Search360: The next-generation e-procurement solution

manutan ivalua innovation search360
April 25th, 2019
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With the digital revolution underway, company needs and expectations regarding the buying experience are changing at a rapid pace. Procurement departments are facing significant challenges in this area, as they need to offer both a high-quality, structured user experience while strengthening relationships with their suppliers. It is with this in mind that Ivalua and Manutan presented their new Search360 solution at the Ivalua Now event in Paris on 12 April 2019, which is set to revolutionise e-procurement

The challenges surrounding the buying experience

User experience plays a strategic role in both the B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Customer) sectors. However, it is becoming increasingly complex for the B2B sector. In addition to a buying experience that resembles that of a B2C environment (i.e. what they are used to in their personal lives), users also need specific B2B functionalities.

As a result, procurement departments have a very difficult equation to balance in order to create as much value as possible:

  • Provide an excellent purchasing experience for internal customers to encourage compliance with the defined processes and strategy.
  • Work closely with and guide internal customers through this purchasing experience to ensure that the procurement policy is applied.
  • Offer an excellent supplier experience to strengthen the partnership and links between suppliers and the procurement department.

With these issues in mind, Ivalua, an international market leader in global Spend Management Cloud solutions, and Manutan, Europe's leading B2B e-commerce company, designed Search360, an innovative e-procurement solution.

Search360: The advanced e-procurement solution

Up until now, e-procurement solutions, particularly electronic catalogues, were dominated by two main tools:

 

Benefits

Limits

Punch-Out 

  • Information updated automatically in real time
  • Optimised search engine
  • Data monitoring and automatic reporting
  • Catalogue available on an external interface, separate from the company's procurement solution

Hosted catalogue

  • Catalogue integrated into the company's procurement solution, making comparison with other catalogues easier

 

  • Static information (no visibility over availability and delivery times, products sometimes discontinued etc.)
  • Data monitoring and manual reporting

As you can see, there are benefits and limits to each solution. In light of this, Ivalua and Manutan developed this new approach with the aim of combining all of the benefits offered by existing tools and eliminating their limitations. Search360 is a hybrid version of the traditional electronic catalogue, and aims to improve the user experience when searching for products.

The benefits of Search360

This innovative e-procurement solution has now been applied to all existing solutions, as it provides information from both existing hosted catalogues and other suppliers connected via the API[1]. This ultimately optimises two key features of the user experience:

  • Product search: Users can now search using a single platform. As a result, they have access to a powerful search engine with automatic input tools, filters and additional features, and can compare offers from several suppliers before placing their order. If users cannot find the products they need in the hosted catalogues or in the available APIs, they can then search on the supplier's PunchOut.
  • Content: All information, whether related to products, prices, stock levels, delivery times and so on, is updated in real time.

David Khuat-Duy, Corporate CEO of Ivalua, said, "Our customers can now give employees a consumer-like buying experience while still maintaining control over sources of supply and ensuring the best price. Suppliers can ensure accuracy of product details and pricing and maintain a direct relationship with their customers". 

With these advanced features, Search360 ultimately increases satisfaction among various stakeholders (users and suppliers) and allows better control over purchasing spend. In turn, this positions the procurement department as a genuine business partner.

"This innovation must pave the way for professionals in the sector, whether they are suppliers or procurement solution providers, and enable them to embark on an adventure into next-generation e-procurement solutions such as this one. In turn, this type of innovation will become standard across companies", concluded Xavier Laurent, Director of Value-Added Services at Manutan.

 

[1] Application Programming Interface

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