Part 3 – What an e-Sourcing System Should Provide
State of the art e-sourcing systems provide many beneficial elements to support an organization’s direct and indirect procurement activity. Specifically, in support of Spend Management initiatives they should as a baseline:
- Deliver a robust and repeatable process for completing all sourcing activity, that minimizes manual effort, increases data quality and reduces reliance on specific user business knowledge, while building a comprehensive and standard database for analysis and reporting.
- Provide configurable functionality for categorization of the material and services being sourced, not only for driving efficiency in supplier selection for RFQ events, but also to align with macro-level reporting for Spend Management reporting and projections
- Bring the ability to re-use and re-issue historical RFQs to support market testing cycles in the most efficient manner possible
- Integrate seamlessly with other systems of record, including CRM, PLM and ERP, but most importantly reporting and analytics systems to support an organization’s goal of a comprehensive view of procurement activity and spend from quote to payment.
Sourcing in many organizations is regarded as a “non-mission-critical” business function. When taken in the context of Spend Management initiatives however, and considering how the alignment of sourcing activity with spend management goals and objectives is critical to ultimate success, the importance of this function cannot be understated.
The adoption and effective implementation of a quality e-Sourcing application can be a stepping stone to a more comprehensive and effective spend management program within any purchasing organization.