Technology is playing an increasingly prominent role in the world of vendor/supplier sourcing, procurement and management. Recent advances in the world of electronic procurement and supplier management technology span many different industries.
Leveraging clients' buying power is a driving force in the utilization of procurement technologies these days. Smaller to medium-sized organizations may also take advantage of an abundance of software tools and support services, which are readily available at competitive prices. Any service or product from paperclips to attorneys may now be sourced, procured and managed electronically.
The buying and procurement world affects almost all commercial sectors, from insurance to Construction, Mining, Energy, Transportation and Logistics. Anything we consume has been sourced and made available through a complex number of layers within the global supply chain.
The supply chain can begin from the source of raw materials, such as iron ore for steel-making, and end with the opening of a new bridge or tunnel, in the case of a large-scale construction project. In the center of these events is the management of suppliers and vendors.
Technology has been playing a more significant role in procurement and electronic sourcing or "e-sourcing" is now commonplace. How much of the supply chain has moved onto an electronic platform varies from industry to industry, but in most cases, all products and a growing number of services are driven by e-sourcing software solutions.
E-sourcing, simply put, is moving what was once a highly paper-driven process, onto an electronic platform.
How much of the client-supplier/vendor relationship has moved to an electronic platform depends on the complexity of the services and/or products in question and the industry. The manufacturing industry, for example, is highly engaged and to a greater extent has driven the development and sophistication of e-sourcing solutions.
These software solutions are readily available and are cost effective, even for small and medium-sized enterprises. Managing a paper- based system is expensive, slow, hard to measure or audit, and harmful to the environment. In the e-sourcing world, the removal of paper from the billing process also helps organizations to meet their CSR commitments. Staff will also be quick to embrace tools that save time and expense; benefits offered by any e-sourcing solution.