Posted 22nd January 2021
No matter what type of business or organisation you run, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to obtain goods or services from other businesses. Whether you’re a public sector organisation looking for IT services or a retail business keeping your supply chains going, a streamlined digital procurement process is essential to your business operations.
While the principle of procurement is simple enough, the process itself involves multiple stages and various documents, both of which can be time consuming and inefficient, taking up vital time and resources that could be used elsewhere in your business. Whether you’re filing purchase requests, filling in order forms, signing contracts or collecting payment information, each step requires processing and submitting paperwork.
Ultimately, your business procurement process can have a huge impact on your business operation, affecting everything from your efficiency and productivity to your overall output and profitability. Knowing how to tackle procurement is therefore essential, as is having the right technology to help you do so. Indeed, if your business is still reliant on paper-based documents for procurement, it’s doubtful that your process will be as efficient as it could be… and your business could quickly find itself held back by these inefficiencies.
This is where digital document management comes into play.
By embracing digital technology, you can equip your business with a streamlined and effective procurement process that truly works for your company and employees.
With E-Sign’s document management platform, you can easily create, send and sign documents, as well as process payments and integrate API capabilities, allowing you to completely digitalise your procurement process and simplify your paperwork management. Let’s take a closer look at the areas of the procurement process that stand to benefit the most from digitalisation.
Often the first step in the procurement process, a purchase request involves obtaining internal approval for any spending on external goods and services. This often involves collecting a signature from the relative department or person before you can proceed with the external aspects of the process.
With E-Sign’s document management platform, you can create a new purchase request or edit existing templates, adding relevant details, editable text boxes and even an electronic signature. You can then send the purchase request to the signer without leaving the platform and receive a notification when your request has been returned and approved.
Once the purchase request has been approved, you will then need to find suppliers and negotiate a deal. Once this is ticked off the list, you will then want to secure this deal with a signed contract. Collecting traditional signatures can be an inefficient and lengthy process, as a paper-based contract requires printing, scanning and maybe even posting.
With E-Sign’s e– signature on the case, you can collect a legally binding signature without the hassle of handling paper documents. By keeping your signature process entirely digital, you can reduce document turnaround time from weeks to days, ultimately speeding up the overall procurement process.
Perhaps the pinnacle of the procurement process is handling invoices and making payments. Without this, everything comes to a standstill and you don’t get the goods or services that your business needs to operate. Conversely, if you’re the business doing the selling, you’ll want to collect payment straight away for improved cash flow and accountancy.
With E-Sign’s electronic signature platform, you can integrate a payment gateway into your contract, allowing you to combine two procurement steps into one by collecting a signature and payment in a single transaction.
Keeping a record of your procurement process is essential, especially if you’re a public sector organisation that is subject to extra tendering requirements. With E-Sign’s secure document storage, you can easily keep a record of all transactions, with additional options to download your document into your own CRM or storage facility.
In addition to this, each transaction is supported by a digital certificate and an advance audit trail, which records the time, date, IP address and devices used to electronically sign a contract. This can be stored alongside the original documents to further support all procurement deals.
At E-Sign, we understand that the procurement process can be time consuming and complicated. That’s why we want to make it as simple as possible by eliminating paper-based processes and optimising your workflow with digital technology. Keeping your procurement process in the digital sphere reduces the time you spend on administration, allowing you to make your entire process more efficient and productive.
Reduce turnaround time
When it comes to the procurement process, time can often be of the essence, especially if you’re maintaining or creating supply chains. While E-Sign’s e-signature and digital document platform can save you time on paper-based administration, it can also reduce the turnaround time on establishing and closing deals. Sending a purchase order via the E-Sign platform makes it easier to sign and return contracts, eliminating several steps such as printing and scanning so the company can instantly sign and return a document if needed.
As the old saying goes, if something is repeatable, it’s automatable. As companies continue to embrace digital technology, it opens up the possibility for greater automation in processes like procurement. This is where an Application Programming Interface can step in. Offering an integrated approach that’s flexible and convenient, an API allows you to improve your workflow and reduce administrative tasks all together with the addition of automation.
If you’re a public sector organisation, there are extra steps you have to consider in the procurement process, namely compliance with The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 which ensures non-discrimination, equal treatment, transparency, mutual recognition, and proportionality in all procurements.
As these tendering processes can be time consuming and expensive, the G-Cloud Marketplace was created to make the procurement of IT and cloud computing easier. Here, organisations can choose from a pool of pre-approved suppliers, so they can obtain the services they need without running a full tender or competition procurement process.
Along with our PSN certification, E-Sign is also G-Cloud approved and our solutions and services are listed on the Government’s digital marketplace for use in the public sector.
E-Sign is a leading provider of digital transaction management solutions, supplying professional services including Electronic Signatures, Web Forms, ID Checker, Verification Tools, Personalised Emails, API and Payment Processing to businesses of all sizes across the UK.
To find out more about our E-Sign solutions and how they could transform your business, get in touch with us today.