Every company is looking for ways to put themselves ahead of the competition and stay in the lead. With C-level interest turning toward the operations improvements that come from transitioning to best practices and new technologies, procurement is being looked at as a means to advance the strategic interests of business.
Based on an article on Big Fat Finance Blog a few weeks ago, executives are using procurement to reach company goals beyond simply purchasing needed products and services. Approximately 64% of survey respondents claimed they had already automated some, if not all, of their procurement. It’s a survey that represents the growing automation trend, as companies look to find ways to minimize the amount of human interaction required to perform tasks that do not directly generate revenue. Additionally, 75% claimed they were looking at their procurement processes with a more strategic eye.
Technology is rising to the challenge by reducing costs and connecting all segments of the supply chain. Weaving a cohesive procurement strategy requires companies to streamline processes, centralize information, improve communications and visibility between the company and its suppliers, and enforce policy compliance and consistency. SaaS and on-premise procurement software is making it easier for companies to do that and more by offering e-procurement, e-invoicing and services that keep you directly connected to suppliers. Beyond streamlining important business processes, interlinking these solutions helps build a unified network that transcends borders.
Procurement must become connected, informed, and collaborative with all players in the supply value chain. This is where it becomes strategic, where you look at procurement less as a necessary evil and more as an opportunity to save money and labor that can be diverted elsewhere while bringing the entire process up to a new level. Phone tag and boxes of paper invoices simply cannot compete with instant access to suppliers, shipment status, billing, catalogs and product availability that can be accessed in just a couple of mouse clicks.
Business strategy is evolving as fast as technology – the best results come from combining the two in a way that perfectly fits your own business.