Comparing the Free and Pro Versions of SpendMap

We’ve been getting quite a few questions about the differences between the Free and Pro Versions of SpendMap, so we put together this little video for you…

You can try our Pro Version in the Cloud here.
And you can download a copy of the Free Version here.

Hope you Like our new System Overview Tutorial

Hey there fellow SpendMappers,

Exciting plans are in the works to expand the Free-Procurement Project and we’ll need to explain what we do to a bunch more nice people like you, so we put together this little System Overview video.

If you have a Google account, please Like the video on YouTube to encourage others to give SpendMap a try.

Thanks for your support.  We hope you like the new System Overview tutorial and the other updated tutorials that we’ve been working on.  Even more coming your way soon.

Hope your day is super so far!


SpendMap System Overview Video

New Tutorial: Prepayment Invoices (e.g. deposits)

If you’re using SpendMap’s Invoice Approval Module to simplify the approval of your suppliers’ invoices, things are going to get even easier with the upcoming 2017 release of SpendMap.  Stay tuned for more information and official release dates.

SpendMap now supports Prepayments, such as deposits and progress payments, to authorize payment to a supplier before the products or services have been delivered.

SpendMap will keep track of the outstanding prepayments when processing subsequent invoices for the Purchase Order, to make sure that you pay the correct amount in the end.

Check out our new video tutorial on Prepayment Invoices and don’t forget to follow this blog (see right sidebar) to be notified when the new release is ready.

3 More Reasons to use Free Purchase Order Software

happy purchase order software usersInteresting data from Spend Matters and American Productivity & Quality Center,

If we’re crunching the numbers correctly, automating your procure-to-pay process can:

  • Save up to 71% of the time it takes to process Purchase Orders
  • Increase the number of Purchasing transactions that each staff member can process by 186%
  • Reduce supplier lead time to receive orders by up to 9 days

As if you needed even more motivation to implement our Free Purchase Order Software.


No shortcuts for PO Software

Seth Godin’s words are always worth repeating, but perhaps never more so than his recent blog post about shortcuts.

How does this relate to the world of Purchase Order Software and e-procurement?

Far too many software vendors push the message “easy, easy, easy” during the sales process.

And as a result, far too many nice people become frustrated and disappointed when they get around to actually implementing their new Purchasing systems, only to find out that there’s actually a little work involved (sorry folks, this isn’t a word processor that you can just install and start using).

Seth’s closing remarks are worth repeating here: “It will take you less time and less effort to do it the (right) way than it will to buy and try and discard all the shortcuts“.  Well said, Seth.

But the good news is, as you work to get your free Purchase Order Software up and running, there’s lots to look forward to.

Measure twice.  Cut once.

TIP: If you’re ready to start implementing the free version of SpendMap, please see “Time to Implement” in the Getting Started Documentation that came with your free software.


Success Story: MCS Wins with Free Purchase Order Software

Managed Care Systems (MCS) was struggling to control their Purchasing, inventory and budgets with a patchwork of outdated systems.  Having grown to over 300 employees, MCS was overdue for an upgrade.  Unfortunately, there was no budget for a new e-procurement system, but that didn’t stop Eric Jeffers, who is responsible for the Purchasing Department at MCS.

“Our old system was written in-house a bunch of years back and it was starting to fall apart,” says Eric.  “The IT Department didn’t want to invest resources to fix it, so we kept limping along.  Plus, as an add-on to the Help Desk system, it was really just an over glorified word processor to start with; it could print a PO and keep some history, but there was still a ton of manual effort and duplicate data entry for each order, and it didn’t track inventory or provide any budget controls, which were big problems.  We were constantly going over budget because the managers who were approving orders couldn’t see the status of budgets real-time.  And we were running out of stock all the time, which meant a big panic, rush orders and extra charges for expedited deliveries”.

So when Eric found SpendMap with its real-time budget and inventory controls fully integrated with its world-class Purchasing functionality, he was optimistic to say the least.  “I have been working in Purchasing departments for 15 years and this is by far the best purchasing software I have ever seen,” says Eric.  “You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I was told that we had no budget left for a new system and I had to wait until the following year”…


New Tutorial Video: Executive Dashboards

Have you been considering an upgrade to the web-based version of SpendMap?  If so, here’s a little more motivation..

The new Executive Dashboards in the 2013 Release of SpendMap provide instant access to a graphical presentation of more than 50 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in your web browser, to help you make instantaneous and informed decisions about your business.

And don’t forget, there’s only one week left to take advantage of the Anniversary Sale discount!

Dashboard Video Tutorial

Installing your free Purchase Order Software on a network for multi-user access

There seems to be some confusion about multi-user access to the free version of SpendMap.

We’ve had quite a few questions about upgrading to the (paid) web-based version of SpendMap in order to have more than one person using the system at the same time, but upgrading is often not necessary.

So to set the record straight, in this post I’ll outline how you can install your free Purchase Order Software on a network server for multi-user access, and I’ll also outline the additional benefits of (optionally) upgrading to the web-based version of SpendMap.

So for the record, “web-based” and “multi-user” are not the same thing.  The free (Windows/desktop) version of SpendMap can be installed on your server, and you can roll it out to as many people as you want.  Each user will run the software on their PC workstation, while accessing the shared database on the network server.  So when someone creates a Requisition or a Purchase Order or whatever, other users will be able to see and work on the order as well (provided you give them the ability to see other people’s orders).

To install your free Purchase Order Software on a network for multi-user access, just follow the instructions in the Getting Started Documentation that came with your free software…

Free Purchase Order Software network installation instructions

So why do I need the web-based version of SpendMap?

You might not!

If you’re working in a small business or a small buying group of a larger organization, you might not need a web-based e-procurement system.  If you don’t mind setting up software on each PC workstation, then our free Purchase Order Software might certainly be enough for you.

But if lots of people need to access your Purchase Order System, then you might consider upgrading to the web-based version, which runs inside your web-browser, so your staff can access it from anywhere, without having to set up software on their PCs.

So for most companies, it comes down to ease of deployment.  While there are some other benefits, in general the more users you have, the more benefit there is to upgrading to the web-based version.  But if you don’t have too many users, then the free version is probably all you’ll need.

And yes, you can start with the free version and upgrade to the web-based version down the road if you like, with no loss of data…everything in your free version will be brought forward automatically, including Master Files, settings, Purchase Orders and other transactions, etc.

E-procurement software vs. Purchase Order Software: what’s old is new again

A dear friend recently gave my 7-year-old daughter an Etch A Sketch.  Yup, 50 years later, in this day of handheld video games, they’re still selling those things.

As I held it in my hand and tried to show her how to draw a flower (with a big line through it…I got stuck in a corner), it occurred to me that our old favorite has much in common with today’s handheld video games; compact, portable, small controls requiring dexterity, eye-hand coordination, progression, reward for time invested, etc.

Of course, it got me thinking about how e-procurement software technology has changed over the years.


How to get internal support for a full Purchasing Software System

We’re positioning the Free-Procurement Project as free “Purchase Order software” for a bunch of reasons that I won’t go into here but the free version of SpendMap actually includes all 12 modules, including requisitioning, receiving, supplier invoice approval, even inventory control and asset management.

If all you want to do is automate your Purchase Orders, that’s fine – just stick with the Purchasing Module.  The functionality is compartmentalized, so you don’t need to use all features/modules if you don’t want to.

But if you’re up for it, you can use SpendMap to automate everything from initial requisition all the way through to the approval of the supplier’s invoice and integration with your Accounts Payable system.  This is commonly referred to as “req-to-check” or “purchase-to-pay” (P2P for short).

If you intend to branch out into these other optional areas, however, you should be prepared to present a business case to decision makers and other departments that will be affected, such as the folks in Accounts Payable, department managers who will be approving orders online, perhaps even end-user staff members (requisitioners).

To help you get started building a business case, here’s a list of how e-procurement software can improve your business results at each step of the procurement process…