Buyers for a company come in all shapes and sizes these days. The most common buyer would likely be the corporate buyer who manages and purchases for multiple categories daily. This person is an expert in navigating the company’s purchasing process since it’s their job. On the other hand, the line worker who needs to purchase a new part, or marketing representative who needs printing services, has different levels of buying expertise, because it is likely a much smaller part of their role.
In our previous blog post, we discussed the general steps in the procure-to-pay process. The first step we outlined was that “the employee selects the good or service and creates an initial requisition, typically from an approved vendor”. While this seems like a relatively simple step, for a casual user it can be very complex.
Whether Manual or Automated, A Cumbersome Process
For companies that are still very manual, creating the requisition likely involves using a pre-created excel template or something similar to fill in the blanks, then either emailing or walking to their manager to gather the appropriate signatures, then submitting the requisition to purchasing for final approval.
For more automated companies, the use of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or purchasing system replaces the excel spreadsheet, and as the company becomes more automated, there may even be punchouts to supplier catalogs with integration back into the purchasing system for automated routing and approvals.
Unfortunately, whether it is an excel spreadsheet or an ERP interface, these interactions rarely look like the simple online buying experiences that users have become more and more accustomed to when making purchases at home.
Learning from Business to Consumer (B2C) Websites
The recent, dramatic shift to working from home drove businesses to look for creative ways to sell products that usually are purchased in person. Whether it was cars, or groceries, or fine dining, these companies looked to creating easy to use websites that guided users through a seamless process to make purchases. These experiences have made the gap between “Buying at Home” vs. “Buying at Work” even greater.
It's cumbersome to find the right item. Often the exercise ends up at the supplier's website. The forms and approvals change. What should take minutes can take hours. Hours that could be spent doing more important things for the business.
Users are looking at their existing procurement process, scratching their heads, and finding ways around the process.
BuyerQuest Creates a Business to Consumer (B2C) Style Experience
BuyerQuest took a different approach when developing our procure-to-pay solution. We saw that the modern business to consumer online buying experience is driving overall user expectations for the purchases they do at work. We designed our platform to mimic the experience buyers have at home. By taking a page from the B2C world and creating a consumer-like buying experience for casual users, BuyerQuest can have an immediate, quantifiable impact on procurement metrics.
The BuyerQuest platform provides a clear pathway from product selection to settlement. A single buying process built on an optimized search of detailed product information makes buying a breeze. Reorders, large orders, and group orders are quick and easy. If your users can buy something on a consumer website, then they will feel very comfortable with the BuyerQuest solution.
The B2C experience encourages casual buyers to make purchases within the procurement process, increasing on-contract spend and driving more savings.