Despite the huge importance of effective and streamlined procurement, the material benefits of improving the procurement process are often overlooked in favor of sticking to the same old outdated workflows. Around 60% of companies still use Microsoft Office as their primary procurement tool, or even worse, use no specific tools at all.
In this article, we’ll be highlighting the significant benefits offered by the use of dedicated procurement tools. We’ve also curated a list of five of the best on the market and their specific benefits.
What Is a Procurement Tool?
Procurement is often a complex and unwieldy process with multiple stakeholders.
The primary benefit of using dedicated procurement tools is that it streamlines this process. It allows staff to navigate even the most complex requirements quickly and efficiently through improved workflows and the use of automation.
While individual procurement tools have different functions, some of the most common facets of an effective procurement system include:
- Raising and approving purchase orders.
- Maintaining and updating inventory.
- Supplier onboarding.
- Supplier relationship management (SRM).
- Receiving and matching invoices and orders.
Benefits of Using a Procurement Tool
Overall, the primary use for a procurement management system is to collate and streamline the procurement process and its associated tasks.
This, in turn, saves time and money through increased efficiencies and fewer errors.
The best procurement tool takes the complex, sprawling multi-team, multi-supplier mess that procurement can turn into. It also uses automation and improved workflows and reporting to simplify it down into a unified, easy-to-use, easy-to-understand system.
What to Look for in a Procurement Management System?
When it comes to finding the correct procurement tool for your organization, you’ll need to match your specific needs with the benefits offered.
However, there are some standout features to look for, including:
Automation has become such a popular buzzword in recent years because it genuinely does have the potential to do the most menial work for you.
Automated procurement systems are able to handle and approve purchase orders and track shipments without the need for staff oversight or basic data entry.
This means skilled staff can be moved onto other projects where their abilities can make more of a difference.
Budget Oversight and Comprehensive Reporting
Having one tool that allows you comprehensive oversight of your procurement-based spending is vital to keeping tight reins on your budget.
The benefit of investing in a specific procurement tool is that it allows you a level of visibility that you just can’t get from Microsoft Excel.
When it comes to choosing a procurement system, you’ll want to prioritize systems that allow for real-time oversight, the tracking of both team and individual project budgets, and the ability to compare current spending to previous periods.
Approval workflows and complex approval chains are normally one of the more effort-intensive parts of procurement.
Instead of constant oversight, the use of procurement tools allows you to incept automated rules for purchase order approval.
The systems should also be able to both alert the person that needs to approve the order, and accept that approval, within the tool, negating the need for long email chains.
Streamlined Multi-Team Collaboration
The more teams and suppliers you add to any procurement process, the more complicated, and therefore prone to errors, it becomes.
A good procurement tool should be able to allow all teams to access and update the procurement process while still ensuring that the most product-manual shy staff can only make purchases in line with your policies.
The Top 5 Best Procurement Tools in 2021
Now that you’ve got a better idea of the benefits that procurement tools can offer, we’ve pulled together five of the best examples on the market.
Obviously, we are biased. But for manufacturing companies, Jiga is a must-have tool. If we didn’t believe in it, we wouldn’t have built it that way!
Jiga is the ideal procurement software for manufacturing and hardware companies of all sizes that procure parts since it’s built specifically for manufacturing companies.
The fact that Jiga’s solution was built for the manufacturing vertical makes it very easy to implement and deliver ROI. It supports features such as engineering files and collaboration, CAD view, revision tracking, assembly support, built-in suggestions, and more.
Procurement of parts requires massive collaboration efforts across sourcing, quoting, ordering, and production.
Jiga centralizes collaboration, data, and tracking in one place to streamline the manufacturing procurement process, remove bottlenecks and maximize supply chain visibility.
- Automate and streamline your RFQ process
- Cross-functional collaboration for suppliers, engineering, and procurement
- PO tracking
- Supplier sourcing
- ERP integration
Kissflow is a cloud-hosted platform that allows organizations to design their own workflows.
The platform comes pre-loaded with fifty business applications including purchase orders and vendor payments. But, its real benefit is that these applications can be edited, or created from the ground up to suit your specific needs.
Despite its flexibility, Kissflow is a low-code platform. Thus, makes it supremely accessible and easy to integrate with your existing processes.
The easily customizable dashboard interface makes it easy to access vital reporting functions. Kissflow is able to generate a range of data-driven reports that can be turned into actionable insights.
- A flexible low-code platform that allows you to design your own workflows
- Pre-installed basic functionality, such as vendor payments, that can be edited to suit your needs
- Easy to access, data-driven reporting functionality
- Three-way matching for invoices
- Simple and intuitive methods for onboarding vendors
- Easy to integrate with existing systems
Promena is ideal for companies that regularly put out requests for quotation (RFQs).
One of the more effort-intensive and time-consuming jobs of most procurement teams is keeping track of bids against RFQs and making sure they are organized and easily accessible.
In addition, Promena e-Sourcing has a powerful range of reporting tools that let companies look back over recent spending and see exactly where their money has been spent.
- RFQ bid tracking and organization
- reporting tools
- Easy to understand and intuitive interface
- A wide range of spending and budget analytics
- Support for twelve different languages
- Streamlined supplier onboarding
Precoro’s mission statement is to make the purchasing process as simple and straightforward as possible.
The platform’s easy-to-understand interface makes it very easy to create your own purchase orders, track approvals, and assign costs to specific budgets.
Precoro offer the ability to collect all your purchasing workflows under one roof and generate reporting based on those workflows.
One of Precoro’s standout features is the ability to create and add additional fields to procurement forms to suit your specific purchases.
- Three-way approval matching.
- Billing and spending data analysis and reporting
- Streamlined approval workflows
- Real-time budgeting
- Simplified vendor management
- PO creation and delivery
Procurify is an innovative purchasing and spend management platform. It uses an intuitive interface that makes it easy to proactively track, analyze, and control spending.
It’s also able to provide real-time data analytics combined with streamlined workflows to give real insights into how businesses spend their money.
This kind of budget and spend visibility is vital to creating new workflows that drive efficiency and savings.
- Records complete purchasing histories through which users can track spending
- Able to integrate with common financial software, such as Quickbooks and NetSuite
- Can be used to make payments to vendors and staff
- Packing slips and tracking codes can be matched to order numbers and invoices for real-time tracking