Top Procurement Software
Procurement software allows you to place orders for business supplies. Discover the benefits and some of the top options for procurement software.
Until you are managing inventory for a business, it is easy to underestimate how many items even a small business goes through daily. The process of ordering items for a business is known as procurement. Procurement covers all items a business needs, such as the materials you use for goods and services, but also smaller items throughout the office. Some items are procured daily, while others are only available upon request. Part of what makes procuring items so complex is the number of suppliers you must go through. While some companies specialize in multiple items, it is common for a business to have numerous suppliers.
Not only is an inventory manager responsible for tracking suppliers, but they must also negotiate deals, address rush orders, and oversee any shipping rules and regulations. The overall complexity varies depending on the size and nature of your business. In the past, procurement was performed by hand, with an inventory manager manually tracking invoices and placing orders. Today, procurement has become automated through the use of procurement software.
What does Procurement Software do?
Procurement software allows an inventory manager to digitally place and approve orders. Whenever an order is placed, the software creates an invoice, detailing information such as the cost, whether there is a recurring shipment, expected delivery date and where the items are arriving. There may be additional information as part of the invoice, such as whether the items must go through shipping.
The goal of procurement software is to speed up and simplify the purchasing cycle by creating automated tasks. Many businesses have items which must continually be purchased. This varies depending on your industry. For example, a restaurant would have a recurring order for ingredients. Your business may have a subscription for other food items, but they are only ordered on an as needed basis. Your software automatically stores this information, so you can quickly put in a request.
Automating your invoices is not only convenient for placing orders and managing subscriptions, but it is a key part of recording your expenses. Businesses are required to report all their purchases. Not only does it affect your profits, but there are various discounts and incentives based on what you purchase. Having everything available through your procurement software is significantly easier than manually tracking handwritten documents, especially when the documents must be shared with a financing department or other managers.
Another benefit of procurement software is accessibility. Most procurement software is cloud based and available through an app. This means your inventory manager can place orders and send information even while outside of the office.
Benefits of Procurement Software
The biggest benefit of procurement software is efficiency. Your inventory manager has an easier time tracking information and can reliably place orders, freeing him or her up to perform more important tasks. Procurement software often leads to cutting costs as well, since you can use search features to find new suppliers offering more competitive rates from your previous sources. Using procurement software is also an effective way to create a standardized inventory system, which further improves productivity and makes it easier to teach other employees how to use the same method for placing and tracking orders.
Finally, procurement software speeds up the ordering process. This is especially important if you are in an industry where you frequently need to order parts on the job. The quicker the orders are placed, the less time you must wait for items to arrive. In emergency situations, you can also search for new vendors with faster shipping times, potentially saving you weeks, or even months of waiting.
Kissflow Procurement Cloud
Kissflow Procurement Cloud is a web-based management software. It features a robust number of options. Many inventory managers enjoy the search features, which allow them to set alerts for new vendors or pricing drops. Through the app, all users can access purchase requests, orders, and invoices. You can set different permissions for each user, so only select users are able to place new orders and spend money. Purchases can either be done manually or set up for automated purchases. The program is highly customizable and has grouping options to handle large, bulk orders across multiple vendors.
Kissflow is also highly reviewed for their extensive customer service, which also includes limited training on how to use the software. It is also compatible with a number of common office programs, including QuickBooks, Xero, DocuSign, and SAP. A free trial is available, while a standard account begins at $1,990 a month.
Pipefy is a popular procurement management software because it features better communication options than most other software. This allows users to contact each other, as well as the inventory manager to send messages back and forth with suppliers. If you work in an unusual industry and require precise directions when placing your orders, Pipefy is an excellent program.
Pipefy has several different account tiers. The most basic account is free, but only has a limited number of functions. A standard account has a free trial period, but otherwise costs $24 per user. The two highest tiers, Unlimited and Enterprise require a custom quote from Pipefy.
Fraxion is another cloud-based procurement software. While the software is advertised to smaller businesses, it is a great option for larger businesses as well. Fraxion stands out among the competition because of the detailed financial reports it provides. The reports can be broken down into multiple steps, allowing your finance team to track all the expenses, not just the total. By breaking down the price, your team can see where your business is spending the most. For example, the initial cost for a product may seem inexpensive, but you end up paying more than desired because of expensive shipping or customs pricing. Fraxion has multiple plans available, but each one requires a custom quote.
GEP NEXXE is a favorite procurement software for newer businesses because it places a greater focus on searching for vendors. Prices are updated in real-time, and you can filter your vendor results using a number of factors, such as price, location, shipping times, ability to buy in bulk and whether subscription options are available. It also contains helpful analytical tools to track your spending. You must request a quote directly from GEP NEXXE.