Today’s providers offer technologies that combine many earlier specialized capabilities in a multi-purpose, integrated offering increasingly known as Spend Management technology.
In the late 1990s, Purchasing already saw a rapid influx of impressive technology solutions. The dot-com bust obliterated many solution providers and their technologies, but we’re now seeing advances again.
While niche providers characterized the late ’90s, today’s providers are offering technologies that combine many of those specialized capabilities in a multi-purpose, integrated offering increasingly known as Spend Management technology, which encompasses:
eProcurement systems bring the ease of a retail shopping experience to corporate procurement. Users browse online catalogs of pre-approved goods and services from contracted suppliers. The requisition to payment process is fully automated.
eSourcing allows suppliers to access all RFP materials online and submit their proposals using online forms. Purchasers can view and analyze supplier submissions via a Web browser. Reverse auctions allow suppliers to dynamically improve their proposals after seeing their relative rank or competitors’ bids.
Analytics modules make it easier for purchasers to segment their purchases by categories and access category-specific information such as the amount spent, the number of suppliers used, and more.
Modern systems capture supplier performance data and allow purchasers to run queries to identify suppliers’ on-time delivery performance, quality history, and other metrics.
With the evolution from best-of-breed models to a one-stop-shop for all Spend Management needs, you’re likely wondering what the future holds for technology. “I’m impressed with the progress ERP providers are having on the eProcurement side of the equation,” said Jason Busch, Managing Director of Azul Partners and editor of the blog www.spendmatters.com. “I’m equally impressed with how best of breed vendors are breaking new ground on such areas as supplier performance management, supplier operational and financial forecasting, sourcing and bid optimization, category management, and services Spend Management.”
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