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Software for Procurement
4 min read

How Today’s Software for Procurement Compares: An Analysis of Portals

Purchasing organizations require the right parts, delivered on time, in the right amounts and of a certain level of quality. Unfortunately, because purchasing data is often scattered across paper and digital systems, it becomes difficult to verify if these requirements are being met. For this reason, businesses have looked to a supplier portal as a possible opportunity to combine data and provide a single view into their interactions with a given supplier. However, some teams have been quick to raise questions about the associated risks, including whether supplier portals are good for procurement teams or if they are expensive to set up. While businesses have the right to consider these risks, falling victim to some of the myths surrounding technology can lead to businesses avoiding the solution and the benefits it provides altogether. 

Below, we set out to debunk some of the key myths associated with perceived risk for supplier portal implementation and provide a comparison of how our own offering, the ConvergentIS Rapid Vendor Portal, compares to other leading software for procurement. 


Myth: Supplier Portals Do Not Achieve Collaboration Objectives  

Among today’s available offerings, many businesses have recognized the limit in collaboration with portals that appear one-sided, only providing functionality for businesses to take purchase order data and deliver it to their suppliers. However, from time-to-time orders may change in response to supply chain disruptions. Therefore, real-time communication and collaborative abilities to make changes through the portal become a requirement to guarantee consistent operations.  

Again, we can bust this myth with the ConvergentIS Rapid Vendor Portal, which supports real-time communication through a single web-based location, where users can access all of the app functionality that enables users to communicate with their buyer or supplier. Furthermore, users can make adjustments in the portal, raising awareness of concerns as they arise through notifications.   

Myth: Supplier Portals Do Little to Support Supply Chain Performance  

While supplier portals are intended to simplify the process, teams are quick to believe the focus on simplification will supersede the solution’s ability to improve their overall supply chain performance.   

This myth is busted with the principle that the dashboard portion of the portal can be customized so users can view the data they have permission to access, because of their role and company. Therefore, if data and analytics for the supplier management process such as the percentage of on-time deliveries aren’t being shown, it’s likely because the solution has not been optimized. To be interpretable, data must be collected and presented in a way that helps paint the picture as to how the supply chain is performing. When data tells the right story, leaders are then able to make strategic decisions and influence impactful change that drives a business forward. 

Myth: Supplier Portals Don’t Support Automation of Procurement Documents 

Procurement processes are complex, with timing conditions, change requests and other line adjustments that are often spread across multiple solutions. For this reason, many businesses have accepted the fact that automation isn’t possible at their price point without premium solutions.  

Again, we are happy to bust another myth by stating that portal technology does have the capability to standardize processes by consolidating solutions and leveraging PO flips and Evaluated Receipt Settlement (ERS) into your system. The portal may contain additional functionality through out-of-the-box applications that are affordable for mid-tier and small enterprise sized businesses. These applications can help to facilitate these processes and ensure all investments work towards the goal of eventually achieving touchless operations and improved efficiency. With a properly optimized portal, users can facilitate some of the mundane transactions with automated documents since all data is consolidated in one ecosystem. 

Comparing Solutions  

To allow users to view the different solutions, we have provided a brief overview of the features available between ConvergentIS and leading competitors. 

  ConvergentIS Rapid Vendor Portal     Leading Portal Provider for High-Growth Companies
Invoice Posting                                     ✓                                 ✓
PO Management                                     ✓                                 ✓
Sourcing                                     ✓  
Forecasting                                     ✓  
Inventory Management                                     ✓  
Returns Management                                     ✓  
360 Degree Supplier View                                    ✓                                 ✓
Real-Time Communication                                    ✓                                 ✓
Initial Investment Into Enterprise Functionality                                 ✓  
Evaluated Receipt Settlement                                     ✓  
A/B Sourcing                                     ✓  
Cloud Basis                                     ✓  
Ability to Manage All Suppliers                                     ✓  
Option for Document by Document Pricing                                     ✓  

Deploying a Rapid Vendor Solution 

Like comparable solutions on the market, we aim to enable functionality including supplier self-service, document digitization and 24/7, real-time information access. However, what helps differentiate us against others is our ability to grow with your organization, in a bridge to enterprise functionality. Furthermore, we also provide additional functionality through our breadth of procurement applications, including our Simplified Requisitioning and Goods Movement offerings, which aim to enhance the abilities of the portal itself. 

For more information about how our solution compares, or to request a live demo, we encourage you to fill out our demo form to get in touch with our team. 

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