An e-Procurement Primer
Businesses exist to sell goods and services to other businesses and / or consumers. In order to produce these goods and services, raw (input) goods and / or services must be purchased from other businesses in a supply chain. On average, procured goods and services generally represent at least 50% of a company's spend, and in some businesses, procured goods and services exceed 70%. Thus, it is important that a business be able to procure these goods and services efficiently and cost-effiectively. That's where eProcurement comes in.
eProcurement is the counterpart to eSourcing, starting where eSourcing ends and ending where eSourcing begins. It is the "e" implementation of the procurement cycle which is concerned with the requisitioning, receiving, and reconciliation of the received goods as opposed to the analysis, auction, and award that takes place in the sourcing cycle. It is essentially the automation of the non-strategic and transactional activities that consume the majority of a buyer's time, but one that comes with increased enterprise level visibility of all purchases.
The Procurement Cycle
The basic procurement cycle consists of up to nine steps, depending on the complexity of the buy and organizational policies. At a bare minimum, it consists of an order (requisition or purchase order), an invoice (which might be one with the receipt), and payment. For high-dollar purchases, the process will generally also include authorization and reconciliation of the invoice. In addition, if taxes were paid that the organization is capable of reclaiming, then the forms or entries to reclaim such taxes at the proper time will also be filled out or made. Finally, in a leading procurement organization, every step will be completed, although many will be completed automatically for low-dollar or non-strategic purchases by the eProcurement system using defined rules in the workflow engine.
The first step of the full procurement cycle is the requisition. This is where a buyer recognizes a need and places a request for goods or services. This request may or may not be off an existing contract, depending on whether a relevant contract is in force and whether or not the supplier(s) with whom contracts exist can meet the need. If the purchase is one time or of a small-dollar amount, the buyer might be allowed to skip straight to the purchase order step.
Each requisition made by a buyer gets routed to an appropriate approval agent. The approver verifies that the goods or services are needed, that they are either off of an appropriate contract or acceptable as a stand-alone non-contract order, and that the purchase amount is acceptable. If everything pans out, the request is approved and a purchase order is generated by the system. If one or more elements of the requisition is not acceptable, the requisition is denied and a message is sent to the requisitioner informing her why. The requisitioner can then resubmit with corrections, if appropriate.
Once a requisition is approved, a purchase order is created and automatically delivered to the suppliers. The purchase order will contain all relevant data pertaining to the order including the goods or services being ordered, identifying SKUS, corresponding contract number, agreed upon pricing information, inco and delivery terms, and desired delivery date.
Receipt of Goods
Once goods are received, the buyer issues or confirms a receipt of such goods to the supplier. At this point, an invoice can be accepted, reconciled, and, if all is in order, paid.
After a supplier prepares goods for shipment, an invoice is created that denotes the individual goods ordered by SKU and the amounts being charged. The invoice may be sent with the shipment, but if the supplier is capable of conducting business electronically (and a considerable number of suppliers dealt with by the organization need to be for eProcurement to be effective), it is usually sent to the buyer using an eProcurement system.
After the goods are received, the invoice needs to be reconciled to the purchase order and goods receipt before payment is made. Are the charges for the right goods or services? Are the amounts the contracted amounts? Were the quantities correct? Are any other charges, including taxes, valid and correct? Do any deductions need to be made, possibly due to inferior quality or the need to return a portion of the shipment?
Once the goods have been received and the invoice reconciled with the order and contract, payment is scheduled and made using an appropriate payment method, which could be p-card, electronic funds transfer, or good old fashioned cheque.
Reclamation of Taxes
In some situations, the supplier of a good or service will be obligated to charge a tax, but the buyer may be eligible to retain some or all of that tax because of its corporate status. Examples include European Value Added Tax, Canadian Goods and Services Tax, and out-of-state sales taxes.
After a number of procurement cycles have been completed, it is important to take measurements of the efficiency and accuracy of the procurement process. eProcurement should significantly reduce cycle time, significantly increase accuracy, and improve the overall process. If any snags or inaccuracies are identified, they represent inadequate processes or data that need to be improved or corrected to maintain efficiency and return on investment.
Every provider has their own take on what an eProcurement system is and what it should do. However, based on this wiki's definition of the core e-Procurement process, it is straight-forward to identify a core set of capabilities that are essential in order for a system to be classified as an eProcurement system.
Since the first step of the eProcurement process is the requisition step, it is critical that the eProcurement system allow for electronic goods and service requisitions. Furthermore, this functionality must be accessible to all individuals in the enterprise authorized to make purchases.
Approval Routing and Workflow
Since the second step of the eProcurement process is often the approvals step, it is crucial that the eProcurement system contain workflow capabilities and the ability to set up automatic approval routings by good, service, dollar value, and any combination thereof.
From the buyer's perspective, the purchase order is probably the most critical component of the procurement cycle. Therefore, any system that is not capable of automatically producing and delivering electronic purchase orders is definitely not an eProcurement system.
The eProcurement system must also be capable of automatically producing and delivering goods and services receipts upon delivery when appropriate. To enable this, the system should integrate with barcode or RFID scanners to allow for automatic recognition of delivered goods.
From the supplier's perspective, the invoice is probably the most critical component of the procurement cycle, as it is the document that defines, and ultimately leads to, payment. Therefore, any system that is not capable of accepting and processing electronic invoices is definitely not an eProcurement system. Furthermore, for those suppliers who do not have systems that automatically generate electronic invoices, it should provide an easy means of on-line creation, either through a supplier portal or document scanning.
Any system capable of capturing purchase orders, receipts, and invoices automatically must also be capable of linking and reconciling such electronic documents automatically to truly be useful.
An eProcurement system should not only support electronic payments, but support multiple electronic payment options, such as purchasing cards, electronic funds transfer, electronic cheque, and automatic cheque printing - for the old-school die-hards.
In addition to supporting multiple e-payment options, the system should also allow payments to be scheduled in advance.
The system should also be capable of understanding the relevant taxation codes and linking into standard tax tables to allow the buyer to accurately compute tax, reconcile taxes charged by suppliers, and determine any exemptions the organization is eligible for.
Basic reporting is also a must. The reports must be capable of computing all basic measures on purchase orders rendered, invoices processed, and payments made. It should also be capable of automatically computing basic metrics on throughput rates, inaccuracies detected, and identified process and payment savings.
The system must be capable of raising alerts whenever an approval is required, an invoice is received without associated goods, an invoice contains inaccuracies, a payment is due, or another important user-defined (and user definable) event occurs.
Self-Service Supplier Portal
It's critical, especially from an adoption and maintenance perspective, that a supplier be able to self-register, self-activate, self-update, and, at the appropriate time, self-terminate. They should be able to automatically send electronic invoices through the appropriate interfaces or create them manually through the portal.
Furthermore, portals benefit the suppliers as much as they do the buyers. These web-based solutions drive collaboration between buyers and suppliers by improving supplier visibility into invoice and payment status and decreasing processing time and errors. A supplier's ability to upload, view, and track invoices in real-time as they flow through a buyer's workflow processes strengthens the visibility and control suppliers have over their own accounts receivable processes and can be used as a selling point during the supplier on-boarding process.
In addition to the core capabilities defined in the last section, there are another set of features that a good eProcurement system should possess. Some of them are defined in this section. Although most of these features are not essential, their absence will limit the flexibility, usability, or efficiency of the system.
A procurement system can be the most advanced procurement system in the world with twice as many features as any other system on the market, but if it's not intuitively usable, chances are it will not be adopted by organizational users if they can at all avoid it and circumvented at every opportunity if they cannot.
Real-Time Data Transmission & Status
Just because an e-Procurement system allows for the creation and transmission of e-Purchase Orders, e-Invoices, and e-Receipts does not mean it is a real-time system. It could be an old-style batch system that only transmits data once a day, week, or, gasp!, month, depending on the type of feed that it uses.
Robust Search Capabilities
It should be possible to find and pull up a purchase order, receipt, invoice, or payment by any identifying piece of information, not just by document number.
Internal Catalog & Punch-out Support
A truly useful procurement system puts the goods the buyers need at their fingertips, it does not make the buyers search for them or enter SKUs. Buyers should be able to search internal catalogs, external punch-out sites, and supplier catalogue sites to find the items they need, click a button to select them, and create a requisition (or purchase order) on the fly.
Multi-Currency & Multi-Language Support
Even if an organization only buys and sells in one country, if it is large enough, chances are it still buys from a global supply base. Thus, a good eProcurement system will be internationalized and support multiple currencies, and multiple languages.
Back-End System Integration
A good eProcurement system will integrate with an organization's back end accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
A good eProcurement system will be secure and safely deployable over the open internet.
A good eProcurement system will be based on open data-interchange standards to allow for easy integration with back-end systems, supplier data feeds, and external catalogs and content sites.
Supplier Network Integration
A great eProcurement system will allow for easy integration with third party supplier networks that can assist a supplier with identifying the right supplier and collecting appropriate supplier data.
Contract Repository Integration
A good eProcurement system will integrate with the organization's contract repository, most likely in its eSourcing suite, and negate the need for a buyer to re-enter contract information.
Scanning / Invoice Imaging
A good eProcurement system will integrate with an invoice scanning and imaging system to assist an organization dealing with those suppliers that are still in the dark ages.
A great eProcurement system will have executive, supervisor, and buyer dashboards that will allow an individual buyer to determine which of her requisitions are still pending and which orders have not yet been received, a supervisor to determine which requisitions are waiting approval and which orders have not yet been paid for, and an executive to determine the order, receipt, invoice, and payment throughput of the system.
Online Dispute Resolution
A great eProcurement system will also enable online dispute resolution between buyer and supplier that will track all relevant information and make it accessible to both parties at each stage of the process.
Electronic Forms Support
In addition to electronic invoices, electronic goods receipts, and electronic purchase orders, an eProcurement system will also support the creation and transmission of other electronic forms required in the procurement process including, but not limited to, regulatory reporting, taxation, and security filings.
Controls to Prevent System ByPassing
A great eProcurement system will contain numerous controls to prevent buyers and supplier from bypassing the system. It will not allow buyers to transmit orders without the proper approvals, and, when appropriate, will not allow suppliers to transmit invoices without corresponding purchase orders.
An appropriate eProcurement system will come with many benefits from transactional, information management, compliance, and payment viewpoints that go well beyond just process and cost savings. This section will overview some of those benefits.
The transactional benefits of an eProcurement system are among the clearest: process streamlining, process cost reduction, and better payment control.
By automating most of the process, an eProcurment system considerably cuts the time required to place an order and process the resulting invoice for payment, freeing up personnel for more strategic and valuable work. Some research studies have found that procurement professionals often spend one-third of their time just reviewing and processing paper-based purchase requisition. Thus, just automating the paperwork is obviously going to considerably streamline the process.
Process Cost Reduction
By considerably reducing the amount of manpower required to place, process, and pay for an order, an eProcurement system will provide an organization with significant cost savings. Many estimates place the cost of processing an invoice in an average organization at over $100 and the savings associated with an eProcurement system at 70% to 90% on a per-invoice basis.
One might initially think that the costs associated with eProcurement are minimal compared to other costs, and that any savings associated with the implementation of an eProcurement system might also be minimal, but when you consider the steps involved from identifying a supplier to creating a requisition to cutting a purchase order to reconciling an invoice to scheduling a payment to reclaiming taxes, the costs add up.
Better Cash Management
By automating the payment as well as the processing, an eProcurement system allows an organization to choose when they want to pay. This is especially valuable if a supplier provides a discount for early payment. Furthermore, with enhanced visibility into invoice status and cash flow, an enhanced solution will allow a buyer to proactively propose early settlement discounts to suppliers. If its more cost effective for the supplier to take the discount than to maintain financing, both parties can benefit.
The compliance benefits of an eProcurement system go beyond simply standardized processes to enforced approvals, reduced maverick buying, and, in more cases than one might want to admit, fraud reduction.
An eProcurement system standardizes processes across the organization. This automatically takes compliance to the next level since all buyers will be following the same process through the same system.
Automatic Spend Approvals
A good eProcurement system will not allow a buyer to circumvent required approvals and automatically route all requisitions to the appropriate authority immediately upon creation.
Reduced Maverick Buying
A good compliance system with appropriate controls prevents maverick buying by forcing all buyers to use the system and all requisitions to go through proper channels. Considering that some surveys have found that over 25% of indirect expenditures in some organizations are off-contract, this benefit alone could almost justify the acquisition of an eProcurement system.
A great eProcurement system will either contain Travel & Expense functionality or integrate with the Travel & Expense system. This will enforce requisite authorizations and prevent fraud and misuse. The reality is that, without controls, it is more likely than one cares to admit that there will be more questionable, and even fraudulent, transactions, especially in a large organization.
The information management benefits of an eProcurement system are also quite substantial. Besides quicker query resolution, supported by robust search capabilities, online collaboration, and online dispute resolution, the improved quality of accounts payable and master invoice data allows for timely payments and better working capital planning.
Improved Quality of Accounts Payable & Master Invoice Data
A complete eProcurement system that centralizes purchase orders, goods receipts, invoices, and payment records exponentially increases the quality, accuracy, and completeness of accounts payable and master invoice data. Considering that bad data usually leads to bad decisions, significantly reducing the amount of bad data in enterprise systems is very valuable. This enables better payment and working capital planning as well as overpayment detection and fraud reduction.
Quicker Query Resolution
The improved quality of master data combined with robust search and online collaboration pave the way for quicker query resolution. No longer does one have to manually wade through limited-use reports, whether they be automatically or manually generated, to find an answer to a question.
Better Working Capital Planning
Having complete payment data, along with complete financial data in the ERP system, allows the organization to undertake better working capital planning by analyzing payment schedules against discounts for early payment and cost of capital calculations.
An eProcurement system also comes with a number of payment-related benefits.
The most obvious benefit of an eProcurement system is electronic payment, which should include P-card support, electronic cheque and electronic funds transfer, and automated cheque preparation (for the die-hard old-school vendors stuck in the dark ages) at a bare minimum.
Increased First Time Invoice Matching
An automated system that stores all purchase orders, goods receipts, and relevant contract information greatly increases the chance that an invoice will be matched the first time, insuring proper reconciliation and payment.
International Taxation Management
An eProcurement system with good internationalization that supports tax rules, codes, and tables can greatly assist in taxation management and increase the chances of an organization identifying, and reclaiming, all tax amounts that it is eligible to get back.
Benefits of an eProcurement system go beyond the basic transactional, information management, compliance, and payment benefits outlined above. This subsection outlines a view of those benefits.
Increased Spend Under Management
Obviously, the more spend that goes through the eProcurement system, the more spend that is managed and it is the end-to-end management of spend, from sourcing through procurement back to sourcing, that offers the greatest value to an organization, since every dollar of spend under management usually translates into a significant increase to the bottom line for an organization.
High Visibility of Supplier Performance
The more spend that flows through the Procurement system, the more visibility an organization has on supplier performance from a delivery, invoicing, and collaboration viewpoint.
Controlled Supplier Proliferation
Without good visibility into its procurement and spend data, an organization may not realize just how many suppliers it is doing business with. Usually, the number of suppliers with whom an organization is actually dealing with is multiples of the number of suppliers an organization without good visibility thinks it is doing business with. Usually this multiplier is three to five, but sometimes it is as high as ten (or more)!
Good visibility allows an organization to rationalize and consolidate its supply base to the right number of suppliers and helps buyers to determine if the organization is already dealing with a supplier that could potentially supply the good or service needed. Supplier proliferation does nothing but increase the complexity and cost of processing invoices, making payments, and maintaining all of the relevant supplier data in the various enterprise systems. And even though it is generally unwise to single source any critical direct good or service from a single supplier, it is also generally unwise to source the same good or service from twenty (or more) suppliers.
Reduced Inventory Costs
Reduced procurement cycles lead to better control over inventory cycles and inventory costs since a buyer will not need to estimate demand as far in advance.
An online eProcurement system, particularly one with a good supplier portal, can greatly enhance collaboration between a buyer and a supplier, especially if such a system allows the buyer and supplier to collaborate on-line in real-time!
Implementation of an eProcurement system across the organization will lead to a cultural change. Provided the system is approached and implemented properly, this can be a cultural change for the better that instills best practices throughout the organization.
Contrary to the popular opinion of some vendors, there's more to successful eProcurement than just buying and installing an off-the-shelf software package and 'flicking the switch'. An implementation must be carefully planned. This section overviews some basic best practices that are sure to get any eProcurement project off on the right track.
Understand the Drivers for Change
A successful eProcurement project starts with a deep understanding of why the procurement function needs to change. Where are the inefficiencies, the costs, and the problems? What needs to be done about them? Make an effort to standardize processes across the organization.
Also understand the benefits that will come with the project early on, even if they can't be precisely quantified. Also make sure to document, qualify, and wherever possible, quantify the losses and disadvantages that come with the status quo. This will be crucial to selling the project and gaining the support required throughout the organization.
Form Cross-Functional Teams to Examine & Re-engineer Business Processes
A successful eProcurement project starts with cross-functional teams at the needs identification phase, not after a system has been selected and processes locked down. It's important to re-engineer the processes not just because new processes can be more efficient and more suitable to automation, but because the processes have to work for all affected parties, not just the buying team or finance organization.
Remember to keep the cross-functional teams in place after implementation since constant communication is the key to success. As noted in a Supply & Demand Chain Executive article, your colleagues should not know more about the new product kick-off party than the procurement department's ten million dollar cost-cutting project.
Focus on End-to-End Supply Chain Business Process Optimization
A successful eProcurement project focusses on improving the entire supply chain, not just the invoicing and payment mechanisms. It's true that automatic invoice processing, reconciliation, and payment can drastically reduce invoice processing costs, by up to 90% in some organizations, but these are only fixed one time savings. True savings come from the collaboration and enforced compliance that comes from reduced maverick buying, automatic matching of purchases with contracted rates, and fraud deterrence.
Be sure to take a strategic view of procurement across the organization, especially from a treasury, financial accounting, and operations viewpoint. This will help to ensure that the business processes are re-engineered appropriately and that changes do not benefit one business unit to the detriment of another.
Involve Suppliers Early
A successful eProcurement project involves key and strategic suppliers in the planning stages and gets their input early on. This insures that the processes, and systems, are tuned to supplier needs as well as buyer needs and enables greater collaboration.
Clearly Define Metrics for Measuring Costs & Improvements
What's measured, gets managed and only a managed project will turn into a successful project. In order to measure progress, it is important to have clearly defined metrics from the start and measure against them regularly after each stage. Make sure these metrics capture the effect of eProcurement on key financial metrics of the organization, since management will eventually be concerned with the bottom line.
Furthermore, consider establishing standard guidelines that creates a common definition for the term "savings" across the corporation. This will help in the creation of a framework that ensures all financial elements, including financing and cash flow, are considered and tracked. The guidelines should define a methodology for classifying cost reduction versus cost avoidance, identify methods of measuring other recognizable procurement benefits such as productivity, resource reallocation, and risk mitigation, indicate the milestones, systems, and reports that will be used to validate, audit and verify results, allocate savings and benefits by period, business unit, and geography, and designate approvals required for measurement sign-offs.
Link Incentives to e-Procurement Performance
What gets rewarded, gets done and an effective eProcurement program is one that rewards employees for following the process and using the system. Make sure the incentives include compliance, productivity, quality, and cost avoidance - not just cost savings.
Establish a Clear Channel Strategy
Not all purchases, buyers, or suppliers are the same and this needs to be taken into account. Since one size does not fit all, an organization needs to make sure there are different processes and approvals set up for the different kinds of buys based on whether or not they are on-contract or off-contract, low-value or high-value, or strategic or non-strategic, for starters. Set up different types of integration points for the suppliers that are appropriate to their different levels of technological capability.
The channel strategy should also encompass all of the methods of payment that are at your disposal. Payment methods might include purchasing cards for higher volume, lower value categories of spend, travel & entertainment cards for business travel and related expenses, electronic funds transfer (such as electronic cheque or wire), and traditional paper cheques.
Have the Right Systems & Tools
The right process only works with the right systems and tools. The systems and tools need to embody the organizational processes and make them easy to follow and implement. If it's a hassle to implement the preferred processes using the current systems and tools, or if the systems and tools make another process easier, users will get tired and ignore the processes.
Make sure the systems and tools tie into the disparate ERP, GL, and AP systems that contain the organizations orders, invoices, and payment data and undertake consolidation of disparate systems whenever possible. Make sure the systems selected contain good analytics, reporting, and business intelligence capabilities.
Implement in Phases
Generally speaking, technology projects that try to do too much, too fast, fail, regardless of what the technology is, be it ERP, eSourcing, or eProcurement. Break the implementation into multiple phases of manageable size and complexity, and be sure to have a success plan for each step.
Although it might be tempting to shoot for the finish line in an initial project, since that's where the benefits reach their full potential, such a goal is at least as difficult as a goal to sprint the entire length of the Boston Marathon, and not likely to come to fruition. Start by focussing on key areas of tangible benefits, such as the manually intensive processes that generate non-added value activities. This will get some early wins and increase support for, and visibility of, the project.
Also, consider on-boaring suppliers in phases as well. Considering that this will be a significant effort in many organizations, and not just technologically speaking, it might be wise to start with the subset of suppliers that account for the majority of invoices, which will generally be less than 20% of all suppliers, or to focus on key verticals first, where all suppliers are likely to be similar in technological capability.
Remember it's not just about Quick Wins
It's really easy to get a quick win with the implementation of an eProcurement system that reduces invoice processing time to a mere fraction of what it was, saving 70% to 90% of invoice processing costs, but the real value of an eProcurement system is in overcharge avoidance, rebate capture, and fraud prevention - value which only appears with regular, repeated, and monitored use of the system.
Ensure Continued Commitment of the Finance Organization
A successful eProcurement initiative requires continued support from finance as the system must link into, and capture, accounting data as well as procurement data. Furthermore, the best improvements will generally be those that result from close collaboration between procurement and finance.
Integrate Procurement Objectives with Business Strategies
As with eSourcing, the most successful eProcurement initiatives are often those that are in line with overall business goals, objectives, and strategies. Furthermore, it is easier to get executive support for initiatives that complement the business goals.
Consider working with finance to ensure specific procurement objectives are clearly integrated into corporate plans and their impact on key financial metrics continuously validated. In addition, be sure to have a solid procurement plan that addresses procurement's impact on the corporate vision, business plan, and key financial metrics, costs and cash-flow forecast, prioritization of key spend categories and associated goals, actions to measure supplier relations, touch-points with other business initiatives, assigned resources, and a time-phased savings and avoidance plan.
Every project has its challenges, and eProcurement is no different. This section outlines a few of those challenges, as well as some strategies that can be employed to mitigate the risks.
Budget & Executive Support
Rarely is budget and executive support not an issue in any organization. (And when it's not, there are usually other issues a procurement professional has to contend with, but that could be a whole other wiki!) As with any initiative, the value proposition will have to be clearly presented and understood, and this will require a significant amount of homework, well above and beyond the materials that the vendor-du-jour will be providing. Make sure to identify the 'hot buttons' of the senior executives who will ultimately make the decisions and address them early on. Also identify the senior management champion(s) early on and make sure their needs and concerns are also addressed early.
The eProcurement system only generates value if it is used, and if the system represents a considerable change to the traditional procurement process, there could be some considerable user pushback if the project is not handled properly. In order to mitigate the risk, it is important to involve representative users at the beginning and develop appropriate training sessions that explain why the new process and technology is important, how it helps them do their job, and what benefits it brings to them as end users, which should be of the easier, faster, and better variety.
Furthermore, be sure that each user sees the simple to use and intuitive User Interface, understands that the eProcurement system can be used as a "one-stop-shop", and has full visibility into the status of her requests at any time. This will go a long way to establishing the easier, faster, and better.
Supplier Buy-In & Enablement
Some of the major benefits of an eProcurement system are punch-outs, e-Invoices and e-Payments, which require suppliers to buy-in to the system and use it. In order to insure supplier buy-in, one will need to involve key suppliers in the project early in order to design a system that they can use and plug into quickly and easily. Furthermore, the team will need to develop self-guided training sessions to allow new suppliers to quickly and easily set themselves up and plug into the system.
The importance of supplier adoption should not be overlooked, since any eProcurement initiative that does not gain supplier adoption will ultimately fail. Some reports have called it the single greatest barrier hindering eProcurement initiatives and have noted that persuading suppliers to change their processes to align with buyer's needs can be a time-consuming process, especially if the supplier perceives it as an unjustified cost. It will be important for the buyer to present a compelling value proposition to all suppliers, large and small. For some suppliers it will be efficiency and reduced costs in the long-run, for others it will be opportunity for quicker payment and reduced disputes. In some cases it might just be increased visibility into the invoice approval and settlement process.
A team can start by establishing a hierarchy of suppliers, establish a clearly defined strategy for each type of relationship, establishing key requirements, and implementing good supplier relationship management best practices. See the Supplier Performance Management wiki for more information.
Technology Seduction at the Management Level
Every now and again a project will start with an executive seeing a cool new application in an area they know they need to do something in and get seduced by the technology. If the application is wrong for the business, this poses not only a risk but a threat. In order for eProcurement to be successful, it has to easily and natively support the processes and best practices that are appropriate for the business, complement the eSourcing platform, and work for the suppliers as well as the buyers.
This is one of the hardest risks to mitigate, and will require that the project team does a considerable amount of homework, researches alternative systems, and clearly differentiates the benefits of the process from the benefits of a system as well as the differences between different vendor offerings. The project team will have to find a champion on the senior management team that backs up their proposal, as well as research and findings, who is well respected, charismatic, and vocal and willing to help the team sell the management on the right technology, all the while insuring management that their goals will still be achieved with the proposed technology, which will have even more of an impact. It may also take some ego-stroking that simultaneously applauds management on their forward-thinking nature to recognize that there is a problem, that technology is needed to solve the problem, and that only they and the project team are capable of clearly seeing that the technology the project team is ultimately proposing is better than the technology the original snake-oil salesmen tried to sell them.
Cross-Company Cultural Differences in Process Re-engineering
A successful eProcurement project is one that first examines the business processes, determines what is really important, and streamlines those processes for not only implementation in an appropriate technology platform, but for automation wherever possible. A purchase order for office suppliers within a buyer's budget should not need approval, as long as it is off of the standard contract, or from a competitive supplier if no contract exists. It should be as simple as a buyer adding the items to a virtual cart in the eProcurement system and a supplier indicating shipment. Purchase order creation, invoice creation, reconciliation, and payment should all be automatic, since manually processing the invoice could cost more than the invoice is for. On the other hand, a ten thousand dollar off-contract buy for core product components should probably be authorized and reviewed. The point is that user intervention should only be at the level that is required, and no more.
However, getting to that point could be different as a global organization will cross cultures, and ideas on what the best process is and the best way to get there. It will be important to involve stakeholders from various global operations from the beginning to allow them to contribute and shape the processes and solution. This will aid in early identification and resolution of any cultural differences that could be problematic down the road if not addressed and dealt with early.
Catalog Content & Contract Management
An eProcurement system is only as good as the products and services that can be bought through it, and from a buyer's viewpoint, this may come down to the completeness and currentness of the catalogs it manages and the contracts it references. Make sure that the solution selected integrates with the organization's contract management system to make sure contract data is always current and that the organization taps into supplier punch-outs whenever possible, since a good supplier will be active about keeping their content current. Furthermore, if catalogue contract management proves to be significant, consider outsourcing to, and integrating with, a third party content management firm that specializes in content management.
As with any technology project, the costs go beyond just the costs of a box and a new piece of software. This section overviews the costs that should be expected when undertaking an eProcurement project.
Business Process Re-engineering Costs
A successful eProcurement project starts with careful process examination, and where appropriate, re-engineering. Automation of the wrong process can be worse than no automation at all, since it will just create and propagate mistakes faster. This will take time, and people, and thus incur overhead costs.
The implementation costs could be quite significant upon initial implementation, and it's important to understand what they are when doing the cost/benefits and return on investment analysis. In addition to the base software costs, there might also be hardware costs, customization costs, integration costs to current systems, and associated personnel costs.
Internal users in procurement and in finance as well as external suppliers will need to be trained. This will require preparation and qualified instructors, each with their own costs. Minimize the costs by training super-users and trainers first to handle ongoing questions and support issues.
An eProcurement system needs to be maintained to be effective. In addition to software upgrade and maintenance costs, there will also be hardware upgrade and maintenance costs, ongoing data maintenance costs, and ongoing training.
Maximizing Return on Investment
A properly research and defined e-Procurement implementation in a mid-size or large organization will generate a return on investment. The unknowns are "How Much?" and "How Long?" (until a return is seen). In order to maximize your return, and minimize the timeframe to when the return is realized, consider reducing upfront costs and reducing recurring costs whenever possible. Consider on-demand solutions. If an appropriate solution can be found, this will minimize up-front costs and keep recurring costs under control, especially since most providers include maintenance and free upgrades.
User adoption is key to successful eProcurement. This section offers some tips and advice to getting user adoption on the fast track.
Simple & Quick Requisition to Receipt Process
Make sure the system is as easy to use as possible, with as many steps automated as possible. The system should be easier to use than the previous system or processes. It should plug into the contract management system to allow users to easily identify and buy off of contract and integrate catalogs and supplier punch-outs whenever possible.
Easier, Faster, Better, Cheaper
Not only should the eProcurement system be easier and faster than the systems and processes it is replacing, but it should be better and cheaper. It should take less of the buyer's time and increase their performance, ensuring that every buy is on contract and in compliance with any and all policies.
E-Procurement System is the Only Purchasing Mechanism Available
Although buyers unaccustomed to the system might find it harsh at first (and that's why good training should be available from day one), the best way to get quick adoption is to ensure that there is no choice but to use to the system.
Glossary of Procurement Terms
ACAN: Advanced Contract Award Notice A notice of intent to solicit a bid and negotiate with a single supplier.
AIT: Agreement on Internal Trade An agreement signed by the federal and provincial governments of Canada that may be used to govern public procurement initiatives.
ALARP: As Low As Reasonably Practicable The goal is to get the best price that is sustainable for the good or service being sought.
ALP: Authority for Local Purchase An authority granted by the leader of a public purchasing unit who has successfully completed the training and requirements necessary to make purchases on behalf of the organization.
APP: Accredited Purchasing Practitioner A designation awarded by the ISM for entry-level supply management professionals who have passed the occupational accreditation test.
ARO: After Receipt of Order Indicates that something happens, or happened, after the receipt of an order.
ATIP: Access to Information Program A program that gives any person in Canada the right to access information held in Canadian government records, subject to certain exceptions and limitations, mandated by the Canadian Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
Acceptance The act of accepting by an authorized representative.
Accounts Payable Accounting function within an organization responsible for processing invoices and authorizing payments to suppliers and creditors.
Accounts Receivable Accounting function within an organization responsible for recording debt arising from sales transactions, issuing invoices to buyers, and collecting payments.
Agent A person who acts on behalf of another person or business by their authority, express or implied, in dealings with third parties.
Aggregated Buy The process by where an authorized buyer determines the specific supplier and final pricing for the purchase of a product, service, or system on behalf of more than one buyer.
Appropriation A sum of money from public funds set aside for a specific purpose.
Approved Source List A list of suppliers that are permitted to supply goods and services.
BACS: Bankers Automated Clearing Services A clearing system for sterling direct debit, direct credit, and standing order payments used by UK banks to allow customers to make payments to other customers of other UK banks.
BDP: Benefits Driven Procurement An approach to procurement that stresses a focus on results and on the benefits that buyers and suppliers gain from the procurement process.
Benchmarking A process to test whether both the standard and price of services is in line with an equivalent market standard that is done without formal competitive tendering.
Bid A tender, proposal, or quotation submitted in response to a solicitation from a contracting authority.
Bid Protest A complaint made against the methods employed or decisions made by a contracting authority in the administration of a process leading to the award of a contract.
Bid Rigging Illegal collusion by tendering suppliers, where one or more bidders agree not to submit a bid, or two or more bidders agree to submit prearranged bids, to avoid competition in prices.
Bill of Lading A carrier's contract and receipt for goods it agrees to transport from one place to another and to deliver to a designated person or business.
Bill of Landing A written receipt or contract, provided by a carrier, showing a list of goods delivered to it for transportation.
Blanket Order A contract under which a supplier agrees to provide goods or services on a purchase-on-demand basis.
Bundling The grouping of multiple goods or services into a single requisition.
CI: Competitive Intelligence Gathering and analyzing information about customers, competitors, and the marketplace for the purpose of making informed business decisions.
CIPS: Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply An international organization based in the UK that serves the purchasing and supply profession.
CITT: Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation A Canadian organization in the logistics sector that focuses on the promotion of excellence and career path development for transportation logisticians.
CITT: Canadian International Trade Tribunal An organization that deals with bid challenges on Canadian Government contracts that arise under an international agreement.
CPP: Certified Professional Purchaser A designation offered by the Purchasing Management Association of Canada to those who have achieved specified professional qualifications.
CPM: Certified Purchasing Manager A designation awarded by the ISM to supply managers who have attained the requisite purchasing, management, and leadership skills required by the designation.
CSCC: China Supply Chain Council A Chinese supply chain organization representing manufacturers and retailers operating in or with China.
CSCMP: Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals An American organization created to help supply chain managers connect, collaborate, and become more effective purchasing professionals.
Call-Up A requisition or request for delivery which is forwarded directly to a supplier to obtain delivery of material on a previously negotiated contract or standing offer.
Cartage A charge made for the hauling and transportation of goods, usually on a local basis.
Cash Management A business function responsible for managing cash and making sure it is in the right account, in the right financial instrument, at the right time to meet financial obligations.
Change Order A purchaser's written authorization to a supplier to modify or change an existing purchase order.
Channel A methodology an organization uses to send and receive invoices and payments. Examples are traditional paper invoices and cheques and electronic data interchange and electronic funds transfer.
Clearing System A central organization that clears payments and routes them between different banks.
Closing Date The deadline for all bid submissions.
Commodity A transportable article of trade or commerce that can be bartered or sold.
Competitive Bidding Offers submitted by multiple individuals or firms competing for a contract, privilege, or right to supply specified services or merchandise.
Consideration Something of value given or done as recompense that is exchanged by two parties, it binds a contract.
Cooperative Supply An arrangement where different branches of the government in the public sector, or where a consortium of two or more companies in the private sector, come together to provide or obtain goods and services to or for each other.
Cost Avoidance Reduction or elimination of a new cost that would have otherwise occurred.
Cost Savings Spending less than previously spent or less than quoted options.
Credit Memo A document used to correct an overcharge, pay a rebate, or credit the value of goods returned.
Debarment The disqualification of an individual or organization to receive invitations for bids or requests for proposals.
Demurrage The detention of a ship, railroad, car or truck beyond a specified time for loading or unloading.
DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise A business concern which is at least fifty-one percent owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals or, in the case of a publicly owned business, at least fifty-one percent of the stock of which is owned by such individuals.
DFMA: Design For Manufacture and Assembly The principle of design to support the efficient and effective implementation of the manufacture and assembly process.
Dispute and Exception Management A key part of the invoicing and payment process to handle discrepancies where they occur.
Due Diligence The level of care which financiers, purchasers, and others have to take to preserve their right to damages for a defective purchase.
EC: European Community Part of the European Union under which public procurement legislation is enacted.
EDI: Electronic Data Interchange A method of electronic interface over the internet between the systems of different organizations for the purposes of information exchange.
EDM: Electronic Document Management Electronic storage, processing, and transmission of trade documents, including invoices, purchase orders, and receipts.
EFQM: European Foundation for Quality Management A not-for-profit membership foundation that provides organizations with guidelines to achieve and measure their success.
EIPP: Electronic Invoice Presentation and Payment A solution that captures invoices, matches them to purchase orders in the back-end accounts payable or ERP system it links to, manages those invoices, and enables electronic payment. Although it does capture one of the most critical parts of eProcurement, and offers great productivity gains and significant cost savings on invoice processing, an EIPP system is not a complete eProcurement solution, and one should not be fooled by any vendor that makes such a claim.
EPP: Environmentally Preferable Product A product or service that has a lesser or reduced impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning Core systems that integrate common business functions onto the same IT platform using common databases and processing.
EU: European Union The European Union
Energy Star A U.S. federal government standard applied to office equipment for the purpose of rating the energy efficiency of the equipment.
e-Procurement The business-to-business purchase and sale of supplies and services over the Internet.
Expedite The act of contacting a supplier or carrier with the goal of speeding up the delivery date of an inbound shipment.
Extensible Mark-Up Language (XML) A data exchange language that allows data to be read and processed consistently across systems and applications.
FMCG: Fast Moving Consumer Goods Refers to an industry segment with sophisticated supply chain and logistics capabilities that minimize inventory and working capital while keeping the supply of goods accurately matched to the demand.
F.O.B.: Free On Board Where no other explanation is given in domestic trade, refers to the delivery of the goods with all charges paid aboard the carrier's equipment without cost to the buyer.
FSC: Federal Supply Classification Government defined code for the classification of goods and services.
Freight Bill A carrier's invoice for transportation charges applicable to a shipment.
Freight Claim A claim against a carrier due to loss, or damage to, goods transported by the carrier. May also refer to a claim for overcharges.
GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles Accounting principles which have been given formal recognition or authoritative support in any particular jurisdiction.
GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade An agreement signed in 1947 to reduce barriers to international trade through the reduction of tariff barriers, quantitative restrictions, and trade subsidies. The functions of the GATT were replaced by the WTO (World Trade Organization) in the 1990's.
GSIN: Goods and Services Identification Number A system of material and services categorization used within the PWGSC and in conjunction with the FSC.
Goods All types of personal property including commodities, materials, supplies, and equipment.
Goods Received Receipt A document confirmed by the buyer that verifies the goods, and quantities thereof, itemized on the shipping (or packing) notice.
IACCM: International Association for Contract and Commercial Management A global organization of contracts, sourcing, and commercial management executives and managers.
IFPSM: International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management A global union of over 40 national and regional purchasing organizations created to facilitate the development and distribution of knowledge and to elevate and advance the procurement profession.
ISO: International Organization for Standardization A worldwide federation of national standards groups that establish process-based standards that companies and organizations can adhere to in order to become ISO certified.
ITN: Invitation to Negotiate The negotiation equivalent of an invitation to tender.
ITT: Invitation to Tender An invitation sent by a government department to a potential supplier to submit a bid for the supply of goods or services. Used in public procurement when the expected amount of the bid exceeds a certain threshold.
Invoice A list of goods or services sent to a purchaser showing information that includes prices, quantities, shipping charges, and total payment due.
LAA: Logistics Association of Australia An association for logistics and supply chain professionals in Australia.
Labor Surplus Area A civil jurisdiction designated by the U.S. Department of Labor that is used as a criteria in the designation of an economically disadvantaged vendor.
Lead Time The time it takes a supplier to deliver goods after the receipt of an order.
Letter of Acceptance A letter to the successful bidder(s) indicating acceptance of a bid in response to a solicitation.
Lien Funds are encumbered (liened) when the purchase order is opened and invoicing has not yet occurred.
Life Cycle Costing A procurement evaluation technique which determines the total cost of acquisition, operation, maintaining, and disposal of the items required.
Line Item An item of supply or service specified in a solicitation for which a supplier must specify a separate price.
LOI: Letter of Interest A special type of Request for Information used in the public sector when a buyer is interested in receiving feedback from one or more suppliers.
LTL: Less Than Truckload A quantity of freight that is less than the amount necessary to constitute a truckload.
MASH or MUSH The segment of the public sector that includes Municipalities, Academic institutions and Universities, Schools, and Hospitals.
MEAT: Most Economically Advantageous Tender Under the EU directives, refers to the inclusion of notices that specify non-price factors will be taken into account.
MBE: Minority Business Enterprise Any legal entity, organized to engage in commercial transactions, that is at least fifty-one percent owned and controlled by one or more minority persons.
MERX A Canadian on-line service that advertises government contracting opportunities to potential bidders.
MMI: Material Management Institute A Canadian non-profit organization offering professional development in the field of public sector material and supply management.
MPC: Model Procurement Code A publication approved by the American Bar Association that sets forth procurement statutory principles and policy guidelines for managing and controlling the procurement of suppliers, services, and construction for public purposes.
MRO Goods MRO stands for Materials, Resources, and Operations. A term used to describe goods needed in manufacturing processes, often of the indirect variety.
Materials Management All functions relating to the acquisition, standards, and quality control of property management.
Most Favored Customer Clause Price protection clauses in a contract which specify that the seller will not offer a lower price to other buyers unless the seller also agrees to extend such a lower price to the buyer.
NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement A trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and to a lesser extent, Mexico.
NAPM: National Association of Purchasing Management A US-based association for purchasing and supply management professionals.
NASPO: National Association of State Purchasing Officials An organization of state procurement representatives for the purpose of promoting efficient and effective public purchasing policies and procedures at the state level.
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization A military alliance established in 1949 that established a system of collective security where its member states agreed to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
NGO: Non-Government Organization A Non-Government Organization.
NIGP: National Institute of Governmental Purchasing A US-based organization providing education, research, technical assistance, and network opportunities to its member public sector purchasing professionals.
NISO: National Individual Standing Offer A list of individuals that can be offered goods or services contracts under a certain amount with going through a tender or formal procurement cycle.
NMSO: National Master Standing Offer A list of organizations that can be offered goods or services contracts under a certain amount without going through a tender or formal procurement cycle.
NSN: NATO Stock Number A 13-digit classification system that is used to classify goods and services.
OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration The main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation in the United States of America.
P2P: Procure-to-Pay The definition of P2P seems to vary by consultant or vendor. To some vendors it is simply an electronic purchase order and payment system, to others it is an extension of EIPP that includes purchase order management, and to others still it is the eProcurement cycle from requisition to payment. Regardless of the definition used, P2P, like EIPP, does not imply a complete eProcurement solution and a buyer should do her homework when considering any such solution.
PLM: Product Lifecycle Management The management of a product from conception, through design and specification development, purchasing, manufacturing, packaging, delivery, warehousing, maintenance, repair, overhaul, use, and to disposal.
PMAC: Purchasing Management Association of Canada A national organization for purchasing and supply management professionals in Canada.
PWGSC: Public Works and Government Services Canada A department of the Government of Canada that provides goods and services to other departments and offers procurement opportunities to businesses and industry.
Payment Gateway A connection point within ERP and supply chain systems for the two way exchange of payment information with the banking system.
Point of Origin The location where a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.
Preferred Supplier A supplier pre-selected by an organization to supply goods or services to the organization, usually on preferential terms that are based on the commitment of the organization to purchase a minimum quantity or value of goods over a given time-frame.
Pro Forma Invoice A document prepared in advance of a sale to provide evidence of the final form and amount of the invoice.
Procurement The processes of obtaining goods and services which includes the determination of requirements and acquisition from a supply system.
Public Purchasing The process of obtaining goods and services for public purpose following procedures implemented to protect public funds from being expended extravagantly or capriciously.
Purchase Order An order created by a buying organization and sent to a supplier as a request to purchase goods or services.
Purchasing Card A payment method used for high volume, low value and repetitive categories of spend such as stationary orders, temporary labour, standard equipment purposes, and building services.
RFB: Request for Bid See Request for Quote.
RFI: Request for Information Generally a small, succinct high-level exploratory document that is designed to address a specific need and asks simple, direct questions to elucidate the point. It is often used to determine if a supplier offers a given product or service, is interested in supplying appropriate products or services, uses or supports a given technology, or is interested in pursuing a strategic relationship.
RFP: Request for Proposal Generally a detailed low-level capabilities evaluation document that is used to precisely determine a supplier's capability and interest in the production of a customized product or the provision of a customized service, new or emerging technologies that the organization is currently using or planning or use, or innovation, process improvement, and creative problem solving.
RFQ: Request for Quote A document generally used to solicit bids from interested and qualified suppliers for goods or services that the organization needs to obtain.
RFSO: Request for Standing Offer A request by a government organization in the public sector for individuals and organizations interested in supplying particular goods or services. Individuals and organizations subsequently selected and approved are added to the standing offer list and the organization can then solicit requests for goods or services to them without going through a formal bid or tender process if the estimated value of the good or service is less than a set maximum amount.
RFX: Request for "X" A three letter acronym that refers to the Request for Information, Request for Proposal, and Request for Quote/Quotation offering.
Requisition An internal document that a functional department sends to the purchasing department containing details of raw materials, goods, and services it requires to meet its needs.
Robinson-Patman Act A federal law that requires a supplier engaged in interstate commerce to sell the same item to all customers at the same price, unless certain exceptional situations are met.
SACC: Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions A manual of contracting terms and parameters that most, if not all, Government of Canada contracts, include by default.
SCC: Supply Chain Council A global organization of corporate members created to advance the sourcing and procurement professions.
SCL: Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada A Canadian organization for supply chain and logistics professionals.
SIC: Standard Industrial Classification Classification of business established by type of activity for the purpose of facilitating the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of data collected by various agencies of the United States Government.
SIG: Sourcing Interests Group A sourcing and procurement organization for organizations in the United States that wish to improve their sourcing management practices.
SMEs: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Refers to Small and Medium-sized Businesses.
SOW: Statement of Work Describes the procurement deliverables in a services contract.
SPSM: Senior Professional in Supply Management An industry certification awarded by Next Level Purchasing when a student has completed the program and passed the appropriate tests.
SPV: Special Purpose Vehicles Bodies set up, usually from or by consortia, to perform specific contracts.
SRI: Supplier Registration Information A database of suppliers who have registered to do business with the Government of Canada.
Self-Billing A process whereby a buyer sends payment to a supplier on matching the goods and services received with a purchase order.
Sharp Practice Indirect misrepresentation, unscrupulous shrewdness, deceit, or trickery, just short of actual fraud.
Shipping Notice A notice that accompanies a shipment and itemizes the contents within.
Sole-Sourcing A non-competitive method of procuring a good or service from a single supplier.
SWITFT An international bank-owned cooperative with a messaging network infrastructure over which banks send payment messages using standard SWIFT message formats to each other.
TL: Truckload A quantity of freight to which truckload rates apply or a highway truck or trailer loaded to its carrying capacity.
TQM: Total Quality Management An integration of management techniques, improvement efforts, and technical tools which focus on continuous process improvement activities involving everyone in the buying and supplying firms.
T-buy: Telephone Buy A procurement method commonly used for small low-valued competitive purchases when a requisition is received for a good or service that can be identified over the phone and must be delivered quickly. It is essentially three-bids-and-a-buy over the telephone.
Three-Way Matching The matching of a purchase order with a shipping notice with an invoice prior to the authorization of payment.
Travel & Entertainment (T&E) Card Credit cards given to employees to cover travel, subsistence, and business entertainment expenditures incurred by an employee during the course of their employment for the benefit of the organization.
UCC: Uniform Commercial Code A comprehensive modernization of various statutes relating to commercial transactions. It clarifies the rights and obligations of buyers and sellers engaging in commercial transactions and has been adopted by all US States except Louisiana. May also be referred to as, or in the context of, Article 2.
UCS: Universal Classification Standard Standard for classifying federal government employees in Canada by occupational group.
UNSPSC: Universal Standard Products and Services Classification A coding system to classify both products and services for use.
UPIC: Universal Payment Identifier Code A standard introduced by the New York Clearing House that enables suppliers to give buyers an electronic routing address for payment without revealing their bank account details.
WTO: World Trade Organization A global international organization that deals with the rules of trade between nations.
WTO-AGP: World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement An agreement that establishes an effective multilateral framework of rights and obligations with respect to laws, regulations, procedures, and practices with respect to government procurement between member states.
A Selected Bibliography
(The) 2006 e-Procurement Benchmark Report Executive Summary by D. Steven Wade of CAPS Research, July 2006
(The) 2006 eProcurement Benchmark Report: Doing More with Less by Andrew Bartolini of Aberdeen Group, July 2006
Accelerating Procurement Capabilities by John Yuva, June 2006
All Aboard "E-Procurement 2.0" - Next Stop: The Mid Market! by Andrew Bartolini & Vance Checketts of Aberdeen Group, September 2006
(The) Analyst Corner: Procurement by Susan A. Hahn, June 2005
Best Practices in e-Procurement: North America Edition by Tim Minahan & Christa Degnan of Aberdeen Group, December 2001
Best Practices in E-Procurement: Reducing Costs and Increasing Value through Online Buying by Aberdeen Group, December 2005
Best Practices e-Procurement by Robert G. Allen, 2003
Best Practices in the Procure-to-Pay Cycle: Perspectives from Suppliers and Industry Experts by Rob Handfield, March 2006
Best Practices Invoice Processing and Automation by Razorsight, March 2006
Best Value Procurement: When Lowest Price Isn't Good Enough by J McGettigan, N Andgren, R Kerley & D Dobbs, 2005
(A) BuyIT e-Procurement Best Practice Guideline, by BuyIT, November 2004
(The) CFO's View of Procurement: Getting More to the Bottom Line by Jeff Pikulik of Aberdeen Group, September 2005
CFO's Views on Procurement - Information, Risk, and Money by CFO Research Services, 2007
(The) CPO's Agenda: Strategies for Procurement Transformation by Tim A. Minahan of Aberdeen Group, March 2005
(The) Creative Challenge: Driving Efficiencies in Marketing Procurement by Tim von der Decken, Leon Fernandes & Dappula Wijeyeratne, 2007
Developing a procurement Strategy by Becta, 2005
Electronic Invoicing and Payment: A BuyIT e-Procurement Best Practice Guideline by BuyIT, July 2003
E-Procurement: A Guide to Buy-Side Applications by Scott Alaniz & Robin Roberts, December 1999
(The) E-Procurement Benchmark Report: E-procurement 2.0 by Andrew Bartolini & Vance Checketts of Aberdeen Group, August 2006
E-Procurement: Failure to Implement, Not an Option! by The National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council, 2002
E-procurement Head-to-Head by Vance Checketts of Aberdeen Group, December 2006
Electronic Procurement: Funding Models and Measurements for Success by NECCC, December 2001
Evaluating E-Procurement Solutions by Ram Narasimhan, Srinivas Talluri & Anthony Ross, 2003
(The) Evolution of the Purchasing Function by McIvor, Humphreys, & McAleer, 1996
High Performance through Procurement by Accenture, 2007
Improving Procurement Automation Infrastructure by Tim Minahan of Aberdeen Group, January 2006
Maximizing Value Capture in the Procure-to-Payment Process by American Express & AT Kearney, June 2002
Procurement: A Strategic Lever for Bottom Line Improvement by ICG Commerce
(The) Procurement and Sourcing Applications Report by Lora Cecere, Martanne D'Aquila, & Karen Carter of AMR Research, 2005
Spend Management: Changing Business - A Case for Reexamining Procurement's Role In organizations of all sizes by Jason Busch, November 2005
Spend Right: Going Beyond Procurement Tools to Improve Your Bottom Line by Jennifer Proctor, 2006
Supply Chain Planning / Procurement by Scott Alaniz and Elaine Shuffield of Stephens Inc, January 2001
Procurement and Sourcing Technology Celebrates a Decade of Growth by Mickey North Rizza of AMR Research, September 2006
Show Me the Money! by elcom.com
Taking Procurement to the Next level by Going Back to Basics by Alex Klein, 2004
Tapping the Potential of Procurement Technologies: The Federal Government Experience by Censeo, March 2005
Transforming the Procurement Organization for a New Era by Marc Weintraub, April 2006
Translating eProcurement Vision to Reality - A Manager's Handbook by Kaushik Chatterjee of Wipro Technologies, June 2004
Michael G. Lamoureux, PhD of Sourcing Innovation
David Bush, Pro To Know