Purchasing agents for mid-size companies have a very tough job, says Bob Ray, co-founder of Columbus-based
, which provides subscription-based online supplier management.
“Medium-size companies with 20 to 500 employees generally don’t have a formal purchasing department dedicated to making corporate purchases,” he explains. “The person responsible for purchasing may be the business owner himself, an office manager, the IT manager or so forth. He or she is inundated by supplier sales calls and has limited time to manage existing suppliers, let alone research prospective suppliers who may offer better pricing or functionality. This can lead to costly purchasing mistakes or missed opportunities for important savings.”
To address this problem for what Ray says is an underserved market, ProcureSafe launched a new app in August that collects supplier data, organizes it and provides a rating system based on buyer experiences.
The company tested an Alpha version of the app with 22 users in eight industries, obtaining feedback on what they liked and what they thought would make the service more valuable. The company also conducted more than 100 interviews with additional businesses for their input as well.
“The new app completely automates and manages new information on existing suppliers,” Ray explains. “Buyers direct suppliers to a supplier registration portal where they complete a profile, input product information and pricing and then answer qualifying questions to match preselected qualifying criteria.”
This information is stored and categorized in ProcureSafe’s database. In addition to supplier data, the app offers a rating system based on buyer experience. “When a buyer is ready to make a purchase, he or she simply accesses the database for qualified suppliers, considers the feedback on them and can then send a quote request,” he says.
According to Ray, the new app reflects the best practices of market leaders in procurement, supplier management and group purchasing. “It’s a massive network of supplier information that will enable buyers in medium-size companies to make smarter decisions faster.”
Source: Bob Ray, ProcureSafe
Writer: Lynne Meyer