For some years now, the procurement area has been contributing significantly to savings and competitiveness of businesses. As the sector evolved over the years, processes of the operational kind – which are often bureaucratic and time-consuming – can be automated through increasingly robust technologies and digital solutions.

Procurement automation frees buyers from operational routine, so they can focus their efforts on strategies that add value to the business. Additionally, the automation of processes helps professionals in accessing to data and insights in real time, making decisions more agile and effective.

The key stages of the procurement flow can be automated:

See below the main benefits of automation in procurement, along with the impacts for you and your team:

The main benefits of procurement automation

  1. Savings

The digitization of procurement processes reduces the sector’s operating costs, as it eliminates the key manual tasks for buyers, thus optimizing time and resources.

Besides, by automating the procurement steps, buyers are free to focus on strategies that can generate more profits for the business.

Instead of the bureaucratic and costly operational daily tasks, buyers can look for better prices in negotiations with suppliers, savings and excellent payment conditions.

  1. Productivity

Procurement processes that haven’t been digitized yet depend on spreadsheets, e-mails and printed paper, impacting the productivity and efficiency of the procurement team.

Faced with the transformations of Industry 4.0, procurement management no longer must be manual and demand a great deal of operational effort from the team.

The excess of operational work can also jeopardize the organizational environment and even the relationship between professionals and suppliers.

  1. Easy access to information

With the automation of procurement processes, all acquisition-related actions are recorded, and can be integrated to other systems and departments.

The consolidation of data is another gain, as records are no longer located in different files and e-mails, where they run the risk of being lost or deleted.

The choice to digitize the procurement flow will also avoid the loss of key information for future decisions.

  1. Communication and collaboration

Communication and collaboration with suppliers are crucial to streamline procurement processes and meet customer needs.

With access to data on the status of an order, for instance, you can anticipate possible delays and work together with suppliers for solutions.

The strengthening of communication and collaboration, by means of digital solutions, makes also future negotiations with your suppliers much easier.

  1. More accurate information

In most businesses, procurement handles a huge volume of orders every day. Therefore, with manual processes, failures and delays in procurement are very common.

When requests arrive without the required specifications, for instance, the buyer is unable to complete the order.

On the other hand, in a digitized environment, with unique tools to manage procurement processes, you can create business rules to enable that all information is filled in properly.

  1. Negotiation with suppliers

The stage of negotiation with suppliers is one of the most important for procurement area performance.

Automation allows buyers to be released from the daily operation tasks, so they can dedicate their time to negotiations with suppliers – with more chances of achieving savings.

In addition, there are already digital tools at your disposal, such as ME’s e-Procurement, which consolidates the values of suppliers’ proposals and calculates savings automatically.

  1. Order consolidation

It’s usual, for the procurement area, to get requests through different channels and from different people in the company, without a defined flow.

In addition to impairing the buyers’ daily tasks, these decentralized processes can result in wrong purchases, missed deadlines and incomplete quotations, among other problems.

With the use of automated solutions, procurement orders are consolidated on a single platform, which allows also an efficient management of resources and workflow.

  1. Visibility and transparency

The financial health of a company depends on different factors, and the conscious use of resources is related to this indicator directly.

With the automation of procurement, managers can track all flow stages, in real time, and check if everything is being done in accordance with the organization’s rules.

It’s a way to strengthen the company’s compliance and encourage employees to work in accordance with good supplier management practices, for instance.

  1. Procurement history

Automating the area’s processes provides easier access to procurement history, and allows buyers to better plan future purchases.

Based on previous purchases, you can identify negotiation opportunities with suppliers, and find lower prices and better payment terms, for instance.

Furthermore, purchase history can be used to assess supplier performance with regard to product quality, prices, delivery times and other important criteria.

  1. Competitiveness

Process automation reduces costs, optimizes processes, and cuts time and effort required to keep operations running.

Additionally, by automating operational processes, businesses will become more agile and flexible when managing procurement processes.

All these advantages can allow organizations to be more efficient and competitive, in an increasingly competitive market.

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