Finance Professionals ‘Opt for e-Procurement Tools over ERP Systems’

A study of electronic procurement (e-procurement) suggests that it has become “an essential part of the purchasing professional toolbox” in both Europe and North America, says Ivalua.

The France-based spending management software provider released its latest quarterly ‘Trending in Procurement’ Survey, based on 191 responses from procurement and finance specialists, with 59% located in Europe and 41% in North America. More than 80% of companies surveyed had an aannual spending volume of more than €100m.

Ivalua reports that e-procurement is employed by nearly 90% of large companies equipped with a dedicated tool. Of these, 60% indicate that the type of tool deployed is an e-procurement module developed by a specialised e-procurement provider, 20% use an e-procurement module that is part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and the remaining 20% use another type of tool – usually one developed internally.

Several factors are cited for the preference for specialised e-procurement solutions over ERP functionality: faster deployment and return on investment, procurement expertise and a better coverage of procurement functional requirements.

“E-procurement tools are designed to support corporate procurement strategy,” said Gérard Dahan, general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Ivalua. “Fully automating the procure-to-pay process enables procurement departments to create value by improving the control, transparency, tracking and visibility of company spend.”

Other findings include that for a majority of purchasing professionals, e-procurement solutions are primarily designed to manage indirect procurement, and many use the tools for managing indirect spend only.

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