If you are in the market for a new purchase order system, you would easily realize that you have a plethora of choices. Don’t believe me, just do a quick google search on purchase order system and you can see what I am talking about.
Having multiple available options is both good and bad news.
- The good news is that as a buyer, having multiple options for purchasing system increase your buying power, it’s economics 101.
- The bad news is that you have to spend a lot of time going through demos and evaluation process to figure out the right vendor for your needs.
If you are a small to a mid-market company, you probably are looking for a simple purchasing system which can satisfy common purchasing use cases.
So to help our readers, we created a simple guide to walk through step by step process on how to go about selecting a purchasing system.
- Technology buzzwords and what each of them means.
- Clear direction on how to design requirements for automating your purchasing process.
- How to come up with decision criteria.
- How to conduct an evaluation, Hint: A RFP(Request for Proposal) is not always the best route.
- Post selection tips
But if you don’t have the time to read through the whole guide, here is a quick infographic to walk you through the selection process
● The market for purchasing system is crowded. First, understand all the jargons to better understand the market and what is available.
● Decide on what type of solution will best fit your needs. Purchasing system vs procure to pay system or a simple e-sourcing system.
● Define evaluation criteria and what is important to you. For example, if the price is the main driver then you should not waste your time with vendors who are not within your price range.
● Focus on use cases vs. making the feature list as your requirements. You are not a system expert, you are a process expert. Focus on the outcome and not what is required to achieve that outcome.
● Ask the vendors to demonstrate product based on your defined use cases.
● Do a product trial so that you can really test how the system is going to work and don’t make your decision just based on product demonstrations.
● Focus on alignment with the vendor – where you have maximum leverage and their maximum attention.