E-Procurement as a solution in the South African marketplace is steadily gaining ground, growing not only in transaction value, but also in transactions volume and the number of suppliers, Philip Katz, Managing Director of e-Procurement provider mymarket.com told Smart Procurement. Reflecting back on the early 2000’s when e-Procurement started out in South Africa he says: “It was a torrid time in which to prove the value of e-procurement in the local marketplace.”
(Editor’s note: Readers might recall the massive crash that occurred in internet related companies at that time. Several e-Procurement companies becoming part of what was known as “Dot Bombs” back in 2001)
“In contrast to those days the mymarket.com platform currently processes over 100,000 transactions worth more than R250 million per month, and with its user and transaction base growing by over 15% per month.
Mymarket.com now has more than 6,000 listed suppliers that interact with over 200 corporate buyers every day.”
Today, mymarket.com‘s fully customisable e-procurement solution, based on proven and continually updated technology, is used extensively across the Bidvest Group as well as by many other leading South African corporations.
A case in point is that of stationary supplier Waltons.
Says Paul Morel, national e-business manager at Waltons : “Stationery and office products are a largely a commoditised purchase, meaning that if customers can get it cheaper, faster or with less hassle somewhere else, they will move their business.” “Our manual procurement processes needed to be converted to automated systems to enable employees to focus on revenue-earning activities and minimize inefficiencies resulting from returned goods and the consequent credit notes, he says.
“Waltons’ early adoption of mymarket.com gave it an edge over its competitors, and its success is evident in the numbers. “Waltons manages 10000 purchase orders a month online. “From a zero base in 2001, Waltons is now managing in the region of 10,000 purchase orders online each month, accounting for more than R100 million in trade each year.” Morel says “We have achieved far greater control in the way orders are submitted, as well as how they are subsequently handled.”
“The dynamic electronic catalogues and integration tools ensure that all the information on which transactions are based is 100% accurate. As a result, the correct products are being ordered at the correct price, which has allowed us to reduce the number of returns and credit notes by at least 80%.” “On the operational side, automated processes allow us to ‘manage by exception’ rather than manually processing every order,” he continues.Clerks processing 300% more purchase orders
“As a result, our order clerks have moved from processing 30-35 orders per day to a far more productive 110 orders per day with mymarket.com, while our customers gain the benefit of real-time order status reports. The direct result is greater internal efficiency and cost saving, faster delivery to customers, and ultimately quicker payment for Waltons. “Advanced e-Procurement Features
“It was clear that mymarket.com was one of the early leaders in the e-procurement arena, not only due to its core business processes and large volumes it processes, but also because of the extensive functionality that its technological platform offers,” says Morel.
• Dynamic Electronic Catalogues: A Web-based service that allows suppliers to create and manage their electronic product catalogues. The supplier is fully empowered to change products and prices at will, even creating unique price files per customer.
• Supplier Connector: Connects a supplier’s existing order entry systems to buyers via mymarket.com, allowing it to begin trading immediately without the tedious task of manual data capture.
• Supplier Accelerator: An integration tool that allows suppliers to connect their existing ERP or accounting systems into the marketplace, so that any customer details updated in the accounting system (e.g. products, prices, promotions) are automatically updated on mymarket.com.
• Supplier Order: Managers and/or order clerks are alerted via email or SMS of any new orders placed by buyers, thereby ensuring that orders are executed in real time. They can then log on to mymarket.com to accept, change or reject the order, with the buyer being notified instantly.
• Supplier Reporting: Suppliers have real-time access to their customer’s account numbers, purchase order history and online records of all transactions, allowing them to improve customer service and reduce payment delays.