The Sourcing Software Solution You Can’t Afford to Ignore: 5 Benefits & 8 Capabilities to Consider
Procurement processes can be stressful, expensive, tiring and convoluted. Plus, using the wrong online tools often aggravates the experience. If your past encounters have left you scarred, it’s time to introduce or upgrade to superior sourcing software.
Using an RFx platform can simplify the experience in a multitude of ways, but being strategic in your choice of software will do more than just ease your procurement pains. It will also benefit your strategic sourcing approach.
In this article, we’ll briefly consider 5 advantages of using sourcing software and reference 2 case studies where our AI powered premium software platform has helped our clients reap these benefits.
We’ll also discuss 8 top capabilities of the best RFx solutions out there. We hope you see that DeepStream ticks all those boxes and is THE solution you can’t afford to ignore for your sourcing needs.
But first, let’s define an important term with specificity….
What is Strategic Sourcing?
To recap from our guide on eSourcing, sourcing forms an important part of the procurement process and involves the gathering of research and supplier information (through costs, quotes, proposals, etc.) to help you make informed decisions before you award a contract.
Procurement practices are instrumental in helping businesses create more efficiencies and cost savings. Sourcing is the link that connects your business and its key procurement participants, the internal stakeholders and external suppliers.
Strategic sourcing takes things a step further and includes deeper due diligence and planning to ensure your company is always getting the most value from the best suppliers in your supply chain at a reasonable cost.
Strategic sourcing creates a holistic standardization of sourcing requirements, data gathering formats, and information storage. It involves continuous cycles of review, where you evaluate your company spend, your supplier relationship management, your data gathering approaches, and more.
It’s not just about improving ROI. Strategic sourcing (or high-performance sourcing) should also help you uncover opportunities for tactical collaboration that drives innovation and ensures your company’s agility in uncertain markets.
One of the benefits of implementing strategic sourcing practices is that you find suppliers that fit, who you can build long-standing supply chain relationships with. These activities also ensure you minimize risk, foster healthy competition, obtain cost savings and meet your needs efficiently and effectively, in alignment with your business objectives.
This is a long-term, cyclical process which requires regular attention, specialized skills, and the support of appropriate tech tools and software platforms.
So, the software you choose forms part of your larger strategic sourcing plan that can also empower you to manage and execute the plan.
Using state-of-the-art, cloud-based technology activates your team’s strategic sourcing potential by reducing the complexity of the process while increasing its transparency. Sourcing software can enhance collaboration, innovation, decision making and risk management.
Now, let’s review some of the benefits of using software.
5 Valuable Benefits of Sourcing Software That Simplify Your Procurement Process
Time, money, efficiency and risk are essential elements that every company is looking to optimize in every part of their business.
Procurement is often a costly, time-consuming and complex process. And that’s why choosing a comprehensive premium product that best fits an organizations’ unique needs instead of using a laborious manual approach, is going to serve you and your organization’s sourcing needs better in the long run.
Let’s consider how sourcing software can and should support you in these areas and what you should look out for to ensure they help drive value in your business.
1. Saves You Extra Money
Investing in a strategic sourcing platform can help you reduce costs at every stage of the procurement process, yielding cost savings and improving your profitability. You can avoid overspending with built-in spend analysis tools and reduce risk through adhering to automated vetting parameters and auditable compliance procedures.
2. Conserves Your Precious Time
Managing your contract communications and shared documentation in a consolidated digital workspace enhances your workflows, speeds up collaboration, and improves response times. These efficiencies save you and your suppliers’ limited time and can improve your speed to market.
And as they say “time is money”, so there are positive impacts on your bottom line too.
3. Saves You Unnecessary Labor
Process automation removes a lot of the bulky manual tasks associated with contract and supply chain management. Using a top quality, adaptable sourcing platform that accommodates your existing workflows and streamlines your activities, reduces your frustration, improves the efficiency of your activities and gives you more headspace to focus on the procurement elements that matter most.
4. Empowers Your Organization
Strategic software empowers high-performing procurement teams, not just with data and tools but also organizationally.
It supports your core procurement competencies; aids you in developing strong interdepartmental and supplier relationships; and enables you and your team to assume leadership roles in decision making, so you can play a critical part in both driving the sourcing process and the procurement outcomes.
5. Improves Technical & Market Knowledge
Using a centralized procurement system helps your high-performing team develop and maintain a deeper knowledge of the market and its suppliers.
It facilitates participation in project design and supplier selection, guiding early decisions to increase the breadth of choice and reduce business and technical risk. Using sourcing platforms also improves your team’s software literacy, which in turn can encourage collaboration with your company’s internal development team to improve the digital experience even more.
These two case studies illustrate how our RFx platform benefits our clients from a time, money and empowerment perspective.
Case Study 1: Creating a Seamless, Efficient & Cost Effective Experience for Britishvolt
DeepStream’s quick, easy onboarding process and swift, centralized communication options have been a time and money saver for Britishvolt.
They’ve been able to improve collaboration and implement more transparent processes, eliminating the need for spreadsheets or emails.
Britishvolt has streamlined their workflows in a way that is saving their team almost 2,000 working hours annually.
Case Study 2: Providing Visibility, Value & Automation for an Automotive Infrastructure Initiative
The teams involved in an electric charging station venture have found that DeepStream has simplified their procurement process, facilitated swift collaboration between users, and reduced their workload.
The ease of communication, clear structure of proposals, and increased visibility have saved the team considerable time.
In particular, the strategic procurement specialist in the team has cut their administration time by over 750 hours per year.
8 Prized Capabilities of the Best of Breed Procurement Software: Strategic Sourcing Process in Action
There’s plenty more under the hood of the best platforms to catch your eye and support you in your strategic goals.
Here are 8 valuable gains you’ll experience when incorporating our cloud-based, AI-driven RFx solution into your strategic sourcing process.
1. Supports Strategic Relationship Management
Helps you efficiently and effectively manage your vendor data and nurture collaborative relationships with both your external suppliers & internal stakeholders.
Strategic sourcing activities are time-consuming, especially when reliant on back and forth RFx communications. We built our system to help you optimize “how” you source and buy, from improving cost management, to opening up revenue generation opportunities, and eliminating inefficient sourcing practices (such as manual work and emails).
Embracing a fully transparent approach to collaboration, data collection, market research, contract management and cost analysis helps to keep your fingers on the pulse and your suppliers at the heart of it all.
2. Automation Shortens The RFP Timeline
We help you reduce your procurement timelines from months to days.
Our implementation process is so quick, and our AI-powered sourcing technology is so fast and effective, that using our software reduces your process timelines significantly, saving you time and money.
Easy-to-use templates, seamless workflows and the ability to standardize elements, remove bottlenecks and accelerate each step of the process, from pre-sourcing activities, to curating your supply chain, to awarding the contract.
3. Improves Your Spend Management Process
Our clients have reduced their procurement costs by 5-25% and their RFP turnaround times by up to 500%.
You can monitor your KPIs and workflows smoothly, review your spend analysis and compliance steps accurately, and manage your user relationships, supply chain information, and vendor spend effortlessly. And you can do it all from one frictionless, centralized dashboard.
Our high performance software helps you drive efficiencies and reduce operational spend, which in turn contributes to your organization’s profitability.
4. Real Time Feedback = Real Time Improvements
DeepStream is a truly agile offering which is fully customizable with our blank canvas approach.
We are continually improving our software for you, so your requirements and pain points influence how our product roadmap unfolds at every step. Your feedback helps us to create customizable tools and workflows to meet each of our client’s individual needs, goals and procurement requirements.
We typically implement new features twice a month, so there’s minimal lag time on getting what you need.
5. Highest Level Procurement Security
Protecting you and your data is our top priority.
Advanced cyber security keeps vendor information as well as purchasing and supplier databases safe during the procurement process. Data transfer is via secure, anonymized encryption supporting your vendor risk management.
State-of-the-art RFP automation in our cloud-based application eliminates the manual, repetitive tasks usually involved in the proposal creation process. You can save the best elements of your winning proposals for future use, building your own template library that is accessible at the click of a button.
Creating rules and automation workflows also streamlines your communications and reduces the risk of human error.
7. Procurement Compliance Made Easy
Review your data forecasts, compile your compliance reports, and complete your audits efficiently, securely and simply.
Standardized processes, auditable and traceable communications, and the ability to track data and monitor activities across users give you a 360 degree view of the current status of your procurement projects and sourcing activities. Improving visibility across all aspects of your sourcing activities helps you reduce your risk and make more objective decisions.
Quick turnarounds keep your costs down. Our eager support team is on hand 24/7 to assist with super fast implementations and to provide nimble procurement support to enhance your experience.
We don’t charge for implementation or support. It’s one of the many ways we exemplify the exceptional value of our white glove service offering for our clients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sourcing Software
What Is Sourcing Software?
Sourcing software is a digital application or online platform that helps a company to manage the process of finding, comparing and selecting potential supplier candidates to fulfill a product, service or need.
Some software only offers limited tools or functionality to deal with specific elements of the sourcing process. More comprehensive solutions encompass a full range of tools to help you not only source appropriately, but to do so strategically.
What Are The Tools Needed For Sourcing?
Each sourcing software has different strengths and capabilities, but a powerful premium platform that drives more informed and objective buying decisions should include key tools, such as:
Collaborative RFx management and authoring (for quotes, proposals, bids, etc.)
Collect, score, and compare responses in a single view
What Are The Types Of Sourcing?
How you go about sourcing depends on your sourcing strategy and the business you are in. You may also need to define your sourcing approach based on availability of the product or service you need.
Sole supplier sourcing occurs when only one supplier can assist.
With single supplier sourcing, you have many supplier options, but you choose to buy from only one supplier.
Multiple supplier sourcing gives you more options and increases your opportunities to find the best fit in terms of price and offering. This is usually the most beneficial way of sourcing.
Other terms used for sourcing types include outsourcing (with external suppliers) or in-sourcing (within your organization), or near-sourcing (where you move your operations closer to where your end products are sold)
How Long Does It Take To Implement DeepStream’s Software?
The average implementation time is 2-3 days, but the platform is so easy to set up and use that we’ve helped some clients get up and running within a day! There’s no training required and we find our client users are so impressed by the software’s user-friendliness that they’re soon inviting their colleagues to join them.
What If It’s Not Right For Me?
We don’t want costs to be a stumbling block for our clients, so our pricing model is simple, and there are no charges for implementation or customer support. We are also 100% convinced that our product is exactly what you need, so we offer a 3 month, no obligation trial to convince you too.
If you decide it’s not right, you can walk away with no strings attached.
Is DeepStream the Best Solution for Sourcing Software?
Our software offers a complete sourcing solution, enabling you to streamline and automate all the elements of your sourcing process in a single cloud-based platform that is quick to implement and easy to use.
It hosts a variety of tools to simplify and streamline your communication, collaboration, document creation, research, analysis, and reporting requirements.
It helps you establish and build strong, long-term relationships with your vendors using transparent channels.
It enables you to leverage best practices in every aspect of your sourcing process.
DeepStream helps you to align your strategic sourcing objectives with your business goals effortlessly, saving you time and money in the process.
From driving more objective decision making and improving your ROI, to nurturing innovation and reducing your liabilities, our high performance software will support you in building your organization’s sustainability, resilience and adaptability in a shifting procurement landscape. .