My colleague Thomas Krier and I recently hosted a webinar, Automating Procurement on ServiceNow, to highlight the advanced features of our procurement tool ProcurementPath. Watch the full recording here:
I wanted to share some thoughts that came from this information-packed presentation about the procurement automation features enabled by ServiceNow. I’m excited to show you how Stave makes procurement so much faster and easier.
Enabling Procurement on the ServiceNow Platform
If you’re familiar with ServiceNow, you know it’s one of the most powerful cloud platforms anywhere on Earth. It has experienced tremendous growth recently, but here’s something you might not realize: It started out as a workflow automation platform.
Today, ServiceNow is famous for solving the challenging problems posed by having multiple lines of business within any single organization. It streamlines all the silos into a single system of record.
All the things that were traditionally so time-consuming, like manual and error-prone processes, can now be executed with precise consistency. Plus, management has complete visibility into the pipeline.
For procurement, there’s a technology that makes sourcing, contract management, supplier on-boarding, and other activities so much easier. Adopting ServiceNow for procurement has just become a no-brainer.
Automation Opportunity in Procurement
There is an enormous opportunity for task automation in the procurement process. A McKinsey & Company study found these staggering stats about the percentage of procurement tasks that can be automated:
Take a moment to digest those numbers. This is an opportunity for huge savings in terms of manpower and resources, freeing up your company to focus on things like new product development and stellar customer service.
Still Doing Manual Procurement Activity? You’re Not Alone.
During the webinar, we took a quick poll to see how many of our participants are still generating purchase orders manually. This is a pain point we’ve seen in the field again and again. Without software that uses data fields, templates, and workflows, POs can be a real headache.
Fully 36% of the webinar participants are still generating these POs manually and another 36% are doing them at least partially manually. So, 72% still struggle with manual purchase order processes. Only 18% said they have already automated.
That means there are still a lot of people out there struggling with these manual processes.
The Stave Difference in Procurement
Unlike traditional ServiceNow custom applications - which need custom implementation each time - Stave’s certified developers build our apps specifically for rapid deployment. I’d really like to emphasize that point: Stave apps deploy extremely quickly.
The configuration is designed to be simple, and our apps are built to allow administrators to make adjustments with just a few clicks rather than sinking hours of development time into it. And, of course, because all of our apps are certified and scoped by ServiceNow, updates and support are a built-in part of the deal.
If you’d like to see a demo of it in action, I strongly encourage you to go take a look with your own eyes. It’s pretty impressive when you see firsthand its functionality and ease of use.
During the webinar, some of our participants asked terrific questions - and I’ll bet you have some of the same concerns. View the answers here (the video will start at the Q&A portion):
Here’s a quick recap of the Q&A:
Q: Can you describe the security that prevents unauthorized access to vendor bid proposals?
A: By using the vendor portal, what we’ve done is create a role for that vendor based on the company name. We can limit which documents they have access to. They’re going to be tagged with that company name, and only authorized users would be able to access it. We use the capabilities within ServiceNow to ensure privacy. Even if you need privacy in the vendor bid process - so you don’t know which vendor submitted which bid - we can provide that.
Q: What about public bidding?
A: In a public bid listing, you can have vendor categories set up and indicate this is a public bid listing. You can control the information and send an email out so that people know this new opportunity is available.
Q: Is it possible to use existing procurement networks?
A: In terms of integration, we have the ability to use punch-outs and integrate with vendors. You can punch out to a vendor site, do your shopping, and once you’re finished return to the system and progress through approvals and then have a purchase order created. The PO can flow right to the vendor as well. There is also the ability to do RFPs and RFQs and the entire proposal process can happen on the platform, flowing right back in through the integration.
Q: Does the system allow you to automatically update your inventory with new items as they are received, including serial numbers, POs, etc.?
A: Yes. During that receiving process, we can scan all that information including the numbers and we have some really nice tools for auditing that inventory, the location for the capital assets, the consumables. It’s a whole asset management system, built on ServiceNow but adding a lot more capability. In fact, we might do a follow-up webinar about that capability.
We’re doing everything we can to spread the word about how much time and money our customers are saving by using Stave solutions. We’d love to help you see the same success.