The many advantages of e-procurement
No business sector can escape the move to digital systems. Digitalisation is inevitable; and in purchasing there are many advantages and benefits from e-procurement solutions. The returns include time savings, value creation and end-to-end process optimisation, major benefits when it comes to the management of business travel and expense reports.
Purchasing departments digitalisation
In a 2018 study published by audit firm PwC, 60% of purchasing managers wanted to carry out complete digitalisation of their business function and associated processes within five years. In other words, projects aimed at integrating innovative proposals in terms of e-procurement and e-sourcing solutions are rapidly becoming more popular. Market research company, Forrester, confirmed this trend in its findings from a survey published earlier this year, highlighting how the importance of improving customer experience is now guiding many initiatives. The survey indicates that 26% of companies believe it is essential to begin remedying this situation from 2019 onwards. 41% also state that this is a key project to focus on in the short term.
This evolution is driven from an ever-increasing demand for products and services, and the need to source suitable suppliers to meet demand. The latter must then be more integrated into the systems of client companies, thus enabling full visibility of all purchases. As well as the advantages inherent to moving to a digital system, such as ease of decision-making, better invoice processing and simplified management associated with all these tasks, the main advantage of e-procurement solutions remains relationship optimisation and information exchange between customers and suppliers. In a survey conducted by the e-procurement project support specialist Acxias, ease of information sharing is cited in 80% of cases as the primary expectation within purchasing departments, ahead of process harmonisation, which is also one of the main priorities (65% of responses).
Towards optimisation of travel and business expenses
Relationships with suppliers are greatly improved when it comes to the introduction of T&E tools. In the field of business travel, for example, this means it is easier to update hotel databases or transport contracts. Knowledge of price changes, pricing conditions, or even the sharing of the latest offers can be automated. Approving subscriptions and producing detailed reports on user, travel or supplier data are just some of the ways to save time and create added value by making better decisions. Some solutions offer advanced functionality that is particularly relevant to travel managers, such as performance and competitiveness indicators. These comparative analyses tools on competing companies and what they offer, help determine KPIs for travellers’ well-being, price structures and potential savings.