eProcurement (electronic procurement, sometimes also known as supplier exchange) is the business-to-business or business-to-consumer or business-to-government purchase and sale of supplies, work, and services through the Internet as well as other information and networking systems, such as electronic data interchange and enterprise resource planning.
The e-procurement value chain consists of indent management, e-Informing, e-Tendering, e-Auctioning, vendor management, catalogue management, Purchase Order Integration, Order Status, Ship Notice, e-invoicing, e-payment, and contract management. Indent management is the workflow involved in the preparation of tenders. This part of the value chain is optional, with individual procuring departments defining their indenting process. In works procurement, administrative approval and technical sanction are obtained in electronic format. In goods procurement, indent generation activity is done online. The end result of the stage is taken as inputs for issuing the NIT.
Elements of e-procurement include request for information, request for proposal, request for quotation, RFx (the previous three together), and eRFx (software for managing RFx projects).
Alongside with increased use of e-procurement, needs for standardization arise. Currently, there is one globally developed open extensible markup language based standard framework built on a rich heritage of electronic business experience. It consists of five layers – messaging, registry and repository, collaboration protocol, core components and business processes.