More and more companies are using strategic sourcing platforms as a fulcrum for digital transformation within the department (and the enterprise as a whole, but that’s another story for another day). How? By working with the right partner, sourcing can unleash its full potential; it becomes simple, efficient and most importantly, is able to make a larger impact across the enterprise.
eSourcing vendors support the planning, assessment, and performance management of companies’ procurement processes. In fact, a recent Gartner survey found that sales of strategic sourcing application suites are expected to double within the next five years.
Buyers and suppliers reap the benefits of a strategic sourcing provider. Running sourcing events through an eSourcing solution empowers streamlined communications, clear requirements and apples-to-apples comparison — putting suppliers on an equal playing field and helping buyers make the right selection.
Let’s take a closer look at what strategic qualities make for a great eSourcing vendor:
Because these platforms replace the use of antiquated collaboration methods, like spreadsheets or email, the first quality to look for in a strategic sourcing provider is a collaborative, easy-to-use product — and one that contributes to your enterprise’s competitive edge. Look for an established vendor that frequently upgrades its platform; this means that it is constantly working to address and meet its customers’ needs. After all, technology is developing at the speed of light (or at least it feels like that!), so you need a platform that can quickly respond to and take advantage of that.
Robust Supplier Network
As a sourcing leader, you’re probably all too familiar with the often time consuming and tedious task of compiling possible suppliers. By choosing an eSourcing vendor that has a robust network of credible suppliers, you can reduce or even eliminate this step — and discover a wealth of new suppliers that you may have never found otherwise. A great eSourcing vendor will also give you the opportunity to compare these potential suppliers – and give them the crucial information, such as pricing requirements or product details – so you can find the ideal fit for your company’s needs.
If you’re still sourcing through spreadsheets and disparate emails chains, you’re putting yourself through unnecessary torture! The best eSourcing platforms are often the simplest. Look for one that has high adoption and low ramp-up time — again, for both buyers and suppliers — with a full suite of capabilities, from RFx creation to reverse auctions and everything in between. A platform that focuses on speed and efficiency can help your business stay competitive and save money.
With the right tools, sourcing can make a massive impact across the enterprise — and the ideal strategic sourcing provider is a critical partner that can help you achieve that. When a provider has an easy-to-use platform, enhances collaboration, and centralizes data, your company will experience a huge benefit in terms of the efficiency and effectiveness of your procurement processes — and these improved sourcing practices will bring savings that go straight to your bottom line.
Need help finding the strategic sourcing platform that’s perfect for your business? Check out some emerging vendors in the space from Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendors in Procurement and Sourcing Technology report.