Procurement systems: 5 recommendations for 2023

SaaS Buying

Learn how procurement systems cut costs and improve vendor visibility. Then discover the top 5 procurement software platforms for 2023 to guide your decision.

Written by

Taylor Bruneaux

Published on

November 3, 2022

October 26, 2022

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Procurement management is about much more than simply finding a suitable vendor for each of your supplier needs.

Effective procurement involves careful cost assessment, contract negotiation, risk mitigation, and compliance with internal procurement regulations. The complexity increases as you scale and more stakeholders become involved in and responsible for procurement.

Legacy methods of managing this process, like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, are insufficient. You need a digitized system that serves as a centralized location for all things procurement to improve efficiency and enhance compliance.

In this article, we’ll explore the need for a procurement system in today’s environment—covering the benefits of this kind of software and what to look for when assessing your options.

Plus, we’ll give you the inside scoop on the five best procurement systems for managing spend, compliance, and vendor relationships.

What is a procurement system?

A procurement system is a specialized software platform designed to help purchasing teams with all aspects of the procurement process, such as contract management and purchase requisitions.

A procurement platform assists with many activities associated with purchasing and supplier management, including:

  • Generating purchase orders
  • Process purchase requisition approvals
  • Supply chain management
  • Vendor relationship management
  • Cost analysis and negotiation
  • Contract management
  • Document authoring and management
  • Invoice processing and accounts payable functionality
  • Managing and mitigating off-contract spend

That’s a pretty broad set of activities, meaning digital procurement solutions deliver many benefits.

Benefits of a procurement system

Procurement management software serves as a centralized location for all supplier relationship data, provides real-time analysis of supplier costs, and allows you to automate some business processes to save time and speed up procurement processes.

1. Better visibility of supplier relationships

Procurement tools make it easy to visualize vendor relationship health using customized dashboards. These dashboards include insights like total spend with each supplier as well as cost savings and cost avoidance trends.


Vendor scorecards provide at-a-glance insights into supplier performance, covering areas like:

  • Service response time
  • Software uptime
  • Maintenance costs
  • Performance against contract KPIs

These scorecards allow procurement teams to identify urgent areas of attention (such as upcoming contract renewals) and act quickly to ensure they remain compliant.

2. Cost savings

The best procurement management solutions assist with spend management and use data from other software transactions to provide recommendations for reducing costs.

For example, your e-procurement software platform may conduct a spend analysis and identify that you’re paying for two software platforms with overlapping features. This often occurs when two departments purchase licenses for similar solutions without going through a centralized procurement process. Armed with these results, you could migrate usage to a single platform and cut out one monthly invoice.

3. Greater procurement speed

Procurement and order management systems speed up the purchasing process. They allow automated workflows to simplify order processing and approvals while minimizing touchpoints.

4. Reduction of human error

Mistakes that leave your organization open to risk are particularly costly. Examples include:

  • Singing off on a contract without approval through the relevant channels
  • Initiating a relationship with a vendor with poor data security policies
  • Leaving performance expectations up to interpretation

Purchasing software helps reduce the likelihood of error through automated procurement and approval workflows.

5. Improved compliance

E-procurement systems help IT leaders ensure new purchases remain compliant with company policy by setting a compliance framework and requirements that new vendor relationships must meet.

6. Standardized and streamlined contract lifecycle

The contract process is a critical aspect of procurement that formalizes the relationship between buyer and seller, informs vendor KPIs and responsibilities, and serves as a reference point for the original service agreement.

Procurement systems simplify contract creation and the lifecycle management process through:

  • Automated workflows
  • Contract templates to assist with document authoring
  • Advanced reminders when contracts are up for renewal.

Features to look for in procurement software

Let’s look at six key features to prioritize when choosing a procurement platform for your company.

Price benchmarking

Price benchmarking provides up-to-date data on similar purchases your competitors make and gives you insights into previous discounts so you can enter negotiations armed with information.

It essentially prevents you from paying too much for the products or services you’re procuring.

Streamline the price benchmarking process with Vendr. Our SaaS buying experts use real-time deal insights to build a best-in-class purchasing process with the best software purchasing data available.

Renewal management

Manual SaaS renewal management is time-consuming and error-prone.

We’ve all received that “thanks for your order” email for something we’d intended to cancel, and by that point, it can be too late.

Look for automated renewal management features to get out in front of contract news and leverage your window of negotiation.

Automated workflows

Procurement systems should make the purchasing process streamlined and efficient.

Look for a platform with deep, scalable automation functionality that allows you to build customized workflows to suit your current operations.

The more components of your procurement workflows you automate, the more time you have to dedicate to critical activities like vendor relationship management.

Integration with accounting software

Prioritize a procurement system that plays nicely with the accounts payable software solutions you’re already using.

By choosing an integrated platform, your team minimizes double data entry and ensures records are updated in real time across all platforms.

Centralized data views

You shouldn’t need to spend valuable time digging through records to pull high-level insights.

Look for a procurement software solution that allows you to build a custom dashboard for monitoring spend and supplier relationships at a glance. Make sure the key data you want to view regularly (e.g., total vendor spend, software platform uptime, and performance against contract KPIs) is readily accessible within your system of choice.

Overlapping spend identification

Many SaaS products offer similar features, even if the core offering differs.

For instance, sales CRMs and email marketing platforms are two commonly used tools, but many CRMs have email functionality and vice versa.

Opt for a procurement system that can help you identify these areas of overlap, so you can cut costs and simplify your tech stack.

Top 5 procurement software platforms

Now that you’re armed with all the inside info about choosing a procurement system, there’s only one left question to answer:

Which is the right choice for you?

Let’s look at the top five options among procurement leaders, explore the key features of each, and analyze cost.

Vendr

Vendr is a SaaS buying platform that helps you optimize all aspects of the SaaS purchasing process, from procurement to IT compliance to vendor relationship management.

With Vendr, you can quickly identify overlapping supplier spend and find opportunities to consolidate licenses, cutting your overall SaaS expenditure.

Price benchmarking from the biggest data set of SaaS transactions around helps you improve contract negotiation and maximize procurement ROI. Insights into out-of-contract shadow spend make it easier to identify areas to tighten up policies and cut costs.

Customizable approval workflows allow you to speed up the purchasing process while maintaining compliance and ensuring agreements are routed through the appropriate stakeholders.

You’re not in it alone, either: Our team of SaaS buying experts can help you negotiate contracts and renewals and provide purchase recommendations based on over $1.5B in processed transactions.

It’s not just procurement leaders who’ll benefit from using Vendr, but also:

  • IT leaders - Know who’s buying what and ensure new product purchases are compliant with internal software policies.
  • Department heads - Streamline the software procurement and vendor onboarding processes so you can get back to leading your team.
  • Vendor relationship managers - Get ahead of contract renewals and manage SLA (service level agreement) compliance.

Pricing for Vendr starts at $36,000 annually, and we guarantee you’ll save as much (or more) as you spend!

In Vendr’s second annual SaaS buying trend report, we share what we’ve learned from saving our customers over $240M in SaaS spend — and what we anticipate 2023 will bring.
Learn more.

Kissflow Procurement Cloud

Kissflow Procurement Cloud is an all-in-one procurement system that can raise purchase requisitions and orders, process and manage invoices, and onboard and manage new vendor relationships in a central cloud-based platform.

Source

Its main value proposition for procurement teams is its flexibility.

Kissflow itself is a low-code/no-code app builder and work platform. Procurement Cloud is just one product their internal team has built on the platform. Because it's part of the wider Kissflow ecosystem, you can build customized workflows and personalize the system to your preferences.

Pricing for Kissflow starts at $24,000 annually but depends heavily on your transaction volume, desired features, and the number of users you need.

Procurify

Procurify’s main focus is on managing procurement and purchasing spend.

This means the platform offers features like:

  • Personalized purchase approval workflows
  • Vendor and catalog insights for smarter purchasing decisions
  • Customizable budgets and comparisons with actual spend

Procurify also offers both physical and virtual spending cards, which you can control directly from their app. Here, you can monitor spend, link purchases to requisitions, and control purchasing ability using role-based or personalized permissions.

Source

This procurement system integrates with Quickbooks and NetSuite, as well as the company’s other product, Procurify PunchOuts, which makes it easier to browse supplier products and make purchase requests.

Procurify offers three packages but doesn’t advertise pricing. You’ll need to speak directly with a sales rep.

Oracle Procurement Cloud

Source

Oracle Procurement Cloud is a procurement system with a suite of features, such as:

  • In-depth reporting and analytics
  • Strong automation functionality
  • Collaborative risk management features
  • Supply chain management
  • Supplier relationship and value management

For a more data-driven procurement experience, Oracle Procurement Cloud integrates with Oracle DataFox Supplier Intelligence Cloud. It uses AI and natural language processing to give you powerful insights into supplier relationship strength and to provide alerts where risks appear.

According to G2, Oracle offers two versions of the Procurement Cloud product:

  1. Sourcing - $650 per user, per month
  2. Procurement Contracts - $405 per user, per month

GEP Smart

GEP Smart is a suite of tools designed to help procurement leaders manage the entire process, from sourcing and procurement to invoice payment.

Source

Key features include:

  • Spend analysis and savings tracking
  • Contract management and spend compliance alerts
  • Supplier management features like scorecards, status updates, and surveys

Aside from its procurement system, GEP offers a number of managed services, including inventory management, procure-to-pay process management, and supply chain outsourcing.

GEP doesn’t promote pricing for their procurement system product.

Vendr: More data, stronger insights, better procurement

The best procurement systems not only help you manage approval workflows and contract renewals—they provide data-driven insights to improve your purchasing holistically.

Vendr has the biggest data set of SaaS purchases in the game, with over $1.5B in processed transactions.

Discover what the power of data can do for you today with our free SaaS savings analysis.

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