Skip to main content
Tag

procurement automation

The Power of Automation: Unleashing Efficiency with SAP Ariba Commerce Automation

By Blog No Comments

Businesses today are realizing the urgent need for procurement and spend management innovation. Key decision-makers, particularly those in finance and procurement, seek solutions to streamline processes, boost efficiency, and improve organizational visibility. This is where SAP Ariba Commerce Automation enters the scene. 

 What is SAP Ariba Commerce Automation? 

SAP Ariba Commerce Automation is a solution designed to supercharge your procurement processes through powerful automation. Its primary goal is to enhance operational efficiency and ensure a steady supply chain by improving spend visibility and fostering efficient collaboration with suppliers. 

It’s a solution recognized for its innovation and effectiveness, with SAP being recognized as a leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suites for the seventh consecutive time. 

Key Features: A Deep Dive 

SAP Ariba Commerce Automation comes with a suite of features designed to optimize procurement operations: 

  • Regulatory and Business Process Compliance: The solution ensures digital matching of invoices to POs and contracts, thus enabling compliance with regulatory requirements through e-invoicing. Transactions are validated based on configured business rules, reducing manual intervention and exceptions. 
  • Automated Procurement Workflows: The solution automates manual processes, freeing up workforce capacity, decreasing operating costs, and increasing productivity. It also enables digital delivery of POs to suppliers across a business network. 
  • Supplier Portal: The portal allows suppliers to flip a received PO on the network into an invoice, eliminating data entry and other errors. It also gives suppliers a view into invoice status updates, reducing inquiries. 
  • Invoice Status Portal and Transaction Visibility: This feature provides visibility into orders and invoices with a holistic view of spend. It allows suppliers to configure notifications to receive emails when their invoice status changes, promoting adoption for long-tail suppliers through self-service updates and invoice visibility. 

Impressive Benefits 

The benefits of SAP Ariba Commerce Automation are as significant as its features. These benefits include: 

  • Improved Procurement Compliance: The solution supports business process compliance with highly configurable business rules on the network. 
  • Automation of Spend Management Processes: The solution enhances productivity, lowers operating costs, and frees up people’s capacity by automating paper-based and manual processes. 
  • Increased Transparency of Business Spending: The solution provides a holistic view of organizational spending with greater visibility into orders and invoices in one platform. 

Recent Innovations and Future Outlook 

SAP is not resting on its laurels. Recent innovations and planned updates include: 

  1. Guided Buying: The next evolution in guided buying is here. The new capabilities improve the buying experience and leverage AI, intelligent recommendations, and machine learning. This creates a holistic view of what the buyer is purchasing and how it aligns with their organization’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. 
  1. SAP Central Procurement: The latest release of SAP Central Procurement addresses the challenges associated with centralizing procurement. It delivers the benefits of a uniform, centralized procurement system across all direct and indirect categories — without reworking individual solutions spread across the organization. 
  1. SAP Category Management: A new category management solution, SAP Category Management, is set to roll out this year. It will provide actionable market intelligence and category insights, empowering category managers and procurement professionals to make strategic category decisions. 

 

Statistics Highlighting the Importance of Procurement Optimization 

To underscore the significance of these advancements, let’s consider some compelling statistics: 

  1. Companies that excel at procurement have 20% lower costs, less supply chain disruption, and up to 55% fewer supplier defects (Source: The Hackett Group).
  2. High-performing procurement organizations operate at up to 21% lower labor costs (Source: The Hackett Group).
  3. According to Gartner, by 2023, organizations that have adopted AI in their supply chain management strategy will reduce errors by up to 50%. 

 

From the rollout of SAP Category Management to the enhanced supplier management and the integration of AI and machine learning, SAP is poised to redefine procurement and supply chain management. 

As procurement professionals, we must stay abreast of these developments, leverage these innovative solutions, and drive strategic value and business outcomes in our organizations. 

Macro Finance and Procurement

By Blog No Comments

Macro Financial Concerns and Procurement in 2023: Are You Ready? 

The year 2023 has presented itself as a period of financial restraint, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) echoed. Global growth is forecasted to fall from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.8 percent in 2023, and a more pronounced slowdown in advanced economies demonstrates a tightening macro-financial landscape.  

Furthermore, the financial sector is experiencing turmoil due to high inflation and ongoing geopolitical tensions, increasing market instability. Despite central banks raising interest rates, underlying price pressures are still proving stubborn, suggesting a prolonged period of financial strain.

 

The Impact on Procurement 

These macro-financial changes are placing a new level of pressure on procurement departments. In this context, procurement’s role has evolved significantly.  

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) outlined key procurement trends for 2023, emphasizing the need for sustainability, timely payment to suppliers, investment in technology, and talent management. 

Sustainability has become a primary concern, as customers are increasingly sensitive to ‘greenwashing’ and demand more transparency about the environmental impact of their purchases. This trend pushes organizations to ensure sustainable practices in their supply chains and avoid falling foul of regulations. 

The challenging financial environment has led to 36% of businesses extending payment terms for suppliers in the last 12 months. This contributes to a vicious cycle that impacts cash flow and liquidity, emphasizing the need for improved supplier relationships and strategic payment practices. 

Investment in procurement technology solutions is also growing. Companies are seeking more consumer-like, intuitively designed, and agile solutions to improve efficiencies and work with leaner staff. 

Finally, with the predicted economic environment, there’s a new urgency to fostering a company culture and strategic problem-solving to attract and retain talent​3 

 

Navigating Economic Uncertainty with SAP Ariba 

As predicted by the IMF, the global economic outlook for 2023 presents a complex landscape characterized by financial sector turmoil, high inflation, geopolitical uncertainties, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In such an environment, businesses need robust, flexible, and intelligent tools to navigate the choppy waters of global commerce. 

With its comprehensive suite of solutions, SAP Ariba is perfectly positioned to help businesses adapt and thrive in these uncertain times. Its intelligent sourcing tool, for instance, allows companies to identify savings opportunities and assess market dynamics, giving them a competitive edge even in challenging conditions.  

As inflation remains high, the ability to efficiently source and manage direct and indirect goods or services within a single platform becomes a crucial advantage, allowing businesses to reduce their time, effort, and risk associated with sourcing events. 

 

Aligning with Sustainability Trends 

Sustainability is no longer a niche concern; it’s a core business priority. Businesses are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate that their operations and supply chains are sustainable to meet regulatory requirements and appeal to increasingly eco-conscious consumers. 

SAP Ariba’s Supplier Management tool can be a crucial asset. It provides comprehensive tools to help buyers onboard, qualify, segment, and manage supplier performance according to parameters that matter to them. This means businesses can drive spending towards preferred, sustainable suppliers, reduce overall risk, and ensure compliance across their entire supply base. In doing so, companies can turn sustainability from a challenge into an opportunity, bolstering their reputation and gaining a competitive advantage. 

 

Embracing Technology for Greater Efficiency 

SAP Ariba is at the forefront of the trend toward increased investment in procurement technology. Its suite of solutions embodies a consumer-like, intuitively designed, and agile approach that can significantly improve business efficiencies. For example, the SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration tool automates the direct procurement lifecycle, reducing reliance on emails and spreadsheets, shortening cycle times, and increasing productivity. 

SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing further streamlines the indirect goods and services procurement process. Automating and regulating the management of the entire procurement process helps business leaders eliminate errors and exceptions, manage more spending with less effort, maximize savings and profit margins, and respond flexibly and swiftly to changing demands. 

 

Winning the Talent War 

In the predicted economic environment, fostering a strong company culture and attracting the right talent will become even more essential. SAP Ariba’s user-friendly, intuitive design is crucial in this regard. It makes procurement tasks more engaging and less cumbersome, improving employee satisfaction and retention. 

Furthermore, the Guided Buying feature of SAP Ariba makes the procurement process more intuitive and compliant, making it easier for employees to adhere to procurement policies and procedures. This enhances the effectiveness of procurement teams, freeing them to focus on strategic problem-solving and relationship management, which are crucial skills in the modern, complex business environment. 

In conclusion, SAP Ariba is a powerful tool that can help businesses navigate the challenging economic conditions predicted for 2023, align their operations with key procurement trends, and drive significant efficiency and cost savings. By leveraging its comprehensive suite of solutions, businesses can position themselves to survive and thrive in the uncertain times ahead. 

 

In a time of financial restraint and uncertainty, organizations must leverage tools and strategies to help them navigate these challenges. Armed with solutions like SAP Ariba, procurement departments can play a pivotal role in driving cost savings and efficiencies. The time for organizations to act is now – to survive in the current financial climate and thrive in the years to come. 

 

Unleashing the Power of AP Automation: A Strategic Move Towards Efficiency and Profitability

By Blog No Comments

In an era where digital transformation drives sustainable business growth, one area that remains ripe for disruption is Accounts Payable (AP). AP automation is no longer just an option – it’s a business necessity that yields considerable strategic advantages, particularly for mid-market companies. This post aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the myriad benefits of AP automation to executives committed to fostering operational excellence, reducing costs, and enhancing cash flow management.

 

The AP Challenge: A Time and Resource Intensive Process

AP processes often contain manual data entry, paper invoices, and lengthy approval cycles. These processes are time-consuming and prone to human error, resulting in late payments, missed discounts, and increased operational costs. The lack of real-time visibility into AP data often leads to suboptimal decision-making, hampering growth and profitability.

The AP Automation Advantage: Transforming the AP Landscape

AP automation technology disrupts this status quo, offering a more innovative, efficient, and cost-effective way to manage AP processes.

Let’s delve into the specific benefits:

  • Time Savings: AP automation drastically reduces the time to process an invoice, leading to faster approvals and payments. This increased efficiency frees up valuable staff time that can be better utilized for strategic tasks, such as analyzing spending data or improving supplier relationships.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: Automating AP processes reduces the need for manual intervention, thereby minimizing the scope for human errors and the costs associated with rectifying them. Moreover, it can also decrease storage and postage costs associated with paper invoices. Calculate your potential savings here using SAP’s Buying and Invoicing Value Calculator.
  • Enhanced Cash Flow Management: With real-time visibility into outstanding invoices and payment dates, AP automation allows companies to optimize their cash flow. Companies can take advantage of early payment discounts and avoid late payment penalties, thereby improving their bottom line.
  • Decreased Rogue Spend: AP automation controls maverick spending by enforcing corporate policies and approval workflows. It also improves spend visibility, enabling companies to identify and mitigate rogue expenditures more effectively.
  • Improved Supplier Relationships: Timely payments and transparent communication foster healthier supplier relationships. This enhances supply chain efficiency and opens up opportunities for negotiation and collaboration.

The Powerhouse Duo: SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing and Premikati

While the benefits of AP automation are clear, the choice of software and its implementation process is crucial.

SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing is a robust solution offering comprehensive AP automation capabilities. It streamlines end-to-end procure-to-pay processes, enhances visibility into company-wide spending, and drives compliance and control across the invoice management process.

Yet, the success of any AP automation initiative is about more than just the software. It’s about how effectively the software is implemented and integrated with your existing systems and processes. This is where Premikati offers rapid implementation and deployment services that ensure a smooth and efficient transition to automated AP processes.

Premikati’s expertise in SAP Ariba implementation reduces the time-to-value, allowing companies to experience the benefits of AP automation sooner rather than later. Their robust training and support ensure that your team is equipped to leverage the software’s full potential.

AP automation is a transformative strategy that can significantly improve your business’s operational efficiency, financial health, and competitive edge. With SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing and Premikati’s deployment services, your business is well-positioned to navigate the AP automation journey successfully.

Connect with us today to talk to our team.

Five Ways to Ensure your Sourcing Strategy Never Disrupts the Supply Chain

By Blog No Comments

Because sourcing is at the heart of any procurement strategy, it is critical to the success of your supply chain.

Poor sourcing strategies have a negative impact on the supply chain such as  downtime, low inventory, and a lack of supply chain transparency.

Here are five things you can do to protect your supply chain from disruptions:

1. Assemble the Right Team

It goes without saying that your supply chain requires people to function. More importantly, it requires the right people.

Consider the following when assembling your sourcing team; such as the ability to quickly learn, analyze large amounts of data, build long-term relationships, communicate, and negotiate.

2. Provide the Right Tools

In today’s supply chain climate, your productivity depends on the tools you make available to your team and the tools and solutions they have at hand can make all the difference.

With emerging technologies across the globe, the supply chain has never had the potential to be more efficient. 

A great example of a sourcing solution is SAP Ariba’s Sourcing tool.

3. Have a Solid Sourcing Strategy

Your sourcing strategy is used to find the most effective, efficient, and reasonably priced solution to your supply chain needs.

So, how do you identify the right product or supplier?

Here are some tips:

  • Understand the market trends. 
  • Always pick quality and time over price. 
  • Build relationships with several vendors in the market. 
  • Have clear expectations or targets. 

4. Have Multiple Vendors for Each Product Supplied

Building long-term relationships with your vendors or suppliers is extremely beneficial to the supply chain. However, if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of having backup plans.

Supply chains are more flexible, visible, and resilient than ever before. Despite this, there is still an element of uncertainty surrounding supply chains.

To be better protected, it is critical to work with more than one supplier. A great place to start is the Ariba network where over you can connect with over 40 million suppliers and growing!

5. Constantly Review Suppliers

A supplier review provides insight into the supplier’s performance.

Constantly reviewing a supplier ensures that potential disruptors are identified as soon as possible; giving you the opportunity to prevent them from causing harm to the supply chain.

To get the most out of your supplier’s performance, make a list of performance indicators. Quality, service, delivery rate, damages, compliance, innovative ideas, and cost are some examples.

Summary

Disruptions in the supply chain are undesirable. It’s not just that they cost the company time and resources, though those are significant. The unfavorability stems from the impact on the company’s customers.

What are some common disruptions in your supply chain?

One of your primary responsibilities as a supply chain or sourcing manager is to prevent disruptions. Particularly artificial disruptions. One of the most effective approaches is to develop an effective sourcing strategy.

For your procurement solutions and services, click here at www.premikati.com

Premikati SAP Ariba 2023 Procurement Trends

2023 Procurement Trends

By Blog No Comments

Procurement in 2023 

The procurement landscape is constantly changing, and the strategies that organizations employ to ensure their success in the future must evolve to meet the needs of the modern market. As we look at 2023 and beyond, it’s important to consider the trends that will shape the way companies manage their procurement operations. 

Technology and Automation  

The first trend is the increasing use of technology in procurement. Automation and artificial intelligence are becoming more prevalent in procurement processes, allowing companies to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase accuracy. Automation and AI will also help companies to better manage their supply chains and make smarter decisions when it comes to sourcing and purchasing materials.  

Sustainability 

Another trend is the increasing focus on sustainability. Companies will be looking for more sustainable suppliers and will be using the latest technologies to measure and optimize their sustainability efforts. Organizations will also need to pay more attention to their supplier relationships, as well as their own internal practices, to ensure that their procurement strategies are as sustainable as possible. 

AI Implementation 

One of the most significant procurement trends for 2023 will be the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI will allow businesses to automate many of the mundane tasks involved in procurement, such as data entry, document management and order processing. This will free up valuable resources and allow companies to focus on more strategic activities. AI will also enable companies to better understand their customers’ needs, allowing them to make informed procurement decisions that are tailored to their customers.  

Procurement Digitization 

Another key trend will be the move towards digital procurement. This involves the use of online platforms to purchase goods and services, as well as manage supply chains and contracts. By taking advantage of digital tools, businesses will be able to streamline their procurement processes and reduce costs. In addition, digital procurement will enable businesses to better manage their supply chains and track their suppliers. This will allow them to identify opportunities for cost savings and ensure that their suppliers are meeting their expectations. 

Change in 2023 

As businesses become more competitive and the economy continues to change, companies must find new ways to stay ahead of the competition. One of the most effective ways to do this is through effective procurement strategies. By understanding the needs of the company, the market, and the competition, businesses can create a procurement strategy that will help them get the most out of their purchases.  

 

Contract Management Software Boosts Quick Wins for Procurement Teams

By Blog No Comments

Contracts are the heart and soul of procurement operations. Even a few outdated processes can slow down your team and impact supplier relationships. A modern contract management system, however, can eliminate many long-standing painpoints, save time, and even enhance communications with suppliers in ways that may lead to greater trust and better deals. The following are just a few reasons that robust contract management is a big win for your procurement team:

Easily Search Using Keywords

Do you know where all your contracts are? Do you know which suppliers provide which items without having to go on a wild goose chase? A good contract management system helps centralize your contracts in an indexed database so you can easily search for whatever contract information you need, even on the go.

Blaze Through Contract Processes With Templates

Most procurement teams send a lot of very similar contracts that go on to follow very similar processes. Instead of starting over from scratch every time or using makeshift methods (like the “find” function) can result in errors. Contract management based on SAP Ariba enables the use of templates to manage contract cycles that behave alike. By using templates, your team can ensure that all changes relevant to the supplier at hand have been made accurately and consistently across the board, more effectively and efficiently than other, outdated methods. Even if entire contract templates don’t sound suited to your business, SAP Ariba can handle a full clause library so your team can pick and choose as needed.

Templates help ensure agreement terms are in line with your company’s legal advice from the start, speeding up contract creation and completion to unprecedented speeds. This doesn’t mean you’re locked in, though. SAP Ariba-based contract management also allows for non-standard agreements which require closer review. 

Information Dashboards and Notifications

When one of these nonstandard agreements comes through, all relevant parties can receive a notification to review the requested changes. This helps eliminate minor changes that can turn into big risks that might otherwise go unnoticed without a templated system. This helps ensure a healthy start for buyer and supplier alike. 

Other information dashboards can present important info in a quick, digestible, easy-to-under format. Find data on all of your contracts like contract duration, bids, and upcoming important dates.

Alerts for impending contract renewal dates can offer teams enough time to re-evaluate each supplier and research alternatives before the renewal date instead of being blindsided when the renewal date has come and passed. This way, your team can enter negotiations well prepared as well as save everyone time in the process. 

Manage Compliance And Performance

Including managing compliance for nonstandard contracts and mitigating many of the associated risks, a good contract management system can manage both internal and external compliance concerns. Whether compliance from a regulatory body or an internal expectation of performance and quality, SAP Ariba can ensure that the entire procurement process is visible and everyone involved is compliant to all relevant standards so any issues can be dealt with early, not once they’ve already caused a problem.

Esignatures For Better Speed and Accuracy

Pens are a thing of the past for procurement contracts. Esignatures bring a lot of benefits to the table for procurement teams. Not only is it much, much faster for everyone to sign online than to fax or snail-mail back and forth, it’s also safer (in Covid-19 terms and compliance terms!). Esignature software like DocuSign which is the platform of choice for SAP Ariba users walk suppliers through every box that requires a signature or initial to ensure that nothing is missed in the signing process. Esigning software can also send automated reminders to clients to ask them to please sign the contract, saving your procurement team a lot of time, leg-work, and chasing. 

Nurture Supplier Relationships

All of the things combined help you nurture relationships with your clients. Your team will have more time and more energy to truly engage with suppliers to establish trust and rapport—two qualities of a great buyer-supplier relationship that can easily net your team better deals and priority communications. 

See Your Best-Value Suppliers At A Glance 

A proper contract management system is also able to pull all of the above together to show you which of your suppliers are the best value based on the data you have provided. Based on data, good procurement software can let you know which suppliers to focus on in order to make the greatest impact. That may mean deepening partnership opportunities with some suppliers but it may also call attention to low performers so changes can be made as soon as possible. 

If you want to see what we can do for you with our SAP Ariba-backed contract management system, reach out to us today. 

About Premikati

Premikati is a woman-owned business of procurement experts providing best-in-class software to maximize your company’s ROI.  

Our award-winning team has a 100% success rate implementing on-time and on-budget, due to our agility, leanness, operational experience, and the ability to tailor the transformation process from C-level to end user. (For more information, visit www.premikati.com)

procurement automation for smbs

Procurement Automation: Best Bet for Growth for SMBs

By Blog No Comments

Procurement Automation: Your Best Bet for Growth

Is there a way to optimize your procurement processes without having to make a massive investment in IT? Can you eliminate manual processes and their associated errors? Is there a way to eliminate expensive invoice processing?

It goes without saying that procurement processes can involve a wide variety of third-party vendors such as business partners and consultants, along with legal, supply chain management, and various department needs. Yet, data can be difficult to locate and the success of a procurement process may simply revolve around the fact that no one complained – yet.

Unfortunately, many SMBs spend a large portion of their sales revenue on procurement. Nonetheless, simple enhancements – such as automation – to the procurement process can perform the double duty of reducing costs and boosting productivity.

For SMBs, with their limited resources, the focus is often on overarching operations as opposed to specific procurement business functions. But, when you can empower your procurement team with an automated tool, then you can improve supplier relationships and make the right purchases for your business – on a more consistent basis. Further, all parties are satisfied.

When you utilize automated procurement, you can prevent your teams from engaging in trivial tasks so that they have more time to focus on their core functions and responsibilities. Also, you decrease human error.

Certainly, these are all specific reasons why many SMBs are opting for automating procurement, but there are many other advantages as well. Keep reading to learn more. 

Get Out of the Time Rut

Within the procurement cycle, or purchasing cycle, there are several stages such as research, bidding, vendor selection, negotiations, and approval. Depending on the current processes you already have in place, this can take much more time than necessary.

Why not speed up your processes with procurement automation? You could reduce the cycle by days, or even weeks. If you’re interested in adopting lean principles, automation would be the route to take. 

Plus, there are huge amounts of paperwork that needs management. In contrast, procurement automation can save time by transitioning documents from paper to digital. Not only do you save on paper and physical storage costs, but you inherently speed up all your cycles and processes.

Get Your Supplier Relationships on the Same Page

For the health of your SMB, it is vital to have strong supplier relationships. Although, this can be difficult in a highly competitive environment. To get there, you need true transparency. The good news is automation enables real-time interaction and order tracking. In addition, an automated system lets your suppliers respond more quickly and your company can select a supplier more quickly. Moreover, the process is transparent for all parties involved which means a much faster resolution process in the event of a complaint or misunderstanding. It is a win-win situation for all.

Monitor Every Interaction

When your company opens up a bidding war, this means you increase your chances of finding a vendor who can meet your budget. At the same time, it can get quite complicated to manage every interaction with all of your potential vendors. Further, no one likes filtering through hundreds of email messages trying to find the most recent interaction. Unquestionably, this is a scenario where mistakes can happen and messages will get missed.

With an automated procurement tool, you can quickly access all associated documents and RFP responses. In fact, you can even monitor every single interaction in real time.

Enjoy More Control

SMBs often face the daunting challenge of limited visibility during one-or-many stages of the procurement process. Invariably, low visibility can become even more prevalent during indirect procurement. One of the quickest ways to overcome this hurdle is with an automated procurement tool.

It’s imperative to have a visual representation of how much you’re spending on every purchase. Many SMBs have finite resources which means it would be quite beneficial to determine where you could cut back on expenditures. As a result, you feel more control over your budget and can improve your revenue outlook.

How Can You Tell if Your Procurement Processes are Ready for Automation?

Part of the decision-making process around an automated procurement tool is knowing which of your tasks are ready to be automated. So then, it is critical to execute a thorough assessment – and analysis – of your current processes and which are redundant/repeatable where automation can take over to save both time and money.

For instance, if your company requires a lot of legal input during the buying process, then you could automate this portion by utilizing pre-approved negotiations so that your legal team can focus on higher-level tasks.

There isn’t any reason why the SMB procurement process should not replicate the enterprise in terms of purchasing, employee training, and automation. SMBs want to grow, and automated buying practices help to provide transparency, facilitate tracking, offer convenient reporting, and most importantly, assist in managing costs to set the stage for expansion.

Final Thought

Searching for a comprehensive automated procurement tool to effectively manage your processes? When SMBs streamline how they purchase goods and services, they create more value and become an organization that vendors – and customers – enjoy.

Learn how an automated system can streamline your procurement process – contact Premikati today for a free consultation!

 

Contact Us