Industry 4.0 and procurement

Digitalisation, automation and optimisation have become indispensable in today’s industry. A new technological age has dawned. As a result, experts keep talking about the 4th industrial revolution. But this is not a sure-fire success – rather, business and industry have to adapt their processes, approaches and business models in order to remain future-proof and competitive in the modern technological business world – and to meet the challenges of the corona pandemic. Consequently, the Industry 4.0 project, the comprehensive digitisation of industrial production and the intelligent networking of machines, systems and processes must be implemented in all areas and at all levels.

The 4th industrial revolution and digital transformation are of central importance for purchasing and supply chain management. The future complexity of digitised business processes and the resulting data volume require intelligent approaches. While digitisation initially meant the conversion of analog formats into digital data so that they can be processed with the aid of computers, today digitisation also means digital networking of processes and products in real time with the growing size and complexity of data structures (data lake, big data and smart data). This data offers the potential for new business models that would not be possible without the digital networking of corporate processes.

As a survey carried out by BME and Netfira on the professionalisation of operational purchasing shows, when it comes to digitisation, purchasing is does not live uo to its potential. More than half of the respondents are still struggling with mountains of paper. At this point, the basic level of digitisation, the conversion of analog formats into digital data, has not yet been reached. This is where the software solution from Netfira comes in, which enables a digital, bidirectional exchange of documents and data between purchasing and its business partners without media disruptions. At the same time, Netfira guarantees the uncomplicated and flexible electronic connection of suppliers with the Netfira platform.

The digitisation of products and processes is the prerequisite for the creation and functioning of digital business models. In addition, good data quality is an essential prerequisite for the successful digitisation of business processes and models. The innovative software solution for procurement from Nefira can help here, because the solution automates the entire exchange of data and documents, compares and saves them in the E-Business Suite. This means: Creation of automated standard processes along the chain of consumer – purchasing – accounting – supplier, with error-free exchange of data and documents on the basis of cleaned or enriched (master) data. Thanks to Netfira, the automation and standardisation of business processes and the cleaning of master data goes hand in hand.

The Netfira solution, which works with innovative AI and state-of-the-art app technologies, offers intelligent approaches to setting up and expanding digitised business processes and managing large amounts of data. Used correctly, AI brings enormous added value – because it leads to automation, simplification and acceleration in B2B communication. It can support the exchange of information and at the same time relate content. During processing, it imitates the human behaviour of those involved in the process. In operational purchasing, this applies to the extraction of data, the validation of information, the comparison of data and information as well as the further processing or transfer of the correct information to the downstream company systems. With the AI-based solution from Netfira, for example, orders, order confirmations, delivery schedules, invoices and other documents can be automatically exchanged and processed between manufacturers and customers or suppliers – in real time and bidirectionally.

Ideal combination – just like Netfira does it: AI is “coupled” to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. This means that, for the first time, unstructured data can also be harmonized in free texts or documents such as order confirmations and customer orders. Deviating terms in supplier documents, ambiguous units of measurement or rare languages are no longer a problem as AI is constantly learning. Manual interventions are no longer necessary. Moreover, AI is the future for connecting business partners. Already today, all important suppliers, even the small ones, can be quickly and easily connected with the AI-powered software solution from Netfira. Digitisation with the help of AI will design, monitor and optimise the operational SCM and the required resources in the future.

Netfira enables a quick and uncomplicated entry into the automation of business processes and, with its future-oriented technologies, forms the basis for the increasingly important digital connection of corporate processes. Furthermore, with Netfira the foundation stone has been laid for the development of workflow-based cooperation models and organisational structures with shared data management.

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