As markets and businesses around the world look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, they must turn to digital procurement as a key part of the solution. Digital procurement enables organizations to drive the bottom line forward — even when short-term, top-of-the-line revenue is slowing — and offers much-needed spend visibility.
Knowing where and how much you are spending is critical for financial management and growth, both in times of crisis and beyond. While the current situation may be challenging, procurement leaders are in the perfect “sweet spot” to help rebuild operations — if they have the right tools and resources in place.
Road to Recovery
In the new remote work era, it is imperative to have business applications that an employee can use from anywhere and at any time. Procurement is no exception. When operational challenges arise, many organizations do not have the right tools and technologies to help manage their financial and procurement functions away from their office desks. The use of physical papers, whether it be mail, invoices, or even cashing checks, creates avoidable inefficiencies and costly errors. Companies can no longer afford a slowdown related to purchasing and AP functions. Enter digitization.
Digitizing and automating the procure to pay process can greatly benefit organizations, even once they resume business as usual. Digital procurement allows you to track numerous assets, such as spend, PO, invoices, goods, supplier data and more, all in one convenient and easy-to-use platform, ensuring spend visibility and transparency. Armed with a holistic view of operations and properly managed spend, procurement leaders can make smart, informed financial decisions both immediately and into the future.
Digitizing procurement functions also leads to increased employee adoption. In today’s world, employees will do what they need to be efficient and productive, even if it means breaking the rules. This causes rogue spending and maverick buying and opens you up to risks and increased costs. The right procurement technology fixes this. Equipped with a consumer-like buying experience and user-friendly interface, you can give your employees a system they will actually want to use while you maintain corporate and financial controls.
Many teams are operating with finite resources and allocating time and budget to validate data and fix errors is not a possibility — and it doesn’t have to be. Digitizing can lower the labor costs and challenges that come with manual management while improving efficiencies and accuracy. Instead of wasting resources manually approving PO’s and managing invoices needed to keep your business running, digital procurement enables your team to focus on what matters most — like big picture, innovative decisions — by making their job faster and easier.
'Where Do I Start?'
In the recipe for successful procurement, the first step is to implement a system that digitizes AP and purchasing functions from the top down, including suppliers, purchasing, invoices, payments and reporting. Then you can start to measure your procurement ROI and optimize accordingly for even further realized value.
Taking advantage of the right technology is essential to building success. Procurement leaders can rest easy knowing that they have digitization as their secret weapon, no matter what crisis may hit.
Joe Fox is CEO of Vroozi.
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