The Power of Partnering for Procurement

Finding the right partner to support sourcing and procurement efforts can impact employee performance – and improve ROI.

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There is no shortage of software options when it comes to sourcing and procurement (S&P). Many enterprises have seen their ERP footprint expand to include procurement, while other businesses have assembled an array of independent software products to handle procure-to-pay (P2P), vendor contract management, creation of purchase orders, and accounts payable functionality.

With enterprises increasingly turning to the cloud for business and productivity workloads, procurement data often becomes siloed, either on-premises in different applications, or between cloud and locally hosted applications that just don’t play together well.

But a tightly aligned, collaborative arrangement with a S&P provider can help alleviate these challenges. “A real partnership between businesses and their procurement provider can be very powerful,” says Paul Blake, Associate Director for GEP. “A partner with domain expertise in sourcing and procurement coupled with a ‘built-in-the-cloud’ software platform that can break down information silos can take a large burden off the CPO and the CIO.”

The biggest difference between provider and partner comes in the areas of automation and instrumentation, Blake notes. “Most S&P offerings have the capability for users to create purchase orders against contracts. But a partner can deliver a platform that knows what users are allowed to order – and complete as much of the purchase requisition automatically for the user, both speeding the time to complete the task and ensuring the items ordered are in compliance with existing contracts,” he adds.

Another key difference is whether the provider’s code is purpose built for S&P, or part of a larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) toolset. “The consumerization of IT really made us think about how to modernize our software design and user interface,” says Blake. “The result, SMART by GEP, is a thoughtfully conceived, beautifully designed digital work environment that’s precision-engineered for sourcing and procurement professionals, easy to set-up and use, and requires little training.”

Blake agrees that an S&P partner shouldn’t live in a vacuum. “It’s important to be platform-agnostic. S&P systems should easily integrate with any other ERP or finance and accounting system and have the capability to scale as businesses grow without having to add infrastructure,” he says.

An S&P partner like SMART by GEP can deliver bottom-line benefits by streamlining every employee’s procurement interactions, saving time, money, and effort across the enterprise.

For more info, request a demo or contact GEP.