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  • Pros & Cons of SMART by GEP: Analysis of a Leading Procurement Software

Pros & Cons of SMART by GEP: Analysis of a Leading Procurement Software

Category: B2B News
What are the pros and cons of SMART by GEP?
The pros and cons of SMART by GEP are showcased by its robust strategic reporting, automated workflows and processes, and powerful tools for information management. It could do better to expand support for Mac and Linux, and improve its catalog module.

Efficiently managing your spending and procurement is no easy feat. A lot of risks are on hand: fluctuating market conditions, disrupted supply lines, erratic demand curves, problematic suppliers, and more. Navigating through these risks while rolling out business initiatives to further your bottom line may seem like a tall order. But it need not to. A procurement software offers solutions for centralizing and automating your workflows, managing your portfolio, as well as facilitating efficient and robust data and information management. But which one?

In this article, we take a look at SMART by GEP, one of the well-acclaimed procurement software in the industry, including its strengths and weaknesses. After reading this article, you will have gained a solid basis whether this app is just the solution for you. Even if it is not, you would have one candidate off your shopping list and move on with the rest of the procurement software entries.

pros and cons of smart by gep

The procurement software market continues to grow. Reports by Statista show that in 2019, the overall market value of the procurement software market stands at $5,332 million. By 2022, it is expected that will balloon to more than $5,700 million. Data from Zycus found that business adoption of procurement software stands for the following purposes: Contract authoring (50%), ePayables (47%), supplier performance management (46%), contract repository (45%), and supplier information management (43%)

It is estimated that only around 53% of businesses have deployed procurement technology, and 30% intend to do so by 2020. Of course, while these numbers show steady growth in the adoption of procurement software, there is still a need to mainstream this tool across organizations. Common barriers to cloud procurement adoption include lack of executive sponsorship, lack of budget, lack of understanding on current solutions, difficulty of process re-engineering, and disbelief in its potential to generate ROI from automation solutions.

Procurement Technology Adoption

More organizations are looking to adopt procurement technology

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Source: Zykus

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When choosing among the leading procurement tools for your business, consider what needs or gaps are to be bridged. Would you solely use it to facilitate ePayables? Perhaps your team needs a powerful, collaborative sourcing management tool to simplify the sourcing process? But other than that, you should remember that a comprehensive solution may be the best option for you. Choose a software that is well-rounded and offers capabilities for selecting and ordering, effective insights and reporting, purchase automation, billing, and collaboration features. 

If at the end of this review you are still not yet satisfied with the features that you see, you may choose to review other competitive business procurement software that offers an extensive list of capabilities.

Can SMART by GEP help you automate processes like those dedicated marketing automation tools while generating reliable and precise procurement data? First, let’s get the big picture of this solution.

What is SMART by GEP?

smart gep

SMART by GEP revolutionizes the way businesses deal with procurement. The software offers a unified, integrated, and cloud-native solution, good for helping businesses become more productive, agile, and visible in an ever-changing market landscape. It has all the tools needed to help people make better, quicker purchasing decisions. It helps break down silos through collaboration features that bridge the gap between supply and demand. It comes with a full suite of functionalities for streamlining workflows and centralizing business data. It also provides users with a cloud-based, centralized digital workspace to collaborate and accelerate business growth.

You can even use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for SMART by GEP free demo here.

SMART by GEP

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Try out SMART by GEP with their free trial

The software is the leading cloud-native, unified procurement platform that boasts of spend, sourcing, and procurement functionality. SMART by GEP’s comprehensive and transformational capabilities guide users along the digital procurement journey. One thing that sets SMART by GEP apart from its competitors is the comprehensibility of the solution. Sparing you the need to pay for a separate ERP solution, it comes with ERP integration, guided buying, procure to pay, invoicing and reporting, analytics and reporting, automation, and project management solutions designed for larger companies and multinationals.

Here’s a list of some of SMART by GEP’s most notable features:

  • Source agnostic
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Quick-reference dashboard
  • Savings opportunity finder
  • Contract authoring
  • Source-to-pay integration
  • Contract intelligence
  • Compliance tracking and reporting
  • Auto alerts and event reminders
  • Supplier intelligence
  • Easy requisition and purchasing
  • Purchase orders and tracking
  • Invoice management
  • Comprehensive workflows
  • Collaborative RFP authoring
  • Real-time auctions

SMART by GEP Pros & Cons

Spend analysis and management

This solution helps you identify and analyze what you’re spending on, who is spending what, as well as key ROI. SMART by GEP gives you a source-agnostic module that automatically maps data headers from multiple formats from any ERP, F&A or procurement system to verify, cleanse, and consolidate spending data. It cleanses and validates data by automatically aggregating and normalizing said data from various sources to give you quality spending analytics. Taking the cue from the best AI tools, its reporting and analytics module is AI-powered, ensuring that you have an integrated proprietary-driven system that delivers the most precise and detailed data your team needs. You can analyze these data as frequently as you prefer. You may automate spend data management and generate reports as frequently as you want. Being taxonomy-agnostic, it lets you utilize one preferred or multiple taxonomy standards that encompass industry-specific UNSPSC, ISC codes, and more.

You also get a quick-reference dashboard that lets you tap customizable tabular or graphical dashboards that give you supplier data, categories, spend volume, and other crucial business insight.

As a spend analysis solution, SMART by GEP is an effortless tool for strategic business insight. It features a savings opportunity finder that consolidates spend data and recommends savings opportunities to realign your business strategy.

smart gep

SMART by GEP generates real-time and precise spending data to guide you throughout the procurement lifecycle.

Savings tracking capability

SMART by GEP lets you monitor and track desired savings targets. The savings dashboard is fully capable of providing a real-time and comprehensive overview of cost-reduction programs throughout the project lifecycle. The savings tracking capability is comprehensive and robust. It gives you a precise calculation of projected savings and offers a full-suite savings visibility as you can track your savings across various business parameters, including cost avoidance, cost reduction, signing bonus, rebate and gain share and more.

Document invoice activities seamlessly and benchmark against performance targets. Your finance department can validate these projected numbers to provide you with quality business intelligence.

Implement cost-reduction programs through its strategic sourcing module. With it, you can seamlessly track all cost-reduction schemes, savings performance, as well as run validation and collaboration mechanisms for concerned departments and stakeholders from different geographic locations. Each stakeholder or department can track actual savings performance against set targets through its intuitive dashboards. The dashboard comes with a powerful analytical reporting capability, letting you create reports, maximize data visualization, and package all the information you need for collaboration. If you think your business would benefit from centralized information and knowledge management, you may consider deploying a knowledge management software to centralize your business data and information.

SMART by GEP also has an automated event-based and time-based alert system that enables smooth project management across all fronts.

Lastly, you get integrated data consolidation. You can seamlessly organize and consolidate data coming in from various activities, from cautions, RFX, and contracts. Through this feature, you save time and labor from having to enter individual spreadsheets and arduous data entries.

Sourcing management

Logistics industries face the challenge of having to manage thousands of lines of products, goods, and categories. With SMART by GEP, you can efficiently manage and implement your sourcing strategies through quality and intuitive sourcing tools. The software come with a comprehensive suite of functionalities so you can maximize business value and capitalize heavily on supply markets.

Through its collaborative RFP authoring, users can build multi-line proposals and quotations. It grants users access to easy-to-use forms, templates, and workflow assistant tools for prompt and seamless collaboration. Its supplier intelligence capability lets you elicit all data and information on suppliers you have transacted or have yet to transact with. It provides an overview of supplier relationships so you may promptly negotiate for an RFP.

With a real-time auction functionality, businesses can drive in quality renders and business value.

More importantly, the sourcing tools allow robust facilitation of quality renders. Through its sourcing repositories, you can create events derived from sourcing templates, rules and more. It is a handy tool that lets you implement new RFIs, RFQs, RFPs, or real-time auctions with ease.

Sourcing analytics and insights are also the main highlights by SMART by GEP. You can access its dashboard to get an overview of past and current sourcing events and activities, corresponding performance, as well as tools for speedy and efficient process flows.

SMART by GEP also provides steady sourcing support to its clientele. It gets suppliers onboard to ensure that they are in the project loop. The team can provide you with the necessary support so you get the hang out of creating electronic auctions and RFXs.

smart gep

SMART by GEP allows you to sort RFPs by item, volume, historical price and other variables meaningful to you.

Contract management 

Contract negotiations involve tasking preparations, massive documents, strict diligence and skillful negotiators. If done manually, it can easily drain the entire business, leading to missed opportunities and foregone income. With SMART by GEP, you afford your business the benefit of streamlining and centralizing contract management. It comes with contract management capabilities, including risk management, performance and analytics, as well as automated updates and notifications to effectively track and manage multiple engagements, renewals, among others.

The solution comes with collaborative contract authoring capabilities, letting you create and approve contacts with various stakeholders. You no longer have to burden yourself with printing contracts individually and manual signing entries. SMART by GEP gives you the tool for speedy authoring.

Another useful feature is its source-to-pay integration. Through this feature, you can easily cull from supplier offers and create contracts in a snap. Access a catalog that lets you negotiate for terms and prices while driving in more value for your business.

It also comes with powerful and integrated reporting capabilities. You are equipped with a dashboard showing real-time visibility on your portfolio, including utilization, supplier performance, risk status, execution, and more

SMART by GEP also boasts of a centralized, cloud-based database that gives you seamless data access for any contract-related information your team needs. Access this database anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

If you think that your team needs a more focused tool for managing contracts, you should opt to evaluate and choose among various contract management software available.

Supplier management 

SMART by GEP helps you work through the complexities and risks involved in supplier management. Fluctuating market prices and demand, disaster, and political and economic instability are just some of the major risks that come with having to engage in the supply and demand cycle.

With this solution, users can easily store, organize and aggregate supplier information through its unified and robust information management system. It bestows you with a centralized repository showing risk, contacts, diversity, business-critical certifications, and other financial data. It boasts of a master data management capability for consolidating and centralizing data utilization for various procurement functions – planning, sourcing, and more.

Of course, you need real-time and strategic insights to leverage against supplier risks and opportunities. SMART by GEP gives you a powerful and comprehensive supplier reporting tool. You can receive nuanced data on trends and changes in supplier performance as well as sourcing initiatives. Data on supplier spending, proposals, active contract, purchase histories, among others are readily available.

The software also allows for flexible data entry as users can either manually enter new data on suppliers or enable self-service and allow suppliers to enter and update their own data.

Procure-to-pay solution

The software allows for better synchronizing requisitions and purchasing and payables. SMART by GEP unifies the order-to-invoice process with source-to-contract procedures. Users can easily create and approve requisitions for all kinds of spending. You can purchase whatever you want with ease without any delays in processing. Purchases are also made more seamless through the solution’s user-friendly catalog. Browse through these catalogs where you have a selection of punch-out or hosted goods which you can transfer directly to your shopping carts.

With this solution at your arsenal, you also get to streamline invoice management. The software offers a system for managing line-by-line purchases and multi-way invoice matching features. You can automate invoice approvals as well as flag exceptions for invoices.

Purchase orders can be immediately created, tracked, and monitored with just a few clicks.

The software also allows for greater flexibility when it comes to your workflows. You can customize your requisition-to-pay workflows, whether you prefer failover, delegation, and escalation, and pick the system that works best for you and your team.

smart gep

Supplier page as seen on a SMART by GEP dashboard.

Wider support

While a comprehensive and full-suite solution all on its own, SMART by GEP still has some work cut for it to address the limited support the comes with the product. Currently, it only comes supported through the web and its native apps for Android and iOS. As with other developers, it’s an area that improves in time as vendors seek to resolve weak areas of the business.

Extensive cataloging capability 

A common gap that the vendor can strive to improve for product design is the software’s cataloging module. While it is definitely user-friendly and comes with a wide range of tools for selecting and purchasing goods, it could definitely use some expansion in terms of selection, availability-preference checking, purchase recommendations, and more.

Should you get SMART by GEP for your business?

SMART by GEP comes with powerful, customer-centric solutions for streamlining your procurement processes and deploying integrated data management solutions. If your business has yet to fully deploy any cloud-based solution to streamline procurement, now would be a great time to do so. Given its comprehensive, unified, and precision-engineering sourcing and procurement capabilities, you get the tool you need to make better purchasing and business decisions.

While it lacks extensive support across all devices as well as comprehensive cataloging capabilities, the software easily makes up for it through its robust data management module, various tools for automation and business insights, and advanced capabilities for deploying data and initiatives wherever you go.

If all these sound interesting to you, you may sign up for SMART by GEP free demo here.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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