e-Procurement: Supply Chains fit for the 21st Century

By Catalog360 and HealthTrust Europe
e-Procurement is making purchasing easier, greener, and more secure than ever - what are organisations waiting for when it comes to making the switch?

Following the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow, the international agenda has firmly focused on sustainability, and organisations worldwide are grappling to understand how they can innovate to position themselves at the forefront of sustainable progress.

Whilst industry continues to develop and modernise, supply chains continue to be overlooked as an area in need of such adaptation, meaning procurement practices lag behind the sectors they support.  For too long, organisations have been using outdated modes of procurement out of fear of change and the logistical challenges change would pose, limiting their potential.  Able to facilitate the smooth transition to electronic operations and make supply chains more sustainable, e-Procurement offers an impressive solution.

Connecting users to external supply communities through a simplified process, e-Procurement facilitates the purchase and sale of supplies, equipment, works, and services, using a web interface and secure network system.  Delivering better overall visibility of supplier information and transactions, e-Procurement platforms have been able to create a culture of trust among their networks that is not replicated in traditional procurement. 

Supporting 21st Century Working

As economies across the globe seek to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and adjust to a post-COVID world, it is crucial that innovations made during this time – such as the global shift toward hybrid working models - are brought forward to futureproof procurement solutions.  

Considering what the world has witnessed over the past 18 months during periods of nationally enforced lockdowns, traditional procurement practices that require individuals to travel into offices to physically sort through files, seem archaic.  Instead, e-Procurement platforms are enabling users, throughout these unprecedented times, to easily access the procurement market, improving their ability to respond to rapid developments in the supply chain from the safety, and comfort, of their homes.

Fully utilising contemporary technology, e-Procurement services enable organisations to access their databases simply and securely, from any location, at the click of a button. This fast and efficient model of procurement has innovated upon traditional procurement practices, changing the way organisations conduct their procurement operations for good.

Sustainable Supply

To meet the demands of the evolving ‘green economy’, organisations globally are beginning to set ambitious targets and climate-conscious objectives, with the most aspirational among them seeking to achieve net zero carbon supply chains.  

In order to successfully reach such goals, the first step is to make procurement practices more sustainable.  By eradicating the arduous and carbon-heavy task of storing paper copies of contracts, transactions, and other procurement-related documents, e-Procurement offers an entirely paperless system that centralises these documents in a single space, protecting the natural environment from further deforestation.  

Beyond this, users of e-Procurement platforms are empowered to make considered choices about where their products are sourced from, for example by opting to use a supplier located closer to a Head Office location to minimise excessive travel and further reduce carbon usage during the delivery process.

Safeguarded Supply Chains

In a digital age, storing data on cloud-based platforms is not only the easier option, but also the safer and more secure option.  Whilst traditional procurement relies on paper filing systems, e-Procurement centralises files on an online database, simplifying the process of filtering and sorting files to greatly reduce the administrative burden.  As with every benefit of e-Procurement, the increased protection of supply chains under this system operates to bolster supply chains.

More than this, e-Procurement can be employed to benefit the strategic operations of businesses across a variety of sectors, from healthcare (both private and public) to construction, private equity to hospitality: the possibilities are endless.

Streamlining Operations

With the climate crisis set to worsen, and supply chain disturbances from extreme weather-related pressures becoming increasingly likely, strengthening the resilience of supply chains is a more critical challenge than ever before.  Combined with supply-side constraints associated with a post-pandemic and post-Brexit economy, UK supply chains are facing unprecedented disruptions that have led to shortages of materials and labour.

Bridging the gaps in traditional supply chains, e-Procurement platforms enhance stronger connections between organisations and alternative suppliers by using the latest in procurement technology.  Such connections allow for improved communication, increasing your ability to receive, register, and respond flexibly to problems in a supply chain, ahead of time.

Streamlining an organisation’s operations, the transparency of e-Procurement platforms creates an environment of trust between its users and their networks, instilling confidence in the process of sourcing goods and services. The simplicity of such a system emboldens those within the supply and demand chain to make choices with certainty.  It is for these reasons, and because of their effectiveness in circumventing the unpredictability linked to traditional supply chains, that organisations are choosing to become members of e-Procurement platforms like Catalog360.

Prioritising user experience, smart procurement platforms are purposefully developed to offer rapid, cost-effective solutions that are not provided through traditional methods of procurement. By reducing the amount of time and money an organisation dedicates to such operations, e-Procurement enables businesses to re-invest their resources elsewhere.

Ultimately, supply chains are not static.  They are continuously innovating and evolving – as must methods of procurement.  E-Procurement platforms are transforming the sector by taking advantage of contemporary technology to increase efficiencies and resilience in supply chains as they face the challenges of the modern-day. 

Catalog360

Catalog360 is a cloud-based procurement tool designed to connect providers with market-leading and clinically led supplier communities, using an on-demand catalogue system.   The Catalog360 platform offers a single purchasing portal for all purchasing needs and even centralises all active contracts in one easy to access place, and the cloud storage system means users can have full confidence in the security of documentation. HealthTrust Europe has designed the multi-faceted platform with more than 300,000 items that are vendor supplied, validated and cleansed, as well as access to contracts that are clinically led and checked for quality, safety, service and price, positioning Catalog360 at the cutting-edge of procurement. 

If you are interested in becoming a Catalog360 member, or if you would like to learn more about our innovative platform, you can be in touch with our dedicated customers care team via 0845 887 5000 or [email protected]. You can also find out more on the Catalog360 website.

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