Comment: Getting the most out of eSourcing

By Daniel Ball, director, Wax Digital
Today’s procurement professionals are no strangers to the cost savings and efficiency gains that eSourcing enables. In fact, our survey of 200 procure...

Today’s procurement professionals are no strangers to the cost savings and efficiency gains that eSourcing enables. In fact, our survey of 200 procurement professionals found that 68% already benefit from the eSourcing module.

According to our research, of all the eProcurement modules, it’s eSourcing that is most widely used due to its ability to transform manual and laborious sourcing processes. However, if you’re yet to take the plunge, and are still building the business case for the software, it’s important to understand the added value that eSourcing provides to the whole business.

A third of our survey respondents said that they adopted eSourcing primarily to remove manual, paper-based processing and overheads from the supplier negotiation process. However, supplier compliance was highlighted as important to 60% of our respondents. eSourcing enables organisations to ensure that their suppliers adhere to strict criteria such as health & safety guidelines at the start of the eTendering process. Finally, for just over half of our respondents, being able to negotiate with suppliers on price, allowing for a consistent process to be set for driving savings across all spend categories, is an important consideration.

Delving deeper into the survey results revealed that for those currently using eSourcing, there was progress to be made when it comes to making the most of the technology. 49% of respondents indicated they were making significant progress with the adoption of eTenders, while 38% claim to be regularly using eAuctions to create a competitive supplier environment across a range of spend categories.


However, in spite of the need for more progress to be made with the functionality offered by eSourcing, estimates show that 82% of procurement professionals are saving on average £38 for every £10 invested in the software.

Our survey respondents also gave us some interesting insights into what it takes to successfully implement eSourcing:

  • Gaining senior team buying is key to ensuring the technology is embraced by the entire organisation.
  • Collaboration with users from outside the procurement department, including suppliers makes sure that the implementation works for all key stakeholders.
  • Communication with suppliers on your eSourcing plans is crucial as some may already be up and running with the software, while others may need more help than others getting started.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of user training. It’s the most effective way for users to really appreciate the benefits of making the move to electronic sourcing.
  • Make it clear exactly what benefits you anticipate will be delivered from eSourcing. By mapping out these key targets you can then report back to the business as and when they’re achieved.
  • Finally, respondents said that the rollout should be a gradual process and that it’s important to remain agile as the implementation progresses.

Whether you’re still building the business case or taking full advantage of strategic sourcing, understanding how it can support the wider business and improve supplier efficiencies and compliance will help guarantee maximum return for your software investment.


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