Strategic Considerations When Choosing an Open Source eProcurement Solution

The world of eProcurement solutions is a rapidly growing and changing one, with the proliferation of open source solutions challenging many traditional models. Until now, the decision to choose an open source solution has hinged primarily on a company’s financial and technical capabilities. However, in order for a company to make a valid decision about the best open source eProcurement solution for their organization, it is essential to consider strategic and operational goals and objectives that go beyond merely cutting costs.

Without proper planning, using an open source solution can quickly lead to unexpected costs due to a lack of trained personnel and support. Additionally, without an understanding of the end state desired the company can easily end up with an organizational structure not properly customized to their needs. Therefore, it is important that organizations carefully evaluate their needs, budget, objectives and desired vendor before adopting a fully integrated source-to-pay (S2P) solution.

What is Source-to-Pay?

Source-to-Pay (S2P) is a term used to describe the process of procuring and managing goods and services. It encompasses the entire purchasing process, from the initial request for a product or service, to the end point of payment. In today’s digital world, organizations can leverage technology to not only streamline their buying process, but also to reduce their cost of goods and increase their use of maverick buying. This can be achieved through cloud-based S2P solutions that enable real-time data capture and insights into purchasing trends, as well as sophisticated analytics that enable better management of spend.

What is an Open Source eProcurement Solution?

An open source eProcurement solution is simply an eProcurement application that is built using a combination of open source software components. This enables developers to customize the application to their individual needs, and makes it possible to build tailored solutions to address specific buying issues. Open source solutions often offer lower development and implementation costs, but they do require more technical expertise and training to make sure they tightly fit the needs of the organization. In addition, organizations should be aware that each open source solution is unique, requiring comprehensive evaluation before implementation.

Evaluating Open Source Solutions

As with any solution, an organization should take the time to evaluate and compare the different solutions available. The first step is to decide whether an open source or a closed source solution will best fit your needs. Once that decision is made, a few key criteria should be considered when evaluating open source eProcurement solutions:

1. Flexibility: The open source solution should be flexible enough to support the organization’s unique purchasing requirements. It should be easily customizable in order to integrate with existing systems, or provide any additional functionality desired.

2. Scalability: It is important to ensure that the open source solution can grow with the organization, as both the number and complexity of transactions increase.

3. Security: Security should be a top priority when evaluating any eProcurement software. Be sure that the solution of choice employs the latest security measures, and can easily be adapted to keep up with the changing security landscape.

4. Cost: As with any project, cost should be a factor in determining which open source solution is right for your organization. Be sure that the vendor is up-front about the costs associated with their product, and that the total cost of ownership is acceptable.

5. Ease-of-Use: Ultimately, the best open source e Procurement solution is one that is easy to use and maintain. This includes both the user and the supplier experience. Make sure the solution offers a quick and intuitive user experience, and integrates smoothly with all other systems.

6. Vendor Support: It is important to ensure there is adequate vendor support for the open source solution. Make sure the vendor has knowledgeable staff that is available to assist with any problem that arises during implementation and throughout the life of the product.


Choosing the right open source eProcurement solution is essential to ensuring an organization’s financial and operational objectives are not only met, but exceeded. By following the steps outlined, companies can make an informed decision that will not only provide cost savings, but also offer a solution that supports the organization’s long-term goals. With the right solution in place, companies can rest assured that they are taking advantage of the potential of open source e Procurement solutions.