Procurement platforms supports buyers in all the tasks of the purchasing process. That includes managing supplier data, lifecycle, performance, and risks. 

Also, they provide a supplier selection option that allows strategic sourcing, with tendering, contract management and spend analysis. For that strategy, they link partners along the supply chain. 

Among the other possibilities a procurement platform offers are electronic purchasing and ways of managing cash flow. 

On those procurement platforms, suppliers can offer their products and catalog item data and price. It also provides role management for procurement, mapping individual compliance guides and authorizations. 

They are suitable for buyers and suppliers. For purchasing, it allows control of the entire process. Suppliers can drive the digitalization of their procurement, seeking new customers and improving cash flow. 

Another function of those platforms is spent management. Which  is a process business must go through to control their spending. So, platforms dedicated to spending analysis help managing expenses quickly and in an efficient way. 

The platform is responsible for analyzing transactional data and finding patterns and areas of inefficiency. It seeks to provide customers with information that can lead to optimized inventory management and ordering process. 

But before discussing two of those platforms, it’s important to understand the procurement process.  

The flux of order to cash in Procurement Platforms

Basically, a standard procurement operation follows four steps from Order to Cash. They begin in the sourcing process and end when the contract is settled with a specific supplier. So, the process follows: source, plan, procure and payment. 

Source: 

This phase consists in analyzing the possibilities offered by a supplier. It has four main moments: 

  1. SLP and Risk: registration and on-boarding, risk management, surveys, scorecards, performance, and diversity. 
  1. Spend Visibility: spend classification, category management, enrichment services, market intelligence aend spend analysis. 
  1. Collaborative Sourcing: supplier discover, strategic sourcing, reverse audition, knowledge repository, optimization, article pricing and lead time. 
  1. Contract Management: award to contract, workflow, authoring, repository, lifecycle notifications and e-signature. 

Plan: 

The next phase is more about planning the order, preparing the whole operation, and defining important aspects. It has two steps: 

  1. Forecasting and Scheduling: forecast sharing, forecasting commit, exception management, scheduling agreements and releases. 
  1. Inventory Collaboration: inventory visibility, consignment collaboration, supplier management inventory (SMI) and quality collaboration. 

Procurement: 

After those two phases that are focused on preparing the operations, it comes procurement, where the order is directly executed. It also has two steps: 

  1. Procurement: material and services, catalogs, spot buy, robust approval workflows, guided buying, rate card management, returns. 
  1. Order execution: module ordering, confirmations, advanced ship notice, goods receiving, rate cards management, returns. 

Pay 

And finally, it comes to the payment moment, divided in two actions: 

  1. Invoice: po flip, invoice automation, intelligence invoicing, service essay sheets, ers, tax service. 
  1. Cash Management: terms management, DPO extensions, early pay discounts, supply chain financing, receivables fin and electronic payment. 

Coupa vs SAP Ariba 

Both Coupa and SAP Ariba have functionalities that addresses those stages. A regular question on procurement professionals, though, is what’s the difference between them? 

SAP Ariba 

SAP Ariba is a cloud-based procurement platform that attends buyers and suppliers. It can connect partners on a global scale and provide services to buy, sell and manage cash. 

It uses cloud-deployed solutions together with a web-based trading community. That connection helps business finding potential trades and partners. 

Among the features of SAP Ariba are supply chain collaboration, procurement, spend analysis, financial supply chain management, dynamic discounting, supplier discovery, Ariba exchange, strategic sourcing, contract management, supplier management, invoice, payments and sourcing. 

Coupa 

Coupa is a cloud-hosted spend management solution that gives the user complete vision and control over their business expenses. It is a good fit for retail, education, consumer package goods and manufacturing. 

It’s designed to manage all the spending related aspect of the operation. What it does is analyze your spendings and help bringing them down, optimizing operations. In addition it has an open architecture, which facilitates integration with others third-party systems. Being that ERP, financial, inventory or other software categories. 

Coupa offers Procurement, Invoicing, Expenses, Sourcing, Inventory, Contract Lifecycle Management, Budgeting, Multi-ERP Integration, Analytics, Open Business Network, Supplier Information Management and Storefront. 

Other Procurement Platforms vs Supply Brain

Supply Brain acts to automate the process of simplified purchasing, making it an autonomous process, without human intervention.   

Therefore the tool is integrated with ERP and groups the approved purchase requisitions, creating recommendations of suppliers that meet the items. This integration can also be done in purchasing portals such as Ariba and Coupa.   

After creating the vendorlist for the requisition group, Supply Brain sends the quotations to the market, and upon receiving the feedback from suppliers, it equalizes prices and commercial conditions, including taxes and freight, and recommends the best purchase decision following intelligent rules.   

Then, for low value items, the tool automatically issues the purchase order in the ERP, making the process autonomous, and for high-value items, the buyer analyzes the scenario, the suppliers’ proposals, price equalizations, and historical prices. Then, with just one click Supply Brain issues a automatic order.

The main benefits of Supply Brain are:   

  • Productivity: Since buyers are freed from manual and repetitive tasks gaining time to focus on more strategic activities.  
  • Competitiveness: With automation it is possible to quote with more suppliers, increasing the company’s competitiveness and economy.   
  • Quality in the processes: With the automated process, there is less chance of errors and discrepancies occurring in orders.  

The Supply Brain for Procurement differential for procurement portals:  

In addition to automating manual tasks, Supply Brain uses machine learning models to recommend the best purchasing decisions. In addition, it learns from each buyer interaction with the system. So, if you want to understand how Supply Brain can automate your procurement? Please contact us.  

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