A mobile procurement solution is an excellent option for enterprises across all industries and of all sizes to better manage the procurement process. In the past, enterprises could only monitor their spending environment from a desktop or laptop. However, thanks to mobile procurement software, chief information officers and employees can handle procurement from any device and at any time. If you’re always on the lookout for mobile business software to make your job easier, here are the top five considerations for choosing a mobile procurement solution.

What is Mobile Procurement?

A mobile procurement solution is a business software for mobile devices that aids organizations with streamlining the process of procurement, which is the act of acquiring, finding, and buying goods, works, and services from a third-party.

A mobile procurement solution is a business software for mobile devices that aids organizations with streamlining the process of procurement, which is the act of acquiring, finding, and buying goods, works, and services from a third-party. Some of the most common features of mobile procurement software are real-time analytics, mobile purchase order creation, and on-demand notifications. Mobile procurement allows enterprises to track business operations from a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.

Types of Solutions Available in the Market

Providers generally offer mobile procurement software as an add-on feature for a larger enterprise resource planning solution. However, in some cases, providers offer mobile procurement software as a stand-alone mobile app. Both forms of solutions offer different advantages and disadvantages for enterprises. Different mobile procurement solutions are designed for different purposes. Some of the most common types of mobile procurement software in the market include:

  • Spend analysis
  • Supplier discovery
  • eSourcing
  • Contract management
  • Supplier information management

Top Five Considerations for Choosing a Mobile Procurement Solution

Here are the top five considerations for choosing a mobile procurement solution. These considerations should guide your search for the perfect mobile procurement solution for your enterprise.

1. Is Integration with Existing Systems Possible?

When choosing a mobile procurement solution, one factor you should consider is whether integration with existing systems will be possible. First of all, you want a mobile procurement solution that will be compatible with the main accounting software used within your organization. That way, you will have an easier time tracking expenses related to the goods, services, and work procured through the mobile procurement software.

you also want to find a solution that is compatible with your enterprise resource planning software for a greater sense of coherence and unity within the organization, particularly when it comes to finances.

If possible, you also want to find a solution that is compatible with your enterprise resource planning software for a greater sense of coherence and unity within the organization, particularly when it comes to finances. Fortunately, many mobile procurement solutions are built on cloud-based systems, so you should have no trouble finding a solution that can be integrated with existing systems.

2. Native Apps Versus Web Apps Using HTML5

Since mobile has recently become the most prevalent form of activity online, mobile procurement solutions simply represent the world’s transition to a more digital landscape. When choosing a mobile procurement platform, CIOs can choose between native apps or web apps that use HTML5.

Native apps – The native app refers to an application developed especially for mobile use. Many mobile users find the use of native apps more convenient than web apps using HTML5. However, if you choose to go the native app route for a mobile procurement platform, you may not be able to use the platform on all operating systems and brands of mobile devices. For example, it is possible that the platform will only be compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices but not Windows.

Web apps using HTML5 – A web app runs on browsers and is essentially a website that is responsive enough to adapt to most digital environments, no matter the orientation, operating system, or screen size. The main advantage of going the web app route for a mobile procurement platform is that compatibility with different operating systems and mobile devices is not an issue. However, the user experience on a web app may not be as consistent and smooth as that on a native app.

3. Is the Supplier Network Extensive?

Payments and Procurement

Another factor that you should consider is the extensiveness of the supplier network of the mobile procurement platform. Many mobile procurement providers have incorporated a network of suppliers into their solution. Users can form vendor relationships with registered suppliers. In some cases, users are also able to add their current suppliers that are not already in the supplier network. It is vital that you evaluate the size of the supplier network to determine how many of your current suppliers are registered on the network and how many new suppliers to which you will have access. The market presence of the provider will influence the size of the network.

Be sure that there is an alignment between the supplier network of the mobile procurement platform and your organization’s supplier base. For example, if your company is in the oil and gas industry, you may prefer to work only with suppliers that cater to the oil and gas industry. Accordingly, a platform with a supplier network that consists primarily of suppliers for the oil and gas industry would be most appropriate.

Keep in mind that some mobile procurement platforms charge suppliers a fee to register to the supplier network. If many of your current and trusted suppliers are not on the network, they may be hesitant to register if there are fees.

4. Feature Set Packaging

Before you select a mobile procurement solution, you should evaluate the packaging of the feature set of the mobile procurement platform. Providers offer mobile procurement solutions in either a modular or procure-to-pay suite. Depending on your organization’s needs, it may be a better idea to purchase the entire suite or only the mobile procurement solution. If you only want the mobile procurement platform, you should look for a provider that allows organizations to purchase software individually. No matter how much you want a mobile procurement platform, the last thing you want is to pay for everything else in the suite if you don’t need anything else.

5. User Experience

Many CIOs make the mistake of only considering the features of a mobile procurement platform and not the actual user experience. No matter how useful the features of the solution are, you won’t use the mobile procurement platform if the user experience is lackluster. A good mobile procurement app must be designed for performance and functionality without limiting the ease-of-use. When considering user experience, keep in mind that your employees will be using the mobile procurement solution as well.

If you’re in the market for a mobile procurement solution, the five considerations discussed above are good starting points. For more information about factors you should consider when choosing a mobile procurement platform for your enterprise, don’t hesitate to contact us.