With each new year, the number of “buyers” at a business continues to grow. Whether it is a repair technician looking for a replacement part, a franchisee who needs paper for the printer, or a marketing coordinator buying print services, the purchasing function has expanded far beyond the corporate buyer. Procurement organizations have been adapting to this paradigm shift by acquiring advanced procure-to-pay technologies to allow purchasing with all the approvals and controls needed. These technologies have varied in their level of success.
The Guided Buying Concept
The challenge Procurement organizations face with a company-wide buying community revolves around the need for a simple purchasing experience that ensures the users buy products through the system and on-contract. Companies lose savings opportunities because the buying process is so cumbersome that the user makes their purchase another way. Procure-to-Pay technologies have offered the concept of guided buying in an attempt to simplify the buying process.
As the term implies, guided buying is intended to help the user navigate what is likely a complicated process originally designed for a corporate buyer. While guided buying can add value to a p2p system, more casual users who know exactly what they want will become frustrated trying to navigate the guide.
Punchouts Can be Risky
Another mechanism, often used in concert with guided buying, is punchouts. In the punchout scenario, the user leaves the P2P system and opens a page, often custom, on the suppliers’ website. From there the user selects their products and continues through the process. Like Guided Buying, punchouts can deliver value to the organization, but can also include some risks.
Once that casual user leaves the procure to pay system, the procurement organization's control reduces significantly. The expectation is that the buyer will see items that are under contract and the purchasing process will continue as expected. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The technology driving the punchout site may have the ability to offer “recommendations” or “customers who searched for this ultimately bought” features that drive the buyer away from the contracted product. In some cases, the recommended product is one they recognize vs the one under contract.
Some procurement organizations have enough leverage with their suppliers to mitigate this risk, but others may not realize this happens until they start to receive invoices.
Integrate BuyerQuest Marketplace
BuyerQuest takes a different approach to buying. Our technology is designed around the philosophy that buying at work should be as easy as buying from home. We also believe that procurement should have the ability to ensure process and compliance and on-contract purchasing.
The BuyerQuest Marketplace seamlessly connects with the existing purchasing process. Requisitioners move from their existing procure-to-pay system into a company-specific purchasing interface that looks and acts much like a retail website The casual user can easily search for and compare products across suppliers, seeing only those items that have been approved for purchasing. Once the items have been selected and added to the shopping cart, those items are returned to the procure-to-pay system for further processing.
BuyerQuest Marketplace is created with the casual user in mind. The intuitive interface requires little training and users don’t need a manual to learn how to buy. The ease of use drives high levels of user adoption, bringing more spend under control, and improving contract compliance.
Learn how BuyerQuest Marketplace integrates with leading procure-to-pay technologies.