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.
The global shipping crisis and procurement: why automate order confirmations?
Procurement and the uncertain new world
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented global disruption to businesses and consumers alike. The pandemic led to a drastic shift in consumer demand for certain goods. This demand was met with widespread lockdowns, causing many workers to remain at home, and has resulted in a massive shipping backlog and a global shortage of key materials and components. In May 2021, container ships were estimated to be spending an average of 33 hours anchored due to port congestion, up from only 8 hours in May 2019. This disruption has been felt by businesses across the globe, regardless of size. In September, for example, Toyota announced a 40% reduction in car manufacturing in light of a computer chip shortage. However, the pandemic alone is not to blame for the current global shipping crisis. In March 2021, a 400-meter-long container ship was blown off course by strong winds and caused a 6-day blockage of the Suez Canal, a vital passage linking Europe and Asia. The Suez Canal blockage is estimated to have cost $9 billion per day and highlights the need for business leaders to future-proof their processes against disruption in an uncertain and interconnected world.
What makes purchase order confirmations so important?
Purchase orders are legally binding contracts between the supplier and the buyer, but that legal protection is not valid until the purchase order confirmation is issued. If the purchase order is not confirmed and accepted by the supplier, it is not a contract. Moreover, without the purchase order confirmation, it is impossible to know whether or not a supplier actually received the order and is in the process of fulfillment. As soon as the supplier confirms the purchase order, the buyer receives a confirmation number by e-mail he or she can reference in the event that there is an issue with the order. Purchase order confirmations are also vital because the confirmed date will be taken into account when the system checks the material availability. Consequently, purchase order confirmations serve a legal as well as an operational function ensuring smooth procurement activities.
Why purchase orders and purchase order confirmations need to be compared
Documents that do not match perfectly represent different expectations for buyer and supplier and expose both to the risk of litigation. In addition, important details such as delivery dates are confirmed in a purchase order confirmation, making this transaction crucial to smooth business operations. Therefore, it is important that the buyer checks the confirmation against the purchase order, and contacts the business partner in case any discrepancy is found.