Making e-Procurement Smarter for Everyone with WeProcurement™
Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016
Beginning our series on the WeProcurement™, my first post took a look at what it means to build Relevance into an e-procurement system to make e-procurement make sense to users. Continuing with our series, I will continue on the topic of e-procurement benefits and challenges by focusing on the second pillar of the WeProcurement approach: Intelligence.
Product Marketing Manager
What is intelligent purchasing software?
When we talk about Intelligence with WeProcurement, we’re not referring to reporting capabilities delivered in traditional procurement systems. Although reporting is extremely valuable, Intelligence in WeProcurement is about giving users the right information at the right time in the natural course of doing their jobs. It unburdens employees from understanding the procurement process – it gives them the expert knowledge to find what they need and easily make solid decisions. This makes it easier for users to take action in accordance with procurement goals and contribute towards strategic company initiatives and savings targets.
The WeProcurement brand of Intelligence is about steering users to the right choices, but not forcing them into rigid options that don’t meet their needs.
Serves up information users need in the natural course of doing their jobs
Personalizes shopping experience by offering the most frequently needed items
Suggests items that require zero approvals for faster delivery (e.g. – new hire kits)
Shows employees the impact of their actions on the success of the business
Automates additional approvals based approval limits and other workflow rules
Shows how requests affect budgets and provides spend insights anytime, anywhere
Removes superfluous information to lean overall processes.
What are the ways purchasing software can offer Intelligence in a WeProcurement approach?
As discussed in our post about Relevance, workflows should be designed to address the nuances and uniqueness of each type of user’s role, department, and buying categories. WeProcurement Intelligence builds on that pillar by looking at each step of the workflow and making assumptions about what that user might need to know to move to the next step and make the decision that best benefits everyone.
Here are a few examples:
- Zero approvals: Some items employees need that are required for daily work do not vary and can be setup in the system as pre-approved. One example of this is a new hire kit that would include things like a laptop, phone, badge, handbook, t-shirt, etc. Instead of making employees take the time to route these requests through the system, the procurement software should suggest a new hire kit that can be filled without having to go through additional approval workflows.
- Payment plans: These days wide range of services are purchased as subscriptions that are charged monthly instead of just once. The e-Procurement solution has to intelligently support payment plans based on an initial authorization to go ahead and order the subscription plan. Purchasing software would only ask approval of recurring invoices in case the monthly subscription exceeds the originally authorized amount. Meanwhile users do not need to bother with approvals.
- Travel plans: Maybe there are a group of users travelling to the same city for a conference. The eProcurement solution should allow them to order travel through the system, while serving up relevant information for booking those arrangements, like the most affordable or popular flight and hotel options. The system should also show them opportunities to share transportation like rental cars and taxis to help keep costs down.
There are infinite configuration options that can be imagined when companies really think about the Intelligence their users need and don’t need when buying goods and services to do their jobs. By diving into the more granular areas of procurement process management, these organizations reap the ultimate benefits of increased efficiency, more productivity, streamlined processes, reduced risk, less waste, and of course, significant savings.
In our next blog post in this series, we will describe the Intelligence of WeProcurement in practice with a customer case study example. In the meanwhile, you can download our e-book "Putting the We in e-Procurement" to learn more about the approach and how it delivers the e-procurement benefits.