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Digital Technologies for Efficient Procurement

Businesses are adopting a new way of doing things in the face of disruptive technology, organization procurement are using digital tools to build a more efficient bottom line and greater top-line growth. Inspired by either prominence or recognized technologies, digital-enabled businesses will become smarter, swift and more scalable. The advance progress of disruptive digital technologies is changing both the customers’ expectations and business operations.

Digital is no longer just about using technologies to capture or create values, the focus of procurement will be on collaboration with a network of external and internal partners to create novel, innovative business models. Backed by real-time access to market data and trends, procurement can offer important information for top-line strategic decisions by detailed data, analytical tools, collaboration technologies and strategic sourcing.

Clouds-Based Platforms

Procurement needs to move completely to the cloud, cloud-based procurement platforms are no longer considered the leading edge of technology, they are in fact mainstream. Using cloud procurement solutions, organizations can eliminate inefficiencies and streamline the procurement end-to-end process.

Relaying on such solutions allow procurement to automate, simplify, connect and integrate procure-to-pay processes swiftly at a lower cost.

The best benefit of moving procurement process to a cloud-based platform is the cost-effectiveness. Organizations do not require huge upfront investments nor hefty maintenance fees to use the solution. Many online procurement solutions offer pay-as-you-use subscription plans that allow organizations to streamline their procurement process while keeping the operational expenses to a minimum. As there is no IT investment involved, organizations have the freedom to withdraw from the services any time they want, no obligation attach.

Traditional packaged procurement software is usually a disconnected piece of code that stands apart from other existing procure-to-pay tools. In today technologies, nearly all cloud-based platforms offer seamless integration capabilities through API integration. This end-to-end integration capability eliminate data redundancy and manual intervention.

A procurement system supply a seamless flow of information throughout the organization, regardless of role, department or location. Cloud procurement software accelerate the decision-making process and reduces the overall turnaround time of the procure-to-pay cycle through swift data retrieval and seamless collaboration.

One of the greatest advantages of automated procurement software is user-friendly. Cloud procurement tools offer businesses the ability to meet evolving market demands rapidly without any expensive upgrade.Its flexible nature offers a faster time-to-market by reducing the time taken to implement and customize the product around their processes while maintaining cost and time-savings. Depending on the requirements, businesses can choose to scale their subscription plan up or down.

Cloud procurement solutions normally come with a simple dashboard that provides a bird’s-eye view of the procure-to-pay process. Using the dashboard and development measures, users can track the status of any purchase at a glance. Real-time with 360-degree visibility helps organizations to identify process gaps and fix them on the move to enhance process efficiency. These easy-to-interpret visual reports come in useful during the decision-making and strategic planning process.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Technology

Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is a software that recognizes and learns patterns and can perform rule-based tasks. This process is used to automate multiple repetitive manual tasks, improve productivity and reducing errors in execution, particularly in operational procure-to-pay (P2P) process. Many procurement organizations use RPA for automation and compliance across transactional activities, which in turn have more resources to focus on strategic business growth.

Applying RPA to procurement will aid in supplier sourcing, selection and managing of suppliers’ performances, it would analysis and make the best recommendation of the supplier according to the demand. RPA also help to foster good supplier relationship, ensure that payment is being pay on time. Another function of RPA is the pricing for products can be handled by “bots” using e-auctions, the process will inform buyer and any changes in the pricing will be communicated with the suppliers, all these can be done on a regular basis with minimum human interaction.

To summarize, RPA strengthen human resources with virtual “bots” to enhance productivity and allow people to focus on activities that add value. It is critical to note that RPA is about automating the workforce, not about adding costs or complexity to the existing IT infrastructure, RPA is a seamless process that would bring significant qualitative and quantitative benefits.

Mobile Communication Technology

Mobile phone has become an integral part of our life and not only for personal communication. Procurement needs to embrace this fast-accelerating trend, allowing stakeholders to take part in procurement functions at any time from any place. The demand and expectations for procurement process to take place in mobile services will be rising with the increasing millennial population in the workplace.


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References

Expert Commentator. (2019). “Top advantages of using technology in the procurement process”. Retrieved from: https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/top-advantages-using-technology-procurement-process/, accessed 16/03/2021.

Gaurav Blockchain. (2020) “How Companies Like Walmart Are Gaining Fame In The Blockchain World”. Retrieved from: https://blog.coincodecap.com/how-walmart-is-using-blockchain, accessed 18/03/2021.

Giles Breault. (2018). “Procurement Agility in the Age of Digitalisation”. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/swlh/procurement-agility-in-the-age-of-digitalisation-e5b9a71da9dd, accessed 18/03/2021.

Keat Yap, et.al. (2018). “Procurement: Riding the digital wave”. Retrieved from: https://www.de.kearney.com/procurement/article?/a/procurement-riding-the-transformative-digital-wave, accessed 16/03/2021.

Kissflow. (2021). “What is Cloud Procurements and why is it more important than ever?”. Retrieved from: https://kissflow.com/procurement/cloud-procurement-benefits, accessed 18/03/2021.

Li Gui Li, ADPSM. (2020). “Five Digital Technologies for Procurement Optimization”. Retrieved from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/five-digital-technologies-procurement-optimization, accessed 16/03/2021.

Ma Hwee Na, DPSM. (2018). “Adopting New Technologies for Effective Procurement”. Retrieved from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/adopting-new-technologies-effective-procurement, accessed 16/03/2021.

Philip Charles Loges, ADPSM. (2019). “Crucial Digital Technologies for Effective   Procurement”. Retrieved from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/crucial-digital-technologies-effective-procurement, accessed 16/03/2021.

Kelly Ho Lay Tin, SDDP
Kelly Ho Lay Tin, SDDP
Kelly Ho Lay Tin has substantive years of experience in the specialized field of procurement, specifically in the early childhood sector. She holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Singapore Polytechnic and is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Kelly completed the Specialist Diploma in Digital Procurement (SDDP) on March 2021 at SIPMM Institute.
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