Grow Procurement’s Influence: How to Win Trust & Influence Stakeholders
The success of your team depends on your ability to weed out inefficiencies and potential bottlenecks in your procurement system. But a drawn-out procurement cycle, lack of resources, and outdated tools that require tasks to be completed manually can make it challenging to deliver cost savings and value in a timely way.
Not only that, if your process is confusing or complicated, employees will find other ways to buy what they need. This can lead to limited visibility and maverick spending. Your purchasing process has to be efficient and user-friendly for everyone.
Streamline purchasing with automation
That’s where automation comes in handy. In fact, one-third of organizations believe that automation is the best way to prevent disruptions and bottlenecks in procurement.¹ And twenty-three percent of organizations are already evaluating or implementing automation solutions.²
By creating an automated workflow you can guide employees through the purchasing and approval process, offering greater access to your services without using more procurement resources. The key is to make it quick and easy for your end-users.
Benefits of procurement automation:
- Speed up processing
- Cut back on human error
- Decrease procurement costs
Best practices to automate purchasing intake
Consider the following best practices to flush out inefficiencies in your procurement process and get the maximum value out of your purchasing partnerships.
Define the process you want to automate — The goal here is to create more efficiency. With a well-defined process, your team knows which tasks are essential and what actions must be taken to get the work done. Determine which processes you want to automate and develop the business rules that control those automated functions.
Create a step-by-step workflow — Establish the specific steps in your purchasing process and outline how those actions should be performed step-by-step. From there, build digital forms that support the workflow.
For example, consider creating an automated purchasing request form that guides employees through the process. First, they would need to categorize the type of purchase, and then enter the location and cost of the desired item or service. From there, we recommend that your system display a list of your approved suppliers who offer that specific product or service. This ensures legal and CSR compliance, thus mitigating risk. Once the purchasing form is filled out, it would route through the proper workflow sequence for approval based on your organization’s predetermined rules and policies.
Identify primary stakeholders and their roles — Choose the people or teams responsible for managing each task. Be sure to provide training on your procurement policies and processes so your staff is equipped with the know-how to handle obstacles as they arise.
Build a central hub to store documents — It’s essential to have a central location where stakeholders can access contracts and other necessary documents. Having a single, secure place where they can easily access documentation ensures consistency in your negotiations, fewer errors, and less time wasted fixing inaccuracies.
By automating your purchasing intake system, your entire procurement team will be viewed as a facilitator rather than a bottleneck. And you’ll be better able to reign in maverick spending to ensure your company benefits from the better prices and terms you’ve negotiated.
Let us take care of the heavy lifting
When you’re ready, Graphite’s new Guided Intake feature can help you streamline purchasing across your entire organization without straining already stretched procurement resources. By taking advantage of this feature, you can be confident that employees are going through the appropriate channels and that your company is gaining maximum value from the contracts you’ve negotiated with suppliers.
You’ll easily eliminate time-consuming, repetitive manual tasks like data entry, approvals, and document handoffs to speed up purchasing, boost cost savings, and reduce human error. As a result, you’ll grow your spend under management and win a seat at the table for future deal negotiations and decision-making.
See for yourself! Schedule a demo of our new Guided Intake feature.
¹ “Supply Chain Resilience Report: Industry trends and supply chain strategy for manufacturing.” supply_chain_resilience_report_2020.pdf (hubs.com)
² 2020 Global Supply chain Disruption and Future Strategies Survey Report. September 2020.