Technology has the capacity to transform an organization, allowing it to become more innovative, agile, proactive, and responsive. The pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to step up the pace of their digital transformations, embracing technology in new and strategic ways. Key areas where technology can make measurable advances are in Purchasing Management including Data-Driven Approval Routing and Workflow functionality.
Even before the global health crisis hit, 92% of company leaders surveyed by McKinsey thought that their business model would not remain viable at their current rates of digitization. What can innovative purchasing automation do for your company?
Here we highlight the 7 must-haves in a Purchasing Management solution.
1. Flexible Approval Processes
A well-designed and well-enforced purchasing requisition process is fundamental to managing spend before it starts. But if the approval process is manual, overly burdensome and lengthy, employees may look for ways to work around the process, sabotaging your efforts to manage spend. An innovative Purchasing Management solution will provide a secure, easy-to-use and flexible Data-Driven Approval Routing and Workflow with mobile accessibility — which promotes user adoption and brings more visibility and corporate compliance of spend under control.
2. ERP Integration
Integrating a Purchasing Management solution with ERP simply makes smart business sense, especially when the integration is out-of-the-box (requiring no costly customizations) and operates in real time. Real-time, out-of-the-box integration promotes many of the attribute’s businesses are looking for in their purchasing and finance systems, including flexibility, control, visibility, and forecasting. These same attributes are also represented in a set of 2019 ERP trends that include a focus on functionality over price, favoring solutions that provide real-time business insights and an increasing move to a two-tier model, that combines more than one software solution or vendor.
4. Punchout Capabilities
PunchOut is a name given to the technical protocol that allows companies to directly connect to suppliers’ product catalogs from within their Purchasing Management software. If a supplier supports PunchOut, a company’s shoppers can browse and shop in real-time on a vendor’s website—without ever leaving the purchasing management solution. Upon check out, the purchasing software creates a requisition, ready for review and approval. Using PunchOut helps companies maintain better control over spending, using approved vendors and negotiated pricing.
5. Supplier Catalogs
A truly innovative Purchasing Management solution will provide the users in your company with a comprehensive multi-supplier catalog with previously negotiated prices. A hosted catalog is the quickest and easiest way for you to add searchable items into your Purchase Management solution. You create a catalog, and you or your buyer can upload it directly allowing users visibility and access to all supplier items without leaving the solution. Discrepancy reports are created and will track the differences between the existing approved catalog and the newly imported one …full audit traceability. A buyer has the authority to either approve or reject a supplier catalog. Once the catalog is approved, it will be available to the rest of the users for purchase requests.
6. Mobile Accessibility
As more companies plan to keep employees working from home indefinitely, technology is needed to ensure vital work processes continue. Mobile capabilities are a top Purchasing Management must have, not just for the purchasing team, but for all employees. Innovative Purchasing Management solutions provide mobile apps that deliver functionality present in the desktop version, including the abilities to request, approve, and receive purchases on the fly; use push notifications to speed up the approval process; snap and attach images of receipts and packing slips; and view budgets and set approval thresholds to keep spending within established limits.
7. Robust Budget Control
A company’s best efforts at spend management can be thwarted when purchases exceed budgeted amounts. Employees may simply not be aware of budget constraints when requesting items or budget values may be unavailable to them. This leaves the job of budget control with the approvers. An innovative Purchasing Management solution will incorporate advanced budgeting engines that enforce the corporate budget throughout the entire requisition and procurement processes.
Purchasing Management with Data-Driven Approval Routing and Workflow — The Right Technology at the Right Time – Click here to learn more.
As companies make the adjustments needed to succeed in the new economy, they’ll look to leverage technology tools capable of delivering a rapid return on investment. Innovative Purchasing Management solutions are one technology delivering measurable ROI. A new Levell research study, The Increasing ROI of Spend Management Automation, found that introducing approval purchasing tools can save a company 65% in the cost per purchase order and 85% in the cost per invoice. The companies that are leading the way out of this crisis, the ones that will outpace and outperform their competitors, are those that use technology, including Purchasing Management, to their full advantage.
ISS Group offers seamless Business Process Improvement (BPI) solutions to organizations using the QAD ERP system to ensure continuity, efficiency and accuracy from remote locations. Our solutions significantly enhance QAD by automating business processes utilizing innovative ‘Data-Driven’ Approval Routing and Workflow technology. This saves your organization time and money while increasing efficiency and productivity.
Contact us at ISS Group to learn more about improving your business processes such as Purchasing, with Data-Driven Approval Routing and Workflow and how to implement this technology in your organization today.
McKinsey: How six companies are using technology and data to transform themselves | McKinsey
Levell Research: The Increasing ROI of Spend Management Automation (levvel.io)