that helps improve the transactions in the company, manage assets, decision making and optimized-production operations.  eProcurement advantages become more evident as it provides wide understanding for its numerous uses. One of the main reasons why most of the companies take advantage of eProcurement is to provide visibility and increase the productivity in their everyday transactions. This will make it easier for the customers to purchase the product or supplies they need.

The implementation of eProcurement system is not always easy because of the human component. It often takes more time forprocurement departments and business managers to totally accept the system. Despite of the numerous advantages promised by eProcurement systems, based on the research done by the Forrester, they found out that the resistance from suppliers and staff is usually the major obstacle to realize the full advantage of it. The suppliers and staff are considered to push back everything related to the process that enables the improvement of the company’s competitiveness. Sometimes the failure to full accept the solution is due to shortcomings in the software itself. What makes the procurement process inconvenient is the solution which is inadequate to do certain tasks and another is the solutions that unfortunately cannot easily adapt to the suppliers or buyers procurement universe.

In the eProcurement system it’s very important to consider the unwanted consequences. Some are saying that the system failed them. Purchasing is not as simple as placing an order for office supplies, books, clothing or any other stuff. Some industries have distinct and different purchasing requirements that make up numerous categories requiring purchasing managers to buy some items from multiple suppliers. Their purchases include complex services and items that may be preconfigured in a specific and unique fashion that meets their own specifications. Most companies have a preferred supplier of services and materials. It’s only natural to find a supplier you like, get to know and trust. A truly great eProcurement system must be able to acknowledge and recognize these preferences. The system will be able to perform by prioritizing the content according to the categories and preferred vendors that are relevant to the business. For some, they favor locally produced resources while others pay look at environmental impact and commitment to green initiatives.  

If the system cannot perform or prioritize contents according to the corporate aims, buyers will be left with two bad choices. Do they go outside of the system in order to make purchases that meet their goals or do they stay within the system and make purchases that fail to meet all the specifications the company has set forth. Neither is a good choice. That’s why it is so important for the eProcurement system to perform well, filter content and meet all the goals set by the company. This will surely make the customers stay within the system and find their preferred goods. Even if the eProcurement system can guarantee to direct the user to the specific goods and suppliers, still, it may fail if it will not guarantee the delivery of accurate content needed by the clients. The systems that fail to keep up with the policy of corporate procurement as well as catalog changes will definitely affect the company in a negative way. 

February 14, 2013
BY Bellwether
Roadblock 1: Your eProcurement System Does Not Provide Users with Convenience

Technology brings great convenience especially to the world of business. A successful business takes advantage of the latest technology to make the transactions fast and easy. This is the reason why businesses are able to reach the peak of success. Providing their business the most efficient and effective tool to make things easier will lead them to success.

An eProcurement system is an electronic procurement system that is very useful in business-to-business transaction, business-to-clients or even business-to-government sale and purchase of services and supplies. This is done with the help of the internet which is a great source of useful information and also has something to do with the networking system like enterprise-resource planning and electronic-data interchange. eProcurement is done with a particular software application that has powerful features to support and manage the flow of the business. It includes powerful features for suppliers. It includes complex auctions and supplier management as well.

This new generation system is now in demand as it gives great benefits not only to the people behind the business, but also to the valuable clients. Effective utilization and deployment of an eProcurement system is one of the ways for any business companies to take a better control of corporate spending and to lower the procurement budget. A business-to-business purchasing can be as efficient and convenient as online shopping experience for buyers. The eProcurement system connects  shoppers directly to their suppliers. The advantage of this is that it not only removes all manual record-keeping or any other processes associated with purchasing, but it also allows for acquisition of valuable data.  Another thing is that it also enforces contract compliance. It allows the company or the business to become competitive in procurement planning and analysis.

Based on a study, companies that deployed an effective eProcurement system improved their procurement departments’ efficiency by 50%. Another good thing about this is that it increased the contract compliance by 80%. Aside from the success and numerous benefits that the solution can provide to the company, one of the barriers to a successful eProcurement is that it does not provide the users with a one-stop shop feature.

Corporate shoppers today enjoy the benefits and convenience of online shopping. Online retailers invest a lot of money to make the buying, shopping, and shipping process more convenient and as personal as possible. As a buyer, you will notice and surely appreciate these great qualities. This is usually one of the main reasons why people keep on going back to a website. Keeping a powerful system is the key to make the website as profitable as possible.

Some eProcurement systems fail to deliver the promises that the firm reported to its clients. Some of the systems provide corporate-shopping experiences that unfortunately bring inconvenience to the buyers. It forces the buyers to make use of disparate interface for different categories of services and materials. Thus, making sure that the system is functioning well is important. This will not only prevent any inconveniences, but it will also help you gain the trust of your clients.

February 12, 2013
BY Bellwether
Procurement Rules Focus on How to Buy

Procurement is the buying activity on behalf of an organization and other companies. The type of products and services that are purchased differ depending on the business. However, the purchasing process is often similar. Procurement experts know how essential it is to have an agreed and appropriate strategy. With this, it would be easy for them to know how they will meet the needs of their business.  This is often of particular importance when you need to establish a breakthrough in cost reductions or when there is a risk of long-term shortage of the purchased item. However, not every purchase warrants the investment of effort and time to enhance a bespoke strategy. You also need to use an approach known as supply positioning.

As a purchasing manager, you are responsible for the purchase and acquisition of materials by companies. It means procuring everything from lumber used to establish a house, computers used by employees to materials used to produce items. It is also your duty to understand the needs of the company, ensuring that the purchased items adhere to the company’s policies in dealing with vendors or suppliers.  

To ensure that everything will go in order, you should know the different procurement rules. The process of acquisition of services and goods require raw materials or for operational purposes. It also involves buying commodities and quantity and quality checks. In most cases, suppliers are pre-determined and listed by the procuring company. This allows them to make the procedure smoother and that promotes an excellent business relationship between the supplier and the buyer.

Every purchasing manager should know how to buy their needed goods and services.  In most cases, procurement will happen through tendering or bidding. During this process, procurement is a formalized and staged process where a certain number of suppliers will give their services to a particular number of requesters. At first, the pre-qualifying questionnaire will be sent to every interested supplier. This questionnaire contains questions that regard the suitability of the supplier in providing what the clients are looking for. The questions also regard the efficiency, types of products and services they offer and size of the company. Then, you have to choose a small group of companies from these qualifying questionnaires.  You will also be requested to send a proposal to the suppliers. This proposal is a specific documentation that explains the goods and services to be delivered. 

Understanding the concept of how to buy vs what to buy is very essential as far as procurement is concerned. With this, it would be easy for you to decide which to depend on. You can also meet the needs of your company and have a chance to beat all your competitors. Like other transactions, make sure that you examine your preferred procuring company. This can help in identifying how effective and reliable they are.

Upon knowing how to buy your needed products and services for the company, you will experience its maximum benefits. So, start using your skills and knowledge about procurement and be an effective purchasing manager now! 

February 7, 2013
BY Bellwether
Eprocurement: Reducing Documentation

Electronic public procurement, also known as eprocurement, is the use of electronic transaction and communication by government organizations and other public institutions. This is essential when purchasing services and supplies or tendering for civic works. Eprocurement is often done with a software application that includes facets for complex auctions and supplier management. It also offers a set of web-based devices that give procurement suppliers and professionals a chance carry out the strategic activities of the procurement lifecycle online. These tactical activities include requirements definition, negotiation, tendering, award, supplier performance and contract management.

Eprocurement helps in improving the competence of the purchase process and reduces the cost involved in conventional buying. Therefore, it helps in reducing documentation. It also makes the life of SMEs simple, as the procedure becomes cheaper and easier than using paper. SMES can easily recognize opportunities relevant for them and thus, can expand their company opportunities. 

A widespread support of this service is self-declarations wherein only the winning bidder are required to submit multiple documents and certificates which can prove their status. The pointing authorities must accept self-declarations of compliance from suppliers. Through this, the cost of authorities and suppliers is reduced. It also encourages SMEs and a large competition.  Eprocurement includes the need to change this within two years of transposition deadline.

Most government institutions encourage rapid take-up of eprocurement. Their main purpose is to reap benefits while seeking deadlines and rules which are also realistic and practical. In addition, another method that helps in reducing documentation is through cloud-based purchasing software. With this, public organizations no longer need to waste their money and effort.

Eprocurement is often employed in buying less inexpensive and small items like office stationery. This traditional approach is still preferred for costlier products like complex engineering machinery. However, companies are continuously identifying the advantages of web sourcing. Online products procurement assists institutions to outline optimized plans for handling the supply chain. The advantages of eprocurement does not only include saving money. It is also a means of simplifying the whole procedure.

The optimized plans can be communicated instantly to suppliers, thereby reducing wastages and costs often involved in the supply chain. Other benefits of this eprocurement are reduction of overheads like effective control of inventories, purchase agents and development of the manufacturing cycle.

If you are using eprocurement for reducing documentation, it would be easy for you to make a single point of contract for all your accessory purchases and wireless devices. Through this, you will also be able to initiate centralized control as you offer greater visibility into your company wireless device setting. This can help in enhancing your management support for the rise of complex wireless machine portfolio. The eprocurement information integrated with an asset and expense management software tool is vital for the extensive optimization and life-cycle development of your wireless device inventory.

The benefits of reduction documentation method are practiced and known by millions of people.  With this, they can finalize everything without spending more time, money and effort. So, start making the right decision and get the fullest benefits of eprocurement now!

February 5, 2013
BY Bellwether

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