Crucial Digital Technologies for Effective Procurement

Written by Philip Charles Loges, ADPSM

by Philip Charles Loges, ADPSM

Crucial Digital Technologies for Effective Procurement

Written by Philip Charles Loges, ADPSM

by Philip Charles Loges, ADPSM

by Philip Charles Loges, ADPSM

Digital Technology permeates everything we do today, with the current and ongoing technology and maturity in our digital era digital procurement is a must-have for effective procurement. Mechanizing repeatable undertakings in supporting proficiency and decreasing costs preparing partners over the business with real-time bits of knowledge. Analyzing through processes with user-friendly tools and creating new and smarter approaches to enhance leadership and everyday activities.

Reinventing traditional procurement processes with crucial procurement technologies. Investments in procurement innovation can conceivably drive ideal outcomes which also changes purchasing connections with suppliers filling in as a stage of new levels in collaboration. Crucial digital technologies can drive the effectiveness of an organization to meet all levels of demand.

Digitalization Impacts Effective Procurement Value Chain

Leaders are aware that it requires focusing on more than simply adopting technologies, organizations must be equipped and be able to adopt the right mind-set for transformation, having a clear vision of digitalization needs. with a broad range of digital solutions and technologies which can be segmented into two areas.

• Upstream strategic procurement – Having a deep understanding of spend and sophisticated supply market insights, interconnecting supplier network and relationship management. Digitalizing upstream procurement creates spend visibility and transparency using advanced analytics to complement sourcing strategies and optimizing business decisions.

• Downstream operational processes – Being much more transactional which involves large amounts of vital but repetitive tasks that requires consistency and accuracy. These tasks consume a significant amount of time and resources. Digitalization should be focused on automating processes, ensuring compliance to improve productivity reducing errors. Ultimately lowering the cost to serve.

Digital Procurement in Three Main Areas

• Automated operations and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Automated and agile operations where Artificial Intelligence and robotic process automation (RPA) are transforming a crucial range of procurement activities including spend analysis and procure-to-pay cycle.

• Frictionless collaboration – collaboration platforms in real-time data collection, predictive analytics, these tools allow procurement teams to effectively share data and help cross-functional teams in developing solutions with suppliers and internal stakeholders. It accelerates cycle times by improving coordination and supplier performances. Resulting in speed problem-solving.

• Smarter Procurement – having advanced category management for sourcing strategies and improving forecasting. Richer data sets, optimization engines, these tools are to control demand and enforce compliances. Reducing costs and spending better.

Cloud Computing Technology

Being Prominent inaccessibility and organized procurement process itself, cloud in its simplest form provides the ability and access to store data and various customized programs via the internet, in contrast to downloading it into your computer’s hard drive. If you have an internet connection, you can access the information at any time and from anywhere including mobile applications. With employees accessing to their businesses cloud-based procurement system allows a cohesive space where all can get what they need and at the same time allowing their actions to be monitored based on company policies.

In addition to high levels of accessibility, cloud systems foster a feeling of transparency among management and other team members. Individual personals can see their status of requests in real-time through requisition processes and being notified of any changes instantly.

In Procurement terms the usage allows for total control and oversight of services spending, handling of requisitioning sourcing and payments for services, modernizing business procurement services. Via cloud, it allows an effective and organized platform that helps to keep businesses costs under control.

Procurement Processes in Cloud-Based Technology

• Purchase Requisitions – Visibility about purchase requests and instant updates due to changes. Instant access to Product catalogs for purchase requests.

• Purchase Orders – Policy compliance and spend transparency using a rule-based PO approval workflow which can be customized accordingly to Initiate an enrolment process for unregistered vendors and update product catalogs right within the PO process. Reports and dashboards gain actionable spend insights and spend trends.

• Purchase Invoices – with the ability to connect between Invoices, Purchase orders, Goods received notes, Contract alerts and notifications in real-time can provide timely approvals.

• Vendor Management – Vendor Registration can be made quickly with vendor information accessibility in an instant, vendor ratings are more visible using key performance metrics like policy compliance, delivery quality and timeliness. Vendors can easily update their information with such platforms.

• Integrations – Seamless Integrations between existing Enterprise resource systems (ERP) and Accounting systems are made possible, sharing data directly within the procurement processes.

Cloud services are becoming easier to understand and navigate with such features cloud-based platforms are the new standard of business procurement in a more intuitive and organized way to streamline an effective procurement process.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Organizations are dealing with a tremendous number of time-consuming manual processes that can ideally be suited for Robotic Process automation technology. reducing time-consuming tasks has become widespread in the procurement world. procurement processes can be heavy in volume and are highly transactional in nature which invests both time and resources.

RPA is a software bot that can imitate a task carried out by a human being within a process. It replicates the actions a user takes through the interface of a computer system. With the ability to record anything a user does from clicking on a screen to typing on a keyboard and repeats those actions as directed. different from artificial intelligence which learns from data and enhances activities going through the process. However, RPA can be integrated with machine learning, using statistical analysis to learn from data that teaches the software application from the lessons it makes highly accurate predictions about specific data types.

With Natural Language Processing (NLP) it can read inquiries, listen to human voice detecting the meaning of the requests and highlight information to complete tasks within defined parameters by the organization. such approaches lead to error-free outcomes and customer satisfaction. RPA can automate steps minimizing human touchpoints which include contracts management and category management. Applications will have the ability to order goods without the need of human. software bots can monitor inventory with accurate prompts when levels are running low. Triggering an automated purchase transaction based on their stored data and from machine learning to bring supplies back to its predefined levels.

• Optimization Processes – Bots will handle first level processes; the human workforce will be able to focus on more significant strategic activities vital for businesses. Such as working with stakeholders. Expedited processes through automation result in increased throughput boosting productivity before or after business hours.

• Improvements with Compliance – software bots can detect mismatches in the invoice, processing it can refer to the present set of rules and regulations mentioned from the text of contracts and place flags where there is missing or incomplete information. Resulting in expedited resolution and its easier for an automated system to scan contracts for comparison against standard templates to point out non-standard terms and conditions.

• Risk Management – contract renewal processes are shortened which provides an opportunity for both vendors and suppliers having multiple contracts in place specifically on resources where there can be a liability for price fluctuation over time. parties that are bound can mitigate risks through automated systems where it becomes easier to juggle between several contracts and having multiple terms and conditions

Conclusion

Digital technologies such as RPA and Cloud computing are becoming a familiar tune that procurement professionals can’t ignore, the result of effectiveness can’t be denied. Organizations can develop a long-term vision that addresses the need for automation working on strategies in training individuals focusing on tasks that require constant human intervention. With a healthy amalgamation of automation and human workforce, it will take the procurement function to the next level.


References

Amanda Peterson, Enlighted Digital (2018) “The Cloud is the all-new hub for Procurement- here’s why” Retrieved from https://blog.procurify.com/2018/10/17/the-cloud-is-the-all-new-hub-for-procurement-heres-why, accessed 20/08/2019.

Coleman Radell, David Schannon. (2018) “Digital procurement the benefits go far beyond efficiency”. Retrieved from https://www.bain.com/insights/digital-procurement-the-benefits-go-far-beyond-efficiency, accessed 25/08/2019.

Eliza Huang, GDPM. (2019) “Digital Procurement for the Banking Sector”. Retrieved from SIPMM: https://sipmm.edu.sg/digital-procurement-banking-sector, accessed 22/08/2019.

Fay Khoo, GDPM. (2018) “Top five emerging Trends in Procurement” Retrieved from SIPMM: https://sipmm.edu.sg/top-five-emerging-trends-procurement, accessed 23/08/2019.

Gaurav Gurkhe, (2019). “Robotic Process Automation in Procurement” Retrieved from https://medium.com/into-advanced-procurement/robotic-process-automation-in-procurement-6c16abb7a108, accessed 11/09/2019.

Keat Yap, Chee Chiew Wong, Young Han Koh, (2018). “Procurement: Riding the digital wave”. Retrieved from https://www.atkearney.com/procurement/article?/a/procurement-riding-the-transformative-digital-wave, accessed 23/08/2019.

Malvi Goyal, (2018) “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – What’s in store for the procurement” Retrieved from https://www.zycus.com/blog/procurement-technology/robotic-process-automation-rpa-whats-in-store-for-procurement.html, accessed 13/09/2019.

Purchasing Platform. (2018) “What is Digital Procurement”. Retrieved from https://www.purchasingplatform.com/w/digital-procurement/what-is-digital-procurement, accessed 27/08/2019.

About the Author: Philip Charles Loges has 15 years of work experience in the field of purchasing, warehouse, and logistics management, and specifically in the Oil & Gas Industry. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) and he holds the Professional Diploma in Purchasing Management from SIPMM. He completed Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply Management (ADPSM) in October 2019 at SIPMM Institute.

Top