Procurement's responsibilities grow more complex and diverse every day. While purchasing teams of the past grew accustomed to performing the same tactical, predictable tasks, today's leaders occupy ever-evolving positions within their organizations. A fluid list of responsibilities requires a flexible arsenal of tools and technology.

The Strategic Sourcing technology experts at Source One have helped clients in countless industries develop the appropriate toolbox. Does your team have everything it needs? Check out the list below to find out.

1.) eSourcing tools -  These tools allow Procurement teams to create sourcing events and invite suppliers to participate. More advanced tools will even help you scorecard supplier responses, develop templates for relevant documentation, and manage your contracting process. The benefits of a robust eSourcing tool go well beyond adding efficiency and reducing costs throughout the Procurement process. They offer a centralized location for managing bids, introduce transparency to supplier relationships, reduce risks, and make it simpler to promote vendor compliance. WhyAbe, Source One's low-cost, low-risk eSourcing tool provides all this and more. For more than a decade, it's enabled Procurement teams to optimize their RFx events and connect with best-fit strategic partners.

2.) Contract Management - At a minimum, these tools will serve as a repository for Procurement's contracts and meta-data. Even the most basic will enable you to sort documents based on size, type, expiration, and other relevant details. They'll also enable purchasing professionals to create contract and NDA templates that'll expedite the negotiation process. The importance of these tools can't be overstated. However simple, a contract management system makes it much easier to mitigate friction and reduce risks in stakeholder relationships. Keeping expiration and auto-renew dates in a single location will help Procurement avoid lost savings and maximize the strategic value of their contracts. 

3.) Supplier Relationship Management or Vendor Management - These tools enable Procurement to interact with suppliers and organize relevant documents including contracts, certifications, and NDAs. More sophisticated tools will also include additional options for tracking deliveries, assessing vendor performance, and analyzing other relevant metrics. A tool for relationship management will make it easier to build trust and develop efficient, sustainable workflows. Keeping documents in a centralized location will also help both parties reduce risk in their relationships and collaborate to promote optimal value.

4.) Spend Analysis - Spend Analysis platforms make it possible to slice and dice historical spend data in a variety of ways. While features vary, most tools provide the option to organize purchases based on department, business unit, category, supplier and more. The snapshot these tools provide enable Procurement to gauge their spending habits and identify areas for refinement. Whether the goal is to reduce risk, consolidate the supply base, or establish stronger supplier relationships, a thorough spend analysis provides the foundation for seeing these initiatives through.

5.) Opportunity Assessment Tools - A close look at spend data is great, but it's only the first step in making a cost reduction initiative successful. That's where opportunity assessment tools come in. These supplement a spend analysis to point out potential savings and suggest strategies for producing these savings. In doing so, they discourage paralysis by analysis and help Procurement teams perform more strategically moving forward. is one example of a tool that supplements spend analysis with opportunity assessment features. It quickly puts spend data to work by providing actionable strategies for cost reduction.

6.) Master Data Management - All of the tools in the world are useless if your data is bad. A single data cleanse, however thorough, won't cut it. You need to ensure your data retains its integrity in the long-term. MDM platforms are a great way to do this. These solutions can house a wide range of data and ensure it retains accuracy, quality, and consistency. This added security will provide Procurement with leverage points for optimizing purchases and reducing inefficiencies across multiple siloed departments. 

7.) Savings Tracking Tools - These tools help Procurement teams better understand the success, failure, and compliance of their strategic sourcing and cost reduction initiatives. Less sophisticated tools simply offer projections. More complicated solutions, however, provide custom tools to measure savings across various metrics including indexed materials pricing and non-compliance.

8.) Procurement Help Desk - On-demand services like Source One's Procurement Help Desk connect Procurement teams with a flexible arsenal of resources. These include dedicated experts, industry best practices, subject matter expertise, document templates, and access to any of the technologies listed above. It doesn't always make sense to spend time and money hiring new Procurement team members. That's what makes the Help Desk so valuable. Source One's empowers Procurement with countless resources, oftentimes for less than the price of a single new hire.

It's important to remember, however, that no amount of technology can replace the right team of talented Procurement professionals. Establishing an effective approach to Procurement technology and enacting lasting savings initiatives starts with building the right team. Source One's staffing and recruiting team know what it takes to put that together. Contact us today. We'll align you with people capable of navigating the technological landscape and driving your team into Procurement's next era. 

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