The Top 5 Procurement Processes You Should Automate
Is it possible to optimize an organization’s spend without hiring new employees or making a huge IT investment? Is there a way to streamline complicated procurement practices like supplier on-boarding and contract reviews? How do you go about eliminating costly invoice processing and manual data entry errors?
Rapidly evolving procurement automation processes will address all these concerns, and more. Procurement automation helps organizations easily satisfy the underlying philosophy of procurement management, “procuring the right item at the right time at a right price from the right vendor”.
Procure-to-pay automation is proactively invading the procurement space, and soon every process that can be automated, will be automated. Organizations need to embrace the upcoming changes or risk being left biting the dust.
But, what kind of impact will it have on core procurement processes like contract management or purchase order processes? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Procurement Automation?
Procurement automation is used to speed up the procurement process by freeing employees from repetitive and time-intensive tasks, and allowing them to focus on business-critical activities like decision-making and strategizing. It is transforming the procure-to-pay process by enhancing its efficiency and releasing additional value, all while keeping cost factors down.
Top 5 Procurement Processes Every Company Must Automate
Most of the time, purchase requisitions get stuck and consume a lot of time to move through the complex hierarchical structure. Procurement process automation will not only cut down the time of approval cycle but also remove redundant steps in the process and enable purchasing staff to do more in less time.
In a recent survey, nearly 43 percent of organizations admitted having immediate inadequacies in their PO practices despite having a formal purchase order system in place. Procurement process automation allows organizations automate the entire purchase order cycle to deliver improvements in productivity and process efficiency, while saving costs.
3. Invoice management
There’s a problem with manual invoice management. Too often, procurement teams have to deal with misplaced or poorly managed purchase orders, missing goods receipts, submission delays, uncontrolled (maverick) spending, tricky spreadsheets, and insufficient transparency as far as the spend culture is concerned.
Manual invoice management usually means, practically, delayed payments and compliance issues.
Kissflow Procurement Cloud is a procurement solution. Software like this takes control over the entire procure-to-pay cycle, take control over functions such as invoice management. They are purpose-built, with the relevant features. For example, you can use Kissflow to automatically compare individual invoices against predefined business rules and available POs and goods receipts, even when they are stored in different systems.
By going digital, invoice management becomes buttery smooth, with features ranging from touch-free auto-approval of standard low-value invoices to extended functionality through integrations with finance and accounting tools.
4. Vendor Management
Without a clear line of disclosure and process transparency, organizations will end up making a strain in their vendor relationships. With automation, procurement teams can streamline vendor selection and pick the best vendor available. By automating vendor management process, organizations can quickly identify and resolve grievances, forming a better relationship with the vendor.
5. Contract Approval
In manual contract management, all contracts are just dumped in the same filing cabinet or the local drive. As it is disorganized and unstructured, finding contracts or even keeping tabs on them can be a real challenge. Procurement automation organizes all contracts in a central repository that can be accessed in a single click. Additionally, it also ensures that all contracts stay consistent and accurate.
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Why you should take procurement digital with an eProcurement solution
To understand this, let’s compare and contrast the differences in purchasing between the manual and the digital approach.
1. Efficiency in procurement data storage and retrieval
Data in overflowing, chaotic file cabinets. Harried procurement staff fretting over lost POs or requests. An unending stream of incoming email notifications. Strained network drives. Data on unprotected personal devices and other such siloed, unsafe locations. Sadly, these are the hallmarks of manual invoice management.
When you switch things up and go for an eProcurement system like Kissflow, things change. You get to use electronic forms and cloud storage to securely store all your purchasing data for easy and instant access. Whatever you need–RFIs, RFQs, POs, purchase requisitions and more–it’s all at your fingertips, a few clicks away.
2. Oversight errors in the purchasing team/department/office
Whatever the size of your operation, procurement is likely a crucial wing where you can’t really afford slip-ups due to human error. Imagine a series of misplaced or misfiled orders. This will likely cause chaos in the office, or at least bring your procurement team to its knees–likely if you run things manually.
Going digital, on the other hand, makes sure all your data–such as key tasks to be executed, products/services to be delivered, delivery schedules, approved budgets, and more–is always secure.
This means that you team can run procurement functions with practically zero problems due to human error or oversight.
3. Process bottlenecks within the procurement department
Typical procurement teams have to deal with a number of purchase requests, purchase orders, invoices, goods receipts, agreements, customers, stakeholders, RFPs and RFQs.
This can get overwhelming in a hurry. Just a few simple mistakes, and you may suddenly need to deal with huge bottlenecks, breaking up the process flow and hindering purchasing efforts, ultimately causing delays and angry customers.
The answer is to manage purchasing efforts using a digital tool built specifically to handle this load of procurement-related functions and data–a tool like Kissflow Procurement Cloud.
Features you need your purchase-to-pay tool to provide
Procurement software with the right set of features can unbreak your procure-to-pay process and make it more efficient. Here are the top five desirable features in a procure-to-pay software solution:
Fluid forms and other tools designed to help you capture, approve, and keep track of purchase requests
The ability to onboard, maintain, and manage vendors in an easy-to-use, efficient platform
Being able to connect your procurement cloud with other essential finance software systems
Issue POs and generate orders automatically from approved purchase requests, and more
Approve your invoices on the go and perform quick three-way matching
Digital cloud-based procurement: Choose wisely. Choose Kissflow.
With Kissflow Procurement Cloud, you can run execute procurement processes with optimal process efficiency and reduced costs.
You can use it to streamlines the procure-to-pay cycle, and mitigate purchasing risks. You also get to track and store all purchasing transactions and contracts in a centralized location for easy and quick access if and when required.
With Kissflow Procurement Cloud, you can not only run entire procurement functions like invoice management and vendor management, but also get access to an inbuilt reporting module that can reveal an organization’s spending habits and offer actionable insights to negotiate better deals.
Looking for a comprehensive procurement tool to handle your procurement process? Give the Kissflow demo a shot today, and see how it can accelerate your digital transformation.