eProcurement Software Systems — Meaning and TOP 11 eProcurement Solutions Review
In today's business world, it is more important than ever to have efficient and effective e-procurement solutions. E-procurement tools can save your company time and money and help you get the products and services quickly and efficiently. In this guide, we will discuss what e-procurement software is, how it can benefit your business and the different types of systems available. We'll also provide eleven examples of eProcurement software and some tips on how to choose the right e-procurement system for your company's needs. Let's get started!
- EPROCUREMENT DEFINITION
- WHAT IS EPROCUREMENT SOFTWARE AND WHY EPROCUREMENT TOOLS ARE HELPFUL?
- OFFLINE VS. ONLINE PROCUREMENT PROCESSES
- WHAT ARE THE THREE STAGES OF THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS?
- WHAT ARE THE MAIN FUNCTIONS OF AN ELECTRONIC PROCUREMENT SYSTEM?
- TOP FEATURES OF THE EPROCUREMENT SOFTWARE
- HOW DOES E-PROCUREMENT WORK: THE EPROCUREMENT PROCESS
- EPROCUREMENT SYSTEMS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
- HOW IS EPROCUREMENT IMPLEMENTED?
- WHAT TOOLS ARE USED IN EPROCUREMENT?
- HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT EPROCUREMENT SOFTWARE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
- EPROCUREMENT MARKET: VENDORS OVERVIEW
- REVIEW OF 11 MOST CHOSEN EPROCUREMENT SOFTWARE EXAMPLES IN 2023
- MOBILE PROCUREMENT SOLUTIONS
- WHY VIRTO COMMERCE PLATFORM IS THE BEST FOR YOUR EPROCUREMENT PROCESSES
- CONCLUSION ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT EPROCUREMENT SOFTWARE
eProcurement, also known as electronic procurement or supplier exchange, is the term used to describe the process of the B2B, B2C, or B2G purchase and sale of goods and services over the Internet and other networking systems, such as EDI (or electronic data interchange) and ERP (enterprise resource planning). And as such, eProcurement technology is generally provided as an additional service by large ERP providers or as an eProcurement software by focused vendors.
What is B2B eProcurement?
B2B eProcurement (also known as business-to-business eProcurement) is the electronic purchasing of goods or services between two businesses.
Traditional procurement involves physical paper-tracked operations. As the Internet evolved into an essential commerce channel, eProcurement systems went online with the use of web-based solutions. The first company to launch an eProcurement system was IBM in the year 2000 when it introduced its Replenishment Management System and Method, designed by communications engineer Daniel Delfín and developed by programmer Alberto Wario. Back then, the system was designed to solve IBM's complex procurement process, which it successfully did, contributing to the plant’s production growth and prompting IBM to sell licenses to this software to other companies globally.
In Europe, eProcurement for the public sector was first introduced with Directives 17 and 18 in 2004 and subsequently revised in 2014, setting up a framework for transparent and equal opportunities for public procurement, including the standardization of procurement processes and the use of electronic communications.
The modern eProcurement value chain consists of several key components, such as indent management, eInforming, eAuctioning, catalog management, vendor management, purchase order integration, eInvoicing, ePayments, contract management, order status, and ship notice. While some components are optional, others tend to be more standard.
What Is eProcurement Software and Why eProcurement Tools are Helpful?
eProcurement software is an enterprise system that automates and integrates the spectrum of an organization's procurement cycle. A good eProcurement solution will increase the transparency of spending and approval processes.For example, an online procurement as a part of an eProcurement system allows customers to browse online catalogs, add goods to the shopping cart and send an order request. However, online procurement automation goes far beyond the online shopping experience. Online procurement involves many procedures, functions, and workflows, making eProcurement fast and cost-effective. Its implementation reduces manual errors and paper-based processes due to smart automation and the visibility of a purchasing mechanism. An eProcurement platform and tools remove most document operations from a procurement team who can now focus on high-value tasks, not paperwork.
An effective eProcurement platform and eProcurement tools streamline procurement procedures and deliver visible cost-saving results.
Of course, eProcurement technology differs in features and provided options. Some eProcurement tools are suitable for large corporations, while others are less complex and more fitting for small or medium-sized businesses.
Offline vs. Online Procurement Processes
Procurement departments play an important role in almost every company, regardless of its size. The procurement system is essentially a set of processes that consist of several steps and interactions with other departments of the company and its suppliers. Traditional procurement involves obtaining quotes and approvals and preparing and submitting purchase orders.
The procurement manager’s responsibilities include strategic planning to reduce procurement costs by searching for cost-effective deals and suppliers. Good procurement technology provides many opportunities for cost savings and makes a significant difference to a company's budget.
An eProcurement system manages an e-commerce website's offers/bids and can be used interchangeably with procurement software. It is designed to optimize purchasing processes and increase transparency in spending and approval processes. eProcurement essentially transfers the entire procurement process to an online platform, eliminating several steps and thus, saving the budget.
What Are the Three Stages of the Procurement Process?
To put it simply, any procurement process typically involves three stages: planning, sourcing, and contracting.
- Planning: The first stage of the procurement process is planning. In this stage, businesses identify what goods or services they need to purchase and develop a procurement plan.
- Sourcing: The second stage of the procurement process is sourcing. In this stage, businesses identify potential suppliers and request quotes.
- Contracting: The third stage of the procurement process is contracting. In this stage, businesses negotiate contracts with suppliers and award purchase orders.
What Are the Main Functions of an Electronic Procurement System?
eProcurement systems handle the entire procure-to-pay process by offering integrated applications for sourcing, auctioning, requisitioning, billing, spending analysis, contract, and vendor management. And as such, an electronic procurement system should have at least the following functions:
- The procure-to-pay application handles the entire procurement process, from requisitioning to paying for materials and services. Users should be able to browse and find items in catalogs, compare prices, order, and pay for the desired items.
- eSourcing system helps to compare and choose vendors by managing such documents as Requests for Information, Requests for Approval, and Requests for Requisition.
- Spend analytics validates, reports, and analyses spend data, which helps to organize spending and identify savings areas. In turn, strategic save management gives visibility into spending performance and achieving business objectives.
- Contract management organizes legally binding agreements and makes them available for further negotiations and signatures.
- Supplier management consolidates the vendor database and manages supplier information. Such software provides analytics into supplier performance and other supplier-related processes.
Top Features of the eProcurement Software
Different eProcurement systems have different features. So, if you’re looking for a procurement solution for your company, see if it has all the necessary features that would support your business. Some of the essential features to look out for include:
- Supplier management
Supplier management is the core function of any procurement system. Supplier lifecycle management functionality should include tools for identifying, onboarding, managing, and analyzing suppliers. A simple supplier management module should at least include supplier information, purchase catalog, order history, and payment details. A more robust system would include tools that help efficiently onboard, qualify, and manage suppliers.
- Budget insight and control
Budgeting is an important aspect of procurement management that has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. A good eProcurement solution should enable a business to create and enforce dynamic approval workflows that would help enhance the efficiency of the company’s purchasing power, define authority in making purchasing decisions, and resolve purchasing bottlenecks across the value chain. Procurement software should have rule-based budget controls, compliance management, and automated spend monitoring.
A good eProcurement system should be able to seamlessly integrate with internal and third-party systems to ensure accuracy, consistency, and process efficiency. Integrations remove data silos, redundancy, duplication, and human errors. A flexible procurement management system scans data history, deduplicates, and updates the whole system without intervention or suspension of critically important business processes.
A good platform should be fully customizable to model the unique procurement needs of the business. An ideal solution would be cloud-based and API-driven, which means scalable and extensible by default.
How Does E-procurement Work: The eProcurement Process
eProcurement eliminates the need manually carry out labor-intensive and procurement-related tasks by automating those tasks and connecting various entities and processes through a centralized platform. Supplier relationship management is the key component of the eProcurement process. Depending on the nature of the business, components may vary, but generally, these are:
- E-sourcing (defining purchasing requirements and selection criteria, pre-qualifying prospective suppliers),
- E-tendering (requesting quotations, proposals, and more information),
- E-auctioning (evaluating suppliers, negotiating, and agreeing on terms and conditions),
- E-ordering (creating requisition and purchase orders, receiving ordered items),
- Analytics (evaluating supplier performance, spending, and budget control).
eProcurement systems Advantages and Disadvantages
As with any system, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Thankfully, with the carefully chosen eProcurement system, a business can expect more benefits than drawbacks. Flexible software will allow companies to eliminate data silos by connecting and integrating other business systems, boost productivity by reducing manual labor and human errors, get more insights into budgeting and expenditure and augment collaboration between different teams and partners.
Disadvantages are mainly connected with the implementation of eProcurement systems: they require substantial investment, learning, and readjustment from personnel. To prevent any implementation issues, companies need to carefully research the market for prospective e-purchasing solutions, choose the most adequate software given the budget constraints and business objectives, and thoroughly plan the implementation and integration processes.
How Is eProcurement Implemented?
There are a few stages involved in choosing, adopting, and implementing eProcurement applications:
- Initiation stage:
To start off, a company needs to devise a business case with details regarding the company strategy, the use of a system, available resources, and time constraints. Usually, at this stage, after assessing current procurement processes and gaps in those processes, the management of the company drafts up a document that delineates the scope, goals, dependencies, and assumptions and contains a plan, risk assessment, and stakeholder overviews. After the document gets checked against the budget constraints and approved by relevant parties, the project moves to the next stage.
- Acquisition stage
If all objectives and boundaries are set and known, it’s time to develop a new or choose an existing methodology for selecting an adequate procurement solution. A tender document should describe the procurement process, specify the required functionality and objectives, and provide the tender terms and conditions. An information session can be organized for suppliers to answer their questions. After reviewing tender submissions, the company chooses the best providers and the most cost-effective eProcurement solutions. After a demonstration session with the chosen providers, the best of them is chosen for the realization stage.
- Realization stage. The realization stage includes three sub-stages:
- Design: Suppliers prepare a detailed design of the process, system, IT management, and the transition period before and after software implementation.
- Software configuration: Suppliers set up the solution based on the design parameters.
- Testing of the delivered eProcurement tool includes unit, system integration, and acceptance testing.
- Implementation stage
One of the most important parts of the implementation stage is to get everyone on board with the adopted system, which means that everyone in the company (especially those that are directly involved in the procurement processes) should be fully informed and adequately trained to use the new system. After information and training sessions, it’s time to convert the old data into a new system and proceed according to the designed plan.
- Maintenance stage
The final stage is evaluation and maintenance. It’s important to consistently and continuously evaluate the system and maintain and update it as long as it serves the organization.
What Tools Are Used in eProcurement?
How to Choose the Right eProcurement Software for Your Business
eProcurement applications can save your business time and money - but only if you choose the right system for your company's needs. There are a few things you should keep in mind when selecting eProcurement software, including:
- The size of your company: If you have a large enterprise, you will need an eProcurement system that can handle a high volume of transactions. On the other hand, if you have a small business, you may not need all the bells and whistles of a larger system.
- The type of products or services you purchase: If you frequently purchase large ticket items, you'll need an eProcurement system that can handle RFQs and RFPs. If you primarily purchase small ticket items, a simpler system may be a better option.
- Your budget: eProcurement software ranges in price from free to several thousand dollars per month. Be sure to choose a system that fits within your company's budget.
- The features you need: There are a variety of eProcurement software solutions on the market, each with its own unique set of features. Make a list of the must-have features for your company, and then select a system that offers those features.
What to consider before choosing the right eProcurement software for your business
- The size of your company
- The type of products or services you purchase
- Your budget
- The features you need
By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure to choose the right eProcurement software for your business. Ready to get started? Check out our top picks for eProcurement software solutions.
eProcurement Market: Vendors Overview
Review of 11 Most Chosen eProcurement Software Examples in 2023
Some companies outsource their eProcurement needs to third-party procurement service providers (PSPs) that design and manage Internet-based procurement programs on their behalf for a fee. It takes time and resources for a company to maintain domain expertise in all facets of spending. Assistance from a PSP increases the likelihood that a company’s purchasing decisions remain strategic. So, what are the major eProcurement tools? Let’s discover some examples of eProcurement.
1. Fraxion (previously, eRequester) cloud-based procurement software for B2B/B2C
Getapp rating: 4.3 / 5
This is the eProcurement example for controlling finances, corporate spending, and approval workflow.
This eProcurement software allows you to:
- Integrate accounting systems along with other customized solutions for your business: online requisitions, online approvals of purchase
- Control the budget, integrated web and mobile interfaces, management of expenses, approval of invoices etc.
2. PairSoft web-based eProcurement system for B2B/B2C
Trustradius rating: 6.3 / 10
PairSoft’s P2P automation solutions can be run as a standalone solution or integrated with Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Intacct, Blackbaud Financial Edge, Netsuite, and Acumatica.
The PairSoft web-based procurement system allows for the following:
- 360° spend insight across categories
- Real-time vendor and supplier communication
- Streamlined approval routing and compliance assurance
- Advanced data retrieval and tracking
3. Procurify B2C eProcurement software for small business
Trustradius rating: 9.6 / 10
Procurify has become popular among users for its seamless integration with multiple systems.
The platform allows for:
- Verification and centralization of available information by giving users the necessary set of user controls
- Customizable workflows
If you are a mid-sized company, Procurify might be your go-to spending management solution.
4. Synertrade Accelerate eProcurement software applications and tools for B2B/B2C
Peer Insights rating: 4.4 / 5
SynerTrade Accelerate SaaS platform covers the entire procurement process through a variety of modules, such as:
- Spend Analytics
- Product Management
- Contract lifecycle management
- Catalog management
- Purchase requisition, and so on.
There’s a large support community, and the company’s customer service is available in 10 languages 24/7.
5. Tradogram cloud-based eProcurement software for B2B/B2C
Getapp rating: 4.5 / 5
Tradogram is a web-based eProcurement software for building control strategy in any company. Tradogram's features can help companies with purchasing administration and operations:
- They enhance team collaboration
- Help to oversee purchasing activities
- Automatically generate reports from stored transaction histories.
If you want full control of all the processes in your mid-sized company from the product and supplier side, Tradogram might be the right eProcurement platform for you.
6. Precoro eProcurement software for small businesses for B2C
Getapp rating: 4.8 / 5
Precoro is a highly customizable procurement platform for small and growing mid-sized businesses. Among Precoro key features are:
- Purchase orders
- Approval workflows
- Budget management
- Reporting, inventory, supplier, and user management
7. ProcurEngine, a reverse/forward auction platform and eProcurement application for B2B/B2G
Capterra rating: 5 / 5
ProcureEngine is a simple reverse/forward auction platform that includes a few robust procurement software functions.
Among ProcurEngine main features are:
- RFx and eAuction
- Supplier lifecycle management, eNFA, supplier Portal
- Contract management and spend analytics
ProcureEngine is flexible and can be accessed anywhere in the world, deployed on-premise or in the cloud. It is fully compliant with any standards and adheres to all of the guidelines in the industry.
8. SAP Ariba B2B eProcurement platform
Peer Insights rating: 4.3 / 5
SAP Ariba platform is a cloud-based procurement system from SAP.
This is a single system with a cloud approach that covers everything:
- Contracts with suppliers
- Central RFQs
- Spend analyses
The solution is quick and easy to implement as SAP’s global network of connected suppliers allows companies to seamlessly switch solutions and seek provider help when required.
9. Coupa spend management platform and eProcurement software for B2B/B2C/B2G
Trustradius rating: 7.4 / 10
Coupa is a cloud platform to manage transactions across procurement, payments, and supply chain.
Among Coupa’s features are:
- Powerful and easy eProcurement
- AP automation and compliance
- Travel and expense management
- Supply chain management
- Contract management
- Spend analysis
10. Jaggaer B2B eProcurement software for B2B/B2C
Trustradius rating: 7.5 / 10
aggaer One procure-to-pay suite is an inclusive spending management suite and a resource for online shopping and automatic inquiry.
Jaggaer One software's new analytics option offers:
- A rapid approach to data allows companies to transmit the data skillfully and safely anywhere required
- Punch out capability
- Logical user interface
Jaggaer is best suited for larger multi-national companies as it’s designed to streamline operations across departments and countries.
11. Odoo eProcurement software open source for B2C
Trustradius rating: 7 / 10
Odoo is a suite of open source business apps: CRM, ecommerce, accounting, inventory, POS, procurement, project management, etc.
With Odoo, you can:
- Automate your purchasing workflows
- Automatically send RFQs to suppliers
- Establish procurement rules
- Make smarter purchasing decisions
- Launch purchase tenders
- Analyse, forecast, and efficiently plan your orders.
Mobile Procurement Solutions
Why Virto Commerce Platform is The Best for Your eProcurement Processes
Peer Insights rating: 4.3 / 5
The Virto Commerce platform enables eProcurement automation and can become your supply chain optimization mechanism.
The Virto platform is a cost-effective eProcurement software system to streamline purchasing processes, provide better control over spendings and save time and resources for your team.
Virto Commerce allows your business to:
- Track expenses, costs, and warranty information.
- Encourage everyone to spend smarter and save on everyday operating costs by tracking inventory items, service and expiration deadlines, stock, and more.
- Stick to the budget, eliminate unwanted spending, and improve savings by enabling buyers and purchasing management to consistently enforce pre-purchase approvals.
- Gain insight into purchase order (PO) and non-PO spending across the organization.
- Create smooth and smart workflows while providing an enjoyable shopping experience.
- Automate purchasing processes and enable strategic purchasing.
- Negotiate better contracts with less time and resources.
- Optimize supply chain mechanisms and build strategic partnerships with your suppliers.
- Increase user adoption across an organization.
- Make informed financial decisions.
- Increase transparency and visibility across the board.
- Allows both suppliers and managers to self-service.
- Collaborate effectively.
- Grow your business.
This is best suited for group purchasing organizations, the aftermarket industry, as well as for natural resource enterprises.