Sanka Academy

Achieving Operational Excellence With Procurement Automation

Pic

Last Update: June 23, 2023

What you will get from this article

  • Define what procurement automation is
  • Understand the importance of procurement automation
  • Explore the main keys of procurement automation
  • Learn the best practice on how to implement procurement automation

Introduction

You know the drill—endless hours spent processing purchase orders, chasing down suppliers for quotes, and negotiating the best deals.

The procurement process at most companies is tedious and time-consuming, keeping you bogged down in paperwork. What if there was a way to streamline it all?

Procurement automation is transforming how leading organizations acquire the goods and services they need to operate.

By leveraging software to handle routine tasks, you can focus your valuable time on more strategic priorities.

Stop wasting time on tedious tasks—let technology handle the details so you can focus on high-value work that fuels growth. Operational efficiency is within your reach.

What is Procurement Automation

Procurement automation refers to the implementation of digital technologies to streamline and optimize procurement processes, saving time, reducing errors, and minimizing costs.

Automation brings efficiency and consistency to various stages of the procurement lifecycle, such as supplier selection, order creation, and invoice processing.

Automated procurement solutions help you gain visibility into spend, enforce compliance, and drive significant cost savings.

They reduce maverick buying by providing an intuitive online buying experience for employees.

And with built-in integration with suppliers, these platforms make the entire purchasing process more efficient.

When you automate the busy work, you open up opportunities to optimize vendor relationships, spot trends, and gain valuable insights to influence business decisions.

Why Procurement Automation Matters

Procurement automation is a game changer for any business looking to streamline operations and cut costs. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It eliminates manual work. No more sifting through stacks of paperwork or re-entering data into different systems. Automated procurement software handles repetitive tasks so your team can focus on high-impact work.
  • It reduces errors. When you automate the process, you remove the risk of human error that comes with manual data entry and paperwork. The right data gets to the right place every time.
  • It improves compliance. Automated systems have built-in checks to ensure you follow all policies and regulations. They flag any risks instantly so you can avoid penalties and fines.
  • It enhances visibility. An automated procurement system gives you real-time insights into your entire process from requisition to payment. You'll have visibility into KPIs, budgets, approvals, and more at your fingertips.
  • It optimizes costs. Automation streamlines the procurement process, allowing you to redeploy resources to save money. You can also use data insights to negotiate better deals and spot cost-cutting opportunities.

By embracing procurement automation, you'll transform your purchasing process into a strategic powerhouse.

An efficient, cost-effective operation where compliance, accuracy, and productivity reign supreme.

The only question is, what are you waiting for? Take your procurement to the next level with the latest automation technology. Your bottom line will thank you.

Key Benefits of Implementing Procurement Automation

Implementing procurement automation comes with some seriously impactful benefits for your business.

Cost Savings

By automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, companies can reduce labor costs and improve efficiency.

It frees up employees for more value-added activities, such as strategic sourcing and building relationships with suppliers.

Additionally, automation reduces the likelihood of human error in procurement processes, which can lead to cost savings and increased accuracy.

Accelerated Processes

Automation can accelerate many procurement processes, such as order creation and approval.

Faster procurement means businesses can be more responsive to changing market demands, enabling them to stay competitive and drive growth.

Improved Supplier Management

Streamlining supplier selection and evaluation processes through automation improves visibility into supplier performance, leading to better decision-making.

Automating supplier management can also foster more collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships.

Enhanced Compliance and Risk Management

Automation can improve compliance with internal policies and external regulations by making it easier to monitor and track procurement activities. It also helps identify potential risks early on, allowing companies to take proactive measures to mitigate them.

Increase Stakeholder Satisfaction

Speedy PO creation, on-time payments to suppliers, and seamless experiences for requesters and approvers lead to much happier business partners and internal customers.

While implementing new technology can seem daunting, the rewards of procurement automation are well worth the effort.

Significant time and cost savings, improved compliance, data-driven insights, and increased satisfaction are all achievable and sustainable benefits.

Why not start exploring your options today? The future of efficient, effective purchasing is automated.

Key Procurement Automation Technologies

There are various technologies that can be employed to automate procurement processes. Some of the essential ones include:

eSourcing Platforms

eSourcing platforms make it easier to source and evaluate suppliers based on factors like quality, cost, and delivery time.

Online marketplaces, supplier portals, and reverse auction tools are some examples of eSourcing technologies.

eProcurement Systems

eProcurement systems streamline the entire procurement process, from requisition to payment.

Some popular eProcurement solutions include purchase-to-pay (P2P) platforms, procurement software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, and integrated procurement systems.

Contract Management Tools

Contract management tools make it easier to create, store, and track contracts.

By automating contract management, companies can ensure compliance and improve accountability during the procurement process.

Analytics and Reporting Software

By leveraging data analytics and reporting software, businesses can make better-informed procurement decisions and identify areas for improvement.

Advanced analytics tools can also help predict future trends and risks in the procurement landscape.

Best Practices for Implementing Procurement Automation

Once you have the right procurement automation solution in place, follow these best practices to optimize it.

Start with a pilot program

The best way to implement procurement automation is through a controlled pilot program.

Choose a department or category of spend to automate as a trial run. Work out any kinks in the system and get staff accustomed to the new processes before rolling it out company-wide.

Starting small allows you to make tweaks and gain valuable feedback to ensure maximum efficiency when fully deployed.

Standardize data and processes

For procurement automation to work, you need clean, standardized data and well-documented processes.

Review how information is entered into your procurement and financial systems. Develop rules and procedures to ensure consistency going forward.

Any automation tool is only as good as the data and processes that feed into it. Garbage in, garbage out.

Provide adequate training

Don’t just flip the switch on a new automated solution without proper training for staff.

Explain how it works, why specific processes were designed this way, and how it benefits the overall procurement function.

Address any concerns upfront and be available for follow-up questions.

Continuous learning and open communication are key. Staff will be more willing to adopt automation if they understand the rationale and objectives behind it.

Start with high-volume, repetitive tasks

Focus initial automation efforts on repetitive, high-volume tasks like purchase order creation, invoice processing, and vendor onboarding.

These routine jobs are ideal candidates for automation and provide the biggest time savings.

More complex procurement functions can be automated over time as the system learns and processes mature.

Starting with quick wins builds momentum and enthusiasm for continued progress.

Continuously optimize

View procurement automation as an ongoing initiative rather than a one-and-done project.

Regularly evaluate how the automated systems are working and look for new opportunities to expand and improve.

Systems and data are constantly changing, so optimization and refinement must be continuous to achieve maximum efficiency and cost savings over the long run. Continuous improvement is key to operational excellence.

How Sanka Can Help You Automate Your Procurement Process

Sanka is a powerful automation platform that enables businesses to execute procurement automation efficiently. With Sanka, you can:

Streamline Supplier Selection

Sanka provides advanced supplier evaluation tools, making it easier to choose the best suppliers for your needs based on factors like cost, quality, and delivery time.

Automate Purchase Requisition and Approval Workflows

Sanka allows you to customize and automate your purchase requisition and approval processes, enabling faster decision-making and increased efficiency.

Simplify Contract Management

With Sanka, you can create, store, and track contracts more easily, ensuring compliance and improving accountability throughout the procurement process.

Access Intelligent Analytics and Reporting

Sanka offers advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling better-informed procurement decisions and helping you identify areas for improvement.

Conclusion

Procurement automation can transform the way businesses operate, driving improvements in productivity, cost reduction, and risk management.

By leveraging innovative technologies and tools like Sanka, businesses can stay competitive and drive growth in today's fast-paced, digital world.

Now is the time to consider how procurement automation can benefit your organization and unlock new opportunities for success.

Start Free

Contact us for more information.

Free trial & demo
Onboarding support
Estimates & quotes
Consulting
Data migration
Software development