Plenty of reasons, but the doctor was surprised to see that one of the best articles for a small business layperson that listed some of these reasons was an article on Intelligent Living on 7 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Purchasing Software. While e-Procurement vendors are usually targeting mid-size, or larger, organizations (as they want 6-digit deals, and small businesses can’t afford more than 5-digit deals, and micro businesses not more than 4-digit deals), e-Procurement software, especially turn-key self-serve software, is beneficial for small (and micro) businesses as well because it helps organizations of all sizes.
All organizations spend money, and as a result, all organizations can overspend, get defrauded, spend too much time on tactical (thunking) tasks, etc. Low-end baseline 80% e-Procurement solutions can help them immensely, even those that cost as little 500 to 1500 a month. (Yes, they exist. After all, why did the doctor say that 120K is enough for full Source-to-Pay.)
The article points out the following seven (7) benefits of e-Procurement solutions in everyday layman terms which an average small business person should be able to understand.
- Automated Purchase Orders
- Quickly generate accurate purchase orders from catalog items or repeat buys and push the orders into your Accounts Payable (AP) and/or inventory systems.
- Vendor Management
- Unified view, complete order and contract history, and automated alerts.
- Budget Control
- Set budgets, monitor spending against budgets in real time, and set alerts when budgets are (close to being) exceeded.
- Real-time Analytics
- Real-time spending reports against up-to date data with simple trend analysis.
- Enhanced Security
- SaaS providers that have industry standard security certifications need to stay on top of cyber security, something the average small business would really struggle with.
- Integration with Other Systems
- Most small businesses are not very tech-savvy and a platform that integrates with the other systems they use is very useful to them.
- Most of this software can scale up to support more users, more catalogs, more POs, more transactions, etc.
In fact, as a small business, the only other things you would care about starting off is:
- Invoice Matching
- to make sure the invoice matches the PO (or is from a known vendor if it’s for a one-time off-catalog product or service you wouldn’t normally do a PO for)
- Contract Tracking
- basic governance with document storage with searchable, indexable, metadata for quick location for price and term verification
Again, e-Procurement is great for small businesses (and some of the providers in Part 37 of our Source-to-Pay+ Series are priced right for smaller businesses). It’s even greater to see plain language explanations of the benefits that small business owners can understand.