Digital procurement is becoming the dominant way to source raw materials and resources for U.S. businesses. Research shows that it will outpace all other forms of procurement within 3 to 5 years.
Vendor self-service is an integral part of this change. Just like consumers placing an order at Amazon.com, vendors also like an efficient and intuitive experience. Suppliers want every transaction to be easy – just like you do.
Your company needs to be prepared for this digital-dominant future. Here’s what it means for your procurement.
Users Want Control
First, it’s important to acknowledge that people are used to having a lot of control over their buying and selling. From iTunes to eBay, digital services allow people to purchase, enjoy, and sell all kinds of things at lightning speed – whenever and from wherever they want.
When it’s time to place an order with your company, or sell your company the goods you need, the same expectations remain in place: speed, selection, and convenience. Like it or not, people want to control the experience.
Vendor self-service offers this level of control. From on-boarding and off-boarding to everyday vendor interaction, a digital procurement system adds efficiency to historically grueling tasks for procurement teams. That awesome experience for vendors opens the path for future orders and builds long-term loyalty.
Self-service procurement also fits hand-in-glove with another big trend – mobile. On the most recent Cyber Monday, considered the gold standard of digital buying behavior, 54% of all site visits came from mobile devices and 30% of all purchases were mobile.
In fact, 60% of B2B buyers expect to increase their mobile usage in 2019, a figure that’s expected to be 70% by 2020. Your procurement must be mobile-friendly in order to serve these mobile-minded B2B buyers.
Digital Bidding Serves Everyone
Bidding is another aspect of procurement that’s better handled with a self-service system. In years past, vendors had to bid through a complex system of phone calls, emails, and in-person presentations. Today, a digital platform can handle it all.
That’s a good thing for both you and your vendors. It’s much faster than following endless loops of emails. It’s less frustrating than arranging multiple phone calls and meetings. And it keeps all bidding information in a central vault, where every detail is clear and organized.
Here’s how bidding typically works in a digital system.
- Requirements and evaluation criteria are defined in advance
- Vendors are evaluated and an approved list of vendors is created
- The company can automatically request vendor bids
- As vendors provide responses, the company sees status updates
- The company’s evaluation team rates vendor responses on established criteria
- Questions can be asked about quality, conformance, performance, and so forth
- It’s easy to negotiate and determine the vendor that offers the best value
- A winning vendor is identified and awarded the contract
It Supports Compliance
Here’s another reason why vendor self-service is becoming so popular: compliance. A digital system ensures every compliance factor is tracked and checked along the way. Nothing is missed, down to the tiniest detail.
This means every contract is 100% compliant from the outset, and it’s easy to generate reports that show it. When you need to double-check the details of a deal, the facts are right in the system. When a regulator comes calling, you have all the data you need to prove compliance.
Smooth and Seamless
We can’t overstate the value of having all vendor information together in one powerful system. It allows your company to get the best deals from your vendors, and to make competitive decisions in a fast-paced marketplace.
Stave ProcurementPath manages all your vendors seamlessly in one easy-to-use system. Automate vendor bidding, monitor compliance, streamline communication, and align all procurement activities to ensure everything runs smoothly.