How to Increase Your Company’s Bottomline with Next-Level E-procurement Software

Manage FF&E specification, procurement, and product data at scale. Take on bigger projects with confidence and grow your firm with  FohlioSchedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.

E-procurement – short for electronic procurement – in its simplest sense just means the migration of purchasing workflows to the internet. As opposed to traditional pen-and-paper methods, it can mean using email and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

E-procurement has opened up a whole world of opportunities: Firms move faster and make decisions backed by greater insight than ever before. Those who have embraced its possibilities find themselves outpacing the competition by leaps and bounds – looking beyond on-time and within-budget project delivery.

Learn more: How to Grow Your Firm in 2022: Five Metrics of Success for the Design and Construction Industry

E-procurement Improves Design and Procurement Firms’ Business Agility

Agility is an organization’s capacity to do the following things: 

  • Respond swiftly to market shifts, both internally and externally. 
  • Respond to customer demands quickly and effectively. 
  • Act to inspire innovation in a profitable and cost-effective manner while maintaining quality.

Part of making a workflow agile (which goes for construction workflows as well) is to also consider eliminating redundancies and manage anything that can be managed. Procurement follows a more-or-less predictable lifecycle which can be broken down into stages, each with their own opportunities for improvement. They also come with their own challenges, like:

  • Inflation 
  • Inaccurate/outdated information
  • Vendor management (including communication and selection)
  • Delays 

These can all be mitigated, of course, but e-procurement makes that a lot easier and more efficient.

How to Transform Your FF&E Specification and Construction Workflows With the Right Web Clipper | Fohlio FF&E specification and procurement software

How to Increase Your Company’s Bottomline with Next-Level E-procurement Software | Fohlio FF&E specification and procurement software

What makes e-procurement different from your usual procurement processes?

Let’s begin with a list of actions you can perform in an e-procurement tool:

  • E-tender: Send a formal offer for your services online.
  • E-inform: Gather and distribute data both to and from internal and external parties.
  • E-auction: Enable vendors to bid online, in real time.
  • Vendor management: Communicate with vendors and identify your preferred providers.
  • Catalogue management: Allow suppliers to make product information available to purchasing organizations and update them as necessary.
  • Stay on top of order statuses: Track orders online and manage deliveries.
  • Advance ship notice: Be notified of pending deliveries.
  • E-invoicing: Receive invoices from suppliers.
  • E-payment: Accept payment online. 

Simply by virtue of managing all these activities online, your workflows become more efficient. Keeping information updated is also easier, and so is making information available to stakeholders.

But that’s basic stuff, and we can probably argue that any procurement firm, design-procurement firm, or enterprise company can more or less do all these things.

So what separates you from the pack? For one thing, you can use an e-procurement software that does a whole lot more than purchasing.

An e-procurement tool backed that’s also a specification and product information management tool is the crucial difference.

ERP systems connect you to vendors and keep your documents organized in one place. But an e-procurement system backed by an online materials database opens up an entire world of possibilities. Here two examples:

Automate the creation of requests for quotes, purchase orders, and more. With Fohlio, your procurement team will no longer have to type or even copy and paste product information into an ERP system. All they have to do is go into the spec sheets, select items, and click a button to generate a PO.

Learn more: Here’s How Goebel Design Group Cut Down on Procurement Workflow Redundancies (Case Study)

Here's How This Procurement Manager Cut Down on Workflow Redundancies | Fohlio ff&e specification and procurement software | automate procurement

Elevate POs into powerful tracking and reporting tools. In Fohlio, purchase orders are much more than glorified memos. You can use them to track quantities, deliveries, payment statuses, and more. You can even use them to forecast spending.

How to Transform Your FF&E Specification and Construction Workflows With the Right Web Clipper | Fohlio FF&E specification and procurement software

How does it impact my workflow?

An e- procurement tool – especially one backed with a materials database – can act as your firm’s “single source of truth.” Having a sea of information readily available to you means you can extract data that will allow you to create metrics and insights, that you can then use to evaluate and track progress, and ultimately improve your system.

Learn more: How to Take Your Firm to the Next Level With a Digital Materials Library: 9 Ways

Figuring out what data works for you will let you in on making data- driven decisions. Gone are the days where you would have to rely on your gut to make sound decisions. Data accessibility (when used right) will remove non-value-adding factors in your quest to run things smoothly. 

Instead, you can focus on value-add and value-creation actions like savings opportunities, supplier relationships, people management and expansion: 

  • Lower transaction costs.
  • Automate reporting and cut down time spent creating reports.
  • Automate purchase orders and track billing.
  • Track lead times and product performances and use that information to identify supplier performance.
  • Automate pre- qualification and supplier evaluation with historical insights. 
  • Shorten the tender cycle. 
  • Record milestones and celebrate them.
  • Ultimately keep track of everything in a centralized platform with all your stakeholders and members readily available.

Agility can be your greatest asset in a constantly changing market because having agility will give you more time to focus on value- adds. In procurement, value-adds are more than just cost: It’s cost savings, product quality, better supplier relationships, satisfied stakeholders and earlier lead times. When you have these things, your company can grow, stay relevant, and demonstrate value. 

https://kissflow.com/procurement/procurement-challenges/
https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/E-procurement
https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/The_benefits_of_e-procurement_in_construction
https://www2.deloitte.com/ch/en/pages/technology/articles/shaping-sourcing-and-procurement-in-a-post-covid-environment.html
https://spendmatters.com/2019/05/03/beginners-guide-to-the-procurement-cycle/
https://www.frevvo.com/blog/procurement-risks/
https://blog.spendesk.com/en/e-procurement-101-understanding-the-basics

Manage FF&E specification, procurement, and product data at scale. Take on bigger projects with confidence and grow your firm with  FohlioSchedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.

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