Pool4Tool: Bringing The Direct Procurement Platform — And Message — To the Masses! Part II

In Part I we began our discussion of the Pool4Tool platform, focussed on its Sourcing capability. Specifically, we discussed the RFX and e-Auction capability, the Contract Management capability, and the Catalog capability which can be used to kick-off Sourcing events or procure much needed products and services. Today, we are going to discuss the Pool4Tool platform’s Procurement and SRM capabilities.

It’s important to understand what the Pool4Tool platform does, and how it is different because, as we have been saying (in the Direct Procurement Challenge), indirect platforms cannot support complex direct sourcing needs and the Pool4Tool platform is one of the few platforms that can. (For more information on complex direct sourcing needs, see our recent paper on The Direct Procurement Challenge, sponsored by Pool4Tool, and for more details on the importance of efficiency and effectiveness, see the doctor‘s recent paper on The Procurement Value Engine, co-authored with the procurement dynamo.)

As per our last post, one of the capabilities of the Pool4Tool platform is a powerful catalog management platform that can be used to manage not only multiple supplier catalogs, internal and external through punch-outs, but also multiple requisition types and templates that can be reused as needed across sourcing and procurement projects. These catalogs can be managed by the buyer or by the suppliers themselves, and fully supports UNSPSC. The catalog is fully integrated into the e-Procurement platform and supports approval workflow by employee, cost center, or organizational unit. Requisitions can be approved in full or in part and (partially) approved requisitions can be automatically pushed into the ERP as soon as an approval is made. This can also kick off an automatic purchase order to the relevant suppliers (as requisitions can contain requests for products and services to multiple suppliers) and can do so in their own currencies (as not only does it support multi-currency, but even multi-currency within a single order).

The entire process can be kicked off by a Procurement Requisition from somewhere in the organization that can be made through the platform, be automatically routed to the right buyer, and kick off the right sourcing or (catalog) procurement process. This allows for all requests to be captured and managed in a central fashion. This is more important than you think as this allows all spend to be captured, tracked, analyzed, and brought under management.

In addition, service orders are deeply embedded in the e-Procurement platform and can be kicked off like procurement requisitions and tracked and managed through the entire process outside of the catalog or the standard PREQ if need be. Each type of service order can have its own workflow and approval process, can be tracked, invoiced against, and paid only when services have been rendered.

From an supplier point of view, the Pool4Tool Supplier portal is quite extensive. Suppliers can (self) register and create, and maintain extensive profiles. They can also manage their certifications, qualifications, insurance policies, and other documentation that is required by the buyer. They can access all their RFXs, auctions, communications, orders, invoices, and have a 360 degree view of their activities with the buyer.

Flipping back to the buyer view, the buyer can also use the portal to manage and develop their suppliers using the supplier development and (corrective) action management capabilities of the platform. And, like the buyer, they can get a full 360-degree view of all activities associated with the supplier. Past and present RFX and auctions, contracts, current orders and commitments, innovation initiatives, development activities, issues and corrective action plans, and overall supplier scorecards are all centralized. It’s a central point to get a comprehensive view of supplier capabilities, commitments, engagements, and possibilities.

In Part III, we are going to discuss the SCM capabilities of the Pool4Tool platform.