Digital Procurement to Automate, Organize and Optimize

Does your organization operate an optimized Procurement process?  If not - then often it’s stressful, slow or even chaotic - and that leads to less-than-optimal performance and outcomes.

Stave ProcurementPath, which is available on ServiceNow, enables your organization to take a huge step forward in the automation, organization, and optimization of your procurement process. It provides a guided, step-by-step approach to ensures your company can streamline procurement activities and deliver value to the business.

Here are five examples of how digital automation can transform the day-to-day procurement problems for your company.

 

1. Move from Manual Execution to Workflow Driven Process

Are you still planning procurements using manual notes and writing proposals from scratch? Does requirements planning happen in long strings of confusing emails? These approaches are very out of date, but still very common in procurement organizations.  

By introducing a workflow-driven procurement process, you can eliminate the chaos and frustration of old-fashioned planning, requirements gathering, approvals, execution, and tracking. Everything in the procurement process is managed using defined procurement workflows with key information maintained in a central procurement repository, which your team can access and interact with digitally.

With digital procurement, when it’s time to evaluate RFP responses, everyone involved can participate through the platform, formally ask questions, and provide documented approval or disapproval. This keeps the procurement process flowing smoothly from start to finish with a clear understanding of what the status is and where any roadblocks are.

 

2. Ensure Collaboration - Even When You Can’t Get Everyone in the Same Place at the Same Time

One reason many existing procurement processes is frustrating is that it’s nearly impossible to get everyone together to discuss the procurement needs.  

 A modern procurement platform solves this problem - it allows procurement users and participants to collaborate online from any electronic device - desktop or mobile.  Online collaboration enables remote or traveling workers to participate in the process, even if they never are in the same physical location as the procurement team. All users will have the required access to the system and their approved data and/or tasks, anytime and anywhere, using secure login credentials.

 

3. Select Best Vendor, Every Time, Using a Data-Driven Approach

Selecting the best Vendors for a procurement can be a complex task that involves knowing a huge amount of information that goes beyond price: compliance with the full range of proposal requirements, past performance (including historical vendor performance and financial stability), compliance with certifications & regulations, and much more. It can be a full-time job to track of all the factors involved in holistically evaluating vendors.

 A digital procurement platform provides insight and analytics to help you make the best decision with the information available. It provides a central repository for key information so your team can focus on the complex task of decision-making and enable proactive notification of important details you might otherwise have missed to avoid missing key information that may drive less optimal decisions.

 

4. Move From ‘Best Effort’ Future Demand Planning to Real-time, Rolling Forecasts

Don’t you wish you had a crystal ball that would allow you to look into your company’s future? Most organizations struggle to accurately make procurements for future periods including the like the size, timing, and priority of goods and services they will require. While the next month is often easy to plan for, it’s much harder to plan for 1, 4 or 8 quarters to ensure the right contracts, inventory levels and carrying costs, and discounts are optimized.

 Digital procurement helps companies with this challenge by offering a method to plan for a rolling forecast based on historical purchasing, current company planning and growth projections, and statistical analysis reports.

Moving to a rolling forecast capability can help plan the exact resource requires you’ll need in the future while integrating current consumption data to ensure you have a real-time, always up-to-date look at inventory and goods levels. A forecasting model allows your organization to identify future procurement workloads, prioritize needs, and adjust staffing levels to stay on track and ensure the business is spending its money efficiently.

 

5. Enable your Business - Use Your Procurement Data History and Forecasts to Plan for Seasonal and Demand Driven Variations

Forecasting also makes a big difference in managing periodic or seasonal variation in the workload. Often times different seasons operate on different throughput and resource demand variations.  You often can’t base your Q3 purchasing on Q2; you must base it on season fluctuation from last Q3.    

 When you to bring historical analysis into the process, you’re creating more accurate forecasts for everything you purchase— not just direct materials you need to rely on a procurement platform. You need to have easy access to historic variations based on demand by factors including seasonality, changing growth rates, fluctuating purchase costs and discount levels, new marketing or product initiatives, hiring changes, and other business factors that drive procurement.  

 

ProcurementPath: Digital Procurement to Organize and Optimize Purchasing in Your Organization

Digitalizing procurement allows a company to make better long-term decisions, saving serious money, while reducing procurement timelines, and increasing user satisfaction and loyalty - customers often report savings of 3 - 5% of total spend.

 Organize and optimize with Stave ProcurementPath, a cloud-based digital productivity tool that streamlines the procurement process. See a video about how it works, go try it out in the ServiceNow Store, or connect with Stave to learn more.