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Modernize your procurement function for transparency and efficiency with Unit4 eRFx

A key part of the procurement process is the sourcing, tendering, and qualification of potential suppliers. Manually, this process can take up a lot of time and the processing of this supplier information with legacy systems is often insufficient to analyze and optimize the use of supplier data.

eRFx helps digitize the sourcing of suppliers, as well as the data-gathering processes that happen in procurement such as qualifying and tendering suppliers. 

The digitizing of the sourcing process has led many organizations to reconsider their investment in digital procurement solutions due to the transparency and efficiency gained.

In this blog, we will cover what eRFx is, and how you can increase transparency and efficiency in the sourcing process with Unit4’s Source-to-Contract eRFx solution.

What is eRFx?

For those unaware of digital procurement processes, eRFx is one of the most common.

As mentioned, the manual tasks associated with sourcing information from various suppliers to investigate and compare can be arduous and often lack the analysis of this data needed to optimize the process.

eRFx is an acronym for ‘electronic request for X’ and covers various requests a buyer may make before purchasing goods from a supplier, such as a request for information, proposal, quotation, or tender. Put simply, eRFx is digital software that helps an organization source suppliers.

All these sourcing processes fall under the same general purpose: to gather information to compare or evaluate a supplier’s suitability for your procurement purposes.

With that in mind, the more structured and detailed the information you can gather, the more transparency and efficiency there will be in this process.

How can eRFx make sourcing more efficient?

With manual processes, each time a new supplier becomes of interest, your entire sourcing process will start from scratch. 

From nothing, your research process will involve arduously sourcing information about the supplier and thinking of pre-qualification questions to ask. To compare this data with historical data will also be particularly hard with manual and legacy systems.

With digital eSourcing software such as eRFx, a procurement function can benefit from pre-configured questions for different supplier categories, and many of these questions can be pre-configured to reduce time spent on these tasks. A procurement function can collaborate with other departments to find this information too.

Automation can be used to share and collect supplier data from historical records, allowing a procurement function to utilize successful sourcing events as a model for best practices.

Those procurement teams who are part of a growing organization may also want to consider how their sourcing processes will be affected by growth. When an organization takes on more business the level of sourcing and tasks associated will naturally increase and the efficiency of eRFx may be needed to cope without disruption.

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How can eRFx make sourcing more transparent?

A digital sourcing solution can help increase transparency by improving the level of data analysis. The efficiency gained by spending less time on tasks like pre-qualification surveys can be re-purposed for analysis of successful sourcing events.

When analyzing successful sourcing events, a procurement function can gain better insight into which questions work, and what kind of activities seem to have led to the successful sourcing event.

This increases transparency purely by improving the request for information themselves, your procurement function understands the supplier better, and the supplier has a better understanding of your procurement intentions, leading to less malpractice.

Also, the ability to scrutinize successful sourcing events will naturally mean that this process can be optimized not just for efficiency but also for transparency, getting a better understanding of the best practices that lead to success, as well as the obstacles to avoid.

Fundamentally, though, digital eSourcing software can protect against unethical behavior with sealed events, audit logs, and PDF event reports, to help safeguard both parties.

Moreover, many eSourcing solutions are part of a wider platform that will ensure all supplier data and event data is secured within a Cloud platform like Microsoft Azure providing a supplier with confidence that their data is being secured and continually maintained.

How can Unit4’s eRFx solution help you increase transparency and efficiency?

Unit4’s eRFx by Scanmarket solution paves the way to more efficient and transparent sourcing processes for mid-market organizations. 

Unit4’s eRFx solution cuts cycle times by up to 50%, doubles cost savings compared to low or no tool usage, and halves workloads with templated processes – allowing you to run up to 29% more sourcing events per year.

By implementing Unit4’s eRFx solution Home Trust, Canada’s leading mortgage and home loan providers, digitally transformed their sourcing process to bring their procurement function into the 21st century.

With Unit4 eRFx, Home Trust can go out to market in days, not weeks, thanks to a user-friendly solution. They found that team productivity increased and achieved a 100% user adoption rate in a matter of weeks, helping them save time and money but also creating more transparency with suppliers through a single source of information.

To learn more about Unit4’s eRFx solution, get our whitepaper on ‘The do’s and don’t’s of digitalization in sourcing’, consult our dedicated product page, or get Home Trust's full story to inspire you to talk to sales, today!

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