A couple of posts ago we indicated that e-Procurement benefits were true, but left you with a caution that process was a key element. How much so? Well, let’s talk about what the big benefits are.
If there’s a contract for a product or service, the system can steer the user towards the contracted product or service, and not even allow a purchase to go through unless it is for the contracted product or service. This can significantly cut down on off-contract maverick spend and this makes a noticeable bottom-line impact when the off-contract spend was significantly higher than the market price.
When a product or service is not on contract, a good e-Procurement platform with a catalog that has multiple entries for products and services at market prices ensures that an organization will only pay market cost for a good or service the majority of the time. While the savings will not be as significant as when there is a contract, if the organization was generally paying more than market, this will still add up.
One-off Spend Approvals
Without a system with insights into on-contract goods and services and market costs for off-contract commodity goods and services, the best insight you, and your approvers, will have is the handful of RFIs that were returned from the 3-bids-and-a-buy. If all of these were above market cost, who would know? No one, and that’s why an organization overspends here as well. But with a good e-Procurement system, approvers will have insight into market costs and will make smart decisions and not approve anything excessive.
These aren’t the only benefits, but these are the big ones that cause many organizations to claim big, multi-million dollar, savings from their e-Procurement system. But, as per our last e-mail, how many of these are the system? And how many of these are the process supported — or instilled — by the system? And does it matter?