How procurement teams are driving innovation through process automation

Rapid advancements in digital technologies allow purchasing to use future-proof automation solutions to drive corporate innovation through process automation. A key to achieving such process automation is the implementation of digital technologies that enable teams to achieve and exceed their potential. While these technologies range in their availability and implementation cycles, purchasing automation tools are readily available now. Stifled by an outdated way of working, purchasing workflows too often rely on manual tasks. The Netfira Platform allows purchasing teams to drive innovation and initiate the digital transformation in their company.  


Purchasing lacks digital processes

Industry 4.0 has seen the rapid automation of traditionally manual and labour-intensive processes. Despite this, purchasing departments are characterised by outdated ways of working. The lack of technical standards and automated workflows in transactional procurement places companies at a disadvantage compared to competitors backed by the process automation enjoyed by digital procurement teams. The role of buyers includes manually requesting, checking and comparing documents such as purchase order confirmations and invoices. These activities are time-consuming, error-prone and prevent individuals and teams from focusing on strategic and value-adding tasks.

Challenges of implementing digital tools

 There are many challenges procurement teams face when adopting digital tools to automate their processes, including:  

1. Different ERP systems   

While Oracle and SAP remain market leaders for ERP software, there is an increasing number of options on the market that challenge the major providers and serve specific niches. In addition, it is common for buyers and suppliers to use different ERP systems, leading to media disruptions and interface problems between business partners.   

2. Unclean data  

Dirty data stretches from misspelt vendor names to deviations in units of measure and is a challenge faced by procurement teams every day. Ensuring clean data is a crucial step towards process automation and an essential way to gain a competitive advantage. Read more about How to increase data quality in procurement.  

3. Difficulties connecting business partners  

Despite the best efforts of EDI software providers to create portals and platforms that digitally connect business partners, many suppliers and vendors continue to rely on traditional, time-honoured processes. This places emphasis on procurement teams to implement digital tools that seamlessly integrate with the existing processes of their business.   

The benefits of the Netfira Platform

The Netfira Platform allows organisations 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. Purchasing can thus increase its efficiency, optimise its processes and reduce costs through process automation. Buyers are afforded more time for strategic and value-adding tasks leading to added value to purchasing departments and the entire organisation.   

Pfleiderer Case Study

Learn how Pfleiderer successfully digitised its procurement through process automation.