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Build your procurement efficiency with these three steps

Procurement

Learn our recommended ways to streamline your procurement process, including standardizing purchasing, utilizing technology, and centralizing procurement within your company.

Written by
Lizzy Brophy
Published on
December 19, 2022
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Companies of all sizes know that it takes good tools to drive growth. However, these companies also recognize that inefficient software purchasing creates headaches for both the budget and technical infrastructure.

Companies that prioritize their tech stack keep a handle on day-to-day tech management, SaaS licensing agreements, and legal and security concerns. An efficient SaaS management process requires ongoing efforts to maintain cost and time efficiency.

While procurement professionals work to ensure stability, save money, and negotiate purchases and SaaS renewals, partnering with a supplier to manage parts of the sourcing process is critical in achieving process efficiency.

Teams must understand their current SaaS usage, costs, and value to create a more efficient procurement function. With this information about the SaaS supply chain, they can enter the software purchasing process armed with information to simplify the negotiation, licensing, and purchasing approach.

For companies pursuing a more efficient procurement process, we recommend three tactics to save money and time when purchasing new software:

1. Encourage transparency to reduce “dark spending.”

Without a transparent procurement process, employees will purchase their software solutions independently. They’ll be left to fend for themselves in sourcing, negotiating, and signing contracts – and most likely, they aren’t procurement experts.

These employees have veered outside the approved procurement function, producing so-called dark spending (rogue or maverick spending) through expensing or corporate cards.

At best, these off-the-record purchases create unnecessary licenses and a hidden drain on resources.

At worst, they open the organization to security or regulatory risks.

Furthermore, if accounting isn’t looking for rogue software purchases during expense reporting, they can go unnoticed indefinitely.

Think about the current state of SaaS spending within your company. What is the process for those spending to access available contracts, compare prices, and determine the best-known suppliers? How often do you conduct a SaaS spending analysis?

How transparency helps improve SaaS buying

Procurement systems — like e-procurement, contract management, spend management, and supplier relationship management — can offer the transparency needed to make better spending decisions.

In other words, use tools and solutions to help stakeholders help you.

SaaS vendor management increases transparency by making suppliers, contracts, and costs easy to access. Rather than use complicated contract-management spreadsheets or databases, outsourcing SaaS management to a reliable solution is a huge time-saver for your procurement team.

Outsourced procurement activities put the renewal process on auto-pilot so the procurement team can sink its teeth into more impactful projects.

Welcome to more efficient procurement cycles!

Our template pack includes customizable intake forms that make it easy for you to gather all the necessary information for your procurement process. These templates will help streamline your process and ensure that you have everything you need to make informed decisions about your purchase.

Download our free procurement templates.

2. Make more informed SaaS buying decisions with better pricing, data, and scope knowledge.

Pricing research and scoping are time-consuming parts of the procurement process and often include detailed requests for quotes and proposals. But without this process, making informed purchasing decisions — much less optimizing procurement efficiency — is nearly impossible.

But the truth is, the SaaS purchasing process can feel like searching in the dark. Often, pricing is subjective, based on factors like time of purchase, license volume, pricing model, sales cycle, sales rep, or even your company size and reputation.

With so many variables in play, insight into the SaaS buying process can create meaningful cost reductions and lower the friction of the deal.

How insights aid the procurement process

Procurement can use a SaaS management solution when in-house resources are limited to help stakeholders become more educated about the purchasing process. These software purchasing experts will share what solutions work best, present possible vendors, and recommend data-based decisions about how to move forward.

With good data organization, the SaaS management and procurement teams may direct stakeholders to tools already available in-house. This level of organization can make projects more efficient without wasting money and effort.

Relying on the data of a vendor management platform can significantly improve pricing outcomes. By giving procurement teams access to historical pricing and metrics of other benchmark organizations, buyers have information that can make their negotiations stronger and fairer.

This access to insights is also a time-saver, cutting to the chase of pricing without the long sales cycle and “courtship” phase. This streamlined approach isn’t just good for the buyer; it allows both sides to work better, move deals along faster, and emerge from negotiations feeling more confident.

3. Enhance procurement efficiency with negotiation professionals.

Procurement professionals don’t operate in a vacuum. While they’re ultimately responsible for understanding negotiation tactics, bidding, and approvals processes, SaaS purchases require buy-in from multiple stakeholders: engineering, finance, legal, IT, compliance, and security.

Related: How to get stakeholder buy-in for procurement

Because multiple departments are constantly in the SaaS management weeds, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on human capital, yielding results that only offer limited cost savings.

Further, internal teams also often need more data and negotiating skills, diminishing the overall benefit of internal procurement strategy.

As a company grows and scales, the cost-efficiency of cross-functional processes lessens. This cost avoidance creates a compelling business case for streamlining the process via procurement outsourcing to a vendor management solution.

How SaaS management improves negotiation

SaaS vendor management professionals are highly trained and specialized in negotiating SaaS purchases. These SaaS buying experts can relieve those procurement pain points while implementing workflows that ensure the best deals.

Not only does utilizing this resource reduce spending on software, but it also means that stakeholders can turn their attention back to the work that matters. It's a win-win.

How Vendr can help superpower your procurement process:

In our guide, Build more procurement efficiency, Vendr emphasizes three phases to help you build a scalable procurement process. They include:

Mapping out the procurement process as it is today

Vendr helps identify how the organization purchases paying for the software it requires. We learn more about your stakeholders, and if they are aware of the review process and necessary approvals that must be obtained before finalizing the deal.

Documenting your new process and educating stakeholders

It's time to implement your updated procurement process. Create intake documents to provide stakeholders with guidelines, inform them about revised policies, and review requirements, and purchase thresholds. Ensure that all new SaaS purchases and renewals are initiated correctly.

Leveraging technology and experts

Improve the sustainability and scalability of your procurement process using SaaS management te. Obtain complete visibility into your software stack, centralize your contracts, and avoid unexpected renewals. Enhance the effectiveness of your procurement efforts with guidance and assistance from SaaS experts.

By following the guidelines in our procurement efficiency guide, you can ensure that each new SaaS purchase and renewal is handled effectively from the beginning. This guide will help you take control of your processes and make informed decisions about your software purchases.

Start improving your procurement efficiency today. Download Vendr’s free guide now.

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