23 May 2007 | Paul Snell
Improved cost savings continues to be the primary reason for the use of purchasing cards, according to a study.
Research by the Aberdeen Group found that 34 per cent of European companies were looking to cards to improve cost savings. However, this was a smaller percentage than companies in North America (47 per cent), and Latin America (63 per cent).
Reducing the length of time employees spend on administration was the main goal of developing existing procurement card schemes. Some 86 per cent of respondents were keen to achieve this, with 82 per cent hoping to improve internal controls and fraud protection.
Firms in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific said administration of the cards presented the biggest challenge when introducing the scheme. The main obstacle for Latin American businesses, however, was gaining employee support for the programmes.
The survey recommended firms ensure their purchasing cards are integrated with their e-procurement systems. It added companies should communicate the benefits of procurement cards, such as shorter payment times, more clearly to suppliers.
The survey interviewed 263 companies worldwide in a variety of sectors.