What is an on-demand procurement solution, and what can itdo?
On-demand is a centralized approach to procuring MRO purchases andservice contract bidding without the fuss of housing it allyourself. Among other things, on-demand solutions help commercialreal estate companies avoid the capital and operational expense ofinstalling, integrating, customizing and maintaining servers andother infrastructure. It's a solution that can be deployed veryquickly to standardize workflows, and it returns value equallyfast.

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Advantages of bringing purchasing and contract managementunder a central umbrella through on-demand procurementinclude:

  • Centralizing control over the entire procurement process;
  • Eliminating unnecessary expenditures through greater visibilityand spend management;
  • Establishing standard procurement procedures;
  • Eliminating paper-based processes;
  • Allowing 24/7 accessibility for purchasing, viewing invoices,and comparing bids.

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Efficiency Through Standardization
By defining standard procurement procedures across an organization,on-demand drives efficiencies through uniform product and serviceacquisition. The result: fewer versions of products in the supplyclosets, shorter learning curves, reduced routine maintenancerequirements, and a simpler purchasing process. Furthermore, astreamlined re-ordering process will reduce the opportunities formaverick spend.

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Establishing these standards at the beginning of the biddingprocess builds a foundation for smoothly managed relationshipsthroughout the contract lifecycle. By auto-assigning bid templatesto your portfolio's service contracts in any service category, youcan ensure that your chosen vendors will be asked the same corequestions and will be prepared to perform the same duties from onebuilding to the next.

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Sustainability Compatibility
Positive impact on operational expenses is only the tip of theiceberg. On-demand tools are a critical element of anysustainability strategy, enhancing your company's stature in theeyes of various third parties including shareholders, regulators,investors, and communities.

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For example, the on-demand tool can be equipped with templatesthat ensure contracts are consistent with corporate initiatives. Italso can be configured with a product catalog that identifiesthird-party certified products. These features expedite thepurchasing process and allow rapid deployment ofcorporate-sponsored initiatives such as green chemical mandates orpaper conservation efforts. This integrated solution eliminates theneed to search through the multitude of available eco-friendlyproducts by placing them all at your fingertips. An on-demandsolution also supersedes a typically paper-intensive negotiationprocess.

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Centralized Insight
Equally as important in executing sustainability initiatives ishaving real-time visibility into expenses associated with energy,utility and waste reduction programs. Procurement systems that alsoenable spend management insight can provide the necessary data totie environmental consciousness to bottom-line success, andultimately lead you to the detail of your organization's ecologicalfootprint. These on-demand metrics equip you to make educateddecisions for your property at a moments notice.

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As commercial real estate companies grow in scope andcomplexity, so does the technology required to manage dailyoperations. In the procurement arena, on-demand is forging thefrontier, offering opportunities that complement strategies forgrowth, efficiency and sustainability.

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Chris Detrich works for SiteStuff, which providese-procurement solutions for commercial real estate. It is a whollyowned subsidiary of Yardi Systems, Inc.

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