Business efficiency is at the core of all successful small businesses – and large ones – but until now, only the big boys have had the money, and the manpower, to implement cost-saving tools like e-sourcing software.
Now, however, efficiency-driving e-sourcing, or e-procurement, software – is available to small and medium enterprises, which can help them sustain real competitive advantage in their sector.
So what should small businesses look for in an e-sourcing tool?
It’s got to be simple. If it’s overly complex, then you’re not going to use it. The good news is that as there’s a direct relationship between complexity and uptake, e-sourcing software designers are continually striving to minimise complexity and maximise effectiveness.
The process of getting your suppliers onto the system needs to be as painless as possible. A good e-procurement tool makes this easy for you to minimise your suppliers’ data-input, although time does need to be spent educating your suppliers to drive adoption rates.
You need to be able to request quotes from your suppliers – to define the entire spec of an order and reduce negotiation times. Indeed the best software can remove negotiation altogether. It needs to easily display quotes and make it easy to see cost-savings.
The best purchasing and sourcing tools provide data to buyers and suppliers alike. This can uncover both price savings and supplier-quality data, heavily influencing future purchasing decisions.
Where to go?
A Google search on either e-sourcing or e-procurement will find a wide variety of vendors pushing platforms of varying maturity and pricing. But it’s worth taking a look at new-to-market www.yourwebtrader.com – which is free to use, and has been developed specifically for SMEs.
Whichever way you go, take some time out one evening to spend some quality time with an e-sourcing solution – and start to drive that business efficiency.
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