The digital revolution has not spared the purchasing departments. On the contrary, the generalization of digital tools favors the emergence of new practices such as e-procurement, in other words online procurement. A technique which makes it possible to increasingly rationalize the purchases of companies, whatever they may be. In fact, more generally, it is also the total dematerialization of the purchasing process that takes place in companies within the framework of a \u201cprocure to pay\u201d approach (from procurement to payment). The choice of products, the validation of purchases, the sending and payment of invoices, everything is dematerialized throughout the process.How to respond to the new challenges of purchasing?The digital maturity of purchases can differ considerably depending on the type of company, the size, the sector of activity or the organization put in place. To put it simply, industrial companies are most often those where the practice of strategic purchases, those necessary for production, is the best optimized and organized. Faced with increasingly fierce international competition, manufacturers have set up purchasing departments to negotiate the prices of products and services with their suppliers.To continue optimizing the purchasing budget, industrial companies are now broadening the scope of intervention of buyers to non-strategic purchases such as those relating, for example, to overheads. In other sectors of activity, the adoption of a purchasing strategy is becoming more democratic, both to optimize the ever-increasing budgets linked to outsourcing, but also to meet regulatory obligations. \u201c In recent years, purchasing departments have focused much more on supplier risk management in legal matters due to the strengthening of legislation, even if the primary objective of buyers is still to optimize costs.\u00bb, Confirms Olivier Audino, former buyer for international industrial groups and founder of Buy Made Easy, a company supporting companies in the digitalization of their purchases. Today, the ordering party must ensure the risks of hidden work at a supplier, the economic dependence that could be established or the payment deadlines to name only these criteria. This increased need for supplier control does not, however, exclude a strengthening of relations with the principal and the buyers. " Today, the specifications have become more functional in order to allow suppliers and subcontractors to offer innovative alternative solutions, whether in terms of process or products ", continues Olivier Audino.Digitization and traceabilityFrom now on, the circle of those who are concerned by purchases in the company has widened, in particular under the pressure of employee mobility. Thus, the technician working on a construction site can directly order the part he needs via his smartphone and pick it up immediately at the counter of a nearby store. At the same time, its purchase is validated in real time in the company's IT system. In the case of a multi-site company for example, a manager, even when he is on the move, may be notified of a purchase validation request on his Smartphone to meet an urgent need for one of his subsidiaries. It is the digitization of purchasing departments that today makes it possible to meet all these needs, beyond the financial issue of cost optimization. "These tools are a means and a support to respond directly to all the challenges but also to be the guarantors of the correct application of the purchasing policy, its traceability and its visibility \u201d, explains Laurent Guillot, CEO of Oxalys Technologies, publisher a global Source-to-Pay purchasing management software. Thus, a purchasing portal solution will make it possible both to integrate non-strategic purchases that followed a different process, to give visibility to an order, to quantify needs or to monitor a payment. An essential harmonization of all the company's purchases which will also strengthen the role of the purchasing department. "By having a vision of everything that is bought in the company, by whom, and at what price, buyers will be able to work on this data to make forecasts and proposals to optimize the purchasing budget , \u201dpoints out Laurent Guillot.Implementation in stagesHowever, some precautions must be taken before deploying a digital purchasing management solution. If the digital maturity of purchases is still non-existent in the company, it is better to avoid skipping the steps. \u201c We need an evolutionary approach, one step after another, with validation of the results and gains obtained at each step before moving on to the next\u00bb, Advises Laurent Guillot. It is moreover to meet this objective that Oxalys Technologies offers an offer in four editions allowing to switch from one to the other with new functionalities added at each stage. Flexibility and agility in deployment, change management, and support for the company which allow it to adapt as well as possible to the pace of the company and its level of digital maturity of purchases.It also remains for buyers to turn into salespeople to convince senior management to invest more in the digital transformation of purchasing. \u201c The image of purchasing departments is improving in companies but the budgets they have are very far from those of sales departments: however, improving the economic performance of the company requires both controlling purchasing and by market share gains , \u201dnotes Olivier Audino. However, the activity of publishers of purchasing management solutions is experiencing double-digit growth among all players, proof that a certain awareness is taking place in companies today.