Procurement software is business software that helps to automate the purchasing function of organizations. Activities including raising and approving purchase orders, selecting and ordering the product or service, receiving and matching the invoice and order, and paying the bill is handled electronically, enabling the procurement department to see everything that is ordered, ensure that nothing can be ordered without correct approvals, and lets them get the best value by combining several orders for the same type of good or even getting suppliers to bid for the business.
Buying organisation’s choice can be driven by the particular strengths offered by each individual system and the number of vendors available through them. A multinational or otherwise large organization will use a shared procurement system to take advantage of economies of scale to drive down the cost of purchases.
While traditionally most e-procurement software systems have been designed for larger organizations, there are now also systems available for the SMB market, such as the Free-Procurement Project by SpendMap. Whilst some services are available to purchase through automated systems, the key strength of these systems lies in the procurement of commodities that are much easier to standardise.
The key benefit for organisations using procurement software include ease of administration and potential long-term cost savings. Having a single interface for procurement related management information cuts down the time and effort required to monitor organisational spending. The use of such software also allows procurement managers to control the vendors used by the wider organisation so all employees take advantage of negotiated rates and other terms of service.
Common Features of Procurement Software Systems
Requisitions – Creation of a purchase order with line items to be fulfilled by a vendor.Automated Sending via Fax or Email
Vendor Follow Up – Automated, or reminders to follow up with Vendors to Confirm Purchase Orders.
Receiving of Goods or Services – Maintaining a physical inventory of goods.
Financial Settlement – Creation of financial and/or inventory related transactions as goods are physically received.
Business software or business application is any software or set of computer programs that are used by business users to perform various business functions. These business applications are used to increase productivity, to measure productivity and to perform business functions accurately.
Some business applications are interactive, i.e., they have a graphical user interface or user interface and users can query/modify/input data and view results instantaneously. They can also run reports instantaneously. Some business applications run in batch mode i.e. they are set up to run based on a predetermined event/time and business user does not need to initiate them or monitor them.
Some business applications are built in-house and some are bought from vendors (off the shelf software products). These business applications either are installed on desktops or on big servers.
The term covers a large variation of users within the business environment, and can be categorized by using a small, medium and large matrix:
- The small business market generally consists of home accounting software, and office suites such as OpenOffice.org or Microsoft Office.
- The medium size, or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), has a broader range of software applications, ranging from accounting, groupware, customer relationship management, human resource management systems, outsourcing relationship management, loan origination software, shopping cart software, field service software, and other productivity enhancing applications.
- The last segment covers enterprise level software applications, such as those in the fields of enterprise resource planning, enterprise content management (ECM), business process management (BPM) and product lifecycle management. These applications are extensive in scope, and often come with modules that either add native functions, or incorporate the functionality of third-party computer programs.
Technologies that previously only existed in peer-to-peer software applications, like Kazaa and Napster, are starting to feature within business applications.
Types of business tools
- Enterprise application software (EAS)
- Resource Management
- Digital dashboards – Also known as business intelligence dashboards, enterprise dashboards, or executive dashboards, these are visually based summaries of business data that show at-a-glance understanding of conditions through metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). A very popular BI tool that has arisen in the last few years.[when?]
- Online analytical processing, commonly known as OLAP (including HOLAP, ROLAP and MOLAP) – a capability of some management, decision support, and executive information systems that supports interactive examination of large amounts of data from many perspectives.
- Reporting software generates aggregated views of data to keep the management informed about the state of their business.
- Procurement software is business software that helps to automate the purchasing function of organizations.
- Data mining – extraction of consumer information from a database by utilizing software that can isolate and identify previously unknown patterns or trends in large amounts of data. There are a variety of data mining techniques that reveal different types of patterns. Some of the techniques that belong here are statistical methods (particularly business statistics) and neural networks as very advanced means of analysing data.
- Business performance management (BPM)
- Document management – made for organizing and management of multiple documents of various types. Some of the  have storage functions for security and back-up of valuable business information.
- Employee scheduling software- used for creating and distributing employee schedules, as well as tracking employee hours.