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How can the marketplace format be an effective tool for eProcurement?

Kevin M.

First things first, a quick reminder about eProcurement

E-procurement solutions are defined as internal platforms aiming to dematerialize and improve the supply chain management within large organizations. For decades large organizations have implemented complex software in order to gather on one single platform and let their employees place orders online.   

Uppler has just been reviewed and selected for the 2nd consecutive year as a customer leader in the SpendMatters Study "E-Procurement Solution Rankings - Fall 2021" dedicated to eProcurement platforms.

eProcurement, an essential solution to respond to the problems of the purchasing department.

The pain point for companies with large procurement needs is the difficulty to monitor purchasing and avoid unnecessary purchases in a context of increasing complexity (number of suppliers, servicization, unsuitable validation workflows, etc.).

As an answer, e-procurement allows them to centralize and automate interactions between stakeholders (end users, purchasing department, suppliers, etc.). Its purpose is to optimize processes, management and purchasing strategy. 

The scope of responsibilities covered by eprocurement is often referred as “procure-to-pay”. Following is an explanation of a “procure-to-pay”.

Furthermore, during the last 2 years, the need for digitization by purchasing managers has been increasing. The acceleration of the digitization of companies has increased in particular during the Covid-19 health crisis. According to the McKinsey study “How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever”, companies have digitized many activities, from 20 to 25 times faster than they previously expected. Among them, the restructuring of the supply chain, the use advanced technologies for the operationion (x25 - 26,5 days instead of 672) and the use of new suppliers are key components of this digitization. 

This development of usages around new technologies is also strongly encouraged by the new generations of professional buyers who have been brought up in digital and are used to making their own personal purchases there throughout the year. They are therefore familiar with the use of digital technology, and therefore they are particularly sensitive to the user experience which is so important. 

This is one of the reasons why it is estimated that for B2B purchases, the search for information now begins in more than 90% of cases via a search engine, seen as saving time for documentation. on products, compare them and consult reviews… And this at any time and more and more on mobile terminals.

eProcurement: The failed promise of adoption

Despite proven efficiency and extensive capabilities, eProcurement still has a low penetration rate across companies. A Fed Supply study in partnership with the consulting company Leyton notes that 49% of the companies surveyed don't use e-procurement solutions. We can consider that there is an adoption problem in companies. 

Adoption of e-Procurement contributes to improved customer services, customer satisfaction by improving employee contribution through procurement performance. Like any other business software, the adoption of a new B2B procurement platform requires you to put the effort into defining your strategic goals and communicate them with your employees and partners.

The e-Procurement solutions have been intrinsically developed with the aim of reducing costs and optimizing productivity and efficiency while the optimization goals of agility and user experience were not a priority.

To date, a new report highlights a shift of priorities from efficiency towards adaptability and productivity towards the customer experience across the entire e-Procurement chain …

From now on, e-Procurement must offer agile sourcing, adaptable purchasing and rapid onboarding of new suppliers.

Uppler's B2B eProcurement platform solution: an answer to the lack of adoption

Users are constantly browsing and continually employing software for their day-to-day work. It is therefore imperative to understand what draws users.  What makes us as customers choose our software over another? There are experts who work with aspects of human interaction with technology. They have concluded that the main factor that makes us adopt a specific software or platform is UX (User Experience). 

(E-commerce UX - eProcurement platform - ProAchat by Best Western)

Rather than offering a rigid and complex software interface, the uppler’s solution lets you build your own internal shopping interface, with a custom design and Amazon-like experience.

(Multi-supplier - eProcurement platform - ProAchat by Best Western)

One of the advantages of the Uppler solution is to be agile and user-centric, with an optimized experience, enriched data and simplified purchasing processes. The solution makes it possible to streamline the relationship between companies and their suppliers and to modernize their negotiation processes, now smooth and direct.

Thanks to our PIM (Product Information Management) companies are able to create multi-vendors product navigation with their own categories filters and product structures.

And thanks to our CMS (Contents Management System) our clients can design their own platform with their own hosting and URL. Thus we provide a fully whilte label solution.

(Multi-supplier cart - eProcurement platform - ProAchat by Best Western)

In addition our solution can provide an e-commerce like purchase request with multi-vendors cart validation. This purchase request will trigger an internal validation workflow as in traditional eprocurement.

All those points for end users for whom Uppler's e-procurement platform solution is recognized for its innovation and adaptability in its use cases. It is very flexible by providing a broad spectrum of features and allows it to respond to numerous purchasing departments' needs wishing to streamline their processes and rationalize certain types of purchasing.

The Uppler’s solution can also be integrated to your current e-procurement solution through punchout. Suppliers can synchronize their catalog with Uppler.

In addition to what was said previously, Uppler has become a market leader by offering a complete procurement marketplace builder that includes:

  • Catalog updates where suppliers can synchronize it with Uppler via API, ftp, url, Excel.
  • A customizable white label platform in terms of design, workflow features and URLs.
  • A fixed license to pay for an unlimited number of users, transactions, suppliers at no fees.
  • A platform open to any company, partner or competitor of the group.

Inetum, the integrator partner of Uppler, one of the leaders in Europe for value-added services in digital and e-Commerce, supports you in the study and implementation of your marketplace, from the formalization of your processes to when the MVP goes live.

Sources:

1. SpendMatters, E-Procurement Solution Rankings Fall 2021

2. McKinsey, How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever, 5 Octobre 2020

3. Fed Supply X Leyton, Professionnels des achats: enjeux et perspectives, 2020

4. Let’s talk supply chain, Adaptability is the Key to Creating Resilient Supply Chains, Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, 11 juin 2020

5. Easy Software, P2P Process

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