Procurement software helps create more streamlined processes and improves spend visibility and supplier management by creating a single source of truth for hosting procurement information.
This guide defines procurement software, lists and describes some of the best procurement software solutions, and explains the types and benefits of procurement software and how it works.
What is Procurement Software?
Procurement software is computer and mobile device programs that increase the efficiency of the supply chain process by automating certain tasks such as finding and working with suppliers, purchasing goods or services, maintaining inventory, and communicating with vendors.
Known occasionally as purchasing management software—a procurement software solution is a cloud based solution that manages a supply chain by hosting all the steps of the purchasing process digitally. E-procurement software solutions help keep the purchasing process organized and streamlined, in a unified procurement system.
Top Procurement Software in 2024
Here is a list of procurement software vendors to consider for automating your procurement operations.
|Supplier management, procurement, invoice management, payment remittance-reconciliation, tax compliance, accounts payable automation
|Oracle NetSuite, Sage Accounting, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP HANA/Business One/BusinessByDesign, Xero Accounting, Performance marketing, 30+ leading ticketing systems including Asana and Jira, Slack, custom integrations(Includes integration with all ERPs or accounting software and several performance marketing platforms)
|Call Tipalti for pricing.
Jumio: Automated multi-entity purchase orders, bill processing, and payments for 300,000+ invoices per month, with self-service supplier onboarding and global scalability. Reduced procurement and accounts payable workload by 80%. Speeded the monthly accounting close reconciliation by 25%.
Cazoo: Captures purchase requests and automates purchase order creation and data sync with NetSuite ERP. Streamlined approvals and achieved spend visibility with a user-friendly solution.
Taboola: Automated the entire PR to PO process. Automated supplier onboarding and centralized supplier communications. Gained visibility into current suppliers for better supplier management.
TIER Mobility: Customized PRs and POs for specific subsidiaries in its multi-entity use. Provided total spend visibility to procurement and finance teams. Adopted a system that is scalable for growth.
|Purchase requests, purchase orders, approval workflow, reporting, budget management, supplier management, inventory- 3-way match, expense management
|NetSuite, QuickBooks Online, Xero, SSO (single sign-on) with key identity providers, APIs for automated data exchange with popular accounting/business tools (including Amazon Business PunchOut)
|20 users or less: $35/user/month billed annually. Contact Precoro on pricing for >20 users.
Bright Peak Therapeutics: Startup with no procurement workflow streamlined procurement operations, eliminated costly errors from invoice duplication and delayed payments.
TESTEX: Began processing orders three times faster and accelerated approval workflow by 100% after one month.
PassportCard: Built an automated procurement process with a flexible approval workflow for multiple companies and locations in less than a year.
Cheerz: Employed direct connection to Sage to automate largely manual processes. Broad acceptance from a simple, intuitive user interface.
|Customizable approvals, purchasing workflow, real-time customizable budgets, expense management, physical-virtual spending cards, vendor and catalog management, mobile app, in-platform communication, recurring spend management, audit logs, analytics, and reporting.
|NetSuite, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Amazon PunchOut, Slack, API Connection, Staples PunchOut, Import-export CSV-Excel files
|All-in-one platform pricing starts at $2,000 USD, depending on the number of users, complexity, and integration needs, with custom pricing.
Cabify: Enabled a more efficient software procurement process, with expanded cloud-based capabilities, easy to use, and integrated with its accounting program, NetSuite.
Wren Therapeutics: Simplified core procurement processes for generating POs and approving orders more quickly.
Chai Lifeline: Moved from paper forms to digital requests and records to streamline procurement and eliminate errors. Adopted Procurify’s integrations to QuickBooks and Amazon PunchOut.
St. Anthony High School: Eliminated paper purchase orders and enabled proactive budget management.
Kissflow Procurement Cloud
|e-Procurement/assisted buying, hosted-punchout catalogs, AP automation and compliance, supplier portal, supplier management, store management, cloud deployment, customizable platform, mobile support, reports-analytics, Webhooks-API support, contract approvals and repository.
|Inventory management, comprehensive sourcing, expense management, group companies, subsidiaries, public forms
|QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Enterprise Connectors, Custom integrations
|Starts at $1,500/month for Basic plan, with custom pricing for Enterprise plan (with full features). Pricing depends on features, transaction volume, and number of users.
Landmark Properties: Manage approval processes for 74 properties; handles workflow management for platform-marketing requests; improved reporting.
Softbank Telecom America: Drag-and-drop design of workflows; flexible app creation; responsive chat support. User friendly and handy mobile app.
Olympus: Transitioned from Lotus Notes to improve purchasing processes relating to return merchandise authorizations (RMAs), demo requests, and offering discounts.
Vonage: Streamlines and automates complex procurement processes, including customer onboarding, internal team communications, order workflows, and more.
|Enterprise-level solutions for larger companies. Source-to-pay and procure-to-pay solution suites. Sourcing, supplier management (including risk management and supplier information management), contract lifecycle management, financial supply chain solutions (for payables automation).
|As part of SAP, tight integration with SAP S/4 HANA.Connects to Ariba Network, a digital marketplace for buyers and suppliers to collaborate, transact, and discover new business opportunities, with application extensions and interoperability partners.
|Custom quotes from SAP Ariba for pricing.
Henkel: Increases resiliency of supply chain through a platform that connects purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing, delivery and sales.
Vestas Wind Systems: Provides full traceability of components and stock visibility for suppliers to improve planning, optimize spend, and ensure availability of materials as needed.
Woolworths Group Limited: Centralized platform to manage procurement activity and standardize non-trade purchasing processes for more than 1,050 stores across Australia.
Kennametal: Fewer staff required to process procurement transactions so they can be redeployed for more strategic functions. Supplier collaboration across digital channels for faster customer fulfillment.
Types of Procurement Software
Procurement software automates a broad range of activities relating to business purchasing. An umbrella term often used to address the scope of coverage is spend management.
Core applications of procurement management software include:
|A first step toward automating procurement, where a sourcing team identifies suppliers and formalizes agreements in contracts.
|Allows you to search for suppliers based upon many factors such as industry, location, product category, supply chain sustainability rating and more.
|Also known as supplier onboarding. Refers to the tasks associated with collecting and maintaining supplier information for record-keeping such as contact information, certification status and more.
|Supplier Information Management
|For managing supplier information after onboarding. Monitors essential data such as supplier lifecycle, performance and risk, and often features a scorecard-style rating for each supplier.
|Automates the creation, execution and management of a contractual agreement to enforce compliance. Contracts can be used to generate electronic catalogs or invoices for services.
|Often referred to as e-procurement. Allows buyers to search catalogs of pre-approved products and services from suppliers under contract, and create purchase requisitions. Requisition approval triggers a purchase order that is sent to the supplier for fulfillment.
|Automates the transactional processes that can start with a purchase order, then move to invoice and payment processing. The most robust procure-to-pay software solutions allow suppliers to generate invoices from contracts and service entry sheets (for complex services, planned or unplanned).
|Expands procure-to-pay functionality with sourcing capabilities. (See Sourcing.)
|Invoice Automation Electronic Invoicing
|A subset of procure-to-pay automation that focuses on the processing of invoices.
|Accounts Payable Automation
|Focuses on the payables aspect of procurement automation: generating electronic payments, dynamic discounting, supply chain finance, and global tax compliance.
|Classifies and enriches spend data to deliver real-time information relating to your suppliers, buyers, and spend categories. Valuable for identifying purchasing patterns and opportunities for cost savings, performance improvements and overall efficiencies. Typically part of a procure-to-pay or source-to-pay solution suite.
Need software to automate your business procurement processes?
How Does Procurement Software Work?
Procurement software automates the tasks associated with finding suppliers, making purchases, and tracking and analyzing business spending. By automating the purchasing cycle, you simplify and expedite the processing of the day-to-day transactions that are vital to business operations.
Procurement teams start by deciding what to purchase based on current needs and budget. The procurement department may use RFPs (request for proposals) or RFQs (request for quotations). Procurement then chooses suitable vendors and finds the right prices. Strategic sourcing also known as supply chain management, is part of the procurement process.
Using procurement solutions, they generate and execute purchase orders, collect invoices, and issue payments to vendors. They also record communication between the company and the vendor.
Electronic workflow and document matching speed the review and approval of essential transaction documents to streamline the procure-to-pay process and maintain a reliable audit trail of all transactions.
Here are some benefits that procurement software can offer you:
- Provide a self-service portal for suppliers
- Create digital purchase orders and route for approval
- Capture PO acknowledgments, advance ship notices, goods receipt, and related digital transaction documents
- Enable suppliers to “flip” purchase orders for goods into invoices for automatic approval
- Enable suppliers to “flip” service entry sheets for planned and unplanned services into invoices for automatic approval
- Flag transaction document match errors and automatically route for prompt resolution
- Simplify the creation of credit-debit memos as needed for accurate transaction processing and account reconciliation
- Generate secure electronic payments in multiple currencies and support for multiple payment channels
- Ensure compliance with country-specific e-invoicing requirements and tax legislation
- Track spending against budgets, contracts and supplier performance
Today’s procurement software delivers these capabilities via the cloud. Any user can access the software through a web browser, from anywhere in the world; using a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, or other digital device.
Why Should You Use Procurement Software?
In a digital economy, moving from paper to electronic processing is no longer optional. It’s a requirement for competing in a global economy. Inefficient procurement processes result in delayed payments, bad relationships with vendors, and potential inventory shortages.
Procurement software is the foundation for making this digital transformation. It can expedite delivery of compliant purchase orders (POs), reduce invoice errors, accelerate invoice approvals, and increase on-time payments. Procurement software improves compliance for spending, increases cash and earnings, and optimizes working capital.
Automated procurement has significant advantages over manual methods, such as:
- Accelerating the entire process. Purchase requests and vendor requests get tended to more quickly. The software automatically sends the necessary information to the right stakeholders, resulting in faster request approvals with notifications, invoices issued, and payments made.
- Data collection. Collecting and managing a large amount of data from complex business transactions is an important step in improving your procurement in the future, and it’s much easier when it’s automated with the help of procurement software. For instance, you can cut costs and save on the budget when you identify and eliminate unnecessary spending in your process.
- Reduced cost. The transition from paper to electronic record-keeping results in less hassle and fewer employees that need to be dedicated to the task. Automation additionally reduces overall time investment into procurement processes.
- Inventory control. Procurement software automatically reorders stock whenever it gets low, ensuring an uninterrupted supply chain.
- Transparent spending. By keeping all financial activity up to date and visible with insightful data, you can ensure only approved transactions go through, as well as cut down on maverick spend.
Common Features of Procurement Software
Here are capabilities of two popular procurement software suites.
Source-to-pay encompasses everything from finding, negotiating with, and contracting suppliers of goods and services to the processing of purchase orders, vendor management,invoices, payments, and related transaction documents.
Rather than treat procurement as a series of separate tasks with its own software application, a source-to-pay application suite integrates all the tasks associated with placing an order and making a purchase. Organizations can then aggregate purchases across business units if desired to dramatically improve business performance.
Potential results from a source-to-pay platform include:
- Consolidate a supply chain and ensure contract compliance
- Dramatically reduce cost of goods and service
- Eliminate delays in order, invoice and payment processing
- Evaluate supplier performance more effectively against key benchmarks (e.g., price, order responsiveness, on-time delivery, reliable invoicing)
- Improve accuracy of spend forecasts
- Support efforts to expand into new markets
As a subset of source-to-pay automation, procure-to-pay software integrates the activities from ordering to invoicing and payment. Electronic catalogs and contracts often serve as foundational documents for placing orders for goods (catalogs) and services (contracts), and also expedite the matching of orders to invoices and, ultimately, payment.
How to Choose the Best Procurement Software for Your Business
To begin, assess the scope of procurement automation: what you need immediately, how your needs will grow, and the budget you will have for the transformation.
A comprehensive source-to-pay suite would be overkill for a small company seeking to automate largely manual processes. Smaller organizations might start by automating payments or invoicing, then gradually expand to other capabilities as budgets and the resources to deploy and support them become available.
Ease of use
Some procurement tools and purchasing software may have robust capabilities but require additional training of team members and costs. Assess how quickly you can roll out the solution across your organization, and the related costs for doing that.
Integration with core accounting or ERP system
The ability to easily integrate with your core financial systems, which are either ERP or accounting systems, will expedite rollout, sync data, and unify and streamline your business processes.
Match to your requirements and inquire about coverage. (Weekdays only? Restricted to business hours? 7 X 24 coverage? Other?) Ensure that the service provider has instructional resources and live support in case you need it.
Assessing software vendor partners is valuable for organizations looking to expand capabilities or for assistance with deployment and training.
Make sure the references you receive have a similar scope and deployment requirements for the procurement automation management platform. Even better if they run the same core accounting, financial or ERP systems.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Should I go for a locally installed software package or a SaaS platform? We recommend the latter. The rise of cloud computing is becoming a trend in the market, as it offloads much of the updating and maintenance of the software to a third-party company. Hosting your procurement software in the cloud also ensures everyone can access the data, enhancing visibility across the entire supply chain and facilitating collaboration among your teams.
- Does it address your main pain points? If your company suffers losses from lack of communication, for instance, make sure the software solution you have in mind addresses it. Confirm that it’s easy to communicate both between the team and internally.
- Is it legally compliant? Here, we are referring to common heavy regulations on business accounting and global cross-border payments. Keeping yourself compliant with laws like these is far easier with a cloud-based procurement software platform that eliminates any of that guess work for you.
- Can it generate analytics from financial data? Accurately tracking data is a significant selling point for any procurement software, as it helps you draw actionable insights from all the data you collect. Real-time dashboards are important. These features lead to better, smarter decision-making and financial planning.
- Is it secure? Data security has become a major talking point for businesses of all sizes and industries thanks to widespread data breaches. Does the procurement software you have your eye on have features that secure your supply chain?
- Does it have mobile support? Employees are becoming more mobile thanks to smart devices. Many impactful procurement platforms have an iOS or Android app to allow for faster communication.
Benefits of Procurement Software
The payback from procurement software relates to the scope of deployment. Here is a sample list of benefits you can expect from automating your procurement operations.
- Accelerate delivery of compliant orders and the processing of valid, tax-compliant invoices
- Increase spending off POs and achieve close to 100% touchless invoice processing
- Support complex transactions involving evaluated receipt settlement (ERS) invoicing, contract invoicing, and invoicing off services entry sheets
- Prevent contract leakage
- Better management of cash and working capital for you and your suppliers
- Improved supplier relationships
View our webinar about improving procurement and spend management with Tipalti procurement automation software to explore more.