Procurement is an essential process in business. It refers to the management aspects of purchasing goods needed for operations. It not only deals with logistics but also involves making sure that the company gets the best quality at the most affordable price. With efficient procurement, the company can carry out its function. There are no productivity delays and each department enjoys the steady availability of essential materials.
With the help of technology, a majority of transactions relating to business procurement happens with the help of the internet. For example, a company can order office supplies from Aosonline and enjoy quick shipping. With electronic procurement or e-procurement, both suppliers and buyers benefit in the process.
How does a company benefit from buying office supplies and other essential goods online?
E-procurement has many advantages not only for managers but also for the entire organisation.
- Reduced costs. Using an automated system to place orders and monitor transactions can improve performance. It’s possible to implement a streamlined process that speeds up the purchase cycle. Depending on the available technology, it’s also possible to take advantage of a bigger range of products as well as value-add services.
- Shorten purchase cycle. As previously mentioned, having a single platform for placing and tracking orders simplifies the process. When it comes to repurchasing, there’s no need to fill out another form. This will also speed up deliveries and prevent delays optimise inventory management.
- Increase control and transparency. A unified database that stores all data related to company purchases enhances organisational transparency. Stakeholders and managers can have access to the information, which is essential for monitoring performance. In addition to transparency, inventory managers also have better control over what to buy and when to buy. This will reduce human error and ensure that they only spend on what’s necessary.
Nowadays, e-procurement goes beyond placing orders online. It’s different from e-commerce because what it does is create a direct link between the supplier and the client. An e-procurement software is a closed system where only registered users can access.
Are there disadvantages to e-procurement?
No system is without flaw, especially when it’s related to technology. But when seen as a whole, there are more benefits to e-procurement than there are disadvantages. One of the obvious pitfalls of this innovation is the possibility of over-management. When stakeholders have more control over the process, it’s easy to nit-pick and attempt to manage every small detail.
Another potential challenge would be that not all business suppliers are willing to adopt digitalisation. If your company is rolling out a new procurement system, make sure that all your suppliers are on board. Otherwise, you may need to cut ties with some and look for new partners.
Lastly, if managers from different departments within the organisation need to sign-off on all purchases, it could cause a delay. That’s why it’s important to create a seamless approval process to prevent bottlenecks in the supply chain.
In conclusion, technology plays a critical role in improving business procurement. Choosing the right system and software will ensure the most benefits for both the supplier and the client.