How can technology benefit procurement departments?

January 16th, 2020
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In the age of the digital revolution, speed, agility and efficiency are prerequisites for the success of any business. With this in mind, digital transformation seems inescapable for businesses, and especially for procurement departments. Indeed, at his most recent conference, Pierre-Olivier Brial, Managing Director of the Manutan Group, explained that procurement departments are at the centre of a large ecosystem and therefore lead the way when it comes to supporting their company on the road to digital transformation.

According to Zycus, a supplier of procurement digitalisation solutions, this is excellent news! Digital transformation represents a great opportunity for procurement departments, with technology promising them a bright future and enabling them to:

1) Simplifying expenditure analysis and management

In the past, solutions for analysing and managing expenditure had limited functionality. New technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning now have greater capabilities and can cross-reference a whole host of data sources (expenses, contracts, invoices, deliveries etc.). These solutions then enable procurement departments to resolve existing issues, improve expenditure management and identify new ways to make savings.

2) Strengthening the strategic role of procurement departments

Technology also offers significant strategic opportunities. By analysing all kinds of data in real time and through continuous learning, it enables procurement departments to anticipate how their environment will evolve (in terms of their market, their suppliers, their competitors etc.) and to optimise their strategies.

3) Developing agile and automated processes

It is now common knowledge that technology will ultimately free procurement departments of redundant, time-consuming tasks that they are currently still burdened with, and thus allow them to focus on activities that bring greater added value. Technology has many possible applications, including the processing of invoices, the approval of purchase requests, the processing of supplier and internal customer requests via chatbots and the review and monitoring of supplier contracts.

4) Eliminating silos

True digitalisation is not confined to procurement; it affects all company departments. It facilitates data sharing, improves cross-departmental collaboration and accelerates processes to ultimately create added value within the company.

Digital transformation will enable procurement departments to become more efficient, while also strengthening their strategic position within their company. Remember that there are two ways to digitalise your company: taking a step-by-step approach or carrying out a complete overhaul of all processes. It's your choice!

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