Procurement directors have a special knack for efficiency. They always seem to find the right partners and processes to help companies save time and money. As we start seeing the light at the end of the pandemic, businesses are leaning into these gifts, asking procurement professionals to create more efficiencies as they navigate the balance between remote work and bringing employees back into the office.
Here are three of the strategies we’re seeing procurement departments adopt for greater efficiency.
When it comes to efficiency, technology always seems to have the answer. According to The Enterprisers Project, a digital transformation involves fundamentally (and sometimes culturally) changing the way your business operates, converting operations from people and paper to automation and analytics.
Among the many things the pandemic has taught us is how critical it is for an organization to adapt quickly to supply chain disruptions, consumer expectations, market changes and more. Digital transformations, including machine learning and cloud-based tools, help businesses become more efficient by reducing friction and making teams more agile.
An SAP Ariba poll found that 63% of procurement leaders consider automation a key priority in their digital transformation initiatives. With all of the data involved in procurement, automation helps improve and expedite processes related to contract management and payment processes. Tools that utilize data analytics and machine learning are able to quickly analyze large amounts of data, helping businesses make quick, informed decisions.
A second trend in procurement efficiency is all about communication. The more siloed departments within a company are, the less efficiently they can work together. Project management platforms help streamline collaboration between internal and external stakeholders, increasing productivity and reducing costs. In fact, Workzone discovered that project management software saves the average employee 498 hours per year.
Project management tools like Asana and Workfront enable all stakeholders to know the current status of a project at any given time. They can see who is responsible for what task, where projects get stuck, what communications have taken place and have the option to reprioritize as necessary.
Going back to digital transformation, procurement professionals should also consider the mobile-friendly and cloud-based applications available with their collaboration tools. This is especially important to maintain productivity for remote workers and employees and vendors who are stretched across the globe.
One of the best ways procurement leaders can be more efficient is by not taking everything on themselves. Which leads into our third trend: leaning on expert third-party partners. By contracting with an experienced, comprehensive vendor, procurement professionals can lean into their knowledge and vast amount of resources rather than starting from scratch on their own. This partnership creates huge time and cost savings for the company.
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