How to Use RPA in the Procurement Process Automation
Let’s be frank: many companies are looking for new ways to improve their efficiency and to lower costs. One area that is especially affected by this cost pressure is the procurement and purchasing department. Regrettably, it’s also the department where all the old ways to reduce costs have been exhausted. New ideas are desperately needed and we think one of them is process automation.
How Does Process Automation with RPA Work in Procurement?
“Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will change procurement processes over the next ten years.” This is not a quote from us, it’s what the “CPO Survey 2017” from Deloitte says. According to the survey, 93% of CPO’s share this point of view. The report further states, that on average, 30 to 60% of net savings can be achieved by automating processes, while simultaneously reducing lead and throughput times by up to 80% and improving process quality.
RPA is capable of optimizing nearly all procurement processes to some extend.
Here’s a list of typical application areas for RPA in Procurement:
- Operative Procurement
- Supplier Management
- Commodity Grouping
- Contract Management
- Data Maintenance
Automated Document Management with System Upload
The procurement department of a company receives hundreds of emails and attachments with regard to purchase orders. These need to be uploaded into SAP in order to complete the documentation. Due to this monotonous and time-consuming task it is difficult to maintain the employee motivation.
- Reduction of repetitive work
- Significant increase of order documentation quality
- Cost savings of 65%
Automating Tasks in Operative Procurement
The operative procurement process includes everything from creating purchase requisitions, invoice verification, invoice auditing, and in general, is comprised of multiple routine tasks. These can be automated through rules-based decisions and predetermined work steps. For example, the ordering system and document filing can be automated.
Managing Supplier Data with RPA
Anything from material data to supplier data up to the conditions and catalogue-specific data – the effort of filing in procurement systems is a massive undertaking. It’s not the one-off change that’s labor intensive, but the continuous review and quality checks that can be the most grinding. All of the standardized work steps are predestined to be automated with the help of RPA. Another Monday’s bot farms can automate these routine data-steps while ensuring your supplier data-base is the source of truth for the organization.