E-procurement refers to electronic purchasing by companies. The goal is to provide a user-friendly system which significantly supports the first half of the procurement process, from the purchase requisition to delivery of goods and invoice receipt.
E-procurement simply explained
The procurement process begins with a requirement notification. Someone needs something. A good e-procurement system then behaves like an online shop. The employee logs in. Existing items are then available for selection or are easy to search for. Just a click on “Send requirement notification” sends a purchase request to an approver. The key feature is that as soon as the approver actually clears the purchase request, the order goes out to the supplier. The procurement system keeps approvers, possible suppliers, purchase conditions, etc. in the background. Everything is regulated and set. Information on the further course of the item ordered also come into play: order acceptance, goods receipt, delivery note and even the invoicing. Ideally, the e-procurement system also has appropriate interfaces to the ERP system. This information is available for further processing there. That makes sense and forms the basis for more automatic processes. In addition, e-procurement also supports transparency in the Purchasing department. It is ideal for companies with distributed organizational units.
In short, all employees involved in the procurement process are, of course, automatically informed of the current status of an order. Like at home, an order resembles one from a well-organized online shop. With security, a good e-procurement system can also support mobile work via apps on smartphones, tablets, etc. From the user’s point of view, this system is very handy. But electronic purchasing also has significant advantages for companies. It greatly simplifies the first half of the digital procurement process – and at the back end even facilitates automated invoice processing, since approval was already granted at the beginning.