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5 Ways eSourcing Tools Deliver ROI for Procurement

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Procurement teams are under pressure to continually find savings among complex regulations and geopolitical risks in today’s zestful economic climate. Manual sourcing procedures are ineffective, ambiguous, and prone to mistakes. For RFPs, auctions, and negotiations, spreadsheets can only be scaled so far.

This is where eSourcing platforms change the rules of the game utilizing automation, analytics, and intelligence. Cycle times are drastically reduced by eSourcing tools like Zycus iSource, which speed RFX and auctions. Guided purchasing procedures increase compliance. Scalability manages complicated, global sourcing events. Analytics embedded in processes allows for data-driven decision-making.

eSourcing tools substantially boost realized savings and ROI by accelerating scalability, compliance, and speed, as well as by offering market insights. Processing from thousands of line items and hundreds of suppliers becomes economical. The end result is a procurement organization that is lean, responsive, effective, and prepared to find value amid market volatility.

Also read: Finding the Perfect Fit – Comparing eSourcing Tools for Optimal Performance

Let’s examine 5 ways eSourcing unlocks step-change ROI improvement for procurement

1) Accelerated time-to-savings with streamlined cycles

Manual sourcing methods increase the time it takes from the beginning of an event to when (opportunity) savings are realized. It takes time to send out RFXs, assess bids, conduct auctions/sourcing events, select suppliers, contract, and begin purchasing.

Cycle times are drastically reduced by eSourcing tools through automation and parallelization. Workflows, templates, and questions standardize and expedite the generation of RFXs. RFPs are swiftly received and answered by suppliers using digital platforms.

Online reverse auctions make it possible to compare bids in real-time, find the best prices, and identify the most aggressive offers. By updating all parties at once, negotiations can proceed more smoothly.

With eSourcing, sourcing cycles can be finished in days as opposed to taking a whole week. It is possible to virtually participate simultaneously with hundreds of suppliers. On the velocity of savings, this has a direct effect.

For instance, utilizing eSourcing, a category that was resourced manually every year, could now be done with lesser regularity with a long-term contract and regular monitoring & reviews. The frequency of savings realization doubles when speed and agility become competitive differentiators.

This way, eSourcing tools enable procurement teams to deliver savings faster to business stakeholders by slashing cycle times across the sourcing process.

2) Unlocking new sources of value through expanded reach

RFP restrictions that filter out all but established or prominent suppliers limit the potential value that can be derived from sourcing. Expanding the search area & parameters opens up additional sources of innovation and cost-effectiveness.

Extending sourcing outreach globally to find new value sources is made possible by eSourcing tools. Online supplier portals give all qualified suppliers, regardless of location, equal visibility and access to procurement events.

The accessibility of previously localized categories on a global scale has significantly raised competition. A “buyer’s market” established through enhanced supplier participation allows for better price discovery.

For instance, using eSourcing, a US firm may find suppliers in Asia who can deliver raw materials of the same quality at lower costs due to labor arbitrage.

In essence, eSourcing opens up the world to you. Leveling the playing field is digitization. Categories see more bids, and existing suppliers feel the heat to remain competitive. The genuine price potential is maximized in multi-round combinatorial auctions.

eSourcing offers step-change value that was previously unattainable in localized manual procurement by democratizing and extending supplier access. The power shifts to the buyer by expanding options.

3) Uncover hidden pockets of value with data-driven insights

Making effective sourcing decisions demands information – on price trends, competition behavior, supply-demand dynamics, ideal bargaining levers, and more. These insights are discovered via eSourcing analytics.

Strong embedded reporting reveals spending patterns and identifies opportunities for consolidation and aggregation. Historical price trends guide future negotiations. Competitor activity tracking enhances strategies.

Analytics uncovers insights such as:

  • Optimum price points and negotiating tactics for suppliers based on previous auctions
  • Potential for demand aggregation across business divisions
  • Categories where rival suppliers have gained share over time

These data-driven insights find fresh potential for savings. Following events, procurement teams can monitor savings over time to demonstrate the value generated by eSourcing.

Analytics becomes the procurement team’s “secret weapon,” allowing them to be one step ahead. Teams adapt their plans based on trends as opposed to guesses. In a nutshell, eSourcing analytics transforms sourcing insights into fact-driven strategies that enable continual value improvement, elevating decisions from art to science.

4) Fortifying compliance to avoid risk

Non-standard sourcing procedures raise the possibility of compliance violations, which can raise multiple avenues of risk – legal and otherwise. Workflows for structured eSourcing protect against such issues.

RFPs receive the required internal review before being released, thanks to configurable procedures. At pivotal stages, such as the choice of the ultimate supplier, approval checkpoints offer supervision.

For better transparency, embedded sourcing audit trails record all interactions, including the preparation of RFPs, submission of bids, Q&A sessions, and negotiating discussion history.

Throughout the sourcing process, compliance reports can show that organizational policies and outside regulations were adhered to.
As an example, by limiting all interactions to the system, unlicensed side-negotiations are avoided. Access constraints prevent unauthorized viewing of the RFP.

Fundamentally, eSourcing tools embed guardrails to minimize compliance risks. Savings from leakages are sustained by smooth RFP to PO handoffs. Trust is established between stakeholders and procurement.

5) Economies of scale

Managing large-scale, complex sourcing events effectively is one of the key benefits of deploying an eSourcing platform. It enables procurement teams to view spend data across several business divisions, categories, and geographical locations. This consolidated view of an organization’s entire addressable spend offers unprecedented scale and leverage during supplier negotiations.

Procurement unlocks enormous economies of scale by bringing together parts or services that were previously competed on separately. Being able to choose a single supplier for relatively low-risk, high-savings items, especially at higher volumes, is the essence of leveraging economies of scale.

When suppliers are vying for a larger portion of a company’s overall budget, they are more responsive to requests for better pricing and contract management.
There is a caveat to be considered here – accumulating a large percentage of spend with a single supplier can raise the risk profile in times of supply disruption.

When managed well, savings are much greater than those that can be achieved with fragmented, smaller category-level bidding are attainable thanks to the economies of scale that are achievable through an extensive eSourcing tool.

The Zycus eSourcing arsenal

Zycus offers a robust arsenal of intelligent eSourcing capabilities that deliver transformative efficiency and savings. Key features include:

  • Flexible templates and workflows — Easy-to-use interfaces for designing basic or complicated RFXs and auctions that are customized to suit any sourcing scenario.
  • Advanced analysis — Employ powerful bid analysis, market intelligence, and optimization engines to find pricing insights.
  • Scalability — Proven capability to manage sourcing efforts that span the whole organization and involve thousands of products.
  • Savings tracking – Embedded reporting offers in-the-moment visibility into cost savings, value generation, and target accomplishment.
  • Insights engine — Provides market knowledge by benchmarking supplier bids using billions of data points.
  • Supplier platform — A user-friendly platform that streamlines participation from suppliers and diminishes the workload associated with procurement.

Strategic sourcing is now easier, faster, and more efficient owing to these capabilities for both buyers and suppliers. Procurement teams gain the tools to successfully source all categories across the enterprise.

The software simplifies and amplifies the level of sophistication of strategic sourcing at scale. Teams can change their focus from tactical specifics to decision-making that adds value. Sourcing becomes a competitive edge.

Now is the time for forward-thinking enterprises to deploy Zycus’ market-leading eSourcing suite. Sign up for a demo today to learn more and experience a hands-on demo of eSourcing. Discover firsthand how it can fast-track your transformation into an insights-driven, efficiency-focused procurement organization.

Related Reads :

1. Building a Business Case for Strategic Sourcing Suite
2. Understanding the What, Why, & How of Strategic Sourcing
3. Efficient Procurement Measures for Effective Cost Benchmarking

Don't Forget to Share
Pranav R is a Content Marketer with expertise and experience in creating & curating content for audiences of all ages. Graduating with an MBA from IITM in 2021, he explored his PM inclinations for a year, before joining Zycus. He’s been writing about procurement & paraphernalia for 1.5+ years and is passionate about bringing new perspectives, pointers & puns to what he writes. Outside work, he’s an Arsenal fan, and is a quiz & word games enthusiast.

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