11 must-have features of e-procurement software

  • Last Updated : April 21, 2023
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  • 5 Min Read

Amidst rapid digital transformation, businesses are exploring new ways to maintain their competitive edge and remain resilient in the face of an increasingly unpredictable economy. One area of focus has been on leveraging sustainable IT and automation tools that can streamline operations, optimize costs, and improve outcomes. E-procurement software is one such tool—quickly emerging as a critical enabler for procurement teams seeking to drive efficiency, control spending, and enhance supplier collaboration. 

Procurement is a crucial function for businesses. It involves acquiring goods and services necessary for the smooth running of the organization. However, managing procurement processes can be quite challenging, especially for companies that rely on manual processes. That's where e-procurement software come into play!

In this blog post, we'll explore the 11 must-have features of e-procurement software—ones that can help organizations smoothly manage every step of their procurement lifecycle.

Features to look for in e-procurement software

Choosing the right software can be a daunting task for procurement teams. With so many options available, it's important to identify the features that can ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. In this section, we'll discuss some key features to look for in an ideal e-procurement solution.

1. Purchase requisition management

Managing purchase requisitions is an essential feature of procurement software. It enables users to create purchase requests that are then routed for approval based on predefined workflows. With this feature, all purchase requests are authorized, minimizing the chances of unauthorized purchases. Additionally, purchase requisition management also provides visibility into the entire procurement process, allowing users to track the status of their purchase requests and see the next steps required to complete the procurement cycle.

2. Purchase order management

Purchase order management is another critical feature of procurement software. It allows users to create, track, and manage purchase orders. The software should enable users to create purchase orders manually or automatically from approved purchase requisitions. Once a purchase order is created, it needs to be routed to the appropriate people for approval. Purchase order management should also provide users with real-time visibility into the status of their purchase orders, enabling them to track the progress of their orders and the estimated delivery time.

3. Supplier management

This feature allows users to manage their supplier relationships by providing a centralized location for supplier information. The software should enable users to create, track, and manage supplier profiles, including contact information, performance metrics, and contracts. Supplier management should also enable users to collaborate with suppliers by providing tools for communication, such as messaging and document sharing. With this feature, users can easily maintain and strengthen their supplier relationships.

4. Contract management

Managing contracts throughout their lifecycle, from creation to expiration, is an essential feature of procurement software. The software should enable users to create contracts, track contract performance, and manage contract renewals. Additionally, contract management should provide users with real-time visibility into contract status and performance metrics, enabling them to track contract compliance and identify areas for improvement. Users can easily manage their contracts, track performance, and ensure compliance with this feature.

5. Inventory management

Inventory management helps users track inventory levels, manage inventory replenishment, and optimize inventory utilization. The software should enable users to track inventory levels across multiple locations, set reorder points, and manage inventory transfers. Additionally, inventory management should provide users with real-time visibility into inventory levels, enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions. Inventory management is essential to businesses, as it helps users avoid clutter, minimize waste, and optimize their stock levels.

6. Analytics and reporting

Analytics and reporting are essential features of procurement software. They enable users to analyze procurement data, identify trends, and make informed decisions. The software should provide users with prebuilt reports, dashboards, and analytics tools that allow them to track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as spend, supplier performance, and inventory levels.

7. Integration capabilities

E-procurement software should be able to seamlessly integrate with other systems, such as accounting software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and supplier portals. This allows for a seamless flow of information between different departments and reduces the risk of errors and duplication. Additionally, integration with other systems provides users with real-time visibility into procurement data, enabling them to make informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date information. Procurement software that does not support integration can lead to inefficiencies, delays, and higher costs, which can impact the overall effectiveness of the procurement process.

8. Budget management

Organizations can set and manage budgets for various procurement activities with this feature. It also allows users to allocate funds to different departments or projects, monitor spending, and ensure that procurement activities stay within budget. Budget management also provides real-time visibility into spending, allowing users to identify areas where they need to cut costs or make adjustments.

9. Supplier performance management

This important e-procurement feature enables users to monitor supplier performance based on predefined metrics, such as on-time delivery, quality, and compliance. With this feature, users can track supplier performance, identify areas for improvement, and take corrective action if necessary. Supplier performance management also enables users to collaborate with suppliers, providing them with feedback and enabling them to improve their performance.

10. Contract compliance management

Contract compliance management is a critical feature of procurement software. It enables users to monitor and enforce compliance with contracts and agreements. With this feature, users can track contract compliance, identify areas of noncompliance, and take corrective action if necessary. Contract compliance management also provides real-time visibility into contract performance, enabling users to ensure that contracts are being executed as planned.

11. Multi-device compatibility

In today's fast-paced world, procurement teams need to stay connected, even when they're on the go. This is where the multi-device capability of e-procurement software comes in handy. Users can easily request, approve, or receive POs in seconds, from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. This also ensures that users never miss an important update or notification while they're away from their desk. 

Build powerful e-procurement solutions with low-code

The advent of low-code platforms has transformed the way businesses approach procurement, through faster and more efficient software development methods. With tailor-made e-procurement software, companies can streamline their purchasing process, increase productivity, and save valuable time and resources. 

If you're looking for customized low-code-powered procurement software, look no further than Zoho Creator. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, Zoho Creator can help you build e-procurement software that mirrors your exact procurement process lifecycle. Click the link below to get started!

Book a free demo

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  • Stephen

    Stephen is a product marketer at Zoho Creator. An avid writer, he plies his trade evangelizing low-code during the day and pens songs at night. Sneakerhead and sushi enthusiast too.

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