Already an established eProcurement name in Spain and India, Fullstep is branching out and attempting to gain inroads into the North American market and have an office based in Chicago, IL. Fullstep’s present clients are mainly in the manufacturing, food and banking sectors including such companies as Ficosa, Azteca Foods and Bankia.
Fullstep offer a variety of options within their eSourcing system including reverse auctions, RFP, RFQ and RFx.
During our demonstration of the Fullstep product, Olivier Maurandy, General Manager of Operations in the United States, stated, “Fullstep is a leader in spend management consulting, coaching and outsourcing services, and benchmarked as an industry standard in sourcing and supply base management software.”
Purchase Order Module
The purchase order module allows the release and management of purchase orders based on customizable purchasing conditions negotiated or pre-approved by your business. User profiles can be set up by category, spend limits and approval rules. Fullstep’s purchase order module also offers a multi-criteria search engine and the ability to compare multiple vendor offerings of a particular product or service.
The online catalog is integrated within the RFx module, allowing purchase orders to be created from scratch or from saved “favorite orders”. Templates can be easily created and saved allowing for consistency of information and where it is located in reply forms. Files attachments are available in this area as well.
Online Supplier Portal
One of the strongest aspects of Fullstep is their private online portal for authorized suppliers. The portal is the gateway for suppliers to all procurement activities of the business and is the repository of all communication between your business and suppliers including requisitions, RFx and compliance documents. The portal allows for automated e-mail push notifications to suppliers and relevant leaders within the business.
Suppliers can register in the portal and request to participate in RFx’s for various categories. In turn, the portal provides quick access to a comprehensive database of current and potential suppliers. This allows for quote comparisons and the ability to create detailed outlines and save specific scenarios for future use.
RFx in the portal display the same structure as the RFx configuration section for buyers. In the portal suppliers can:
- Import/export bid response to and from Excel
- Save offers without sending
- Export/print offers
- Download all attachments at once, or one by one
Fullstep Collaboration Network (CN)
An intriguing feature within the Fullstep product is their Collaboration Network (CN). Its social network look and feel is somewhat similar to communicating in private groups on Facebook. This communication tool is integrated in all of the procurement modules. According to Maurandy, “Different members of the supply chain belong to a “cloud” with work groups, creating events, and messaging, with direct links to actual instances (requests, orders, RFx) within the application”. Since the Collaboration Network has such a well-known feel, it comes across as very user friendly and easy to use allowing for greater buy-in from users.
Like many other eProcurement platforms, Fullstep offers full integration into most ERP systems utilizing standard XML format conversion.
In addition, Fullstep offers robust reporting capabilities giving you the ability to generate reports on all procurement operations. You are also able to configure and save specific user reports (which are updated in real time) and integrate data from multiple platforms.
Innovations and Challenges
Fullstep is available as a hosted SaaS solution or installed at a client site. 95% of Fullstep’s clients utilize the hosted SaaS solution. At the present time, Fullstep is developing an app to allow for mobile approvals. As of now, managers can perform approvals via email only.
Being fairly new players in the game in North America, one difficulty Fullstep has to overcome is an extremely competitive eProcurement market full of well-known and well-established names. They have received positive reviews and accolades from within the procurement industry. Fullstep offers a solid product worth investigating if your business is in the market for an eProcurement system.
Visit Fullstep’s North American web page or contact Fullstep at 1-312-202-6510.