Why process automation in procurement leads to success in Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, the comprehensive digitisation of industrial production, leads to increasingly complex digitised business processes and an enormous data volume. Procurement should focus on process automation through digital automation tools to be a successful part of Industry 4.0. Innovative cloud-based software solutions like the Netfira Platform automate and streamline processes through automated document exchange and Artificial Intelligence while increasing data quality.  

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What is Industry 4.0.?

Digitalisation, automation and optimisation have increasingly become disruptors in today’s industry. As a result, a new technological age, which many consider to be the 4th industrial revolution, has dawned. Experts refer to this development as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 means the comprehensive digitisation of industrial production and the intelligent networking of machines, systems and processes. Consequently, businesses must adapt their processes, approaches and business models to remain future-proof and competitive in the modern technological business world. 

What does Industry 4.0 mean for procurement?

The 4th industrial revolution and digital transformation are of great importance for purchasing teams. The future complexity of digitised business processes and the resulting data volume require intelligent approaches. Initially, digitisation meant the conversion of analog formats into digital data to be processed with the aid of computers. Today, digitisation also means the digital networking of processes and products in real-time with the growing size and complexity of data structures. This data offers the potential for new business models. For Industry 4.0, process automation through digital automation tools is the key to successful modern procurement.  

Process automation in procurement through automated document exchange

Outdated ways of working often characterise purchasing departments. The duties of buyers include manually requesting, checking and comparing documents such as purchase order confirmations and invoices. These activities are time-consuming, error-prone and prevent them from focusing on more important or urgent tasks. This is where the Netfira Platform brings noticeable relief. The cloud-based platform automates document processing and enables a digital bidirectional exchange of documents and data between purchasing and its business partners without media disruptions. At the same time, Netfira allows an uncomplicated and fast electronic supplier connection. 

Artificial Intelligence as the basis for process automation in procurement

AI is another vital factor for automating processes and workflows in procurement. Read more on how AI revolutionises operational procurement. 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 relate content at the same time. 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, and the further processing or transfer of the correct information to the downstream company systems. The Netfira Platform, 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. For example, orders, order confirmations, delivery schedules, invoices, and other documents can be automatically exchanged and processed with AI by procurement and its business partners. 

Process automation in procurement for better data quality

Clean data is an essential prerequisite for the successful digitisation of business processes. Despite this, many procurement teams are held back by poor data quality. The Netfira Platform solves this problem by automating the manual processes where data originates. Automated document processing with the cloud-hosted Netfira Platform leads to an increased quality of master data. Thanks to Netfira, the automation and standardisation of business processes and the cleaning of master data go hand in hand. Find out more how the automation of document processing increases data quality for a competitive edge in procurement.

Conclusion

For purchasing, Industry 4.0 means driving forward the digitisation and automation of processes and workflows. The Netfira Platform enables a quick and uncomplicated entry into the automation of B2B document exchange processes. AI and automated document processing allow purchasing to automate its workflows and to improve its data quality. Only then can purchasing benefit from Big Data and new digital business models.  

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