B2B eCommerce

What Is a B2B Procurement Platform and Website?

Updated  |  4 min read
Key Takeaways
  • A B2B procurement site, also known as a business-to-business procurement site, is an online platform that facilitates the purchasing process between businesses.
  • It serves as a digital B2B marketplace where companies can source and acquire goods or services from suppliers.
  • These sites typically offer a wide range of products and services tailored to the needs of businesses, such as raw materials, equipment, software, or professional services.
  • B2B procurement sites streamline complex procurement processes by providing features like supplier catalogs, the supply chain, price comparisons, RFQs (Request for Quotations), order management, and secure payment systems.
  • The procurement process—both direct and indirect procurement—enables businesses to connect, negotiate, and complete transactions efficiently and conveniently online.
Procurement leaders can use procurement platforms for on-demand manufacturing

The E-Procurement Process

E-procurement refers to B2B ordering, purchasing, and requisitioning of services or goods online to facilitate our supply chain. A B2B eCommerce system, primarily, streamlines the different parts of the purchasing operation and helps organizations acquire the services or products they want without overspending.

Electronic procurement B2B sourcing consists of the following digital processes:

  • Requisition – You notice a need, identify the particulars of the services or products you need, determine where you can get them, and make a request.
  • Authorization – A member of procurement departments or approval departments confirms that the services or products you requested are required, monitors existing contracts with contract management, that your request does not violate existing agreements, and that the prices to obtain the services or goods are reasonable.
  • Purchase Order – Once your request is approved, you can make a purchase order from your selected suppliers.
  • Inspection and Receipt – You check the products sent by the chosen supplier, and then reject or accept them accordingly.
  • Payment and Invoice Approval – If you accept the goods, you need to deal with invoice processing and make a payment. Before that, make sure the B2B invoices coincide with the products or services accepted and received and the items on your purchase order.
  • Documentation – Save a record of your purchases for tax information, B2B sales tax transactions, possible audits, warranty details, and help with future purchases.

Why You Need a B2B E-Procurement Site

More and more modern B2B businesses are now leveraging technological progress to stay competitive and fulfill the demands of customers. A B2B eCommerce e-procurement site also called the “procure-to-pay” system,” is used by corporate consumers to place orders and ensure competitive pricing.

A B2B procurement platform provides a central workspace and a unified dashboard for procurement teams, where all relevant records and tasks are stored for easy reporting and retrieval. Some also have a self-service B2B sales portal for suppliers where they receive quote requests. Some other benefits of an e-procurement system are:

Speed and Accuracy for Your Procurement Team

Automation engines shine the brightest when it comes to ensuring seamless transitions between tasks. Whenever a step is completed, the next person in the queue is notified in the workflow through a text message, email, or other forms of communication. This ensures no tasks for B2B procurement get skipped in between, as an automated system is programmed to move directly from point A to point B. The system makes sure it follows the tasks in the right steps to completion. This ensures nothing gets skipped over or overlooked.

Business Partners and Vendor Management

Another important highlight of B2B purchasing is vendor-vetting. Things are not as simple as blindly purchasing anything from anyone. It is only logical to want to deal with trustworthy suppliers when dealing with B2B procurement. Your e-procurement system has got you covered in this regard. It comes with business records tailored to it, such as those from Dun & Bradstreet. This helps B2B buyers and procurement managers decide if they can put their faith in certain buyers or not. Vendor management is often accomplished via an online sales portal.

Process Visibility

Your e-procurement software has a dashboard that you will need to familiarize yourself with; it can be a really valuable asset for collaboration.

This vital B2B procurement function conveniently shows ongoing purchase order updates. It can also keep you posted on other information, such as the products that still need to be acquired by the company. If you are concerned with record security, you can restrict access to pages and information based on the roles of the involved participants.

Workflow Automation and Procurement Processes

Picture this, you did not crosscheck an invoice against the items listed on it, and you paid it straight away. This can and will result in the goods being received to meet expected standards. What will follow would be a dispute process with the supplier, involving you attempting to get a refund.

This is what makes workflow automation so special. It lets you assemble workflows that can identically represent how your business handles the procurement function. It has the ability to oversee goods inspection documentation, handle B2B invoicing, and even requisition to deliver purchase orders. An automated workflow runs consistently in the background. This is how it lessens and even eliminates errors and the financial and time costs associated with them.

Clarity's B2B Procurement Solution

The internet has substantiated its place as the current most profitable shopping platform. Buyers are now a click away from fulfilling their needs. This makes it necessary for any B2B business to have an eCommerce solution. B2B projects can help with upscaling a business, along with the range of clients you cater to. There has been a continuous increase in the number of B2B companies using eCommerce to aid their purchases. It is not surprising that purchasing managers are now also using e-procurement systems to further streamline the process.

If you want to know more about this topic, we would suggest reaching out to our team. Our professionals will be glad to offer any help or answer any technical questions you may have on your mind related to procurement and B2B eCommerce solutions.

Clarity has a friendly, experienced, and knowledgeable business development and sales team. They will also provide you with a complimentary analysis. Get in touch with us today. We look forward to having a discussion with you regarding your upcoming B2B project.

FAQ

 

Key features of a B2B Procurement Platform are designed to enhance the purchasing process for businesses by providing a comprehensive and efficient procurement solution. These features include:

  • Product Catalogs: Detailed listings of products or services with specifications and pricing information.
  • Search and Filter Options: Tools that help users narrow down their options based on criteria such as product type, price range, location, and more.
  • Order Management: Facilities for creating, tracking, and managing orders, including order history and status tracking.
  • Supplier Ratings and Reviews: Feedback from other businesses regarding their experiences with specific suppliers, aiding in supplier selection.
  • Secure Payment Systems: Mechanisms for secure and seamless transactions, including various payment methods and invoicing capabilities.
  • Account Management: Tools for businesses to update their profiles, manage payment methods, and track order history, ensuring ease of use.
  • Integration Capabilities: Ability to integrate with existing systems or ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) for streamlined operations.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Access to data and insights on procurement activities, helping businesses make data-driven decisions and track expenses.
  • Customization Options: Tailoring the platform to meet specific business needs, including branding and user roles.
  • Supplier Diversity: A diverse range of suppliers and vendors, allowing businesses to find the best-fit partners for their needs.
  • Compliance and Regulation Support: Tools and features that help businesses adhere to industry regulations and compliance requirements.
  • Mobile Accessibility: Access to the platform via mobile devices for on-the-go procurement management.

These features collectively empower businesses to efficiently source products and services, manage their supplier relationships, optimize costs, and streamline their procurement processes, ultimately contributing to improved operational efficiency and profitability.

 

E-procurement, short for electronic procurement, refers to the use of digital technology and online platforms to streamline and automate the procurement process within an organization. It involves sourcing, purchasing, and managing goods and services through web-based applications. These systems typically offer features such as electronic catalogs, supplier management, RFQs (Request for Quotations), e-bidding, purchase order management, and electronic payment systems.

By digitizing the procurement process, organizations can improve efficiency, reduce paperwork, enhance transparency, and gain better control over their procurement activities. E-procurement enables businesses to save time, cut costs, and establish more streamlined and effective procurement operations.

 

Yes, many B2B Procurement Platforms offer integration options with existing procurement systems. They provide APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) or connectors that allow seamless communication between the platform and your current procurement software or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.

This integration streamlines the procurement process, enabling you to manage orders, track inventory, and handle payments more efficiently. It's advisable to consult with the platform provider to ensure compatibility and explore the available integration solutions for your specific system.

 

A typical eCommerce procurement process generates approval and payment requests automatically as it follows pre-determined rules you set up:

  • Requisition: Research the product you need, then make an internal request to procurement departments to purchase the product(s).
  • Authorization: The authorization department is automatically notified so that they can approve your request.
  • Purchase Order: Create a purchase order for the approved company and product.
  • Receipt and Inspection: Inspect the product to make sure it matches the original description.
  • Payment: Acknowledge receipt and give the go-ahead for payment to be released.
  • Documentation: Archive a record for tax, audit, and warranty purposes.
 

B2B online procurement offers numerous benefits to businesses. Firstly, it provides a vast network of suppliers and a wide range of products and services, expanding sourcing options. It facilitates transparency and price comparisons, enabling businesses to find the best deals.

An online procurement marketplace streamlines the purchasing process, reducing paperwork and administrative tasks. They offer features like order management, RFQs, and secure payment systems, ensuring efficiency and convenience. By automating procurement, businesses can save time, reduce costs, and minimize errors.

Also, online procurement enhances supplier relationships, promotes collaboration, and enables data-driven decision-making. Overall, B2B online procurement improves productivity, competitiveness, and operational effectiveness for businesses.

 

Yes, conducting transactions on a reputable B2B procurement website is secure. These platforms prioritize the security of transactions and employ industry-standard measures to protect sensitive information. They typically use encryption protocols to secure data transmission and employ secure payment gateways to process financial transactions.

B2B procurement websites also implement robust security features, such as user authentication, firewalls, and regular security audits. Additionally, they comply with data protection regulations to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of user information. While using trusted and established B2B procurement websites, businesses can have confidence in the security of their transactions.

 

A B2B procurement website enhances collaboration by providing a platform for effective communication and interaction between businesses and suppliers. It allows for seamless sharing of information, documents, and updates related to procurement activities. Businesses can engage in real-time discussions, clarify requirements, and address any concerns directly with suppliers.

This fosters better collaboration and strengthens relationships. The platform also enables tracking of orders, monitoring the supply chain, and ensuring transparency and timely updates for all parties involved. Through improved collaboration, businesses and suppliers can work together more efficiently, align their goals, and collectively achieve better procurement outcomes.

 

Yes, a B2B procurement website can help cut costs. By providing access to a wide network of suppliers and offering price comparisons, businesses can find the best deals and negotiate competitive prices. The streamlined procurement process reduces administrative costs associated with manual paperwork.

Automation features such as RFQs and e-bidding enable businesses to secure cost-effective quotations. Additionally, efficient order management and payment systems minimize delays and errors from a service provider, further reducing costs. Overall, a B2B procurement website enhances cost savings through improved supplier selection, negotiation efficiency, reduced paperwork, and streamlined processes.

 

A B2B procurement website enhances efficiency by streamlining the procurement process and reducing manual effort. It eliminates the need for physical paperwork and allows businesses to manage all procurement-related activities digitally. With a centralized platform, businesses can access supplier catalogs, compare prices, and evaluate options without the need for extensive research or physical meetings. This enables faster and informed decision-making for the procurement organization and improves contract management.

B2B procurement websites often include features like request for quotation (RFQ) and e-bidding, automating the negotiation process. This eliminates time-consuming back-and-forth communication and enables businesses to receive competitive quotes quickly. The platform also facilitates efficient order management, allowing businesses to create, track, and manage purchase orders, monitor order statuses, and receive automated notifications. This minimizes delays and errors.

B2B procurement websites also integrate secure payment systems, enabling businesses to make secure online transactions. This eliminates manual invoicing and physical payments, saving time and ensuring accuracy.

 

The eCommerce procurement process isn't something that most eCommerce platforms can handle, especially when talking about SaaS platforms. The best e-procurement application and software is the one that is flexible enough to customize to the needs of your business and industry.

 

To get started with a B2B procurement website, a business can follow a few steps. First, research and identify reputable B2B procurement websites that cater to their industry and needs. Next, visit the website and explore its features, offerings, and pricing plans. Register for an account and create a profile for the business. Complete the necessary information, such as company details and contact information.

Once the account is set up, start browsing supplier catalogs, comparing products and prices, and reaching out to potential suppliers. The B2B procurement website may provide guidance and support to help businesses navigate the platform and make their first purchases.

Still have questions? Chat with us on the bottom right corner of your screen #NotARobot

Author
 
Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, enterpise SEO, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.