How RPA Can Deliver Value into Procurement Process - ByteScout

How RPA Can Deliver Value into Procurement Process

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The time staff members spend on administrative issues, rather than on value addition, is a major concern for Chief Operating Officers. How can use RPA in Procurement to deal with such concerns?

Well, the use of RPA in procurement can free-up the time that the procurement team spends on administrative tasks. It can also make the processing of invoices error-free, fast, and cost-effective.

In this guide, you will discover how RPA can turn around inefficient procurement operations, and increase overall productivity.

RPA Procurement

Top Benefits of Implementing RPA in Procurement

  • Automating procurement processes minimizes the need for manual interventions.
  • It frees human resources for use in areas that require strategic human intelligence.
  • RPA helps to create a reliable audit trail.
  • It eliminates human error in repetitive tasks.
  • RPA speeds up procurement processes.

Make Your Robots – Try RPA Tools

Common Uses Cases of RPA in Procurement Processes

Processing Purchase Requests and Creating Purchase Orders

In organizations that have not deployed RPA in their procurement departments, they have to manually process purchase requests and purchase orders (POs). Often, that leads to delays, even when the team has not encountered any technical or financial difficulties.

Once such organizations integrate RPA in procurement, the process is easy streamlined. From raising a purchase request, processing it, and finally creating a purchase order, RPA executes those processes fast and seamlessly.

The RPA software quickly assesses the request based on a set of procurement rules, seeks approvals from relevant departments, and then generates a PO.

Overall, unless a purchase request goes against procurement guidelines, the RPA software can process such requests without unnecessary delays.

Matching Demand with Supply

Using RPA in procurement makes it is easy to gather data related to product or service demand in real-time, and use it to plan for the supply of goods or services. The businesses can share that data, visualize it through graphs, and even use it to strategize and focus on growing markets.

RPA also makes it easy for departments such as inventory, warehousing, and shipping, to work closely with the procurement department, as one team.

For instance, if the RPA software detects a spike in orders, it notifies the shipping, and inventory teams to allocate resources accordingly.

That eliminates unnecessary surprises that often lead to delays.

Managing Inventory

For organizations that deal with tangible products, inventory forms a core part of their everyday business decisions. Insufficient inventory means delays in delivering orders and unhappy customers.

RPA software can help manage inventory by providing real-time reports of inventory versus products ordered. That allows the procurement team to closely monitor inventory, and update it accordingly.

Decision-makers can also use the data to forecast what the future may hold for the business.

Managing Work Orders

Sometimes customers do assign work orders to members of the procurement team. They assign them through work order software, which helps in the management of work orders. Unfortunately, if a team member fails to complete a work order on time, it can lead to losses.

Integrating RPA in work orders can help to prevent that by creating alerts for the status of the work order. The RPA software notifies the team when the client assigns a work order when a team member starts to work on it, and it keeps issuing periodic countdown alerts.

As soon as the order is submitted, the RPA software closes the work order and notifies the client to check their order. Overall, it increases worker’s output, client satisfaction, and minimizes losses.

Cut Down Invoice Processing Time

Manual invoice processing can involve as many as 15 steps, which makes the process susceptible to errors. The procurement team can use RPA to hasten the process through automation.

The RPA software when combined with OCR technology, can extract order details from an invoice, and use the details to search and find a matching PO, in the PO database.

If it finds a match, it forwards the invoice to the accounting team. However, if no match is found, the RPA software can send the invoice to the procurement team for manual intervention.

Updating Invoices

RPA can determine which errors to forward to the procurement team, and which ones clients can correct. Invoices that can be sent to clients include those that have a matching PO, but with a few discrepancies in price and quantity.

That can help to save both the client and team members from having to make long phone calls, instead of just acting on the invoice.

Cost Reduction

RPA can execute invoice-processing tasks much faster, and at any time of the day, week, or year. It does not need holidays and does not suffer from fatigue when handling repetitive manual tasks.

That means there is no need to outsource low-level tasks, or hiring more workforce during peak seasons.

Using RPA can greatly reduce the workload in the call centers that respond to issues related to invoices and PO. Queries such as how to format invoices, verifying invoices details, and making sure customers send error-free invoices, can be automated using RPA chatbots and RPA forms.

Minimizing Fraud

Businesses can use RPA to cut down on fraud by comparing a client’s invoicing details to the information in their database. It can then raise alerts if it detects any changes in details such as bank account number, account name, or the client’s physical address.

Manually keeping checks on fraud can be costly, but the with RPA automation, both the cost and time of implementation remains negligible.

Compliance Issues

It is much easier to use RPA to enforce compliance with regulatory policies than using human workers. RPA software cannot forget, overlook, or just fail to make sure invoices and contracts meet updated business/government guidelines.

Conclusion – Impact of RPA in Procurement

RPA automation allows the procurement department to conduct most of the manual operations 24/7/365. Moreover, high-quality processing means tasks are completed on the first attempt. That leads to shorter invoice PO and Invoice processing periods, of about 90 seconds instead of over 30 minutes.

With RPA software, it is possible to achieve end-to-end optimization and efficiency of business processes in procurement. That culminates in increased profits, happy customers, and a motivated workforce.

Have you implemented RPA in procurement? You could be missing many opportunities if you have not. Contact us now, and let us create an RPA solution that matches your procurement needs, and runs on your existing IT infrastructure.