When running a business, sourcing services, and products is the first step (and often one of the most important ones) in the supply chain. Business runners need to balance the quality and price of products they need. All business managers want to save as much as possible because the less they spend, the higher the profits. But they’re also aware that poor-quality materials and services won’t do the job and can break their reputation.
Sourcing implies finding the right suppliers that sell the quality the buyer needs at a price point that gives them the necessary margin. A strategic sourcing process often makes a difference when it comes to an organization’s bottom line.
To make things easier, this article breaks down everything involved in the process of sourcing to help you understand what to expect.
Sourcing is an essential part of procurement because a company must find suppliers before procuring goods. If they make mistakes along the way, it can cost them money and reputation. Sourcing is the process of connecting with suppliers and selecting those that provide the proper services and products. It sounds simple, but the process is quite complex. It often involves the following steps:
– Finding providers of quality services and goods
– Negotiating contracts
– Setting payment terms
– Market research
– Quality testing
– Comparing quotes
– Establishing standards
Over the last couple of years, e-sourcing has become a vital procurement tool as it allows small businesses and large companies to connect, irrespective of their location, and secure better goods than if they’d use traditional sourcing methods.
Table of Contents
What is e-sourcing?
E-sourcing is defined as a process that involves the use of web-enabled, collaborative technology that facilitates the procurement process for buyers and suppliers. The process often involves dynamic negotiations, in real-time, between a buyer and several sellers that compete against each other to convince the buyer to sign a contract with them via a B2B sourcing platform. E-sourcing is the perfect tool to use in the procurement process because it reduces the purchase cost.
What benefits do businesses get if they use e-sourcing?
There is no doubt why e-sourcing has become so prevalent because everyone is aware that the Internet brings buyers and suppliers closer together, facilitating communication, reducing costs, and more efficient collaboration. However, it’s crucial to highlight the main benefits businesses get if they choose e-sourcing.
Saving money (and resources) is one of the main reasons behind a good procurement process, and e-sourcing can be a great driver for this. Finding non-core business-related goods is time-consuming for business managers because some materials are challenging to find. Traditional goods sourcing makes it hard to compare prices in physical stores for products like coffee machines, printing equipment, and similar office supplies. But it’s easy to find this kind of goods on the Internet from highly specialized providers like an envelopes shop that offers a wide range of boxes, envelopes, and professional packaging supplies. The Internet allows buyers to access a broad range of suppliers, use different approaches, and get successful outcomes.
E-sourcing systems can improve the procurement process and reduce the total time spent purchasing goods and services, freeing valuable time for them to focus on more important business aspects.
Improved supplier relations
E-sourcing enhances openness and transparency between buyers and suppliers, as the systems facilitating it provide a portal that allows everyone to see tender opportunities, with current statuses, deadlines, and all details influencing their progress. The systems facilitating interaction between the parties ensure speedy communication and feedback, so everyone is aware of the situation at all given points.
E-sourcing enables the reduction of geographic boundaries and allows buyers and suppliers to engage more efficiently in business opportunities. This also offers the opportunity of developing relationships with companies whose proximity or size could represent a barrier to traditional sourcing.
In the traditional quotation process, suppliers often probe their competitors because they don’t know if other companies take part in the same bid process. But with e-sourcing, everyone is aware of the competition. The suppliers know that buyers negotiate with several supply sources trying to find the ideal provider. Both buyers and suppliers are more comfortable collaborating in the online environment because they know all aspects of the procurement process involves.
Reduced risk and improved compliance
E-sourcing has a systematic approach that provides businesses control over their tender processes. Organizations can work with e-sourcing professionals to audit their processes and ensure they comply.
More business opportunities
E-sourcing platforms help buyers improve their operational efficiency and offer ease of use to suppliers. After familiarising themselves with the process and platform’s features, they find it easy to join bids and establish business partnerships.
Why is e-sourcing important?
E-sourcing is a vital element in procurement as it employs top-notch technology to facilitate businesses to conduct their sourcing processes online. As globalization impacts, every aspect of a company, handling tender opportunities requires businesses to use online solutions to simplify procurement processes. E-sourcing can be described as a cornerstone for an organization’s supply chain success.
When done right, sourcing and e-sourcing allow businesses to develop consistent supply chains, have their shelves stocked permanently, and keep their clients happy. Strategic e-sourcing benefits both parties as buyers seek low unit pricing for high-volume purchasing. Suppliers benefit from consistent purchases of goods which ensures dependable cash flow. Once a company finds the right source for its goods and services, it establishes a partnership where the two parties rely on each other to keep the supply chain functional and effective. Developing a close relationship and trustworthy network triggers a higher efficiency and quality because buyers and providers collaborate to find and minimize the causes of defects that might affect one of them.
Purchasing products essential for the good functioning of a company requires careful research. For companies to get the best goods and services, they must venture into new territories, in-person and online. E-sourcing is one of the optimal approaches that keep business activities well-structured and enables the manager to maintain financial stability.