The Ultimate Guide to Procurement Software Solutions
A guide featuring some of the top procurement software solutions available to help simplify and streamline procurement processes.
Procurement Software Solutions
Today, most procurement professionals have their heads in the cloud using applications to automate and help make their jobs easier. A new software release or update happens almost every day, promising to improve on the past, make tasks a fraction faster and processes just a bit more streamlined.
But which app should a company or organization invest in? Should a company upgrade its procurement management system or switch to an ERP? Should it buy separate tail spend and RFP management apps? The process is overwhelming and the options are endless.
It is generally true that ERP systems and procurement management systems tend to be geared toward large organizations with more complex procurement processes and greater spending budgets. Spend management systems tend to be more suitable for small to mid-size companies with fewer procurement needs. However, procurement needs vary greatly from company to company and there is an overlap of categories and features among ERP systems, procurement management applications, and travel and spend management software.
Can one platform be a panacea? And how do you even go about finding the best procurement software solution for your company since every organization has its own unique needs?
How to find the right procurement software
First, you must evaluate your own company’s goals and needs to match to a system based on its specific features…and your budget. Do not forget to account for training and annual licensing or subscription renewals. For example, an ERP system may be exceptional for human resources and finance, but its procurement module may lack the necessary features that an integration-capable dedicated procurement management system already has.
This guide highlights some of the top procurement applications available to help you cut through the noise and make the best decisions for your organization.
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In this guide:
ERP Procurement Modules
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, which is a type of software system that helps organizations manage various business processes from a single platform through its various modules, such as accounting, human resources, inventory management, procurement, sales, and marketing, among others. At the core of an ERP sits a centralized, integrated database that feeds these modules. This allows the business to automate and streamline its entire organization using one platform instead of using disparate applications for each department.
The selling point of ERP systems is improvement in efficiency, cost reduction, and making more informed business decisions with real-time data. Some of the biggest vendor names in ERP are the largest companies in the world – Oracle, SAP, Workday, and Microsoft Dynamics – just to name a few.
ERP systems can assist any size business, but most people think of these applications as being at the heart of large Fortune 500 multinational corporations. ERP capabilities, features, user interfaces, and training can vary widely with some vendors specializing in serving specific industries or business sizes.
Systems like Oracle NetSuite, SAP Ariba, and Workday offer a range of features such as supplier management, purchase order management, invoice management, and inventory management. Ultimately, the effectiveness of a procurement module in an ERP system will depend on the specific requirements of the business and how well the system is configured and implemented as a whole.
Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP system that includes financial management, order management, and procurement management modules. Its procurement module offers features such as purchase order management, procurement contract management, and vendor management. The module provides customizable workflows for procurement processes and supports multiple currencies and languages.
One of NetSuite’s strengths is its comprehensive vendor management tools, allowing companies to track vendor performance and history.
There are different versions of NetSuite, but a typical starter package module includes basic financial management, order management, inventory management, purchasing, and customer relationship management (CRM) features. Pricing is based on a subscription model and can start at $999 per month and go up to $19,999 per month.
SAP Ariba is a cloud-based ERP platform that helps businesses manage procurement and supply chain processes. It offers a range of features, including supplier management, sourcing, contract management, invoice management, and spend analysis.
SAP Ariba is typically used by established large organizations with complex procurement needs. And, like NetSuite and Workday, Ariba provides customizable workflows for procurement processes and supports multiple currencies and languages.
Ariba also offers tools for supplier management, including supplier performance tracking and risk management.
Pricing for Ariba is based on a subscription model and is calculated based on the number of transactions or the amount spent on procurement. Pricing for Ariba is not publicly available but is generally considered to be in the higher-end range.
Like NetSuite and Ariba, Workday is a cloud-based ERP that provides a strong suite of applications for financial management, human resources, planning, and procurement. Workday is known for its ease of use, flexibility, and scalability, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes and industries.
The platform is built on a single code base, which allows for greater integration and data management capabilities than some of its competitors.
Workday’s procurement module includes approval workflows, supplier management, spend analytics, inventory management, contract management, integration with financials, and mobile access.
Workday customers pay a subscription fee, which includes maintenance, upgrades, and technical support. The subscription fee can be based on various factors, such as the number of users, the modules and functionalities required, and the length of the subscription term. Workday’s subscription pricing model allows customers to pay only for the resources they use and to easily scale up or down their usage as their needs change.
Differences among ERP systems
Overall, all three ERP systems mentioned offer robust procurement modules with similar functionalities, such as purchase requisitions and purchase orders.
In terms of differences, SAP Ariba is generally considered to be more suitable for established larger organizations with complex procurement needs, while Workday and Oracle NetSuite are can be more suited for mid-sized businesses seeking to scale up to a large business. SAP Ariba also has a stronger focus on supplier management and supply chain visibility, while Workday and Oracle NetSuite offer a more comprehensive suite of ERP features, including financial management and human resources.
Procurement Management Applications
Unlike ERP platforms with various modules, stand-alone procurement management applications help businesses only manage their procurement processes. This data, however, can be integrated and shared with other company applications.
Procurement management software typically includes features such as purchase order management, supplier management, invoice processing, contract management, and spend analysis. The goal of procurement management software is to automate and streamline the procurement process, reducing the time and resources required to manage procurement activities while improving accuracy and control.
This type of software can be used by businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises across a variety of industries. Using procurement management software should help businesses better manage their procurement spend, negotiate better contracts with suppliers, and improve overall procurement performance.
In general, procurement management applications like Coupa, Procurify, Tradogram, and Planergy offer similar features and functionality, but with different areas of focus and target markets.
Coupa is a well-respected brand in procurement. Its comprehensive procurement platform offers features such as e-procurement, expense management, and supplier management designed to help businesses gain visibility over their procurement and control spending. Coupa is known for its extensive integrations with other third-party systems and applications.
Coupa is designed for a business that has complex procurement needs and high transaction volumes.
As a result, Coupa offers more advanced procurement capabilities, such as sourcing, supplier management, and contract management.
Coupa also offers advanced spend management capabilities such as predictive analytics, advanced reporting, and supplier risk management. Coupa is typically priced on a per-user or per-module basis.
Other key features include:
- Spend management: Coupa offers comprehensive spend management tools, including spend analysis, budgeting, and forecasting capabilities. This allows businesses to identify savings opportunities and optimize their spending.
- Procurement: Coupa provides tools for managing the entire procurement process, including purchase requisitions, purchase orders, and approvals. The platform can also integrate with supplier catalogs to simplify the ordering process.
- Invoicing: The platform streamlines the accounts payable process by allowing users to manage invoices and payments in one place. The platform can automatically match invoices to purchase orders and receipts, reducing manual data entry.
- Inventory management: Coupa offers inventory management tools to help businesses track and manage their inventory levels, reducing the risk of stockouts and overstocking.
- Contract management: The platform provides contract management tools to help businesses manage their contracts more efficiently. Users can store all their contracts in one place, automate renewals and reminders, and track compliance.
- Reporting & analytics: Coupa offers real-time analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling users to track spend, identify trends, and monitor compliance.
- Mobile app: Coupa provides a mobile app that allows users to manage expenses, submit receipts, and approve requests on the go.
- Integration: Coupa integrates with various accounting systems and other third-party applications, allowing businesses to connect their procurement processes with other parts of their business.
Procurify is another worthy stand-alone procurement management application that offers features such as purchase order management, spend analysis, and vendor management.
One of Procurify’s key differences from Coupa is its target market: small to mid-sized businesses. Another difference with Procurify is it is priced on a per-feature basis.
This means that businesses can choose the specific features they need and only pay for what they use. Like Coupa, Procurify is also known for its customization, abundance of options, and its ability to integrate with other enterprise systems.
Other key features of Procurify include:
- Purchase order management: Procurify helps businesses create, approve, and track purchase orders in real-time, ensuring that procurement processes are transparent and efficient.
- Approval workflows: The platform offers customizable approval workflows, allowing businesses to set up specific approval chains for different types of purchases.
- Budget tracking: Procurify enables businesses to set and track budgets for different departments or projects, helping them manage expenses more effectively.
- Vendor management: The platform helps businesses manage their vendor relationships, including supplier onboarding, contract management, and performance tracking.
- Reporting & analytics: Procurify offers detailed reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to gain insights into their procurement processes and make data-driven decisions.
- Mobile app: Procurify’s mobile app enables users to manage procurement processes on the go, from creating purchase orders to approving expenses.
- Integration with accounting software: The platform integrates with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage to streamline the accounts payable process.
Tradogram’s procurement management software offers features such as purchase order management, supplier management, inventory tracking, contract management, and spend analysis. Like Procurify, Tradogram is designed for all business sizes.
Users have noted that Tradogram has a simpler, more intuitive user interface than some of its competitors, which could be good for less tech-savvy users.
It typically has a more affordable pricing structure than some of its competitors. One thing to consider is Tradogram’s lack of an app as it only has a mobile-responsive website.
Tradogram’s key features include:
- Purchase order management: Tradogram helps businesses create, approve, and track purchase orders in real-time.
- Approval workflows: The platform offers customizable approval workflows, allowing businesses to set up specific approval chains for different types of purchases.
- Vendor management: Tradogram enables businesses to manage their vendor relationships, including supplier onboarding, contract management, and performance tracking.
- Inventory management: The platform allows businesses to track inventory levels and receive alerts when inventory levels are running low, helping them avoid stockouts and overstocking.
- Budget tracking: Tradogram enables businesses to set and track budgets for different departments or projects, helping them manage expenses more effectively.
- Reporting & analytics: The platform offers detailed reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to gain insights into their procurement processes and make data-driven decisions.
Planergy makes headlines today by focusing on sustainability and ethical sourcing. Planergy’s target market is small to medium-sized businesses across various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and government corporations. It is designed to meet the procurement needs of organizations that require robust spend management and purchasing capabilities but may not have the resources to invest in complex and expensive enterprise-level procurement solutions.
Planergy offers a subscription-based pricing model that is based on the number of users and the level of functionality required by the organization. Like Tradogram, Planergy does not have a mobile app, but does have a mobile-responsive website.
Planergy’s key features include:
- Purchase requisitions: Planergy users can create and manage purchase requisitions, track approvals, and ensure compliance with company policies.
- Purchase orders: Users can create and manage purchase orders, track deliveries, and automate invoice matching.
- Supplier management: Users can manage supplier information, track supplier performance, and collaborate with suppliers on orders.
- Contract management: Users can create and manage contracts, track expiration dates, and ensure compliance with contract terms.
- Inventory management: Users can track inventory levels, set reorder points, and generate reports on inventory usage.
- Reporting & analytics: Planergy provides real-time analytics and reporting on procurement data, including spending trends, supplier performance, and inventory usage.
Procurement Management Summary
While all these applications are similarly classified, each application has its own unique strengths and weaknesses and, of course, the best choice depends on the specific size and needs of your business or organization.
For example, small businesses might find Procurify or Tradogram more suitable, while larger enterprises might prefer the more comprehensive features and integrations Coupa offers. Similarly, businesses that prioritize environmental responsibility and ethical sourcing will like Planergy’s corporate vision and stewardship.
Spending, Travel, and Expense Management Solutions
Spending, travel, and expense management applications automate and streamline spending processes, which can include the tracking, submitting, and approval of employee expenses and travel requests.
This type of software typically allows employees to submit expenses and travel requests remotely through a mobile app or web portal, which can then be reviewed and approved by managers or administrators. It may also integrate with corporate credit card accounts and financial systems to provide real-time spending data and automate the reconciliation process.
The goal of spending, travel, and expense management applications is to help companies reduce the administrative burden of reporting these expenditures, improve compliance with company policies, and gain greater visibility into travel and entertainment spending—in other words, to better uncover how your sales team spends money in the field.
Let’s look at our top four spending, travel, and expense management applications:
Chrome River is a robust spending, expense, and invoice management platform that offers features such as travel and expense reporting, invoice processing, and reimbursement management.
Chrome River is known for its user-friendly interface, customer service, and mobile app. Chrome River also has flexible payment options, including virtual credit cards and direct deposit.
Other key features of Chrome River include:
- Expense management: Chrome River enables businesses to automate their expense management processes, making it easier for employees to submit and approve expense reports and for finance teams to process payments.
- Invoice processing: The platform streamlines the accounts payable process by allowing users to manage invoices and payments in one place. The program can automatically match invoices to purchase orders and receipts, reducing manual data entry.
- Purchasing: Chrome River provides tools for managing the entire purchasing process, including purchase requisitions, purchase orders, and approvals. The platform can also integrate with supplier catalogs to simplify the ordering process.
- Budget tracking: Chrome River users can set up budgets for specific projects, departments, or expense categories, and then track spending against those budgets in real time. The system also allows users to set up alerts and notifications to stay informed about their budget status and to help prevent overspending.
- Reporting & analytics: The platform provides real-time analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling users to track spending, identify trends, and monitor compliance.
- Integration: Chrome River integrates with a range of accounting systems and other third-party applications, allowing businesses to connect their procurement processes with other parts of their business.
SAP Concur is one of the most popular travel and expense management software applications in the market. It offers a range of features, including expense reporting, travel booking, invoicing, and analytics. Being an SAP, or Systems Applications and Products app, Concur is aimed at large enterprises and can integrate with many ERP systems. It has a variety of pricing plans, depending on the needs of the customer.
The key features of SAP Concur include:
- Travel booking and itinerary management: SAP Concur allows employees to book travel directly within the system, and provides instantaneous itinerary updates.
- Expense management: SAP Concur automates expense reporting and reimbursement processes, allowing employees to easily submit expense reports and track their reimbursement status.
- Budget tracking: SAP Concur allows users to set up budgets for specific projects, departments, or expense categories, and track spending in real time. Like Chrome River, users can set up alerts and notifications to help prevent overspending. The system can generate detailed spending reports and compare actual expenses to the budgeted amounts.
- Invoice management: SAP Concur enables businesses to manage their entire invoice lifecycle, from receipt to payment, through a centralized platform
- Analytics and reporting: SAP Concur provides synchronous analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing businesses to gain insights into their spending patterns and identify areas for cost savings.
- Mobile app: SAP Concur’s mobile app allows employees to manage their travel and expenses on the go , submit expenses, and access their itinerary details.
Abacus is another cloud-based spend management software built to streamline the expense reporting process, making it faster, more accurate, and more efficient for employees and finance teams. Abacus is known for its intuitive user interface, robust features, and excellent customer support.
Abacus is particularly popular among companies with mobile workforces or employees who frequently incur expenses on the go.
Abacus is great for start-ups to large companies, and can separate out expenses that violate policy, contain errors, or are potentially fraudulent.
Abacus’s key features include:
- Automatic expense creation and tracking: Abacus automatically creates expenses from receipts and credit card transactions, reducing manual data entry and saving time.
- Real-time expense tracking: Abacus provides real-time visibility into employee expenses, so you can track spending as it happens.
- Customizable expense policies: Abacus allows you to set custom expense policies and rules, ensuring compliance with your company’s spending policies.
- Automatic policy enforcement: Abacus automatically enforces your company’s expense policies, ensuring that all expenses are compliant before they are submitted.
- Mobile app: Abacus has a mobile app that makes it easy for employees to submit expenses on the go.
- Integration with accounting software: Abacus integrates with popular accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero, making it easy to reconcile expenses with your accounting records.
- Analytics and reporting: Abacus provides detailed analytics and reporting on employee spending, so you can identify trends and make informed decisions about your company’s expenses.
Like Abacus, Certify is an expense management software that helps businesses manage employee expenses and reimbursements. The platform offers a range of features including expense report creation, receipt management, and reimbursement processing.
Certify allows users to capture receipts on the go using their mobile device’s camera, and automatically extract data from the receipt to populate expense reports.
The platform also offers integrations with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks, enabling the automatic transfer of expense data into those systems.
Some key features of Certify include:
- Receipt tracking and expense reporting: Certify allows users to easily capture and track receipts using a mobile device, which can then be automatically imported into an expense report.
- Credit card integration: Users can connect their corporate credit cards to the Certify system, allowing for real-time monitoring of expenses and automatic import of transactions into expense reports.
- Policy compliance: Certify enables organizations to create and enforce expense policies, ensuring that expenses are in line with company guidelines.
- Automated approval workflow: Expense reports are automatically routed to the appropriate approver based on pre-set rules and workflows, allowing for streamlined approval processes.
- Advanced reporting and analytics: Certify offers a variety of reporting and analytics tools, allowing organizations to gain insight into spending trends, identify potential cost savings opportunities, and make data-driven decisions.
- Integration with accounting systems: Certify integrates with popular accounting systems such as QuickBooks and NetSuite, allowing for seamless transfer of expense data to the general ledger.
- Mobile app: Certify offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, allowing users to submit expenses on the go and stay up-to-date on their expense reports.
RFP Management Applications
A Request for Proposal (RFP) management application is a software tool designed to help companies manage the process of responding to RFPs more efficiently and effectively. While most people reading this probably already know, an RFP is a document that outlines the requirements for a project or contract and invites potential vendors or service providers to submit a proposal.
RFP management applications typically offer a range of features to help companies manage the entire RFP response process from start to finish. These features may include:
- Content management: A centralized repository for all the company’s RFP-related content, including responses, templates, and supporting documentation.
- Collaboration tools: A platform for team members to collaborate on RFP responses, share information and track progress in real time.
- Automation: Tools that automate certain aspects of the RFP response process, such as content requests and proposal generation.
- Analytics: Insights and reporting tools to help companies track their RFP response performance and identify areas for improvement.
- Integration: The ability to integrate with other software tools and platforms, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, to streamline the RFP response process.
Overall, an RFP management application can help companies respond to RFPs faster, more accurately, and with less effort, freeing up time and resources to focus on other critical business tasks.
RFPIO is a Request for Proposal (RFP) management platform that helps companies streamline the RFP response process making it faster, more efficient, and more effective. The platform offers a range of features that helps teams collaborate, automate, and optimize their RFP response process, ultimately helping businesses win more deals and increase revenue.
Some key features of RFPIO are:
- Time-saving automation: RFPIO offers features that automate many of the time-consuming tasks such as generating proposals, formatting responses, and gathering content.
- Seamless collaboration: RFPIO provides a centralized platform for teams to collaborate on RFP responses, allowing team members to work together in real time, track progress, and provide feedback.
- Content management: RFPIO provides a centralized content library, where teams can store and manage RFP responses, proposals, and other related content. The platform also offers content suggestion tools to help teams find the most relevant and effective responses.
- Data-driven Insights: RFPIO provides analytics and reporting tools that allow teams to measure their performance and identify areas for improvement. With this data, teams can optimize their RFP response process and increase their win rates.
- Customizable templates: RFPIO offers customizable templates that allow teams to create professional-looking proposals quickly and easily. These templates can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of each RFP.
- Integration: RFPIO integrates with a range of other software tools, such as CRM platforms, project management software, and document management systems, making it easier for teams to manage their RFP response process within their existing workflow.
RFPIO uses an annual subscription model, with pricing determined by the number of users and the specific features required. The exact pricing of RFPIO can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the organization, the number of users, and the level of support required.
RFPIO offers four pricing plans:
- Essential: This plan includes the core RFP response features of RFPIO, including content library, collaboration tools, analytics, and integrations.
- Pro: In addition to the Essential features, the Pro plan includes advanced automation features such as response recommendations and proposal generation.
- Premier: The Premier plan includes all the features of the Pro plan, as well as advanced content management features such as version control and advanced permissions.
- Enterprise: The Enterprise plan includes all the features of the Premier plan, plus customizations and personalized support.
RFPIO also offers a free trial of its software. Additionally, RFPIO offers discounts for nonprofits and educational institutions.
Another excellent RFP management application with a great reputation is RFP360. This software offers a full-circle approach to request management that incorporates best-in-class response management. The platform offers a range of features that help teams automate and optimize their RFP response process while ensuring compliance and security.
Key features of RFP360 include:
- Automation: RFP360 offers a range of automation tools that help streamline the RFP response process, including response templates, content libraries, and automated workflows.
- Collaboration: The platform provides a centralized platform for team collaboration, allowing team members to work together in real time, share information, and track progress.
- Vendor management: RFP360 provides tools for managing vendor relationships, including vendor selection, evaluation, and performance tracking.
- Analytics and reporting: The platform offers analytics and reporting tools that help teams measure their performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
- Integration: RFP360 integrates with a range of other software tools, such as CRM platforms, project management software, and document management systems, making it easier for teams to manage their RFP response process within their existing workflow.
- Compliance management: RFP360 provides tools for managing compliance requirements, such as tracking certifications, licenses, and insurance.
- Proposal generation: The platform offers features for generating professional-looking proposals quickly and easily, including customizable templates and proposal generation tools.
Pricing plans for RFP360 are based on the specific needs of each organization. Exact pricing can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the organization, the number of users, and the specific features required. Here is a summary of the pricing options offered by RFP360:
- Professional plan: Designed for small teams and includes basic RFP management features, such as a content library, proposal templates, and vendor management. Pricing for this plan starts at $1,000 per year.
- Team plan: This plan is designed for larger teams and includes additional features, such as collaboration tools, analytics, and compliance management. Pricing for this plan starts at $6,000 per year.
- Enterprise plan: This plan is designed for large organizations and includes advanced features, such as integration with CRM and project management software, custom branding, and personalized support. Pricing for this plan is customized based on the specific needs of each business.
Loopio is another RFP response software that helps companies centralize their content and streamline their RFP response process. It offers features like automated content requests and response recommendations to help teams respond to RFPs faster and more accurately.
Here are some of the key features of Loopio:
- Automation: Loopio provides a range of automation tools that help streamline the RFP response process, including response templates, content tagging, and automated workflows.
- Collaboration: The platform offers collaboration tools that allow team members to work together in real time, share information, and track progress.
- Response library: Loopio provides a centralized platform for storing and organizing RFP responses, making it easier for teams to find and reuse existing content.
- Security and compliance: The platform is designed with security and compliance in mind, with features such as single sign-on (SSO), data encryption, and role-based permissions.
- Analytics and reporting: Loopio offers analytics and reporting tools that help teams measure their performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
- Integrations: The platform integrates with a range of other software tools, such as CRM platforms, project management software, and document management systems, making it easier for teams to manage their RFP response process within their existing workflow.
Loopio offers a range of pricing plans based on the specific needs of each organization. The exact pricing varies depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the organization, the number of users, and the specific features required. Here is a summary of the Loopio pricing options:
- Starter plan: Designed for smaller teams and includes basic RFP management features, such as a response library, collaboration tools, and analytics. Pricing for this plan starts at $4,200 per year.
- Professional plan: This plan is designed for larger teams and includes additional features, such as automation tools, integrations, and security and compliance features. Pricing for this plan starts at $10,800 per year.
- Enterprise plan: This plan is designed for larger organizations and includes advanced features, such as custom branding, personalized support, and additional security and compliance features. Pricing for this plan is customized based on the specific needs of each organization.
Loopio also offers a free trial and offers add-ons and customizations that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each organization, such as additional users or custom integrations.
Key differences among RFPIO, RFP360, and Loopio
All these applications have automation features, collaboration, response libraries, analytics and reporting, and security/compliance abilities. Some key differences to note are:
- Pricing: RFPIO and Loopio offer transparent and flexible pricing plans, while RFP360 offers customized pricing based on the specific needs of each organization.
- Integrations: RFP360 offers integrations with a range of software tools, including CRM platforms and project management software, while RFPIO and Loopio offer fewer integrations.
- Customization: Loopio offers a range of customization options, including custom branding and tailored workflows, while RFPIO and RFP360 offer fewer customization options.
- Proposal Generation: Loopio offers advanced features for generating professional-looking proposals quickly and easily, including customizable templates and proposal generation tools, while RFPIO and RFP360 offer fewer proposal generation features.
Overall, RFPIO, RFP360, and Loopio all offer powerful tools for managing the RFP response process. The best choice for your organization will depend on your specific needs and priorities. Be sure to use the free trial periods to evaluate each tool.
Tail Spend Applications
Tail spend refers to the 20% to 80% of an organization’s indirect spending that typically consists of low-value purchases, one-time buys, and ad-hoc spending. Often, companies define and track tail spend differently with many considering the effort too difficult to truly manage.
However, due to the pandemic and better tools, managing tail spend gained more importance as companies tried to cut costs. Tail spend management aims to optimize and automate these purchasing processes, often through the use of technology platforms and services.
Fairmarkit is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the procurement process for tail spend. Fairmarkit helps companies to identify and manage lower-value suppliers, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. It uses a competitive bidding process to allow suppliers to compete for business, which helps to drive down prices. Fairmarkit’s platform is commonly used in industries such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and government.
Some of Fairmarkit’s key features include:
- AI-powered automation: Fairmarkit uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to automate and simplify the procurement process. It identifies and analyzes data patterns to help users make more informed decisions and increase efficiency.
- Competitive bidding: Fairmarkit uses a competitive bidding process to allow suppliers to compete for business. This helps to drive down costs and ensures that users get the best value for their money.
- Analytics and reporting: Fairmarkit provides real-time analytics and reporting, giving users access to data on spending patterns, savings, and supplier performance. This helps users to make data-driven decisions and identify areas for improvement.
- Integration with ERP systems: Fairmarkit can integrate with most ERP systems, allowing users to easily manage and track procurement activities within their existing workflows.
- Compliance management: Fairmarkit ensures compliance with procurement policies and regulations. It provides a system for tracking and managing compliance issues, including supplier certifications and qualifications.
Vendor & Supplier Management Applications
Vendor and supply chain management applications are designed to optimize the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers while minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency through the entire supply chain. It can also help businesses achieve a competitive advantage by improving delivery times, reducing inventory costs, and improving customer satisfaction.
Two features of these applications are logistics management and supplier relationship management. Logistics management helps track operations from transportation to warehousing and distribution.
Supplier relationship management helps businesses manage their relationships with suppliers, including supplier performance monitoring, risk assessment, and collaboration. Previously mentioned applications SAP Ariba, Oracle NetSuite, Coupa, and Procurify have vendor/supplier management built into their platforms.
Here we will take a look at two stand-alone applications.
SourceDay is a cloud-based vendor and supply chain management application that helps manufacturers and distributors automate and optimize their procurement processes. It is designed to help businesses manage their vendors, suppliers, purchase orders, and materials more efficiently and effectively, and to reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions.
Some of the key features of SourceDay include:
- Vendor/Supplier collaboration: SourceDay provides a centralized platform for collaborating with suppliers, making it easier to communicate and exchange information.
- Tracking vendor performance: SourceDay provides analytics and reporting capabilities to help you track vendor performance, so you can identify any areas for improvement.
- Purchase order management: The platform automates and streamlines the purchase order process, reducing errors and saving time.
- Material planning: SourceDay helps businesses plan and schedule their material requirements more accurately, reducing waste and optimizing inventory levels.
- Quality management: The platform provides tools for tracking and managing quality issues, including non-conforming materials and corrective actions.
- Analytics and reporting: SourceDay offers analytics and reporting tools that help businesses measure their performance, identify areas for improvement, and see data-driven results.
SourceDay does not publicly disclose its pricing information, offering custom pricing plans tailored to each business’s specific needs. To get pricing information, contact SourceDay directly to discuss your requirements with their sales team.
Zycus is another cloud-based vendor and supply chain management application driven by AI called Cognitive Procurement software. Its Source-to-Pay (S2P) software takes over the tactical tasks and empowers procurement and AP officers to focus on strategic projects. Its conversational AI offers a B2C type user experience to the end-users.
Key features of Zycus include:
- Spend analysis: Zycus provides powerful spend analysis capabilities that help businesses gain visibility into their spending across multiple categories and suppliers.
- Sourcing: The platform provides tools for managing the entire sourcing process, from identifying potential suppliers to negotiating contracts and managing supplier performance.
- Contract management: Zycus offers a robust contract management module that helps businesses manage their contracts throughout the entire lifecycle, from drafting to renewal.
- Supplier management: The platform includes tools for managing supplier relationships, including performance monitoring, risk assessment, and collaboration.
- Procurement: Zycus provides comprehensive procurement tools that enable businesses to automate and streamline their purchasing processes, from requisition to invoice processing.
- Invoice management: The platform includes invoice management capabilities that help businesses manage their invoices more efficiently, reducing the risk of errors and delays.
- Catalog management: Zycus provides tools for managing catalogs and contracts, ensuring that businesses have access to accurate and up-to-date pricing and product information.
- Analytics and reporting: The platform includes powerful analytics and reporting capabilities that enable businesses to track their performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-based decisions.
Zycus also offers custom pricing plans, with pricing determined based on the specific modules and features that you need. They offer a range of deployment options, including cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid deployments, which can also impact pricing. Additionally, Zycus offers a free trial and a demo of their platform to help you evaluate their solution before committing to a purchase.
Differences between SourceDay and Zycus
SourceDay and Zycus both help businesses manage their procurement processes, contracts, and supplier relationships. They offer similar features, such as supplier collaboration tools, purchase order management, and analytics and reporting capabilities.
However, there are also some differences between the two platforms. For example, SourceDay has a strong focus on automating and optimizing the procurement process, with a particular emphasis on reducing supply chain disruptions.
Zycus, on the other hand, has a broader suite of supply chain management tools that extend beyond procurement, such as inventory management and logistics optimization.
Ultimately, the choice between SourceDay and Zycus (or any other procurement platform) depends on the specific needs and priorities of your organization. It’s important to evaluate each platform carefully, considering factors such as functionality, ease of use, integration capabilities, and pricing.
There are literally hundreds of procurement software solutions available in the marketplace. Depending on your organization’s needs, it’s possible for multiple applications to be working together in a concerted effort to streamline procurement processes and provide a more efficient way to source and manage spend.
Before investing in one (or more) systems, be sure to evaluate your own company’s goals and needs and find a match based on its specific features… and your budget.
The procurement function continues to evolve, and the software solutions available today are only supercharging the rate at which procurement strategically impacts an organization.
Don’t get left behind! If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the options, or if a high-dollar procurement system is not in the budget, there are other resources available to help you source smarter and faster – especially when it comes to your indirect spend
As a group purchasing organization, Una works with procurement leaders like you to optimize your procurement strategy in a way that leads to increased cost savings and better overall spend management.
This means helping businesses gain access to a wide variety of suppliers and unmatched contract terms, including deeply discounted pricing on the things you need to run your business – procurement software and all.
Contact our team to learn how group purchasing can work for you and start saving more money, time, and effort.