Electronic procurement has different names like e-procurement or supplier exchange. However, in easy terms, it is the procedure of requisitioning, ordering, and purchasing goods and services via a web interface or other networked system. This procedure is generally business to business strategy and employs a supplier’s close system, which is available to the registered users of this business chain.
The E-procurement System provides both the supplier and the potential customer with a platform for interaction through methods like bids, purchase orders, and invoices. To increase the speed and accuracy of procurement operations, the system is designed to standardize and streamline interactions between enterprises, consumers, and other value-adding partners.
The History of E-Procurement
The beginning of e-procurement started in the year 1980. It was in some way connected to the development of electronic data interchange (EDI), and even after a decade, electronic data interchange permitted different organizations to work on their online catalogs for numerous vendors.
EDI allowed files and documents to be transferred between business people and was groundbreaking at the time. Businesses no longer had to submit papers physically, instead, they could send them online.
Procurement EDI enabled customers and suppliers to transmit and receive purchase orders and invoices over call-forward networks, which were subsequently replaced by email.
E-procurement has a vast span network that allows the suppliers and the customers to build connections between them for better business. Every organization has a chief procurement officer for the E-procurement department, established to set and implement different e-procurement policies.
The primary motive behind establishing an e-procurement system is to get hold of products and services at a fair price and within the prescribed time. Therefore, the best thing to do is build excellent relations with the suppliers to accomplish this goal. The reason is straightforward: it enables procurement personnel to bargain with the suppliers. Furthermore, the personnel has the authority to set out different required guidelines or limitations around the budget and expenditure of e-procurement platforms.
The Mechanism and Applicability of E-Procurement
Some laborious works like auctions, tenders, exchange supplier contracts, or onboarding questions fill out where people have to toil the whole day. The E-Procurement System helps to ease the work done manually.
Every organization needs materials, equipment, and more. Such procurement is usually left to the purchasing department, which does this through the purchase of paper. However, the paper has turned out to be slow and unreliable and is being replaced by the Internet and computer technology in most businesses today. In other words, e-procurement has taken over.
E-Procurement has several applications for the company to use. The Internet has unlocked many doors, and in particular, various tools for XML-based data exchange or electronic data interchange systems (EDIs) have become available.
Sourcing, E-Tendering, E-auctioning, and E-Ordering have primarily replaced the traditional procurement process of a company. This includes sourcing and identifying suppliers, hiring them, best evaluating them, negotiating contracts, and ultimately managing contracts with suppliers.
This allows an organization to identify potential sellers (sourcing), bring all suppliers into the auction process under one roof (auction), and the affairs that all employees need to do their jobs. In addition, you can make it possible to procure supplies and materials (order).
E-procurement Software and Uses
E-Procurement software or cloud-based software helps users search for their needs, buy, and manage the cost-effective price of different goods and services entirely on an online platform. It provides digital and automated tools to support enterprises, define provider guidelines, and increase system transparency. The reputed E-Procurement software can integrate the strategic and transactional facets of a company’s procurement capacities with ease to maximize profits.
Major Benefits of E-Procurement
● Saving time on the part of the buyers and sellers.
● Reducing buyer and seller management costs for travel, paperwork, and the likes.
● Maintaining transparency in operations.
● Using Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs) to ensure authentication, data security, and storage with the highest level of security
● Creating good competition, thereby getting reasonable prices and saving money.
What are the obstacles faced in E-procurement?
Implementing an e-procurement program can be difficult, especially when deploying and connecting the software with other company back-end systems.
Another problem is training personnel on how to utilize it. Companies must also collaborate with suppliers to guarantee a smooth transition to the new online system.
Organizations need new consumables and equipment almost every day. These are often required to keep your business going. Companies need to leave paper-based sourcing as quickly as possible and switch to electronic sourcing. An E-Procurement System streamlines the process between entities at different production and supply levels. Today, it has become the more innovative way for organizations to smoothly and efficiently go with their business.