Facilitating collaborative procurement

Niall Pay
Niall Pay
Nov 7 · 4 min read

Some degree of collaboration is an everyday reality in procurement. So why do companies put up with slow and manual processes that not only cost substantial time and effort but can introduce unnecessary risk?

At DeepStream, we understand great collaboration is fundamental to successful procurement. So we take care to ensure our e-tendering software helps companies work together effectively to reap the rewards.

Why collaborate?

Lower costs

Combining tenders leads to economies of scale which attracts better offers from suppliers. The benefits around this can be particularly effective where smaller companies come together.

Less administration

Running parallel tenders to procure the same product involves much of the same administrative effort and costs. This duplicated work can be reduced or eliminated where companies collaborate and issue a joint tender.

Pooled skills and expertise

Benefit from sharing the workload and effectively managing capacity across a wider pool of colleagues.

Brokers

Brokers can deliver many of the above benefits as well as offering unparalleled access and insight into a market. Working with a broker acting on your behalf requires close collaboration.


Challenges

Legal and compliance risks

When you collaborate with other companies, you’re taking the risk that they’ll conduct business according to your standards.

Will they adhere to bribery and modern slavery acts? Is their criteria for selecting, qualifying and awarding suppliers fair and transparent? Is everything that happens over the life of a tender available for scrutiny?

Ultimately, the end buyer is liable for how their procurement is run, and these risks are not effectively managed by email or any system which reduces transparency and control.

The need for flexibility

Collaboration might involve just your own procurement team, or any number of external companies. You could have joint procurement agreements with other buyers or regularly work with brokers.

Finding one system to suit many scenarios is difficult. Many other solutions are built around the assumption of a single buyer per tender, which is unrealistic and unhelpful where multiple companies are involved.

Admin and control

When you run procurement via email, ensuring everything happens to plan is largely a manual process. Software can help but only if it provides enough flexibility to handle every scenario.

Distributing, controlling, collating and updating documents is enough of a challenge for internal teams, let alone where multiple external companies are involved — requirements grow, time burdens and risks increase.


Why DeepStream?

Unlike all other procurement tools and ERP systems, DeepStream operates a multi-sided network to enable best-in-class collaboration between buyers, brokers, and any number of companies working around a single tender.

As simple as email, but powerful

Add any number of companies and users in the ‘From’ field to start collaborating, as simple and intuitive as an email yet flexible enough to support different needs.

A broker might start a tender and add their client, or the other way around. Multiple buyers might come together to build and issue a joint tender.

We’ve consciously worked to avoid prescriptive terms like “buyer” and “client” in favour of letting you define your own role, providing the flexibility to cater for many kinds of collaboration.

Invite any number of companies to collaborate and specify their role

Set granular permissions

Invite individual contacts to your tender and set granular permissions to control exactly what they can see, do and edit.

Set granular permissions for each user involved in a tender

Supplier documents can be controlled with flexibility and precision — restrict access and unlocking permissions on a company-by-company basis.

Manage locked documents for each company on a tender

Manage your involvement

Invite any company while drafting, but a tender cannot be issued until all collaborator companies have accepted their invite. This ensures that no tenders can be sent on behalf of other companies without permission.

Managing collaboration on a per-tender basis is more secure and promotes better engagement, ensuring everyone is onboard and ready-to-go as quickly as possible.

Each company must respond to their invite to collaborate

Robust audit trail

See exactly what’s happened over the life of a tender, no matter how many companies and users have been involved.

Get peace of mind that documents have only been accessed with permission and companies are operating in line with your agreed requirements.

Rely on a robust cloud-based audit trail, available to download at any time

If you’d like a demo of our latest features around collaboration, visit our website at deepstreamtech.com

DeepStream

The business to business e-commerce platform

Niall Pay

Written by

Niall Pay

Product Manager @ DeepStream

DeepStream

The business to business e-commerce platform

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