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Business Solutions: 7 Reasons to Use an E-Sourcing Service

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 2:38am | by Jessica Watts

E-sourcing is an efficient and transparent software-based method used to issue tenders, to obtain bids and to conduct procurement-related negotiations. With a streamlined sourcing process that operates through a single portal, e-sourcing software offers buyers deep repositories of sourcing information, ease of access, high levels of supplier competition and a possible increase in business.

Sometimes, e-sourcing platforms do more than to merely facilitate procurement deals. Modern platforms such as EC Sourcing RFP software go much farther and offer tools to facilitate the buying process. They help buyers build catalogs of supplier information, organize it all in spreadsheets, manage workflow in the sourcing process, test contract award scenarios, work out ways to make supplier flexibility possible and so on.

How does an e-sourcing platform help with the procurement process?                                            

The basic idea with e-sourcing is to save time and money Time is saved because new tenders don't need to be created each time procurements need to be made. Reusing existing templates is all that's needed. Small business buyers also find that e-sourcing gives them more control at all times - they are able to constantly check in on any activity to with their tenders. Many companies tend to put just one person in charge all procurement processes when they use e-sourcing software,. They are able to easily keep an eye on everything.

The benefits

Lower overheads: Businesses using e-sourcing solutions usually spend less on overheads. Not only do they save on the printing and stationery needs involved, they save on the number of people they need to place in charge of their procurement process, too.

They have fewer filing needs: With all their procurement and contract information stored online, businesses using e-sourcing software have less need for elaborate filing systems. They also expose themselves to a less risk from water- or fire-related damage.

It's easier to have consistency: When parties to a contract only have copies of a contract, there can be a certain amount of confusion about whether everyone has the exact same document. When every party to a negotiation has access to the exact same document online on e-sourcing software, there can be no source of confusion.

The need for software training is minimal: Today's e-sourcing platforms are so intuitively programmed that employees usually need very little training and support to begin using them.

The bid evaluation process is quicker: With the easy access and ease of use that e-sourcing offers, the bid evaluation process usually goes far more quickly when it's done with software than with traditional paper-based bids.

Resources get freed up for better customer service: When a small business doesn't have precious resources tied up chasing paper tenders and contracts, it can divert cash to implementing better customer service.

Suppliers can have better information: E-sourcing systems encourage buyers to state their requirements more clearly. Buyers don't need to worry about using too much space up - a tendency that could result in inconveniently thick tender folders. When tenders are floated online, buyers can include as much detail  in their tender announcements as needed, thus allowing for fewer mistakes down the line.

Finding the right E sourcing platform

The market for these sourcing platforms is a crowded one, with different options for different specific needs. You need to study each option closely for information on negotiation facilities, databases and interfaces offered. Good customer service is important too. You can check out the customer service at a vendor by simply asking all the questions that you need answers to, prior to buying.

Jeremy S ran his own business for many years. Now retired, he spends his days in his garden, and his nights blogging on a variety of websites. 

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