Smartphones: Soon to be a procurement essential

mobile, efficiency, procurement departments
March 14th, 2019
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As part of the digital revolution, procurement departments are focusing on optimising and digitalising their processes in order to become more efficient. This change began several years ago with the introduction of e-procurement, followed shortly by smartphones, which is already delivering significant benefits.

E-procurement: The first game changer

Many companies have adopted e-procurement solutions in order to optimise their transactional processes. This is because when used to their full potential, these solutions offer remarkable benefits.

In particular, APQC[1] highlights the time saved when processing orders. The average time is estimated to be 24 hours when using an automated process and 35 hours when using a standard manual system. Therefore, up to 11 hours can be saved per order, meaning that items can be delivered quicker and the time saved can be used to complete other tasks that have greater added value.

Smartphones comes into play

Currently, few smartphones solutions are available for procurement and they are being adopted relatively slowly. Most of the existing individual smartphones applications do not cover all procurement processes.

However, smartphone has great potential to boost performance, especially in terms of making the approval of purchase requests more efficient. It is not uncommon for a purchase request to be pending for a long  period because the approver is out of the office or does not have access to their e-procurement software.

A smartphone device would eliminate this downtime and accelerate the entire process: Purchase requests, validated in record time, would quickly turn into orders and, via e-procurement, would instantly be turned into a picking slip for the supplier. Smartphone could bring even greater profitability to procurement professionals distributed across a number of sites, working remotely, or on a freelance basis as it offers continuous access to e-procurement solutions and to the information they contain.

According to a study conducted by the Financial Advisor magazine, 75% of the financial advisors surveyed feel they could capitalise more on the tools available to them, while 58% say their customers appreciate being able to access to their tools on a smartphone device.  

By 2020, almost three billion people will have a smartphone — that's more than one third of the world's population [2]. Whether used for approving purchase requests, monitoring expenses or for another task entirely, anytime and anywhere, access to e-procurement solutions on smartphone devices will soon become a reality. In a world where speed and efficiency are of the utmost importance, there can be no doubt about it.


[1] Global leader in business benchmarking and best practices for organizations in all industries

[2] Source : Spendmatters