For procurement professionals in medium to large businesses, it seems like everyone is trying to sell you their software. You’re told you need one for inventory management, one for invoicing, a third for supplier verification and another for scanning documents into the system.
It’s no wonder that 57% of procurement teams are facing the prospect of burnout.
But for scaling businesses, the right software for procurement can make a huge impact. We’re talking the difference between working overtime all month, and actually having the time to build relationships with your suppliers, impacting the bottom line. Plus, you could be saving up to $6 per invoice in processing costs and finally get staff to align to their budget.
If you need an all-in-one system, look no further. The CoreIntegrator Workflow serves your procurement needs by streamlining processes and removing the need for many of the usual manual touchpoints. Click here to demo the service today.
What are the benefits of procurement software?
Here’s the thing about procurement in a medium to large business: you’re operating at scale, but you’re not given the same scope of budget that enterprise teams receive.
This means that your procurement people have to be clever with which software they choose to work with. This is something that CoreIntegrator founder, Tom Erickson, knows all too well.
Having dealt with procurement teams of all sizes in the past couple of decades, he tells us that the real inefficiencies in procurement happen when other departments don’t follow the rules.
Real-time spend visibility
Erickson tells us that the real question that procurement teams ask him is, “do I even have the funds for this?”.
With the right procurement software, your team gets the benefit of real-time feedback on the budget. Let’s face it, there are a ton of procurement software programs out there that can probably get your tasks done. But only a handful actually offer this live feedback loop, which has the ability to completely change the company finances.
This need for real-time information only grows during times of economic distress, too. But with procurement software, your team can implement a working purchase request system. Each staff member accesses their departmental budget, and sees exactly how much has been spent and what is remaining.
No longer are your staff wasting the time of the finance function by asking if they have the funds – the data is instantly available.
Better vendor relationships
Are you scrambling to pay suppliers on time? Or do you even know how long it takes?
A key feature of good procurement software is the ability to see how long it takes you to pay suppliers. We build this metric into our dashboard here at CoreIntegrator.
Here’s a fun story that Erickson tells about a customer: before working together, the client was taking approximately 150 days to pay its suppliers.
This lengthened internal processes, confused auditors and made their suppliers incredibly unhappy (rightly so!). But CoreIntegrator was able to reduce this pay cycle to just 4.5 days.
It’s imperative that teams know procurement automation doesn’t only refer to streamlining the supply chain processes.
It’s about adding that overall value to your business that means your team can focus on what really matters.
By drastically decreasing days to payment, this customer was able to develop a great relationship with their supplier. This lead to product discounts, increasing margins. Ultimately, this play impacted profits and made the company far more attractive to investors.
Who knew such a small metric could transform the entire valuation of the company?
9 options for procurement software
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, so here’s a list of software for procurement teams that each target different processes and systems:
- CoreIntegrator Workflow
- Spendesk for virtual payment cards
- Amazon business for 3-way matching
- Rossum AI for OCR
- Promena for sourcing and suppliers
- Monday.com for inventory management
- Juro for contract management
- TrustPair for security and compliance
- Coupa for procurement maturity
For budget-oriented teams who need an all-in-one procurement system, and more. CoreIntegrator Workflow encompasses all the following features on a single accessible dashboard:
- Cloud-based automation
- Payment processing
- Verified invoice data capture
- Completely customizable business process automations
Are your staff buying first, asking later?
CoreIntegrator Workflow makes spend analytics available without a single click, meaning that your leaders can make instant decisions about purchases. So even the staff who rebel against your approval system won’t wreck the budget.
Automation opportunities in the procurement process
What exactly does a completely customizable automation program look like?
Here are a few examples:
|Business process||The old way||CoreIntegrator automation|
|Recurring payment requests by suppliers||Manually enter the same information month-after-month manually, subject to human error like missed or duplicate payments||Smart AP learns how you process invoices and does it for you. Plus, you can set the rules to automatically process payments when the invoice meets your conditions. With absolutely zero chance of duplicate payments.|
|Process non-PO invoices||Since they were never pre-approved, you can’t three-way match or verify the data. Everything is done manually, wasting valuable hours.||While this process still requires a set of human eyes, it becomes remarkably quicker. A combination of optical character recognition technology and/or our Verified Data Capture Service enters your data automatically to begin non-PO invoice processing. Then automated approvals allow one-touch approval on any device from anywhere in the world.|
|Process PO purchasing||Paper requisition requests that lead to paper invoices that have to be manually matched line by line by line. A single PO match can take hours.||Purchase requisitions are filed electronically. And then, when products or services are rendered, SmartMatch is a revolutionary way to automate PO matching using proprietary algorithms rather than OCR to perform truly touchless PO matching.|
|Onboarding new suppliers||Since your business takes more than 30 days to pay, your newly negotiated rates disappear as quickly as the deal was signed.||Onboard and pay new suppliers (and pre-existing suppliers) in as a little as 4 days. Meaning you keep your agreeable rates and become your vendor’s favorite client.|
Spendesk for virtual payment cards
Founded in 2016, Spendesk has quickly established itself as the go-to provider for virtual payment cards. Operating both inside the US and internationally, their smart company cards allow your business to separate subscription payments, petty cash spending and general expenses.
These cards are particularly suited to procurement team members who work remotely. Or who need to make one-time payments securely. Plus, your finance function can also benefit from opening new software subscriptions with separate cards for recurring payments.
Instantaneously pay supplier invoices, and manage accounts for petty cash spending without ever having to carry a physical card around with you.
3-way matching with Amazon Business
Amazon business suite is not rated highly in general. But it could be worth considering if you only need a three-way matching tool.
It allows users to automate the verification of their suppliers and payees by matching up a purchase order with other documents, like invoices. The major benefit for procurement management is that supply chain due diligence is ongoing, fulfilling KYC compliance requirements.
However, those looking for a more robust and well-rounded invoice management software should take a look at our article: invoice management software: what to look for.
OCR tool: Rossum AI
OCR technology used to be top-of-the-line. But better options have overtaken it..
For example, our one-of-a-kind Smart AP, Verified Data Capture Service, and SmartMatch technology beats OCR by using human verification, machine learning, and proprietary algorithms to master your processes.
But we do understand that not all companies want to make the jump.
If you’re looking for an upgrade to your familiar OCR technology, Rossum AI is a cloud-native document processing company which uses optical character recognition tools. Users can benefit from cognitive workflows instead of templates, which means that the system should fit whichever documents you receive.
It could be a good fit to quickly process invoices, purchase orders, packing lists and more.
Promena for sourcing and suppliers
Some procurement teams have the opposite problem to everything discussed so far. Seriously mastering their systems, these procurement departments struggle to evaluate and onboard new suppliers in good time. This issue can result in a backlog of orders, ongoing inventory problems and delayed payments to suppliers.
For specific help with the strategic sourcing of new vendors, Promena offers a ‘quick bid collection’ module. This arm of their digital procurement software aims to gather quotes from as many suppliers as possible, while adhering to your preset rules to ensure quality. This could significantly reduce your overall cycle time from product innovation to sale.
Based in Turkey, the company highlights their range of budget-friendly solutions, which could be handy in the current economic climate.
Inventory management with monday.com
monday.com is a general productivity program, but some innovative souls have been able to turn it into a procurement planning tool.
As a highly customizable cloud-based software, you set it up (pretty much) in any way you choose. However, there is little opportunity for integration. So, for example, a purchase order or invoice must be managed separately.
A real plus to this software is the ability to upgrade the basic features to include barcode tracking and extra purchasing features. But to be fully transparent – users reveal quite the learning curve when using this software for inventory management, since it was originally intended for other purposes. But, those who stick with it report success with tracking inventory and creating a steady stream of orders.
Juro: your contract management tool
Although it’s got a looser relation to procurement, contract management can become a real pain during your processes. But after negotiating the best prices with your new supplier, the last thing you need is for a contract to go missing, or to leave the business vulnerable to a loophole.
Fortunately, dedicated contract management tools exist, like Juro. This service is used across legal, finance, HR and operations departments. But for procurement teams in particular, you can create a single contract, locking certain fields and leaving others blank. This creates your very own template, meaning you don’t need to be dealing with lawyers for each new supplier contract.
Trustpair for security and compliance
Founded in France, Trustpair has recently begun an expansion to the US. They are a fraud-prevention service, particularly for the likes of invoicing and payments.
For your procurement team, this means more peace of mind against invoice fraud and phishing. Fake supplier invoices are on the rise, and there’s really no telling what the next big scam will be.
But working with a company like Trustpair should protect your business against fraud, from purchase order to purchase requisition, and receiving the goods to invoices.
Coupa for procurement maturity
Those with more of an unlimited budget when it comes to procurement might prefer the likes of Coupa. This solution aims to streamline each arm of your procurement system and reduce spend where necessary.
Coupa automatically monitors compliance in your jurisdiction, so your people are free to be more strategic with their time. Built to improve operational resilience, it could be a good choice with the current economic climate.
Want all the tools on a single platform?
Each of the tools on the list are brilliant in their specialized systems. But sometimes, you just need procurement management software to overhaul your entire system. Taking all the little fixes that individual modules wouldn’t cover, and combining them into a single platform. Full end-to-end procure to pay automation
Looking for something that encompasses vendor management, invoice verification and data capture all with an easy and smooth interface? Look no further.