Where Procurement Technology is Heading


March 11, 2016 at 4:28 AM

 This content is sponsored by SMART by GEP. 

When industry watchers reflect on ways procurement has changed over the years, they often miss a critical point--how easy it is now for workers to place orders and receive the goods and services they need to do their jobs, all the while compliant with company procurement policy.

Before the Internet, when office workers needed to purchase, say, stationery, they had to fill out paper forms, which consisted of multiple parts. The chore was tedious and time-consuming, but if the workers wanted to do the right thing and place their orders with procurement’s preferred suppliers and pay preferred prices, they endured the process. If not, they simply took a break from their duties and drove to the nearest retail outlet. 

Technology and cloud procurement software make it all so much simpler. A maintenance worker on the roof of a building repairing a compressor learns he or she needs to replace a broken part. Using a mobile device--a smart phone or tablet--the worker can find a new part in a catalog of a preferred supplier, place an order and arrange to have the part delivered to the work site or for pick up at a local distributor branch, all the while in compliance with a contract procurement negotiated that brings maximum value to the company. 

While the process has certainly advanced in 30 years, it is hardly new. Consumers order products online every day. What is innovative is how technology has made it simple for users to be compliant with company procurement policy. 

In fact, the scenario shows how accustomed workers have become to using technology. It’s second nature. They use the technology when they need it. And, when they don’t, they don’t. 

Therein lies the challenge—getting workers to use the technology. Procurement software providers are helping companies to overcome this challenge by providing technology that workers can use straight out of the box, without training or change management. Think of it as getting into a new driverless car and arriving at a destination without having to turn a key or touch a steering wheel.  

Easing use is one way technology is heading. Another lies in breaking down barriers in procurement between spend analysis, contract management, savings tracking, supplier management, sourcing, procure-to-pay and others, so that the company uses one platform for these activities. Imagine companies using Salesforce.com for everything customer-related. Take that one step further, with companies using four key platforms, one each for sales, procurement, HR and operations. Like salesforce.com for sales, they view procurement as a platform and are using SMART by GEP. 

Visionary? Yes, but possible because of the cloud and mobility. Cloud procurement and mobile devices make it possible for companies to get things done according to policy--sign a contract, approve a purchase order—and reap rewards of procurement’s hard work regardless of connection or device. 

Learn more about procurement software designed to let you succeed at www.smartbygep.com

Also see:  Three Kinds of Data Every Procurement Professional Needs to Succeed


Tags: E-procurement Technology procurement software mobile spend management Cloud Procurement Software
Category: Blog Post


SMART by GEP is a complete, unified source-to-pay software platform, native to cloud, touch and mobile technologies with comprehensive sourcing and procurement functionality, including spend analysis, sourcing, savings tracking, contract management, supplier management, procure-to-pay and more.

Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), SMART by GEP leverages cloud economics to deliver a solution that easily handles the heaviest processing requirements of GEP’s Fortune 500 and Global 2000 clients, while eliminating burdensome infrastructure and support costs.

SMART by GEP is easy to set up, deploy and use, with no extensive training required. All GEP products are platform-agnostic (they work with SAP, Oracle or any other major ERP or F&A system)

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