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.
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