What eSourcing Is & How To Get Started

PurchTips edition #236

 

Click here for the printer-friendly version.

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

What Is eSourcing & How It Can Help You?

eSourcing is the process of obtaining bids from different suppliers via a single online portal. The benefits of eSourcing include streamlining the sourcing process, reducing prices by maximizing supplier competition, and creating a repository for sourcing information.

What is eSourcing

Such a repository "is so invaluable in companies with aging workforces, for example, or worker turnover," says Jason Busch, Founder and Managing Director of Azul Partners and Editor of the blog spendmatters.com. "Even companies with 10, 20 or fewer procurement professionals can begin to institutionalize and manage their knowledge of the sourcing category in one place."

The first step in getting started with eSourcing is selecting an eSourcing tool. There are both basic and advanced types of eSourcing tools available today.

Beyond accepting bids, basic eSourcing tools "should help with the gathering of supplier information" and typically include the "the ability to import and export information in CSV format and Excel format, the ability to create the RFx itself" using templates, and the ability to manage the sourcing process workflow, according to Busch. He cites "being able to explore alternate award scenarios, being able to encourage supplier flexibility in how they bid, and [being able to] encourage suppliers to get creative with what they offer," as the additional capabilities of advanced eSourcing tools.

With both basic and advanced options available, should a procurement team start basic or pursue the most robust capabilities? "If they want to encourage creativity among suppliers and to be able to tap that," an advanced tool may be best, suggests Busch. "It's my view today that you should explore all options from the start."

In terms of eSourcing tool vendors, Busch advises "especially if you've heard of the vendor and you do reference checks on them, they're all fairly solid for sourcing." Even ERP system providers, which have historically lagged eSourcing specialists in innovation, "have largely caught up" in at least basic capability now, he claims. Busch notes that differences between eSourcing vendors lie in their user interfaces, negotiation capabilities, workflow flexibility, and data libraries.

Do You Want a More Rewarding Procurement Career?

Are you tired of not getting enough opportunities, respect, and money out of your procurement career? Well, guess what? Nothing will change unless you take action towards becoming a world-class procurement professional.

Earning your SPSM® Certification is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern procurement practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Download the SPSM® Certification Guide today to learn how to get started on your journey to a more rewarding procurement career!

Download

Need Better Performance From Your Procurement Team?

Are you a procurement leader whose team isn't achieving the results you know are possible? Maybe it's not enough cost savings. Or frustrating performance from the supply base. Or dissatisfied internal customers.

You need a performance improvement plan that's easy to implement and quick to produce results. The NLPA can help.

Download our whitepaper "The Procurement Leader's Guide To A More Successful Team." You'll learn the 7 steps for transforming your staff into a results-producing, world-class procurement team.

Download

Are You Getting The Most Out of Your NLPA Membership?

Members of the NLPA get more than just articles like this by email. As a member, you also get access to:

  • The Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit
  • The latest Purchasing & Supply Management Salaries Report
  • Leading-Edge Supply Management™ magazine
  • Members-only webinars 10x per year
  • And more!

If you haven't been taking advantage of these benefits, why not log in and start now?

LoginJoin