Is it time to embrace e-procurement? Answer these 11 questions to find out

11 August 2014 | Wasim Ashfaq

Wasim Ashfaq is engineering and supply chain lead at Parco Pearl GasIf you are procurement professional and your workstation is buried under altogether too many papers for your review, approval, storage and forwarding, it’s time to take an ‘electronic’ leap.

Get rid of the paper-based, costly, inefficient, time-wasting, worryingly complex, easily forgettable and can-be-missed procurement details and papers. Your smartphone, iPad or computer should take charge of the timelines, costs, approval needs, signatures, storage and forwarding of documents.

Just ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are purchase requests, RFQs, quotations, comparisons, orders, delivery receipts, completion certificates and invoices still being printed and couriered as hard copies?
  2. Do you sometimes feel procurement or bidding is slow either on the vendor’s or your part?
  3. Have you or your staff ever worried about a lost document, requisition, bid, comparisons, or invoice?
  4. Have you or your staff ever had to search for a document on your desk?
  5. Have you or your staff ever forgotten to review a document which has delayed proceedings?
  6. Have you or your staff, when asked by seniors about the status of a procurement or contract, ever been unable to answer?
  7. Do any of the invoices, delivery receipts, sales tax invoices, tax certificates remain missing, leading to complaints from finance?
  8. Do payments get delayed and vendors get worried?
  9. Does your vendor call you to chase payments and other updates?
  10. Do you still exchange hard copies with remote office staff and vendors through courier?
  11. Does your company have dead stock in inventory as a buffer?

If your answers to all or most of the above questions is yes, say no to a paper-based procurement system, and start working to take a leap into e-procurement.

You will greatly reduce your procurement costs, time spent procuring, making payments, managing papers and files and increase your command over the function through visualisation of spend and timelines.

You don’t need a surplus of papers, ink, signatures, couriers, calls, forwarding, searching and recalling, What you do need is goods/services to be delivered on time and cost efficiently, and greater visualisation, spend analytics and informed decisions which will allow you to stay up to date and competitive.

Wasim Ashfaq is engineering and supply chain lead at PARCO Pearl Gas

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