17 March 2005 | David Arminas
Vantage this month launched a purchase-to-pay e-procurement system, which the company claims can be set up in only a few days. It will replace electronic or paper-based systems.
It provides invoicing, sourcing, catalogues, payment and has a reverse auction capability.
"Many organisations can have the Vantage Transaction Hub running within two days," said Malcolm Rosier, head of marketing for Vantage.
Graham Opie, director of analyst Vanson Bourne, agreed that a web-based system is less costly, but he warned the programme is not a panacea.
"Implementation within two days does not always mean immediate savings," he said.
"Purchasers must do a lot of front-end work such as training personnel to use it and getting them to use it exclusively."
He said a purchase-to-pay system saves some money through improved processes for buying from suppliers and handling more invoices with more accurate information.
However, in his view, its real value comes months down the line when an organisation has consistent data on supplier performance such as percentages of correct goods received, as well as accurate catalogue and invoice information.
"Purchasers can use this information to improve their contracts with suppliers when they come up for renewal."
The system uses Oracle software for catalogue management and some sourcing work, as well as TradeX software for sending documents between suppliers and purchasers.