5 Tools You Need for Procurement and Vendor Management

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Helping your organization reach its full potential starts with reducing your purchasing costs as much as you reasonably can while remaining in compliance with relevant contracts, laws, and other regulations.

Unfortunately, that is often easier said than done—particularly in today’s day and age where organizations are working with an increasing number of outside vendors.

Depending on how many vendors and suppliers your company relies on, it can be quite difficult to stay on top of every account to ensure that you’re getting the best deals and building the best relationships.

Thanks to new vendor management tools procurement teams can streamline the entire vendor management process. As a result, they’re able to source the best supplies and services at the best prices. And they get the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re getting the best deals possible while eliminating as much wasteful spending as they can.

If it’s been a while since your company has revamped its vendor management tools, you are almost certainly at a disadvantage if for no other reason than your competitors have likely invested in modern solutions.

If you’re looking to take your procurement game to the next level and make your company more efficient, it may be time for you to invest in new vendor management tools.

With so many choices on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which tools to invest in. We’ve made the selection process easier for you. Here are five must-have tools for companies wishing to optimize procurement and vendor management.

the complete guide to 100% procurement visibility

1. A hosted vendor management solution

Many procurement managers and professionals are constantly on the go. Whether they’re meeting clients, attending conferences, or simply driving across town, it’s safe to say they aren’t in their offices all day long.

To this end, on-premises vendor management solutions leave much to be desired.

Today’s most competitive businesses rely on hosted solutions that can be accessed from any connected device. This way, members of the procurement team are able to do their jobs and manage vendor relationships wherever they happen to be.

As an added bonus, hosted solutions are less expensive, cost less to maintain (your IT department will thank you), and are updated often. You’ll always be able to leverage the latest tools on the market.

2. A tool that’s mobile-enabled

Speaking of procurement managers being constantly on the go, it is critical for companies to use vendor management platforms that were designed with mobile devices in mind.

Such platforms enable managers to approve purchases, expenses, and invoices from the palm of their hand. This way, requisitions and payouts are expedited—making the company that much more agile.

3. A tool that streamlines submitting purchase orders

Processing paper-based purchase orders leaves companies exposed to losing purchase orders and making it that much harder to gain full visibility into procurement.

Use an electronic vendor management system that enables you to track purchase orders—and any attachments—digitally. Such systems give employees the ability to check the status of their purchase orders and requisitions from an easy-to-use web-based dashboard.

4. A tool that allows you to effortlessly track Change Orders

Mistakes happen - the wrong item gets shipped, the vendor sent too many widgets, or maybe you ordered 10 keyboards but now you suddenly need 15.  These scenarios are all too common in procurement.

Just about every system on the market will let you perform change orders, but keeping track of those changes - especially after the 9th or 10th revision - can be a challenge.  Look for a tool that links all your Change Orders together and provides you with a seamless audit trail so you can easily keep track of what changes were made and when to stay on top of things in today's fast-paced environment.

5. An AP workflow automation tool

Does your team still process and pay invoices manually? If so, your workflow is moving much more slowly than it should be—leaving you at a disadvantage.

There’s an easy fix: AP workflow automation enables organizations to process invoices much faster and much more affordably. Use this tool to automate everything from vendor management to invoice processing. It’s easier than ever to match invoices and purchase orders.

There’s no sense in making vendor management any more difficult than it needs to be. By investing in modern procurement systems and vendor management solutions, your organization gains access to the tools it needs in order to compete. What’s not to like?procurement software comparison guide

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