There are all kinds of tools and tips that businesses can use to improve efficiency, productivity and streamline processes. The benefits can include time savings, less waste, cost-savings, enhanced customer service and more. One such tool that you may want to employ in your business is procurement management software.
This kind of software is incredibly powerful in that it can tackle all kinds of processes from creating invoices, to analysing what is being spent and even keeping all the current contracts organised and easy to access. It’s all about streamlining the procurement process so that your company can continue to operate at a peak level.
But before you rush into purchasing procurement software, it’s important you understand what it does and determine what key functions and features your business needs to maximise business efficiency.
What is Procurement Management Software?
It’s hard to pick the ideal software for your business if you’re not clear on what it does. Procurement management software works to automate all the tasks involved in the procurement process – from start to finish. This is often referred to as the Procure-to-Pay cycle.
When looking at the definition of the procurement process, it is the steps a company takes to secure all the services and products it needs to function smoothly and properly. Procurement isn’t usually a simple thing; rather the business will procure its supplies and products from a large list of suppliers and vendors. It can be very confusing to keep track of the data, which can lead to any number of serious issues.
Now picture how much time, energy and people-power is used in the procurement process and imagine employing software that can easily tackle all of those tasks in a fraction of the time. A few of the departments that will benefit the most from procurement management software include the finance and accounting departments.
Not only does it speed up the process, it eliminates human errors which can be costly. Other benefits include streamlining processes, removing any redundancies in the procurement process, providing faster and clearer access to data, and ensuring the procurement process is transparent. Because so many different tasks of the process can be automated, you can bet that things will run smoother than ever before.
Procurement software can also be very useful for companies that have remote or hybrid employees. When staff is located in different places you want to be sure everyone remains on the same page. This type of software can be used in real-time, meaning everyone will have access to the same data at the same time. It will seem as though you’re all in the same office collaborating together.
What Features Should You Look for in Procurement Management Software?
Now that you’re convinced that procurement software is something that could benefit your company, the next question is what should you look for in it? There are plenty of options available which are both good and bad, as it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about the features.
Some of the must-have features that make procurement software effective can include:
1. It needs to be user-friendly.. Anything that requires in-depth and on-going training won’t be ideal as this will take far too much time and energy. Software implementation needs to be straight-forward and simple.
2. It is able to create invoices with custom automation options so that invoices don’t go unpaid.
3. It acts as a centralised database for vendor information and vendor support, thereby streamlining the process.
4. The ability to create automated workflows to free staff up and allow them to focus on other tasks.
5. The ability to digitise order processing, purchase requisitions and even payment on the goods the company is purchasing.
You’ll also want to be sure there are customisation features so that as your business grows and its needs change, the procurement software can keep up and remain relevant. Scalability always needs to be factored in.
How to Choose the Best Procurement Management Software?
Taking things a step further, how do you begin to narrow down your choices and pick the best procurement management software? Most will have the features listed above, so that won’t help much in terms of narrowing it down. Instead, experts suggest you work backwards and consider your business needs. Each company will be unique, so there is no blanket approach to the features.
Creating a list of must-have features will allow you to quickly scan through the options and see which software makes the cut. Don’t get too caught up on your specific needs in the moment, rather think in terms of the long-game. It needs to work for you now and in the future, especially if your business is going through a period of growth. It goes back to the scalability factor.
Some other factors to consider include the cost of the software, if it offers full vendor support, how user-friendly it is, how you can mitigate issues if you have a problem with the software, if it can be used in a remote environment and so forth.
Be sure to also take the time to read online reviews and ratings of all the different procurement software options. This will give you insight into what actual users of the software think. Sites such as Gartner Peer Reviews are a great place to start.
How to Implement the Procurement Management Software in Your Business
Choosing the ideal procurement management software is no small task, so once you have a moment of celebration is warranted. But now it’s time to implement the software, which is a whole other task to contend with. Implementation should include training of all staff that will be using the software. Will this be something you plan on doing, or will you hire a professional to conduct the training?
Factor in what will happen if the software gets updates and offers new features, this will require additional training. In other words, training isn’t usually a one-time thing. Employees need to feel comfortable using the software for it to be effective.
Ensure that your IT department also monitors the effectiveness of the software. There may be a time in which it needs adjustments or tweaks, and the IT department should be able to identify those instances.
Finally, ensure that the implementation process is only the beginning of a longer success focussed journey with your chosen software provider. 38% of digitisation projects fail thus a programmes success should never be assumed.
Procurement Management Software Could Be the Best Investment You Make in 2023
So if you’re looking for ways to make your business operate more efficiently and effectively, and it feels like you’ve already tried all the typical suggestions, it may be time to look into software meant to benefit the company. Procurement management software can have a massive and positive effect on how your company operates thanks to its focus on streamlining all aspects of the procurement chain.
Just be sure that you take the time to research all the options out there, be specific about the company’s needs, and don’t settle for software that can’t be customised and scaled up to meet future demand. You’ll be glad you took the extra time to make your decision.
Now is the time to evaluate your current procurement processes, or lack thereof, and find something that is better suited to your company. Contact us at Anvil Analytical to see how we can help you with procurement management software needs, providing you with top-of-the-line user-friendly software solutions.