As B2B continues to make the move from paper to digital, the search for the best digital solutions for the enterprise payments space escalates. One area of increasing interest is the use of internet based portals and to manage the procurement, spend management and payment process, a category that may have hit a tipping point this year.
A January survey of more than 300 procurement execs and professionals gathered their input on the best practices and the procurement challenges that enterprise face. The study found that the rate at which corporations are adapting a new enterprise strategy for procurement has come to a standstill in the recent years, possibly reflecting saturation for strategic transformation with e-procurement strategies. The report notes that 76% of respondents in January 2014 were either already using e-sourcing or planning to deploy it "soon," up from 65% in 2012.
Operations continue to advance in placing additional spend under management and saving money for the companies but the majority of advancement still focuses on cumulative cost-saving strategies. Most executives believe that the technology profiles are far from ideal and they are still looking for greater integrations in their procurement solutions to yield higher quality, more blended and predictive business intelligence.
There are still a good number of companies that said they have no plans to launch an e-sourcing or other complementary system to manage the procurement of products. More than a fifth said that they don't have plans to launch e-sourcing, procure-to-pay or procurement management systems. This is interesting because for simple categories, companies with P2P solutions in place show weighted average order cycle times half as long as companies not using P2P solutions. For services, the improvement is only 11 versus 13 days.
"Looking at investment interest by major procurement technology category, e-sourcing shows the largest increase from 2012 with the percentage [of companies] already using the technology or planning to invest" in it, Zycus says in the report.
By category, the largest gains over two years in the following categories:
· e-Sourcing – 11 points
· Contract Management – 7 points
· Spend Analysis – 7 points
· Procure-to-pay, supplier performance and information management (SM) and procurement process and performance management (PM) - flat
For more information and to read the whole report, visit Pulse of Procurement Research Report 2014.