How digital transformation tools future-proof the procurement manager's role

Digitisation transforms the buyer into a digital procurement manager. Traditionally, buyers must devote a significant amount of time to manual and error-prone activities such as checking and comparing documents. Digital automation tools, however, modernise the buyer’s job and future-proof their tasks and role. The key to a smooth digital transformation of the purchasing department lies in the automation of B2B processes. With digital automation tools, buyers can become successful digital procurement managers.  


The traditional buyer

There are various reasons why an outdated and labour-intensive way of working characterises purchasing. For example, it is common for buyers and suppliers to use different ERP systems, leading to media disruptions and interface problems between business partners. In addition, time-intensive tasks like manually checking items and prices on order confirmations and other documents prevent buyers from focusing on more important activities such as relationship management and supplier evaluation. Moreover, manual document processing leads to errors and deviations, causing unclean data, which stifles the purchasing team’s productivity. 

The tasks of the digital procurement manager

The modern buyer is a digital buyer. Nowadays, the tasks of the modern buyer encompass more than basic procurement activities. The three pillars of modern purchasing are internal and external networking, production and value creation, and new digital business models. Making use of digital automation tools, the digital procurement manager combines four main functions:  

  1. As a networked value creation manager, the modern buyer is responsible for establishing partnerships and collaborations for strategic network management.   
  2. As a digital process and data manager, the modern buyer optimises procurement processes and workflows through digitisation and automation. In order to optimise procurement processes, high data quality is necessary. Find out how the automation of document processing leads to higher data quality. 
  3. As a technology and innovation manager, the modern buyer strives to turn purchasing into a growth driver by creating technological innovation partnerships. Read here how procurement teams are driving innovation through process automation 
  4. As a quality manager, the digital procurement manager uses digital automation tools to ensure high data quality along with transparent and reliable risk management. 

The changing role of the digital procurement manager

Through the digitisation of purchasing processes, the role of the modern buyer and its image change. Purchasing increasingly acts as a moderator at the interfaces to internal partners – such as controlling and accounting – and external partners – for example, suppliers – and enables new significant contributions along the value chain. As a digital procurement manager, the modern buyer establishes themself as a resilient business partner both inside and outside the company. Consequently, the digitisation of purchasing leads to a new image for the buyer.  

How can the traditional buyer then become a modern digital procurement manager?

How automation tools future-proof the procurement manager's role

The key to a successful transformation lies in the digitisation and automation of purchasing processes. By using automation tools, procurement can optimise its processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs. The Netfira Platform allows enterprises to automate document processing tasks and free employees of manual, repetitive and error-prone activities. The artificially intelligent cloud solution turns unstructured data into structured data while allowing a fast, uncomplicated and cost-efficient electronic supplier connection with all significant suppliers. In doing so, the Netfira Platform guarantees a bidirectional digital exchange of data and documents with business partners regardless of their processes and ERP systems. As a result, buyers have more time for strategic and value-adding activities and can plan beyond day-to-day business. Digital automation tools thus future-proof the procurement manager’s role. Furthermore, with the help of an individual digitisation roadmap, buyers have the necessary tools to actively shape digital transformation processes within the company and succeed as a digital procurement manager. 

Pfleiderer Case Study

Learn how Pfleiderer successfully digitised its procurement through process automation.