E-procurement defined

In simplest terms, electronic procurement defines the automation of an organization’s procurement processes using web-based applications.

Unlike enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that enable businesses to automate their internal processes, e-procurement enables widely dispersed buyers and suppliers to come together, interact, and execute purchase transactions directly over the Internet.



In a fully web-enabled e-procurement system, each step in the procurement process occurs electronically.

From creating and submitting POs to receiving and paying for goods—all transactional data is automatically routed through workflow processors, reducing the time and cost of  procurement activities, and boosting operational efficiency of the e-enabled organization.

E-procurement applications consolidate the paper-based catalogs of multiple vendors by digitizing product information into a single, one-stop shopping source for direct and indirect goods and services.

In most cases, e-procurement applications are transparent to end-users. Embedded in the business processes and IT systems of buyers and suppliers, e-procurement applications lower process and inventory costs, extend supplier reach, and improve customer access to suppliers.