Procurement applications are no longer the new kid on the block. Procurement tools have matured beyond the elementary legacy system to individual procurement apps that focus on specific core functionalities. Now, it’s possible to get the benefits of those specialized apps in a unified, cloud-based suite of applications.
Although procurement has reached a digital tipping point, organizations are hesitant to embrace new solutions. Deloitte’s 2018 Global CPO survey shows that only 18 percent of organizations have a digital procurement strategy in place
In the time of a technology-led revolution, adopting an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude will only set back an organization’s growth. Most organizations have already lost the opportunity to be an early technology adopter, but getting smart about procurement apps can help you win back the competitive advantage.
Now, the focus is on digital transformation, and not just in bits and pieces, but a complete solution. Procurement processes are often handled offline or with standalone spreadsheets and simple automation. However, to really take a firm step into the present, you should be using a complete procurement tool that integrates all the major procurement applications and shares data back and forth.
Here are the five procurement apps that are most essential.
Purchase requisitions can be created with information contained in the procurement cloud, pulling updated catalog data from vendors, applying contract terms, and alerting the user to potential budget violations. Once a purchase requisition is created, it is automatically routed through the approval cycle based on rules pre-defined by the individual business. An approver can view the status of the purchase requisition in a central dashboard that offers complete visibility to the expense approval cycle.
Specific line items or the whole purchase request can be rejected back to the initiator. This 360° visibility allows anyone on the team to spot bottlenecks and keeps stakeholders informed about all purchases, reducing the chance for maverick spends and rogue invoices. An automated purchase requisition application integrated in a procurement cloud will also ensure straight-through processing during invoice approval and facilitate positive vendor relations.
Information from approved purchase requisitions is automatically populated in the new purchase order, or POs can be generated using pre-designed forms. Up-to-date vendor information is automatically pulled from the Vendor Management Application, so product prices and availability are never in question. A fully-automated purchase order module integrated with the procurement cloud saves countless instances of ‘back and forth’ and minimizes inconsistencies caused by human involvement.
A purchase order management system allows organizations to define a preferred supplier list, set a budget, and assign user permissions to keep the PO process smooth. With a purchase order application integrated into a comprehensive procurement cloud, users can have access to contract terms, current vendor catalogs, vendor performance history, and more.
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An invoice approval module provides organizations with a single interface to manage all invoices—irrespective of source, format, or order process. An automated invoice approval system offers user-specific access, customized workflows, digital forms, and extensive reporting to streamline and speed up invoice processing.
Pre-populated fields, auto-data capture from purchase orders, and seamless integration with the accounting system will eliminate the need for manual intervention and create an end-to-end automated process. As part of an integrated procurement cloud, approved requisition requests and purchase orders are fully visible and automatically matched to their invoices, reducing instances of vendor billing errors or over-billing and preventing overspend.
A vendor management module helps every organization create its own supplier evaluation and management process with a centralized, up-to-date vendor database. Vendor management applications offer procurement teams the collaboration tools they need to capture and process RFQs real-time in a transparent way.
Online vendor management systems are built to track delivery timeline, product quality, billing issues, and a whole lot of other metrics that evaluate a vendor’s performance accurately. Cloud-based procurement apps offer robust data security with mandatory policy and regulatory compliance. As part of a comprehensive procurement cloud, a vendor management application can give users a 360° view of the entire vendor relationship, including requisition forms, current and past POs, real-time product catalogs, contracts, order status, and compliance data.
A contract approval app helps organizations identify, assess, and approve contracts in a risk-free environment. These user-friendly contract management systems proactively monitor contract terms to assess whether the promised obligations are fulfilled or not.
Customizable rules and dynamic workflows reduce the contract approval cycle and offer more flexibility for procurement teams to tailor a contract approval process that is in tune with their business. Pre-written contract templates allow organizations to accelerate contract negotiation while safeguarding the interest of both buyer and purchaser legally. When integrated into a comprehensive suite of procurement applications, a contract approval application can be populated with relevant vendor information and automatically provide the user with past performance and compliance data.
Organizations can no longer rely on their done-and-dusted manual tools to resolve their everyday purchasing hurdles. You need unique procurement applications that cater to specific processes in the procure-to-pay cycle.
A cloud-based procurement application suite like Kissflow lets organizations easily manage the entire procurement cycle from purchase requisition to vendor payment within one intuitive online workspace. Kissflow offers maximum flexibility, a customizable interface, configurable workflows, an analytical reporting module, and more streamlined procurement management end-to-end. Best of all, Kissflow integrates effortlessly with existing procurement applications and accounting software. It offers all the functionalities and features a procurement team needs to control, limit, and optimize organizational spend.
Looking for procurement applications that simplify the process and minimize the chance for errors? Sign up for a FREE, customizable Kissflow demo, and see how this suite of procurement applications delivers a consistent procurement experience every single time.
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