Deciding on eProcurement Technologies

eProcurement Technologies

One End-to-End Solution vs. Multiple

Determining which procurement technology solutions are right for your organization can be a daunting task. Today, as the market becomes increasingly fragmented the decision has become quite an undertaking. Exploring the one of the biggest questions, is it better to choose one complete end-to-end eProcurement suite, or select the best-in-breed solution for various stages of the Source-to-Pay process?

There are many providers who made their start in a specialized stage of the eProcurement process, such as spend analytics or eSourcing. These providers focused on being the market leader at one specific offering. Conversely, you have the large providers offering eProcurement suites that focus on providing a full gamut of modules and not necessarily being a market leader in any particular one. Do the benefits of integrating multiple best-in-class solutions outweigh the efficiencies gained by implementing one complete solution? In attempting to answer this question, there are many things to consider.

Integration with existing systems

  • Which option best aligns with your current IT architecture?
  • How dependent is your organization on your ERP system? Many of the large ERP systems have add-on modules that could increase implementation efficiencies, and might push you towards their suite offerings.
  • Does your organization require a detailed view of the entire supply chain, all in one place?

Characteristics of your organization

  • How advanced is your organization in terms of transitioning into the eProcurement space? If you are just beginning the journey, you need to gauge your organization’s appetite for change and the size of an upfront investment you are willing to make.
  • Is your organization willing to jump into bed with a suite provider and align to their future development roadmap, or is it preferred to have an easy exit if things don’t go as planned?
  • Availability of resources to lead multiple system integrations.
    • IT
    • Project Managers
    • Procurement
    • Executive Sponsors

Need for unique/custom functionality

  • Most providers are trying to win the feature “arms race.” Does your organization really need a solution with the most offered or most unique functionality?
  • Consider what is necessary vs. nice to have.

There isn’t always a right answer for all organizations. It is contingent on the desired outcome and the appetite to take on large scale projects. Recently, many eProcurement suite providers are increasing the capabilities of their modules, in turn becoming market leaders in each. Additionally, many best-in-breed specialty providers are beginning to offer a complete suite of modules. In the coming years, these questions may become irrelevant and the decision might come down to what aligns with your organization culturally.

If you would like additional information regarding the current supplier landscape, Spend Matters has a great report that provides additional details.

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