Merging Technology with Procurement Best Practices: Driving Efficiency and Innovation

Are you following procurement best practices at your organization? Technology has transformed procurement, allowing for improved spend optimization and agility as well as better insights into your suppliers and how they work with your organization.

As this technological integration continues to develop, it will help organizations stay competitive and agile. So, how can technology enhance your procurement practices?

Cloud-Based Solutions

Gone are the days when your data resided on a computer in a carefully locked and climate-controlled server room. Moving data to the cloud is, these days, more secure and redundant. Your data is in at least two different places, ideally far enough apart not to be hit by the same natural disaster. Cloud disaster recovery provides cost benefits and is easily scalable.

Modern connectivity means that the old fear of the cloud "going down" is all but gone. Using a cloud-based solution protects your data and makes it easier for a remote and mobile workforce to connect to the software and data you need. With proper security, suppliers can also connect directly, uploading bids, invoices and notifications and becoming more integrated with your organization.

eProcurement Software

The search for a new supplier has traditionally been both lengthy and costly. Using modern eProcurement software, such as bids&tenders, simplifies the process for buyers and suppliers alike. You post what you need, and suppliers respond with bids that you can review and analyze within seconds of the bid closing. You can easily choose the right combination of cost, quality, and convenience for your project. You can post your project publicly, or invite familiar suppliers to bid, and appropriate suppliers will get notifications.

It saves a lot of time over traditional ways of collecting bids. You can make templates that only administrators can change, enforce compliance with your policies and procedures, and reduce errors, addendums, and cancellations.

Quality Submissions

It used to be that the way to ensure quality submissions was a combination of familiarity and word-of-mouth, and a lot of manual checks of bid submissions. Technology has greatly increased the quality of bids by incorporating required fields, including calculated fields and appropriate checks, this ensures that bids are not sent back for being incomplete or not having the correct information.

Modern technology also allows suppliers to post their quality certifications online so you can check them easily. You may also be able to uncover other signs of a reliable supplier, such as long-tenured senior executives and happy employees. However, no technology can substitute for a site visit, but virtual site visits can help with initial evaluation.

Spend Analysis

Going with the lowest bidder is not always the best choice. But understanding how much you are spending and on what can help you know when to switch suppliers and how to save costs without compromising.

Modern technology uses algorithms to analyze your spend. This gives you a better idea of your buying power. Knowing exactly how much you spend on a given vendor can be good leverage if things aren't quite going well. You can also reduce your costs and improve oversight. You will spot places where you are spending way too much, especially on extra-sale costs such as "convenience fees."

Overall, you can use modern analysis software to crunch the data and develop an informed procurement strategy that considers costs, benefits, and even delivery time.

Contract Management

Unmanaged contracts can destroy a business or the reputation of an agency. Compliance issues can hurt your bottom line and sometimes leave you scrambling to find a new contractor.

You need to make sure that all contract obligations are being met, for example certificates of insurance and workers safety certificates are valid and current, confirm receipt and validation of performance bonds, monitor contract renewal dates, and survey client satisfaction. Technology can help with all of this.

Technology can flag when you haven't received an insurance certificate or a bond, remind you when a contract is up, automatically send out surveys, etc. It can help you keep up with changing and complex regulatory requirements, which in some industries (such as medical) can be quite onerous. By supporting and streamlining your workflow, you can achieve milestones, meet timelines, and reduce your own stress.

Supplier Performance

Poor supplier performance is a frustrating scenario for everyone involved. Late deliveries from your supplier delay your own projects, or supply chain disruption can result in products being out of stock for extended periods forcing you to push back launch dates (sometimes after pre-orders have been taken).

For organizations, you need to provide the "best value" for taxpayers, or at least be perceived as doing so, or serious public trust issues can happen.

Modern technology allows you to have a supplier performance program. This:

  1. Improves communication and helps contractors and suppliers become more collaborative and proactive, supporting continuous improvement.
  2. Validates contractual and performance obligations. Contractors that fail to meet their obligations can be identified quickly.
  3. Ensures your organization receives good value.
  4. Provides a powerful database of past performance information to support the best future decisions.

If you are involved in procurement, you need modern eProcurement software that can help you find and assess suppliers and compare bids. Contact bids&tenders today to book a demo and learn about how our eProcurement platform can help you simplify your procurement processes.

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