Automating indirect purchases has a few challenges. Indirect purchases are typically conducted frequently, by many employees, and from many suppliers. This makes it hard to standardize such purchases. As standardization is a prerequisite for automation, it is no wonder that indirect purchases are performed manually in most companies.
The benefits of standardizing and automating purchasing are straightforward:
- Better deals can be negotiated with preferred suppliers
- Less overhead costs are required for selecting and placing an order
- Straight-through processing of invoices become possible
- Visibility on purchases made, which is beneficial in scope of spend analysis and compliance matters
One of the critical success factors in bringing spend under management, is making it extremely easy for employees to make purchases, which at the same time, are offered under management. The ease-of-use of popular online shops that are targeting consumers, should be applied for employees as well.
There are a number of ways to empower the business to perform their own purchases, while seeing to it that these purchases are conducted from preferred suppliers:
- E-Catalogue: Preferred suppliers upload and manage their goods in a dedicated purchase platform, such as offered by Basware. Employees can conduct their purchases in this environment.
- Punch-out catalogue: Employees conduct their purchases in a webshop / e-commerce platform of the preferred supplier. Thanks to a cXML connection between this platform and a dedicated purchase platform, such as offered by Basware, an employee is redirected to a dedicated purchase environment upon making a purchase in the supplier’s platform. The product that has been selected is then further processed in the dedicated purchase environment. With a punch-out connection, suppliers can manage their items in their own environment without having to manage a separate environment for a specific customer.
- Automating the purchase of non-product related goods, typically commences with suppliers that capture a relatively large share of a company’s spend. It takes quite some effort and time to have these long-tail suppliers on board with e-catalogues or punch-outs. An intermediate solution would be the use of order forms that are integrated with a dedicated purchase platform, such as offered by Basware.
ICreative offers Basware solutions that focus predominantly on indirect sourcing and purchasing. However, with regards to invoice processing and spend management, our solutions pertain to both direct and indirect sourcing and purchasing.