The Importance of Procurement Process Automation
At Procurify, we love the procurement process, or, more concretely, the procure-to-pay cycle. That should comes a no surprise – after all, we’ve designed a software solution to streamline that critical business process.
But the focus of this post isn’t the steps in the procure-to-pay cycle itself, but, rather, the automation of it. The procure-to-pay process can occur (unfortunately!) using manual, paper-based methods which are inefficient and time consuming.
So, what is procurement process automation? Simply put, it is the use of technology (e-procurement software) to manage the entire procure-to-pay cycle (everything from request to payment of supplier).
And why automate? At its core, the drive for procurement process automation boils down to efficiency and saving time – automation simply promotes much faster cycle times.
And, of course, saving time is saving money.
According to data published consulting firm APCQ, “organizations that do not take steps to automate transactional processes simply cannot match the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of those that do.”
For instance, organizations that use e-procurement have much, much faster purchase order cycle times than those businesses that do not: top-performing firms have using e-procurement have a two-day purchase order cycle time vs. seven-day cycle times for top-performing firms without an e-procurement solution.
Moreover, top–performing firms using an e-procurement solution enjoy (on average) a four-day lead time with suppliers, while top-performing firms without an e-procurement solution have a lead time of six days with suppliers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: e-procurement adds a very potent level of control to one’s business. Aspects of that control, as noted above, manifest themselves in shortened lead times and faster purchase order cycles.
But there’s even more to that level of control – procurement process automation and e-procurement provide managers/executives/decision makers with invaluable data when analyzing the financial health of their business.
For example, e-procurement software electronically produces and catalogues every purchase order made in the system. As a result, every purchase order is easily accessible when it comes time to budget for the next quarter or year. E-procurement users will, at the click of a mouse, how much their organizations are spending, and on what.
For those organizations that need to pivot or make snap decisions (for whatever reason), users don’t have to wait until budget time to access that critical data in the system. E-procurement solutions offer real-time data and analytics so, if need be, managers can view up-to-the minute data and make any necessary changes.
That is powerful. That is control.
Do you want that level of control over your company’s procurement, spending, budget, and finances?