By Eric Gould – North American Director of Sales, EqualLevel, Inc.
While the benefits of eProcurement are well known, there are still a number of agencies that continue to utilize outdated and inefficient systems for purchasing. From increased transparency and productivity, to proven hard dollar savings, eProcurement offers a solution for many of the challenges organizations face. The question remains then, why hasn’t eProcurement become more ubiquitous in agencies?
Even in those organizations that have adopted online bidding and purchasing procedures, many still have not addressed the administrative inefficiencies that exist. As such, even fewer local organizations have been able to achieve total automation and extensive supplier enablement, which are paramount to harnessing the full power of eProcurement technologies.
Five Common eProcurement Myths
Low adoption rates can be attributed to several pervasive myths surrounding eProcurement. Most of these myths continue to persist despite advancements in technology rendering them moot today.
MYTH 1: With upfront costs for hardware as well as licensing fees, the price tag for implementation can easily stretch into the six figures.
FACT: Today’s cloud computing offerings cost much less than their predecessors. Without hardware or licensing fees required, only subscription fees, eProcurement is much more financially accessible than it once was.
MYTH 2: It is costly and complicated to integrate with an organization’s ERP system.
FACT: Advancements in technology have made integrating with an organization’s ERP easier than ever. In an American City & County article titled Removing The Obstacles To E-Procurement Adoption they report, “The availability (and low cost) of new technology standards such as XML have largely alleviated concerns about integrating e-procurement with back-end financial systems.” In fact, the syncing with an organization’s ERP allows items purchased to be assigned appropriate commodity codes to ensure transactions are posted appropriately for accounting purposes.
MYTH 3: For organizations with small or non-existent IT departments, management of an eProcurement platform is a drain on resources.
FACT: Cloud-based systems that offer a multi-vendor marketplace should only need to engage an organization’s IT department at initial ERP integration. eProcurement providers can easily manage supplier enablement, even for those vendors without existing punchout sites, eliminating the strain on buyer procurement and IT departments.
MYTH 4: Due to additional costs to suppliers and complex onboarding processes, large suppliers will stop selling to local governments that adopt eProcurement measures.
FACT: Today’s eProcurement marketplaces integrate all of an organization’s current suppliers at no extra cost to the supplier. What’s more, they can seamlessly incorporate suppliers regardless of technological capabilities or chosen platforms. In fact, eProcurement can streamline supplier engagement with the agency and help reduce operating costs for all parties involved.
MYTH 5: eProcurement systems prohibit organizations from working with small local businesses because it is either too costly for them, or just not feasible.
FACT: eProcurement systems now have the ability to integrate suppliers regardless of their size or technological capabilities. In fact, the creation of fully-featured eCommerce stores for local businesses, specifically designed to support punchout commerce, have been responsible for propelling countless local suppliers into the world of eProcurement.
About EqualLevel’s eProcurement Marketplace
EqualLevel’s mission is to enable more effective and efficient public sector spend management that helps agencies streamline operations and optimize spending. EqualLevel combines the best eProcurement marketplace and eInvoicing capabilities into a seamless solution that is easier-to-use, faster to configure and deploy, and more cost-effective than any other procure-to-pay platform available today. With deep domain knowledge in procurement, a best- in-class cloud platform, a fast-growing network of public sector buyers and sellers, and industry-first innovations like ELSA (an AI-powered savings advisor), EqualLevel is leading the way in helping the public sector to increase the value of every dollar spent.
As North American Director of Sales, Eric Gould leads the overall sales and marketing efforts for Equal Level’s procure-to-pay solutions. Eric brings over 30 years of public and private sector sales experience to his role. Prior to joining EqualLevel, Eric served as Director of Strategic Accounts at goSafe, a regional Safety PPE supplier, and before that worked as a Program Manager for U.S. Communities, supporting public agencies in a five-state area.