AnitaCarolus.jpgIn previous issues of ‘ SmartProcurement, Anita Carolus-Opperman, Nedbank Corporate Card National Sales Manager, highlighted the new trend of using online marketplaces and e-catalogues, as well as the critical components that a company needs to consider to ensure it derives value from the online marketplace.In this month’s issue Opperman discusses how to choose an online marketplace for your company:

 

 
‘With online marketplaces becoming more accessible, less costly and easier to implement, it is imperative for companies to recognise that they are becoming an integral part of business. This does not mean that companies should simply jump on board; there are key decisions that need to be considered to ensure the right online marketplace is selected for the company,’ says Carolus-Opperman.

Firstly, there are important decisions that need to be made about the system that will be implemented, such as:
•  Which marketplace should be used?
•  Which expense management solution should be used?
•  Will the system be developed inhouse, purchased or rented? Each of these options come with their own risks and benefits, as can be seen below:

System setup Benefits Risks
Inhouse development
  • Customised to company
  • Meets exact needs
  • Unproven system
  • High cost
  • Ongoing development
  • Long implementation time
Purchase a system
  • Proven system
  • Software updates
  • Medium cost
  • Less customised
  • Medium implementation time
Rent a system
  • Proven system
  • Software updates
  • Low Cost
  • Quick implemntation time
  • Less customised

Secondly, the company needs to ask how its banking partner will integrate into the two systems chosen because the banking partner is the intermediary between the marketplace and the expense management solution and that will determine what type of P-Card will work for the overall system.

Thirdly, the company needs to consider that online purchasing solutions are complex and will need to ask:
• What type of service support is available?
• Is there a key account manager dedicated to the account?

"With these points to consider when choosing the right online marketplace for your company it becomes clear that it isn’t as easy as choosing one from the bunch. It is critical that there is a great partnership between the company and its banking partner, and a successful marriage between the online marketplace, expense management solution and the P-Card," says Opperman.