Integration: The most powerful word in procurement

integration, procurement
July 4th, 2019
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When we talk about integration in a business context, we naturally think of digital technologies but often neglect the human factor. Wax Digital, a leading provider of e-procurement solutions, identifies three major areas where the concept of integration plays a crucial role for companies:

Business integration

Collaboration is the backdrop to the buyer's profession. Forming relationships and working in a team are essential skills for procurement officers who interact with a large number of internal stakeholders. However, the effectiveness of this business partner role that procurement performs depends on its level of integration within the business, and more specifically within the various business departments.

There is still room for improvement in terms of procurement integration. 44% of people working in procurement claim to have close relationships with other departments, while only 18% of the latter confirm this statement[1].

To move towards better integration, the procurement profession has various cards it can play, for example:

  • Anticipating the needs and expectations of its stakeholders by going into the field and establishing a feedback culture.
  • Demonstrating their added value to internal customers by highlighting their knowledge and skills.
  • Communicating regularly on their performance, particularly focusing on success stories.

Software integration

The integration of a Source to Pay solution, i.e. a solution that encompasses all procurement processes (Source to Contract and Procure-to-Pay), particularly ensures:

  • A reduction in the quantity of administrative tasks through the use of automated processes, consolidated data etc.
  • Greater visibility and therefore improved expenditure control, as procurement officers have access to all data (suppliers, products, contracts etc.).
  • Simple, fast and efficient deployment.
  • Higher adoption rates from stakeholders originating from the user experience.

Systems integration

Finally, it is essential that these procurement solutions are integrated into other systems in the company, such as accounting and financial systems. This allows procurement departments to capitalise on multiple internal data sources and thus have a 360° view that enables them to improve their performance.

Their next step will be to expand their database using information from external data providers, such as Dun and Bradstreet or Companies House.

Above all, these three types of integration, which form a crossover between humans and technology, remind us how complementary these two concepts are. Today, the ideal combination for guaranteeing business success, especially in procurement, is digital strength and flexibility, blended with an interpersonal strategy to encourage a feeling of involvement.

[1] CPO Viewpoint Report