e-Plus, fabricante USA de software para la gestión de catálogos, ha presentado los resultados de un estudio realizado con el objetivo de determinar cuáles son las funcionalidades necesarias de un gestor de contenidos para un e-Procurement eficaz.

NOTA DE PRENSA EN INGLÉS

HERNDON, VA March 17, 2004- ePlus inc. today released the results of a survey indicating that many organizations with existing eProcurement and spend management systems are failing to reap anticipated benefits because these systems cannot utilize, create or manage supplier catalog data.  Without usable product information and parametrically searchable catalogs from multiple preferred vendors, many corporate initiatives such as spend management and eprocurement are not realizing their anticipated ROI, costing companies millions of dollars.

Limited supplier enrollment and failure to implement product content management programs appear to be contributing to the gap between potential and actual returns by restricting end users ability to make catalog based-purchases. Downstream, the effort to track and manage enterprise spend is impeded by disparate, inaccurate, or missing data.

The survey found that:

Only about 30% of the respondents have a formal product content management program in place to equip suppliers with tools for rapid loading and updating of product content, and to standardize product data for easy searching and comparison shopping by requisitioners.
Approximately 60% of the respondents have placed fewer than 40 suppliers on electronic catalog-enabled purchasing, despite the fact that respondents have relationships with 2,000 to 100,000 vendors. This may reflect the difficulty of onboarding suppliers without the appropriate tools.
Seventy percent ranked product/part duplication and end users inability to locate products in electronic catalogs as the major challenges in product content management, reflecting deficiencies in product standardization and normalization, catalog navigation, and search engine technologies.
A full 90% named data normalization as an issue of considerable concern in implementing product content management. 

Other issues of major concern were supplier enablement (70%), data categorization (60%), analysis of spending patterns (60%), and providing end users with rich and easy-to-find catalog content (60%). 
More than 50% of the respondents purchase less than 15 percent of their goods through their eProcurement systems, leaving the vast majority of spend untouched and unmanaged despite expensive procurement programs.
About 50% are unable to determine total spend on direct and indirect goods, and 60% expressed difficulty in calculating direct spend with external suppliers in an accurate and timely fashion, hampering efforts to obtain the data required to optimize sourcing decisions.
More than 30% cannot determine if their organization purchases similar commodities from multiple suppliers, making it difficult to leverage spend and reduce costs by supplier consolidation and contract buying.
Approximately 50% cannot determine if suppliers are providing goods at pre-negotiated pricing, creating challenges in enforcing contracts and volume discounts.
Over 80% must gather spend information from three or more applications such as accounting, eProcurement, legacy, ERP and paper systems, causing impediments to spend visibility.

These findings send a clear message that the best procurement engine in the world will have a limited impact on enterprise spend if there are problems onboarding supplier data and making product information consistent, up to date and easy to find, said Ken Farber, President of ePlus Systems and Content Services.  Without a robust product content management system in place to handle these tasks, too many products will be purchased off-contract, and there will be no way to ensure that products purchased on-contract comply with contract pricing.

e-Procurement can drive significant hard dollar savings, process efficiencies, and compliance improvements,» said Tim Minahan, Vice President of Supply Chain Research at Aberdeen Group. «However, many of these savings are lost due to the fact that the typical enterprise manages less than 20% of its spend through its e-Procurement system. The chief culprit is most e-Procurement users have dedicated insufficient resources to enabling and managing product content in an electronic catalog. The ability to quickly and easily load, cleanse, standardize, normalize and maintain that data is critical to success. Enterprises that select the appropriate tools and dedicate sufficient resources to managing product content effectively are more likely to receive the supplier cooperation required to achieve greater returns from their e-Procurement investments. 

The survey was conducted in January at a two-day meeting of the ePlus Content Advisory Council.  Participants included representatives from Fortune 500 firms and other large organizations who assist ePlus in determining the product content management functions required for effective eProcurement and spend management programs.  The majority of respondents have more than 20,000 employees.

Survey results will be used to guide the direction and development of future releases of Content+, ePlus eCatalog and product content management suite of self-service software and outsourced services. 

Content+ provides the functionality to extract, cleanse, update, syndicate, and manage catalog content and related business information.  The system automates the translation of plain free-form text descriptions into enriched, parametrically searchable items with its Common Language Generator; speeds the process of data classification through a knowledge base of over 500,000 pattern matching rules and 60,000 pre-defined categories; and quickly brings new suppliers online through the uploading and self-authoring capabilities of the ePlus Supplier Portal.

ePlus, Content+, ePlus Enterprise Cost Management, and eECM are trademarks or registered trademarks of ePlus inc.

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