Top 10 Factors for Choosing E-Procurement Applications

Forrester found that firms want easy-to-use applications that integrate with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and their suppliers.

Cambridge, MA  November 12, 2001  Strategy is a must, as is user buy-in, but it always helps to have a top-notch e-procurement application to round out the offering. To help companies across industries select the best e-procurement applications to streamline online purchasing processes and cut costs, Forrester Research Inc. introduced eProcurement Application TechRankings, its eighth TechRankings category.

Forrester invited all major suppliers in the e-procurement market to take part in the laboratory-based evaluation process, conducted jointly with Forrester's partner, Doculabs, Inc. Forrester and Doculabs initiated coverage and assessed offerings from five key suppliers against more than 800 criteria in this initial research release: Ariba's Ariba Buyer 7.0, Clarus' Clarus eProcurement 6.1, i2's i2 RightWorks 7.05, iPlanet's iPlanet BuyerXpert 4.1, and MRO Software's MAXIMO Buyer 4.1.1.

For this TechRankings category, Forrester evaluated eProcurement applications  software for automating and managing companies' indirect procurement process  through laboratory-based product testing, supplier analysis, and user research. TechRankings research is published online, providing businesses with an independent assessment, as well as Web tools for customizing the product-evaluation rankings. Firms can tailor this research to focus their decision on the most important criteria and suppliers for their business. Forrester will add other important suppliers and products as it completes lab evaluations.

Before testing e-procurement products, Forrester interviewed IT and purchasing executives at 50 Global 3,500 companies to find out what their e-procurement needs are. Based on these interviews, Forrester organized more than 800 product and supplier criteria into 10 key factors to consider for selecting an e-procurement application.

Forrester found that firms want easy-to-use applications that integrate with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and their suppliers. Most companies choose applications that reduce transaction costs, improve contract compliance and reduce total spending. Additionally, most firms use this software to purchase easy-to-catalog items, such as office supplies, maintenance items and assets.

"While the e-procurement pure plays have spent the past few years building increasingly extensive and flexible software specifically for e-procurement, enterprise software veterans are using their back-end procurement expertise and installed base to extend their e-procurement presence," said Sharyn Leaver, analyst at Forrester and principal researcher for this TechRankings category. "These suppliers are making strides, but no single solution can satisfy all e-procurement situations. Pure plays that can build strong ERP integration ties and enterprise veterans that can help firms automate the complete procurement process from sourcing to fulfillment will lead the pack."


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