If you needed a new eProcurement tool, how would you find one?
Would you seek advice from other, conduct web research via google etc, read client case studies and customer testimonials, etc.?
If you were in the market for a new tool, what approach would you take? :)
First of all I would create a 'business model' of how you want procurement to operate and then understand what functional capabilities you need. Only then when you have buy in to the business model would I then look for an information service to support the business model. It also beneficial to look at solutions outside providers like SAP, Oracle, etc. as the newer platforms are true cloud and have better and more flexible and up to date designs. I would avoid ERPs.
Hey Anya. I would look on Supplibase of course! Here is a list of the top eProcurement software providers that we have listed for you to check out: https://www.supplibase.com/SupplierList/SupplierList?listID=19 (sorry for the messy URL). Happy searching! :)
There are a number of options out there. Adding to Ian's comment, you need to understand what is your current status quo and where do you want to be. This will help you identify the 'gaps' between AS IS and TO BE and define the 'must have' requirements for the tool. I would then recommend starting with Gartner report as noted by Emily (and Google of course!). This will help you shortlist a few good solutions. The key is not to get lost in the world of information. The various tools in the marketplace provide different level of solutions. It could be as basic as e-tool for purchase to pay or to manage RFx or integrated source to pay or as complex as end to end supply management including integrated spend analysis, strategic sourcing, supplier performance management, contract management and order management. It is up to the business what level of maturity they want to achieve in procurement technology and how much are they willing to invest. Finally, develop a business case highlighting the possible options with the required investment and expected returns.
Great advice! I've heard a few people in Procurement mention that they look at software review on sites like Capterra. Agree? Disagree? Do you look for product reviews somewhere else?
Ian is spot on.
Don't just look for the big (and very expensive) providers. There are far more SME's providing innovative and much more cost effective solutions than the big boys. As Ian mentioned, don't look for ERP's or you will be bogged down for months and months (if not years). Look to solve the most important problems you have and don't get carried away with looking for a solution to solve all your problems in one go, otherwise the big end of town will swallow you up, costing you a fortune and leaving you with a legacy system so complex no one can use it.
I think all of the ideas you presented above are viable options. Google is a very powerful tool if used correctly. From there you can get a list of potential solutions and begin the process of down selecting through demos, references and additional research depending on your need.
We have built a great B2B e-commerce platform. Going commercial this year if anyone is interested in seeing a DEMO.
PS. I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about how to "tailor" your procurement tech search to your company's unique needs. Hope it's helpful!
I would start with what it is you want your technology to do before you start any kind of search. Just like any good procurement starts with "requirements" before doing a market survey to see what is available to satisfy your "requirements". The old saw comes to mind: "Don't put the cart before the horse"!!
These are great answers! Lots of research is the first step. It would also be helpful to have access to a spreadsheet as a comparative tool - something that lists all desirable eProcurement software features and provides a visual overview of the front-runners.
Most procurement / IT teams looking for new solutions in our space will read up on the vendors, looking at Gartner reports for example, as a starting point, and then doing more research through networking, conferences, etc. Many of the vendors will be at conferences like Procurement Leaders, Sourcing Interests Group, ProcureCon. Of course Ariba LIVE is also a great event happening in March (my company). If you're just getting started and need some early advice on best practices across all the source to pay areas, I have a good paper I can forward to you that is totally vendor agnostic - you can email at [email protected] All the best.