How often do you find an invoice, then get an email saying it wasn’t approved by someone in finance? How often is an order lost, just because a critical document was misplaced or mishandled? If your answer is “more often than it should be”, your traditional, manual procurement strategy probably needs a complete overhaul.
Running procurement management manually is like traveling on a horse cart in 2019. Sure, you get from point A to point B. But now, you expect a proper suspension, air conditioning, and plenty of power no matter where you are going. That’s how it is with running procurement manually vs. through procurement automation.
Manual procurement management is broken. Automation is undeniably the way to go, given its significant superiority.
Telltale signs of manual procurement failing miserably
1. There is no transparency
Spreadsheets were a great place to start with organizing data, but they start to break down when you need significantly more out of them. The first place you may struggle with is data access. Reaching for information and tracking it through multiple spreadsheets can be difficult.
When the amount of data increases, the speed at which you can retrieve information decreases. You also must manage security concerns and not sharing information with too many people. Small errors and omissions can lead to inaccurate information that can cost you deals, customers, and vendor relationships.
Put these problems together, and investing in automated procurement software won’t seem like a luxury anymore! Because with procurement software you will be able to improve your spend under management. And, if you’re wondering how, here’s a free guide on spend under management to get you started.
2. Consistent policy compliance is practically a pipe dream
Every organization has certain guidelines, especially within departments like procurement, which need to spend the most resources. When these guidelines aren’t followed, things go haywire.
Inconsistency is common. While one employee may follow the company’s policies on expenditure and vendor relationships, 3 or 30 others may have their own way of doing things. Focusing on individual tasks like getting a particular PO executed, they lose sight of the big picture of the efficiency and productivity of the department and financial goals.
3. There is no clarity
Manual procurement management is rather like blindfolded workers on an assembly line. Each team member, lacking transparency into a process, may make a small error or take a poor decision. The results are cumulative, and the bottom line of the organization bears the brunt of errors caused due to the lack of clarity.
Real-time data visibility, role-based permissions, and omnichannel data accessibility all make automated procurement the way to go.
4. Unsatisfied customers, vendors and procurement teams
With a wobbly, bloated, and unnecessarily complicated procurement strategy running things through overworked and short-sighted procurement teams, the results are ugly.
Deadlines are missed, the bottom line takes a hit, invoices are routinely lost or sent to the wrong team member. If this description even remotely sounds familiar, it’s time to uproot archaic manual strategies and embrace an automation-powered procurement solution.
Getting rid of an uncontrolled procurement strategy
Experts have suggested a number of strategies over time to take care of chaos within the procurement arm of an organization. Three-way matching requires stakeholders to ensure that POs match purchase requisitions and invoices.
Some suggest setting up cost limits, which require higher authorities to get involved when an order is above a certain value. Other experts suggest segregation of duties within the procure-to-pay cycle.
However, the comprehensively better solution that incorporates all these solutions and more, is automation.
How automation helps procurement
It makes flawless documentation possible
Instead of digging through file cabinets and/or struggling with spreadsheet formulas to look up the right information, you can access it all instantly and easily with an automated e-procurement system.
Automation creates a new world, where zero orders are lost due to mismanaged documents.
It boosts employee productivity
With an automated e-procurement system taking care of the execution of procurement processes, employees are free to spend time on activities that need human involvement. Automated procurement software sends the relevant notifications to all the stakeholders, and mobile support means that things approvals don’t have to wait indefinitely in email inboxes.
There is less room for error
Competent e-procurement solutions like Kissflow offer error-busting features like three-way matching and centralized data storage.
Policy compliance ‘pipe dreams’ become reality
Dedicated apps for procurement processes ensure that each task is carried out in strict adherence to company-wide procurement policies and government regulations. There’s very little opportunity for employees to ‘drop the ball’ in a process, as each step is guided carefully and closely by the e-procurement solution.
Bonus: Actionable insights
In addition to bettering manual procurement practices, automation offers certain benefits that archaic methods simply can’t. Take actionable insights–with all the data you need and customizable report templates, you can take apart any process and study it at a granular level. Choosing any combination of factors, you can identify process bottlenecks and streamline processes, even from a basic task level.
Automate procurement with Kissflow
More and more vendors are moving to digital platforms, and it’s time you released your procurement teams from the burden of bureaucracy. Kissflow provides an app-based solution for better procurement, with specific modules dedicated to tasks like purchase orders, vendor management, purchase requisitions, invoice approval and more.
Wondering how Kissflow Procurement Cloud would fit into your organization’s working style? See for yourself.