The impacts of a simple click of a mouse are felt company-wide in terms of delays in supplies, lack of payments, and more. The business is often compelled to find ways to survive as the problem is sorted, something that procurement automation could have sorted.
In this post, we'll look at procurement automation and the processes you should automate using procurement software.
What Is Procurement Automation?
Procurement automation uses procurement software solutions to automate a company's procurement processes to reduce the time taken, reduce errors, and maximize procurement efficiency. Procurement automation software lets businesses focus on critical activities like strategy and decision-making while reducing procurement costs.
Why Do Businesses Automate The Procurement Process?
Automation removes manual processes and repeatable steps and tasks to free up employee time and engagement for other tasks while streamlining and accelerating the procurement process. Some of the benefits of procurement automation are:
What Does Procurement Automation Do?
Top procurement software solutions may vary in functionality, but they typically have some common similar feature sets. Some of the features include:
Employees use a purchase requisition to request the business and senior management approval for supply purchases. Many purchase requisitions often get stuck, are forgotten, lost, or mishandled, and take a lot of time moving through the business' multiple approvals and complex hierarchical structure.
Procurement software will accelerate approval time and cycle by removing redundant steps in the purchase order requisition process. This will enable the purchasing staff to use the extra time for other productive activities.
Supplier invoices go through internal approval in every company before finance sends out money, but sometimes, there's a problem with manual invoice approval or management. For example, invoices get misplaced, purchase orders are poorly managed, submissions are delayed, missing goods' receipts, uncontrolled spending, and sometimes insufficient transparency in the spending culture. These problems often result in delayed payment and sometimes compliance issues.
Procurement automation software comes with invoice approval software, which saves time and streamlines invoices from anywhere. Companies can benefit from improved invoice management with features like touch-free auto-approval of some invoices and extended integration with accounting and finance tools. They even allow the comparison of individual invoices against business rules and available goods receipts and POs within a click.
In a recent supply chain survey, about 43% of companies admitted inadequacies in their purchase order (PO) practices despite formal purchase order systems. Purchase order processing is a repeat process, which is prone to errors when done manually.
Procurement software companies have solved this problem by building purchase order systems that allow organizations to automate purchase order cycles. This allows businesses to improve their PO productivity and process efficiency while saving time and costs.
Companies that use manual contract management just dump all contracts in the same filing cabinet or a computer's local drive. This creates a disorganized and unstructured process where finding contracts for managing them is a real challenge.
Procurement software helps to organize contracts in a central repository and by order or type, size, and other factors in contact. These contracts are stored well, cannot be misplaced or mismanaged, and can be accessed with a single click.
Many organizations strain their vendor relationships due to the lack of a clear line of disclosure and process transparency.
With procurement automation, it's easy to streamline vendor selection to get the best vendors for the company. The company can quickly identify and resolve vendor grievances and forge great relationships with vendors by automating the vendor management process.
Other than contracts, POs, PRs, and contracts, there are other documents and records that every procurement department needs to keep. Like a normal office, it's important to keep complete and accurate records to track them and stay compliant, something paper record-keeping often mismanages. Automated procurement software helps procurement teams integrate their existing systems to automatically upload and update records for a complete, accurate audit trail.
Procurement software will help you increase the efficiency of your procurement processes. When choosing procurement automation, go for the best procurement software that will streamline your procurement processes and make them sustainable. Procurement software is even more important now as companies move operations to the cloud.
Cover photo credit: Pixabay