Purchasing managers endure many daily challenges when it comes to indirect spend-- never-ending status tracking, legacy-based processes, manual input, and incomplete reporting data to name a few. When you compound these challenges it can easily seem that there are never enough hours in the day. Time management can only get you so far, especially when you have other critical areas to focus on.
Let’s explore how spend management software can help you solve your daily pain points and help you recapture your day. The combination of automation with new digital processes will help you streamline the management of indirect spend. Efficiency increases, time savings add up, and you’re now free from manual tasks that would have taken up most of your day.
Identify the Issues and Find the Solution
Problem: Requisition Status Updates
If you are using a legacy system (manual paper-based, spreadsheet or SharePoint) to manage requisitions, then you know getting a status update can be frustrating. Requisitions go through manual routing and can end up anywhere-- lost, delayed, or stalled at any point along the way. Where is the requisition and what's its status? Simple questions like these can take hours to solve, wasting valuable time.
Solution: Software Track Statuses in Real-time
Spend management software delivers immediate results on the status of your requisitions. If it is stalled you know who to contact to get it advanced. More than that, advanced systems allow the user to see the status, thus cutting you out of the equation. Time saved.
Problem: Slow Legacy-based Processes
We don't need to tell you how much time is required to manage an offline system or an IT intensive tools like SharePoint. Whether you're using spreadsheets, email, SharePoint, or worse—Paper, you know even something as simple as an everyday office supply purchase can take several days and require a lot of hand holding.
Solution: Software Driven Processes with Intelligent Automation Save Time
This where a software solution can make the most impact. Throw the old way out and replace it with automation and streamlined modern processes. Digitizing the approval routing, associated documents and communication gives you unparalleled optimization. Add to that the fact that you’re capturing a complete audit trail and you’ve got a very powerful tool at your disposal.
Problem: Manual Input and Duplicate Entry
Let's face it, every legacy system causes multiple cases of duplicate entry for each requisition. Redundant entry is not only a waste of valuable time, it also is the leading source errors. These errors can cost you even more time tracing the issue and making the needed corrections.
Solution: Spend Management Shuttles Data Where It Needs to Go
Spend management can remove the need to re-enter data in several places. In fact, each requisition can follow an automated path from requisition to PO with very little interaction—removing duplicate entry altogether. If you have preselected user catalogs, the data is transferred from the vendor website to the requisition, so you don’t need to key in requisition details like product, quantities, totals, and such at all.
Problem: Incomplete Reporting Data Headaches
Legacy systems are usually an amalgamation of disparate components and that makes collecting data a nightmare. There's also lost data due to rogue spending that may not show up in these systems at all and may take time to catch and apply skewing monthly reports.
Solution: Key Data Points Collected Automatically Deliver Critical Spend Visibility
These data collection points mirror your new processes leaving every approval and communication along that can be researched without leaving the interface. Catching and reporting on anomalies can be near instantaneous.
The Case Is Made
Adding spend management software to your arsenal of tools reduces the time needed to manage every aspect of indirect spend. The time to go from requisition to PO drops from days to mere hours. Your daily challenges are reduced, and in some cases remedied completely.
You have now recovered most of your day and that means you can focus on other critical areas and the impact can be felt throughout your organization. You've also gained a new tool to optimize AP processes, approval routing for non-spend related requisitions, as well as organizational spend visibility—but that’s a topic on its own.
Did we leave anything out? Let us know if you have an indirect spend pain point that you are looking to find a solution for.
Here are some next steps. Download our Achieving 100% Procurement Visibility Guide and explore the benefits of leading your organization to improved procurement visibility.