eProcurement & Procure-to-Pay Resources

Challenges of Procurement Across Regions and Geographies

Published March 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM

The recent pandemic has driven more businesses away from a central HQ model to a more distributed environment with a remote workforce. These businesses join industries that have historically been geographically dispersed. Multinational corporations, franchises, and other business types have to manage geographically diverse business units. For example, according to Statistica, there are over 773,603 franchise establishments in the United States. Franchises represent a type of business where small businesses work under the umbrella of a larger company or brand. While quick service restaurants are considered the most common type of franchise, there are franchise opportunities in education, auto-repair, health and fitness, and many others. These types of businesses and others face unique challenges managing procurement compliance across divisions and geographies

Realizing Negotiated Savings

Procurement teams work tirelessly sourcing goods and services, negotiating contracts, and engaging suppliers. Their efforts are focused on achieving the goals of maximizing savings as well as improving supplier relationships. As the recent pandemic illustrated, supplier relationships were critical as the global supply chains reacted to closing borders and local restrictions. 

To realize the negotiated savings in a complex, distributed environment, purchases must be made using the contracted, engaged suppliers. Achieving high levels of on-contract spend can be a challenge. In the franchise example, the buyer may be the store owner or assistant manager and likely has duties above and beyond purchasing. High turnover businesses lack the time to train new staff on complex purchasing processes. This means that a cumbersome buying process will drive those users to find workarounds that may include off-contract purchases.  

While some businesses may simply make it a rule to have to buy on contracts, others take a softer approach to encourage a positive relationship and promote regional autonomy. This creates a unique opportunity for the purchasing organization to come up with a buying process that encourages on-contract purchases that can drive economies of scale and ultimately bottom-line savings.

It Starts with Engagement

The Procurement organization needs to understand their user and deliver processes and technologies that encourage high levels of engagement, and ultimately contract compliance. They can look to the widespread adoption of B2C (business to consumer) websites as an example of intuitive buying.  

A B2C site is designed to be easy to learn and streamlines the buying process. Savvy users expect the same type of experience when they perform purchasing at work, but often run into complex purchasing systems that require hours of training and regular use to become proficient. A buying experience that is similar to buying at home will encourage higher levels of adoption. 

Users expect to navigate a single interface that includes an intelligent search to allow them to quickly find the item or items they need, add them to a shopping cart, then return to their regular responsibilities. Approvals and workflows should operate in the background to ensure control and compliance in the buying process.

A Compelling Return on Investment

Higher levels of user adoption can have a quantifiable impact on the business. By encouraging users to make purchases through the procurement platform, on-contract spend increases, reducing overall costs to the company. Beyond cost savings, users leveraging preferred vendors through the marketplace deepens those supplier relationships.

BuyerQuest Knows Distributed Purchasing

BuyerQuest brings extensive expertise for companies managing a geographically dispersed, casual buying community. Our industry-leading procure-to-pay platform is built to mimic B2C e-commerce with a comprehensive, user-friendly marketplace that includes product details such as full product names, 10 - 100s of attributes, images, videos, 360 images, ratings and reviews, warranties, user guides, extended information (PDF) and more. These details help the user find and purchase what they need quickly.

Our intelligent search capabilities make it easy to find the right product. Configurable rules ensure users are limited to items they have the authority to purchase and that all routing, auditing and approval controls are easily managed.

BuyerQuest creates a B2C experience for B2B purchasing that delivers benefits to users, suppliers, and procurement.

Learn more about BuyerQuest Procure to Pay

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