03 March 2005 | David Arminas
Senior purchasers will demand more sophisticated functions from e-sourcing software within the next 12 months, according to industry figures.
Requirements will include increased capability to handle so-called "combinatorial" bidding that allows suppliers to quote for contracts based on variations of delivery times and product volume across a range of destinations.
"Software is getting better at analysing what is best value for purchasers based on complicated delivery times and batches," said Steve Tucker, managing director of Intersources UK.
But he added that while demand from purchasers is there, obstacles remain for its effective use. These include convincing suppliers and purchasers to work together electronically.
"As there is much transparency of supplier prices and pre-qualifying data, buyers must be well trained in using the systems to overcome confidentiality concerns, particularly so competitors do not see the information."
Nigel Montgomery, European Research director at AMR Research, agreed purchasers want more sophisticated e-sourcing and its effective use requires suppliers willing to work on-line.
"The move is away from a dating game, where a purchaser has a simple need for an object or commodity and he is put in touch with a supplier of these."