Firms embracing tech to enable smarter procurement

By James Henderson
New research has shown that UK procurement teams are aiming to achieve a broader set of goals and improved benefits through the adoption of new, more in...

New research has shown that UK procurement teams are aiming to achieve a broader set of goals and improved benefits through the adoption of new, more integrated technology.

The survey of 200 senior professionals by Wax Digital predicted a 71% rise in the number of UK organisations that will adopt integrated Source-to-Pay processes over the next two years - supported by a single eProcurement system.

By contrast, organisations are moving away from using a mixture of disparate procurement tools for individual processes.

The survey also confirmed that procurement is targeting different types of benefit - from ‘quick win’ improvements through to longer term high level business goals. 36% of expected eProcurement benefits are strategic – such as contributing to broader business success.

Some 32% of anticipated benefits are ‘opportunistic’ - such as realising quick savings on easy spend categories. A further 32% are ‘tactical’ - such as improving purchasing and requisitioning processes.

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eProcurement also seems destined to deliver a wide range of specific departmental improvements, with ten key outcomes considered ‘important’ to at least one third of respondents:

  • 44% want to remove time-consuming manual data entry to speed up payment
  • 43% need to save time and reduce risk through the use of eSourcing
  • 40% want to gain insight into what’s being spent by the organisation to improve sourcing
  • 40% need faster order to delivery timescales by automating requisition approvals
  • 40% want to improve spend visibility for more accurate budget and cash flow management

But for many, achieving these benefits is reliant on the adoption of broader eProcurement systems. Currently 32% don’t have eSourcing systems, 40% don’t have Contract Management systems, 43% don’t have Purchase to Pay and 47% don’t have eInvoicing tools.

The research predicted a decline in the reliance of piecemeal or disconnected systems to manage separate procurement processes.

Commenting on the findings, Daniel Ball, director, Wax Digital, said: “It’s really encouraging to see that procurement professionals are setting their sights high and wide in terms of what they want to attain through the adoption of eProcurement.

“What seems critical is to have one system, whether achieved through adoption of a single software suite, or integration, mapped across the entire Source to Pay cycle.”

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