Procurement professionals are a critical part of any successful strategy for purchasing goods and services. These specialists help businesses balance quality and cost, maintain profitability, and develop supplier relationships. However, the widespread supply chain disruptions and fluctuations in demand caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many businesses to reevaluate their risk assessments.
In response to the disruptive events, as well as to mitigate reductions in staff, many companies have turned towards to new software solutions. As companies spend a large portion of their overall budgets on purchasing goods, investing in the right procurement technology can have a significant impact on the bottom line by cutting costs and improving efficiencies. Unfortunately, too many businesses still rely on manual processes to meet these challenges.
Misconceptions about Procurement Technology
Traditionally, companies worked with multiple software solutions to solve specific problems throughout the procurement cycle. However, these platforms were largely inflexible and rarely showed the bigger picture. As a result, many ended up with disparate systems that did not integrate into their larger business framework or strategy.
Today, cloud-based systems have become the norm, limiting the need for on-site servers and local installation. Modern solutions provide capabilities throughout the entire process. With a cloud-based solution, procurement professionals can get easy access to complex data, online auctions and bidding, stock levels, order management, and payment systems. In addition, purchasing and approval rules can be added to the workflow to control spend.
Increasing Efficiency and Visibility
Over the past decades, technology has transformed the way businesses operate. Modern solutions can drive efficiencies, streamline processes, and allow for better visibility. This makes tasks more manageable and enables organizations to scale. Intelligent solutions minimize the risk of human error, enable better service quality, allow for quicker decision-making, and lower the administrative overhead associated with procurement. However, one of the biggest advantages is the amount of data and insight they can provide procurement professionals.
Having large amounts of data at your disposal allows you to make more informed decisions when it comes to controlling spend and assessing risk. When it comes to the supply chain, there is no such thing as knowing too much. Being proactive means being able to identify shortages or bottlenecks before they materialize. That way, procurement professionals can make the necessary adjustments in a timely manner - before disruptive events can impact other critical business functions.
When to Consider a New Solution
2020 was a rough awakening for businesses still relying largely on manual procurement processes. The lack of data and insights made it significantly harder to remain flexible and competitive amid critical disruptions. With tighter budgets and stiff competition, businesses are now looking for ways to streamline their procedures.
Companies that do not get on board will miss out substantially. They will continue to work with inefficient processes that waste time, create frustration, require added effort, and increase costs. Using digital tools will make the process faster and easier. In addition, companies will be able to maximize their efficiency, solve complex problems, forecast future needs, and above all, control spend. Using technology-driven supply management solutions drives greater value. 2020 was a shock to the system that highlighted the need for timely investment in the right types of solutions.
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