In many ways, a good eProcurement
system has the same requirements as a mainline consumer shopping site – great
usability, easy mobile access to your transactions and, most importantly, accurate
searching and filtering. With this
functionality, you can quickly find the items you want, compare them to other
items from other suppliers, and add them to your cart for later checkout or
submit the order.
PeopleSoft eProcurement has focused on these key areas: an intuitive
and configurable user interface, leveraging the latest rendering technology for an optimize mobile experience, and a variety of content management options,
including the ability to search through external supplier catalogs in a marketplace
and return that catalog information to the PeopleSoft search pages.
The main content options for catalogs are:
Internal Catalogs – These are catalogs that are stored
locally in the system and can be created internally or uploaded into the system
from a supplier or third party content management system. PeopleSoft provides a
streamlined Catalog Management
product with online error handling specifically to handle this.
Web Catalogs – Commonly called Punchout catalogs,
these are catalogs where a requestor would actually
leave the eProcurement user interface and go to an external supplier website or
to a marketplace to order items. Once the items have been ordered, the
information would be brought back into PeopleSoft eProcurement for review,
budget checking and submission for approval.
External Catalogs – This type of catalog (also known as a ‘transparent punchout’ or
‘distributed search’) allows requestors
to search for products on an external supplier site or marketplace without leaving the eProcurement user
interface. The search is executed in the background on the remote site, and
returns a list of matching products to the eProcurement search page where they
can add the item to the cart and continue the ordering process as with other
A marketplace is a central supplier catalog
hub that contains multiple supplier catalogs. It allows customers to outsource
the sometimes tedious task of loading in hundreds of supplier catalogs and
their ongoing changes locally and instead, access the marketplace through a
punchout or transparent punchout. In order to better support the growing trend
of customers using marketplaces (particularly in the Public Sector, Higher
Education and Healthcare sectors), PeopleSoft eProcurement is working with
several partners including Vinimaya and Prodigo to provide ‘deep integration’ to these marketplaces
so that, with one search from the PeopleSoft eProcurement interface, the marketplace
results will be queried and returned to the PeopleSoft search page.
There are several advantages to this
· Users do not need to punch out of the
PeopleSoft interface to another interface to access their supplier catalog
content, giving the users a more consistent user experience.
· Most marketplaces support ‘guided
buying,’ allowing for optimized sorting of the search results, for example,
show items on a contract, items in stock or items from green suppliers first in
the sort sequence.
· The filtering capability within
PeopleSoft allows for easy filtering of the results by supplier, manufacturer, item
category and more.
In addition, PeopleSoft eProcurement
has several unique features that other marketplaces do not support, including:
· The ability to display both internal
and external content on one tab for easy comparison, that is, users do not need
to know if items are stored internally or externally, and they can compare the
items and make a decision based on price etc
· The ability to source from stock
items to create a transfer request rather than always creating a purchase order.
· Visibility into associate item /
supplier attributes (such as Green, Sustainable, Minority Owned etc) directly
on the search results and the ability to then filter the item list by these
This deep integration provides a very
compelling user experience when searching for external catalog items.
PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface
is providing an advanced ‘fluid’ user interface that will allow a consistent
look and feel across mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and the desktop.
This interface will automatically recognize the form factor of the device
accessing it, and display the transaction that is optimized for that device.
A good example of this is the new PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Requisition functionality, which allows for entry of a requisition
on a mobile device.
When searching on a
mobile device, the marketplace results (as well as internal catalogs, favorites
etc) will also be displayed.
eProcurement 9.2, usability, mobility and advanced content management combine
for a great user experience.