Five reasons for purchasing to focus on process optimisation through automation

Outdated and inefficient ways of working often characterise purchasing departments. Manual activities which are time-consuming and error-prone prevent purchasing teams from focusing on more important tasks. In an increasingly digitised B2B world, purchasing needs to optimise its processes and improve operational efficiency to stay competitive and resilient. Automating purchasing processes with digital automation tools leads to increased process optimisation. Here are five reasons why purchasing should focus on process optimisation through automation.

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1. Purchasing departments that automate their processes are more successful.

Automating the steps along the P2P process offers numerous competitive advantages such as reducing the stress placed on procurement managers and allowing them to focus their energy elsewhere as demonstrated by Netfira’s client Gardner Denver’s global commodity manager: “We can reduce manual activities to a minimum so that we have more time for important tasks.” Learn here how the Netfira Platform helped Gardner Denver achieve process optimisation through automating operational purchasing processes.  

2. Purchasing teams that invest in automation can realise their full potential.

Essential purchasing tasks are often neglected due to the exhaustive manual activities that dominate day-to-day work. Automated document processing reduces the manual workload on team members while increasing reliability, enabling shorter processing times and reducing costs. Buyers can complete tasks more efficiently, quickly, and with greater foresight which unlocks the strategic, creative and value-adding potential of the procurement team. They can use the time gained for other important activities such as supplier relations.  

3. Buyers that build on digital and automated processes make more reliable business partners.

Automated processes based on cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), app technologies or cloud solutions enable more foresight and flexibility towards unforeseen challenges or customer requirements. Moreover, these digital automation tools help to transform buyers into digital buyers. The three pillars of modern procurement are internal and external networking, production and value creation, and the establishment of new digital business models. Purchasing acts as a moderator at the interfaces to internal partners – such as controlling and accounting – and external partners – for example suppliers – and increases contributions along the value chain. As digital managers, buyers establish themselves as resilient business partners both inside and outside the company. In our blog article you can find more information how digital transformation tools future-proof the procurement manager’s role.  

4. Purchasing departments that use new technologies can act more efficiently and transparently.

New automation technologies are drivers of process optimisation in purchasing. Digital automation tools powered by Artificial Intelligence, robotic process automation (RPA) and cloud computing support a modern and efficient working style. AI and RPA digitise and automate repetitive, manual and error-prone processes. Find out in our blog post why AI in particular is suitable for automating processes and document flows in procurement. Cloud solutions make your company more flexible, agile and futureproof. SaaS solutions eliminate the need to purchase, install, maintain and update hardware and software. Buyers can use the applications immediately. Cloud-based SaaS solutions stand for efficiency, cost-effectiveness and scalability. Read more about the benefits of a SaaS solution for procurement in our blog article. 

5. Purchasing departments that drive process optimisation through automation will remain competitive in the long run.

Process optimisation does not happen automatically – if purchasing wants to be future-proof and remain competitive in the age of Industry 4.0, it needs to adapt its processes, approaches and business models. The future complexity of digitised business processes and the resulting volume of data require intelligent approaches. Furthermore, good data quality is a mandatory prerequisite for the successful digitisation and automation of business processes. Software solutions for the automation of purchasing processes enable process optimisation and operational efficiency.  

Conclusion: process optimisation through automation

It is important to automate purchasing processes to ensure teams are equipped to face unforeseen challenges and seize future opportunities quickly. Digitisation and process optimisation lead to an increase in efficiency, cost reductions as well as flexibility and agility in a complex and challenging B2B world.  

Whitepaper: Document automation along the P2P process

Syntegon case study

With a global roll-out of the Netfira Platform, Syntegon aims to automate and standardise purchasing processes at all locations. The Netfira Platform is used as the only automation solution for all existing ERP systems.

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