GEP SMART Overview
What is GEP SMART?
GEP SMART is an AI-powered, cloud-nativesoftware for direct and indirect procurement
that offers comprehensive source-to-pay
functionality in one user-friendly platform,
inclusive of spend analysis, sourcing, contract
management, supplier management,
procure-to-pay, savings project management
and savings tracking, invoicing and other
GEP SMART is also known as SMART by GEP.
GEP SMART Buyer's Guide
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Director, Supply Chain / Design & Construction Technology at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
RFP templates save us time; RFP management features capture intent to respond and signing of NDAs
What is our primary use case?We use SMART by GEP for spend management. It is heavily used for enterprise spend and diversity reporting. We've been using it primarily for the latter, which is good. We report our diversity spend out to our board of directors on a quarterly basis. In order to do diversity spend, you've got to get your denominator right, which means you have to figure out what the enterprise spend is. Some of our category groups have been using the enterprise spend for their initiatives. In terms of e-RFx, we've been using a tool for a number of RFIs and RFPs — mostly RFPs depending on the category and the… more »
Pros and Cons
- "There are additional time savings in managing communications. If you have an open RFP and there are questions, you can manage all of the questions and answers in the thread inside that RFP. All the suppliers will get any notifications that you want them to get, and everything is within the body of the RFP so you don't have to worry about things in email, outside of the system."
- "I'd like to see drag-and-drop reporting. They have the old model for reports where you have to click the "run" button. The thing runs and then you have to export it to PowerPoint."
What other advice do I have?The biggest lesson I've learned from using SMART is that the evolution of technology can be affected by the voice of the customer. It's very powerful. We have only used the e-auction module twice since we got it. We are trying to get the team to use it, but we don't make anything. We're a hospitality company. There are some things that can be done in e-auction — I'm not saying we can't do anything there — but my team is not really experienced with the e-auction tools. We're trying to get them up to speed and figure out a category where it makes sense to run it through an e-auction tool. Their…
Enables us to evaluate multiple vendors' responses to questions in one view
What is our primary use case?We primarily use it so that we can do sourcing with suppliers. We're able to send out notices to our suppliers to say, "We have an RFP or an RFI or an RFQ that we want you to bid against." We use it to collect their input and evaluate what we're getting to decide which vendor we will use in the particular situation. That process requires that we have both the sourcing module and the supplier management module. The supplier management module is where we keep track of our suppliers and we can communicate across the platform to the supplier in multiple ways. We can send information back or get… more »
Pros and Cons
- "The one we use the most is the sourcing module... It's really easy to use. You don't have to train vendors. You can add a new vendor at any time, and that vendor will get an email saying, "You've been selected to participate in our RFP, and you do X to get your ID set up." That works really well."
- "One of the areas where they could do better is by creating more standard templates when it comes to IT cost. IT cost has various components to it and if I want a vendor to be able to reply about cost related to IT, I would have to create that template. If I want them to tell me the hardware costs, the software costs, the professional services costs, the cloud or subscription costs, etc., I would have to build that template myself. Once I built it, I could save it and use it again and again. But sometimes building a template takes a lot of time."
What other advice do I have?We're only using two modules. My lessons learned are that this is great, but if I were able to use the whole suite it would make my life in the procurement space so much better. I actually have an individual who sits there and does nothing but key in invoices because we don't really have a good way of dealing with that. If we were able to get all the modules, that would eliminate that position, or I could use it to do something else. My lesson learned is: You actually need the whole suite. Just using one-off modules here and there is good, but it doesn't give you all of the return that would…
Learn what your peers think about GEP SMART. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2021.
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Associate Director, Sourcing and Contracts Technology at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Gives us a single sourcing solution which helps to reduce redundancy
What is our primary use case?There are two university systems within our state. In the two systems together, we have a total of 35 campuses. We use GEP SMART as more of an upstream, front-end procurement software. We don't have a full P2P installed. We only use it to facilitate requests for quotes, requests for proposals, and requests for information. When the sourcing event is done, we leverage the GEP SMART contract module to store fully-executed contracts. We also leverage the supplier management module, but that is only to facilitate sourcing events. We don't use it as a full supply-relationship management tool. We do… more »
Pros and Cons
- "The biggest selling point for us was having the contracts repository centralized for both systems. People are able to search for a contract. Typically, before they go out to bid or engage with a supplier, procurement folks come into GEP SMART and they search for a contract and check to see if there is an existing contract in place."
- "There are no mechanisms for them to check up on how they refresh their data. So oftentimes, when we go into the tool and we don't see something, we alert them and they say, "Oh, the data hasn't been refreshed, so we'll go ahead and refresh it," and then what we're looking for pops up. We should not have to be the ones to tell them they need to refresh. There should be a mechanism in place for that."
What other advice do I have?Make sure you test every element of it and make sure any problems are fixed. We communicate with some of GEP's current clients and they don't do enough testing. After they implement it they start discovering things. So do a full testing and full vetting before you roll it out. Technology-wise, I would give GEP SMART 6.5 out of 10. But the people we work with there are awesome. They understand that they're behind on certain things. They pick those things up and, because they're still a little bit small, they're a nimble organization and are able to quickly mobilize their team and fix things or…
Manager Strategy, Resource, and Supply Chain at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
With automatic purchase orders, our efficiency is greatly enhanced; our buyers can now perform much more strategic work
What is our primary use case?We use this tool in our supply chain department as our SRM tool. It interfaces to our business operating system, which is managed by SAP. The supplier module interfaces, through middleware called TIBCO, to our vendor master in SAP. The sourcing events primarily stay in GEP. The contracts module can be created and the workflow executed in GEP, and then it can create an SAP contract. Our purchase orders, requisitions, and work orders are all created in SAP and go to the cloud and the vendor through the portal in P2P. We have the spend module, the supplier module, sourcing, contract, and P2P. It… more »
Pros and Cons
- "The spend module is really amazing and lightning-fast. It can give even the most novice of analysts access to the information needed and the ability to tweak it the way they want to see it. It has a lot of flexibility."
- "In terms of ease of use, GEP has done a lot of work through its enhancements over the years to make the user experience more intuitive. There is a more standard-Amazon-like experience, where manuals and tutorials are not really required, simply because the user experience and what's on the screen are pretty intuitive."
- "There are certain things within the contracts module — how to upload the line items, for example — that could be done to make that utility a little more user-friendly, a little more like the sourcing module."
What other advice do I have?It's very important to have people who understand the depth of the technical aspects of their processes and how their systems work. Also, there needs to be a keen understanding and awareness of what the regulatory requirements are of their processes, what their key controls are. If those members are not on that team, there can be some real problems within a year if there are regulatory requirements that are not addressed in the day-to-day operation of those systems. As for the adoption of the platform in our company, initially, we were pretty hesitant and resistant to change. But when people…
Senior Legal Specialist at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Intuitive, covers the contract lifecycle, and makes the info available to those who need it
What is our primary use case?For my area, it's the contract module. It's for the lifecycle of contracting. I am in the legal department, and we have attorneys as well as senior legal specialists and legal specialists who work with this, strictly from the drafting and reviewing of the legal side of things. I'm the contract module administrator for the SMART program within our organization. This year we did add the sourcing procurement modules to it, which are being used more on the procurement side of our business supply chain. I do nothing with the supply chain sourcing side of it, such as the requests for proposals, the… more »
Pros and Cons
- "I love it because everything is done within the contract module. The previous tool that we had really acted more as a repository, whereas this is the lifecycle. Once a business owner gets to the point where they want to enter into a contractual relationship with a party, from that point, including the drafting of it through to the signature on it, it covers the lifecycle. It's from the beginning to the end to even the archiving. It's all done within the tool, including e-signature."
- "We definitely have some asks for enhancements. One of the big ones we'd like to see is what we call "drag-and-drop." If I have an email that I want to maintain in the SMART record for whatever reason — for example, it has supporting information in it — I would love to be able to just drop that into the notes and attachments section without having to save it as a PDF and then upload it."
What other advice do I have?In terms of the adoption of the platform in our organization, people in general are really resistant to any change. It was a lot of work. The work upfront was so time-consuming that people were really resistant to it. I don't think everybody felt like this was the answer to our issues at the beginning. Then, when we got into it and had problems with it, it was a nightmare. But with that said, once we were able to migrate our legacy documents from our old tool into this, and were able to show that, yes, in fact, the tools that we need work in this, people started to come around. They saw we…
Senior Manager at a outsourcing company with 10,001+ employees
Visibility into purchase-order, invoice, and spend data allows us to compute our accruals more accurately
What is our primary use case?We primarily use it for two things: as a purchase-order invoicing system and for reporting and spend management.
Pros and Cons
- "Among the most valuable features are the ability to send out purchase orders, create catalogs, and accept invoices through procurement. And the reporting function is robust."
- "Very recently, they implemented a customer success team to manage our expectations and communicate them to their technical team. That function is relatively new and some work needs to be done to build that connection so that it's a little more seamless."
What other advice do I have?The biggest lesson we've learned is that, for customers who are looking to go down a procure-to-pay path, they really need to be sharp on their blueprinting and make sure that all the requirements are clearly defined and carved in stone. If any sort of consolidation or process improvements need to be done, they should be done before engagement with GEP, because GEP's goal, at least during our integration, is to get through it, not necessarily get it right. It is a very transactional system, and you have to be set up for it. That's especially true regarding keeping track of all the orders and…
Sr. Manager, Procurement & Systems Support at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Provides us with more frequent, fresh spend data and alerts us about contract renewals
What is our primary use case?We use it for everything from source to contract. We're not using any P2P, but we use it for all of our spend analysis, all our RFXs, managing and tracking savings, and we use the supplier database strictly for contract and other sourcing events. We also use the contract repository and have automatic notifications set up for 30, 60, 90, and 120 days for every contract.
Pros and Cons
- "Spend gives us a way to put all of our spend in one area and use a category hierarchy to pull real-time spend data."
- "It's really simple to use. That's one of the reasons we chose GEP over some of the others. It's very Google-like. On the homepage, you just type whatever you need. And there are tabs that can come up if you're looking for a certain word or phrase..."
- "The loading of the contracts could be a little bit easier. I'd like to see a little bit more of AI brought in, to the point that it's actually reading the contract and automating some things, like expiration dates and renewal terms. That is an area for improvement."
What other advice do I have?My advice is that it's "garbage in, garbage out" in terms of the data. You want to make sure your data is as clean as possible going in. Take the time, at first, to categorize with it in the spend module to make sure that your reporting is going to be as accurate as possible. There is always going to be clean up, things can always get better, but take the time and energy to make sure that, if you don't know what certain vendors do, and if GEP can't figure it out based on the invoices, that you go through it and do the manual work upfront. It will save loads of time later. The fact that it's a…
Contracts Administrator, Supply Management at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Spend module gives us up-to-date information for reports, but the solution needs to be more flexible
What is our primary use case?We use it in our supply management group for contract management and spend analytics. On our contract side, we're in v2.0. And on our spend side we're also in v2.0.
Pros and Cons
- "On the spend side, it's integrated with our accounting system and has bimonthly uploads of data. So we have pretty current spend information that we can access and build reports on."
- "We had a lot of challenges and disagreements with SMART. It's been a long road, for sure, on the contract side. There is a little bit of pushback on their part when we need stuff done. Things aren't done very efficiently. I'm still waiting on some changes that were requested well over a year-and-a-half ago."
What other advice do I have?The biggest lesson we've learned from using the solution is around the thinking through of the implementation, having support for that, and doing better planning for it. Most companies have an implementation team and that's definitely the way to do it. If you have to initially, with any program, start manipulating the system by using dummy information, that's probably a red flag. One of the enhancements that just came out is an idea that came from our group several years ago for a contract and spend integration — bringing in contracts and spend together for reporting. They have always been…
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