Three next-generation procurement tools that you need to know about

Procurement tools
February 27th, 2020
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The integration of disruptive procurement tools into e-procurement platforms is essential to support the increase in performance levels that teams are expected to produce. This is why it is important to be more aware of the possibilities offered by a new generation of procurement tools.

The finer points of data processing and optimising the outcomes of supplier relationships are what link these tools together. These enable procurement departments to be more agile and provide them with additional intelligence when managing their projects.   

Among this new generation of up-and-coming procurement tools, three types of tool are particularly interesting in terms of increasing the capacity of procurement departments:

Procurement tool no. 1: SRM software for a 360° view

A Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) application is a procurement tool which gives teams a global view of supplier operations:

  • Tender management
  • Listings
  • Document management
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Risk management

Thanks to comprehensive data scanning and the associated dashboards, companies can respond much more easily to any supplier relationship issues. They can also:

  • Detect early signs of economic decline or a drop in quality.
  • Identify and harness innovations as early as possible.
  • Ensure that contracts are fulfilled and upheld.

As a result, SRM procurement tools represent a strategic ally for companies. A Supplier Relationship Management application improves their ability to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction and adapt to changing uses.

Procurement tool no. 2: A spend analysis tool for improved expenditure tracking

Scattered data is a recurring problem for procurement departments. This weak structure is a barrier to analysing expenditure and consequently the finer details behind decisions. A procurement spend analysis tool is specifically designed for collecting and archiving all expenditure data in a single repository.

This type of procurement tool can also be used for data processing. These next-generation tools incorporate artificial intelligence to clean up and enhance expenditure data. Procurement teams therefore benefit from improved decision-making support across all expenditure categories and for all types of supplier. 

Procurement tool no. 3: A performance management module to highlight savings

Procurement departments have not traditionally been considered a priority when it comes to highlighting the results of its various activities. A performance assessment module is a next-generation procurement tool which emphasises results and demonstrates the interest in procurement a little more.

Highlighting the results from the successful management of supplier relationships has three advantages:

  • Recognising the work done by procurement teams.
  • Tracking savings made on each item over time.
  • Linking improvements in customer satisfaction to procurement decisions that are potentially related.

In the end, a procurement performance management tool documents the real benefits of having agreements with suppliers, in remarkable detail. It therefore gives additional room to manoeuvre when negotiating subsequent agreements.

Of course, there are many other next-generation procurement tools that can improve the day-to-day life and performance of procurement teams. The important thing is knowing that these tools exist and to be able to identify the potential that best fits the company's situation.

The digitalisation of procurement and changes to company customer uses and expectations are essentially advancing at the same pace. Procurement departments should therefore track the following, with the same level of diligence:

  • Innovations among the company's suppliers.
  • Disruption to procurement software solution publishers. 

The future of procurement clearly goes beyond tools, even next-generation ones. To find out about all the trends from the beginning of the year, take a look at the article by Julie Dang Tran, Managing Director of Manutan France:What are the trends and priorities for procurement in 2020?

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