Workflow automation can solve serious issues of communication, collaboration, cost, and efficiency across the entire organization. One area where it excels? In procurement automation.
According to Procurement Bulletin, what are the five most difficult obstacles for procurement professionals?
1. Lack of internal communication, leading to poor collaboration between purchasers and the rest of the organization.
2. External communication blocks between purchasers and vendors/suppliers, creating inefficiency and error.
3. Cost control, so purchasers spend wastefully, and the procurement process itself is inefficient.
4. Improper focus as procurers aren’t in tune with operations, leading to missed opportunities, increased costs, and more.
5. Failure to streamline the process, as procurement fails to integrate with corporate strategy and misses out on becoming a key player in demand management.
Procurement automation helps hurdle these obstacles
Properly implemented, using the right software, workflow automation can help address every one of these issues.
A well-designed procurement automation workflow will drive better communication and collaboration among all the participants and stakeholders in the buying process.
Those making procurement/sourcing requests will submit precise information using smart online forms, which can then be perfectly routed for review and approval in timely fashion; vendors can be looped into the process, too, so everyone is accessing and collaborating on a common task, speeding up execution while slashing errors and costs.
Here’s an actual use case where one of our TAP Workflow Automation clients designed and published a faster, more streamlined procurement process.
A smarter, more streamlined procurement process
Using smart, self-guiding online forms, employees are able to initiate the procurement process without the traditional drudgeries of going through a paper-based RFX. Rather, the digital form they use automatically pulls information about the vendor if they’re already in the database, determines the right individuals to route the form to for review (someone in the legal department or finance, for instance), and automatically routes it to those process participants.
Automated reminders keep people engaged in the workflow, so requests are promptly looked off and sent to the next person in line. If someone is too tardy on reviewing a request? Their supervisor can be alerted. Since all requests are centrally viewable from a single dashboard, managers know what’s been requested, and the progress of every procurement workflow.
Benefits that drive quick adoption (and ROI)
The features and benefits of procurement automation with a SaaS-based workflow automation solution? They’re enough to bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened procurement professional.
- Self-service online forms direct employees through an error-free request process.
- Easy forms and template creation and process configuration happen without any coding, thanks to drag-and-drop UI.
- Ease of form design allows specialized template creation for every type of procurement request.
- Automatic notifications of all stakeholders can go out at any designated stage of a request workflow.
- A unified dashboard provides oversight of all ongoing and historic requests and processes.
- A standardized, single-platform solution eliminates manual mistakes and delays, and drives sizable time and cost savings across all RFX processes.
- Organizational agility is enhanced by accelerating mission-critical processes.
- Automatic centralized archiving of workflow data and assets provides for detailed recordkeeping and review helps satisfy Sarbanes Oxley.