E-Procurement has become a standard business process throughout many developed countries. It is recognized as one of the most successful applications in the electronic commerce (e-commerce) field and has been used to identify cost savings, improve efficiency and control for many companies’ bottom lines. This author wonders then, why is the practice of e-procurement not utilized in third world countries?
As I have found out the answer is a bit complex and sadly unfortunate. E-procurement has not worked as a reasonable business practice in third world countries because third world countries are partially characterized by low levels of industrialism, widespread illiteracy, poor infrastructure, unsophisticated technology, and poor living standards among their populations as a whole.
That being stated, it is not hopeless to think that a business in a third world country could not strive to make changes that would enable e-procurement as a regular business practice. Some of the steps that would be needed would be:
1. Clearly define a strategic goal and solid reason for the change in the business practices.
2. Progress through simple steps that deliver true value.
3. Find an e-procurement system or partner, such as SafeSourcing, that is easy to use and offers support to any participating vendors.
4. Understand the barriers and limitations of your own company as well as the economy, environment, and politics of the country you’re working in.
5. Appoint a Subject Matter Expert (SME) within your company that can clearly help you outline the items that can be sourced. A strategic sourcing partner, such as SafeSourcing, can assist with this as well.
6. Start the procurement process in sectors of the business that are either most ready to adapt to the changes in process or that are in the greatest need for the change.
7. Work hard to share your procurement success within your local market to promote growth within your country’s local economy.
There are factors that make e-procurement risky in a third world county, but the economic benefits that would come from implementing this practice would outweigh the risks long term. By implementing e-procurement practices for businesses in a third world country it would impact the level of industrialism, the economic infrastructure, and in time possibly help to strengthen the used and accepted technology.
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