Prioritize user-friendly procurement software for a competitive edge
The purpose of a business is to work together to achieve a common goal — however, as businesses grow and diversify, fragmentation and departmental silos are all too common.
This breakdown is a major threat to the success of your procurement function, according to Spend Matters. With procurement bridging the gap between internal stakeholders and external vendors, there is a fundamental need for clear channels of communication and collaboration to ensure well-informed spending decisions.
Thus, anything that presents a barrier to collaboration between procurement and the rest of the organization is a threat to your business’s bottom line — and that includes the notoriously difficult-to-use legacy software applications that many teams are forced to work around.
User-friendly procurement software, on the other hand, offers a seamless means for stakeholders to participate in the sourcing process, whether as subject matter experts giving input on individual decisions, or management seeking a clear picture of where money is being spent and how it’s being managed.
Spend Matters notes that easy-to-use procurement software presents several advantages:
- Quicker cycle times.
The high training requirements of legacy enterprise software, or stakeholders’ outright refusal to use a legacy system, results in a longer procurement process full of manual steps. User-friendly procurement software, on the other hand, makes it possible for internal stakeholders to quickly access proposals and complete their evaluations on their own time. Without the paperwork, the process is quicker and business outcomes are achieved sooner.
- Better working relationships.
It’s not only operational benefits, however. Easy-to-use procurement software makes it easier for the rest of the organization to work with procurement, yielding more open lines of communication and better business relationships.
Spend Matters analyst JP Morris writes, “Procurement software that’s easier to use can provide a sense of teamwork that encourages stakeholders to get more involved. It also helps to break down the misconceptions that formal procurement processes are always difficult or time-consuming.”
Better engagement from end users brings many follow-on benefits, including a decrease in people going outside the procurement process and greater recognition for procurement’s strategic role in the organization.
- More strategic contributions.
User-friendly software makes it easy for procurement to centralize and share information about their organization’s spending decisions with others in the organization. This visibility helps procurement managers to understand their spend and allocate resources strategically. Not only that, it also gives other members of the organizations insight into the ways in which procurement contributes to strategic goals.
“Providing an interface that is accessible, easy to use and insightful for vendors and buyers alike helps procurement team to step out of the shadows and be viewed as a strategic player in the organization, rather than a burden. Results matter and value can easily be reported on.”
If stakeholders across the company don’t have an easy way to interact with procurement, they simply won’t — to the detriment of your individual spending decisions as well as your overall business operations. Thus, choosing an intuitive and user-friendly procurement software is about more than just convenience for the procurement team. It’s a key competitive advantage for the whole business.