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eProcurement and Translation
Gavin Wheeldon of Applied Language Solutions
Background of eProcurement
The world of purchasing took a significant change with the introduction of
eProcurement systems. Unbelievable ROI was promised and the whole purchasing
world was about to revolutionise, all for a mere few million investment.
This would be done by rationalising the supply base to an absolute minimum and
then ensuring no off contract buying was done by enforcing purchases through the
system. There were additional savings in the reduction of administration from
purchase orders through to invoice payment.
A small problem
Then along came the rather significant problem of supplier adoption onto these
systems. Without a critical mass of spend there would be no real ROI. The
problem came in that there were so many different proprietary systems including
Oracle?s iProcurement, Ariba, Commerce One, SAP and a multitude of others that
the cost of supporting multiple catalogue formats was prohibitive for suppliers.
Even worse was when services or configurable products were attempted to be
Then along came Punch out or Round Trip depending on which you prefer (This
article will use punch out), however the principle is the same. This allows end
users to browse a supplier?s website and bring back into the system the details
of the purchase, therefore allowing all the same business rules and processes to
be applied. This solved problems for configurable products, volatile pricing and
some other key supply chain issues.
The level of translation spend in a company is often underestimated and in most
large organisations runs into many millions. It is estimated that through the
correct use of technology and the consolidation of this spend savings of up to
60% can be achieved. Therefore the benefits of adding this spend to eProcurement
can far outweigh even the larger spend categories.
There is however, still a problem when trying to add your translation supplier
to eProcurement systems. This comes down to two reasons:
--Translation purchases still need to go through a quotation stage in most
instances. This is due to the fact there are so many variables that can change
the price including such things as graphics with files.
--Most agencies will use translation memory tools, which mean that the same
document can be differently priced dependent upon when you get the quote. This
works by storing translated units in a database and when this same unit is
encountered again it is priced lower.
These problems make it almost impossible to purchase translation in a single
punch out session.
How to eProcure Translation
Translation can be procured through the system with a slight adaptation of the
normal punch out process. This is done by providing a standard link to the
agencies secure server where a quotation can be requested and documents
submitted. The quote is then emailed to the requisitioner with a link to return
to the secure site via the eProcurement system. This will then start a punch out
session and the quote can be added to a shopping basket in the normal way.
*Applied Language Solutions provide translation solutions for business of all
size and have a range of solutions to meet all needs.
ALS Translation Services at http://www.appliedlanguage.com