Procurement Industries

How to Choose the Right Digital IT Procurement Solution for Your Business

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5 minutes read

Posted by

Sarah Wilson

When it comes to technology, businesses have a lot of choices to make. One of the most critical decisions is what type of digital IT procurement solution to use. There are many different options, and it can be challenging to decide which is right for your business. This article will discuss the different things to look for in a solution to make the best choice for your business.

We will review what to look for in your business's digital procurement solution for IT. The IT procurement process components need to be managed well with a Procure-to-pay software solution. Before we do, a quick snapshot of what we will be covering:

1)      Installation & Integration

2)      Great Support

3)      Must-have Features

4)      Allows Visibility

Installation & Integration

An IT procurement solution needs to be easy to implement into your existing system. Cloud-based options allow for easy online access to the end-user and require minimal installation effort. Typically, these types will not need to interact with any back-end security protocols.

Integration with your existing ERP is a critical piece for any procure-to-pay solution. Recording your IT procurement transactions is crucial for your business to ensure the accuracy of your financial reporting. Any manual process around recording purchases, paying suppliers, or calculating profitability, opens your business up to the possibility of errors.

User management is another essential process to consider. Ensure that setting up users within the system is smooth and easy. Review your business needs around hierarchy and ensure the system you choose can accommodate that structure. Not everyone needs access to everything, and it's essential to be able to manage access.

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Easy to Use & Great Support

A procure-to-pay system must be comprehensive, easy to use, and intuitive to navigate. We all know how challenging it can be for teams to adopt a new platform, and a significant step toward helping this is to start with a system that is easy to use. This helps improve the learning curve and increase adoption.

Support within a procurement system can look a variety of different ways. Look for a detailed help section within the platform itself. This allows the end-user to seek the help they need without any assistance.

Another excellent resource for support is video tutorials. Whether embedded within the platform or published on YouTube, videos are a perfect way for an end-user to get support during the learning process.

Another critical thing to look at is how the company itself provides support. Some companies have a phone number for support, while others have an email or chat system. Think about your team and how they prefer to communicate and look for an aligned support model.

Some digital procurement solutions come with a set number of contracted help hours with your purchase of their platforms.

Must-Have Features

When looking for an IT procurement solution, it's essential to look for specific features to ensure it's the right solution for your business. Using a system to automate and digitize certain features of the procurement process will help you manage it more efficiently.  

A supplier management component is critical. In a procure-to-pay solution, it's vital to have an area to manage all your suppliers. Suppliers' contact information, purchase history, and service level history are essential items to track over time. Having supplier contact information readily available will ensure that the IT procurement process goes smoothly. Making purchase history available gives you insights into who you buy the most from, and service level history lets you keep track of your best-performing vendors. Your best-performing suppliers are the ones you may focus most on your procurement. Reviewing under-performing suppliers allows you to obtain alternate suppliers where it makes sense.

Contract Management is also a vital piece to have in your software solution. This is a pivotal component to track, ensuring you are negotiating the lowest possible price on all your IT procurement-related needs.

A suitable contract management module will track historical contract pricing with each supplier and ensure a smooth negotiation. Keeping a historical record of bargaining with each supplier will also help you optimize who you buy each item from. Beneficial functionality to have would be the ability to automate the communication and tender process with your suppliers. Sending out the invitations to bid automatically and tracking the process can speed up the contract management process.

Allows Visibility

Visibility within your procure-to-pay system is critical to robust and efficient IT procurement processes. Item Master Management is an important way to track the items you buy. Maintaining an Item Master is the process in which you track and store the details of each item you buy. These details include, but are not limited to, pricing, unit of measure, purchase history, accounting data, and manufacturer number. Tracking these details is vital to avoid item duplication and clear communication during the buying process.

The approval workflow is another process that will add increased visibility to your IT procurement process. This will allow you to add managerial approval to a necessary process to control spending and keep your eyes on critical categories. Some limits may be applied based on spending amount; others could be based on a specific category.

Managing the budget is another crucial function that gives visibility into your business. Setting specific budget categories allows you to manage your spending on all aspects of the procurement process. Look for a digital procurement solution that enables the flexibility to manage both daily procurement budgets and project-related expenses

Final Thoughts

An essential part of the IT procurement process is finding a digital solution with the features and usability that give you visibility into your procurement. While many options exist, selecting a system that meets all the needs of your procurement process is essential. A procure-to-pay system that is easy to use and integrates into your existing business processes can help you manage IT within your business. Tradogram is a cloud-based procurement platform with a wealth of features that helps optimize procurement.

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