In the not-so-recent past, sourcing was managed primarily by spreadsheets, a telephone and constant communication between supply chain managers and retailers. With the improvement of communications and internet access throughout the world, plus the introduction of sourcing management software, a new way of managing sourcing emerged. That was e-sourcing and just about everyone does it in some iteration or will soon be doing it for the following reasons.
It is Efficient
The old way of managing orders in one system, tracking it in another, verify inventory in still another and then sending it off to retail locations was clunky, prone to loss and error as well as easy to derail. If everyone involved was not on the same page, shipments could be lost or delayed. In some cases, the systems were so convoluted and disparate that product managers had no idea where exactly their products went missing, why they were delayed, who broke them in transport, etc.
e-sourcing lets one point manage all points in the supply chain process. It also allows for analysis of each purchase and the identification of bottlenecks and cost centers as well as areas that can be improved through streamlining. Best of all, it empowers procurement departments via sourcing management because it gives purchasers the right amount of information to make an informed purchase decision.
It is Less Expensive
Prior sourcing management systems without an e-sourcing element were unique to each other and each system cost a fortune. Even consolidated sourcing systems were often clunky and if an end user was not familiar with the system being used, they were lost.
By sheer virtue of streamlining, e=sourcing software merges software management tools with supply chain tools and almost limitless customization options to provide a streamlined, useful sourcing management engine. The result is quicker analysis, more accurate data and quicker, sounder decisions, saving money down the line.
It is Comprehensive
What would you prefer? Four different systems with different attributes and detriments, reports and data formats? Or, one system that incorporates every aspect of supply chain management and sourcing management together under one management umbrella?
No one trying to save money and streamline processes would choose the first set of systems. Yet, until recently, that is what many companies used as part of their global product management operation. Now, though, there is no excuse for the right hand to not know what the left hand is doing.
Sourcing management software with an e-sourcing management engine gives you all you need to make smart product decisions in one system. That makes you more efficient, saves money and results in better product management.