26 January 2021
On a personal basis, we do all our shopping on the many marketplaces that are available online. However, this phenomenon is much rarer in our professional life. According to an Opinionway study for Office Depot, only one in three purchasing departments were digitalised at the end of 2019. However, the use of e-procurement platforms has many advantages. Here are four good reasons to create an e-procurement platform: to save time, to save money, to optimise the purchasing process, and to have better control.
Thanks to ergonomics similar to B2C marketplaces, catalogue optimisation, easier search, and centralized processing, the e-procurement platform reduces the entire sourcing cycle.
The e-procurement marketplaces are modelled on those we are all used to using daily. They are easy to use and save a lot of time, whether for users, purchasing managers, or suppliers.
Indeed, if we are so fond of these virtual marketplaces in our daily life, it’s because everything is available in the same place. This means that it is no longer necessary for professionals to consult a multitude of catalogues or websites to find the product or service you are looking for. They are all available in the same catalogue with references that can be sorted and filtered according to needs.
For their part, purchasing managers no longer waste time integrating the catalogues one by one into their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. The suppliers themselves integrate and update their products and services directly on the platform once for all their clients. This centralised management also allows the sellers to be notified directly each time an order is placed, thus speeding up order processing.
The use of a B2B marketplace allows savings on several levels: reduction and optimisation of administrative purchasing management, optimisation of inventory management, and transactions at the best prices thanks to transparent competition.
Shortening the procurement cycle represents a significant cost reduction for companies. Indeed, since the administrative burden is partly transferred to suppliers and partially automated, buyers are freed from low value-added tasks and the risk of errors.
Reducing the time required to place an order, and therefore to receive the products also makes it possible to reduce stocks and make managing them more comfortable, which represents a saving in storage space and management costs.
With several suppliers on the same e-procurement marketplace, it’s possible to compare the different offers and find the best quality/price ratio. Moreover, this price transparency encourages suppliers to be more competitive, making it possible to regulate prices and buy at the best rate.
Creating a marketplace adapted to its market allows digitalisation and mutualising the purchasing process to achieve better sourcing and optimise purchases.
Even though most companies no longer manage their purchasing manually, ERPs do not always provide an optimal user experience. E-procurement marketplaces interface with existing ERPs and offer a purchasing experience similar to that experienced by buyers in their personal lives (Amazon for instance.). They, therefore, benefit from a familiar and popular environment. This encourages their use and limits the risk of error.
Managing purchases is automated, dematerialised, and has the advantage of grouping all the steps on the same platform (purchase orders, validations, invoices, etc.), which avoids documents that get lost, duplicates, etc. All possible problems are also centralised and managed by a single point of contact, the platform manager, who resolves disputes.
E-procurement platforms allow an unlimited number of suppliers to be referenced, making it an ideal tool for streamlining one’s supplier portfolio. Indeed, with a transparent view of the competition, it’s easier to select the best offer. This is all the more true when the platform includes a rating and review system for products and services.
Thus equipped with high-performance digital tools and, above all, encompassing the entire purchasing process, the purchasing manager can, therefore, assume a more strategic function of control and optimisation.
Whether strategic or indirect purchases, everything can go through an e-procurement platform. Indeed, these marketplaces are perfectly suited to B2B transactions and adapt to different user profiles by integrating purchasing policies (limits, validations, etc.) and offer processes (quotes, negotiations, etc.), allowing the company to control better and limit uncontrolled purchases.
Centralising the purchasing process and monitoring tools such as alerts, reporting, and transaction history provide unparalleled traceability and better control overspending. Purchasing habits can thus be easily analysed and used for projections, setting goals, and process optimisation.
Therefore, creating an e-procurement marketplace saves time and money by setting up an optimised and better-controlled purchasing process. But what about payment security and supplier onboarding? This is the role of the Payment Service Provider (PSP), like Lemonway. We help marketplaces manage payments to ensure a smoother, more optimised customer experience.
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