How Automation Can Help You with Sourcing and Procurement in the Time of COVID-19
In a world shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses face enormous and often unprecedented challenges. The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on supply chains affects every industry, forcing companies to take a closer look at their procurement strategies.
If you’re concerned about how your company will adapt to changes in the post-coronavirus business world, you’re not alone. Every business faces similar concerns. You don’t have to face them alone, though. NextProcess’s business process automation can help you take charge of your procurement as you find ways to adapt to new realities in sourcing and supply.
The Coronavirus, Procurement, and Working Remotely
As the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a significant disruption in global supply chains. The importance of procurement and purchasing suddenly moved front-and-center in business’ concerns as they struggled to maintain their supply chain.
Many companies, particularly those considered “essential businesses,” faced pressure to continue delivering services and products despite a breakdown in their supply chain. For some, these disruptions highlighted weaknesses in their procurement strategy that they’re now trying to deal with. One example would be learning that you’re sourcing most of your supplies from a single geographic location.
On top of that, companies also had to respond in a way that kept their team members safe. Not only did companies need to find ways to deal with the coronavirus’s effects on procurement but, in many cases, they had to do that while transitioning to having a significant number of employees working from home.
Procurement and purchasing software like we offer here at NextProcess lets you easily track all your purchasing info from one shared software. Everyone within your company that works with purchasing – even across multiple locations – works in the same platform. We don’t charge extra for adding more users. Plus, everyone who you’ve approved to access the system can work remotely.
Get A Clear Look at Your Supply Chain
Before you can fix issues in your company’s supply chain, you need to have an accurate assessment of where things stand regarding your sourcing and procurement. This is a key area where automation can help.
NextProcess’ Purchase Order Module gives you complete control over your purchasing process. The system lets you pull up information on all your suppliers and track the status of your purchasing in real-time. Utilizing the tools of automated purchasing software makes your sourcing and procurement process much more transparent, providing increased insight into and control over your supply chain management.
Greater insight into your supply chain can help you identify which of your suppliers haven’t been able to respond to your company’s needs. They’ve undoubtedly been impacted by COVID-19 as well and, in many cases, there’s not much they can do to fill your orders faster. But they should be able to offer you transparency into the state of their supply chain, and by extension your supply chain as well.
It’s good to know not just where you get your supplies, but also where your suppliers procure their supplies. As you gather more information, you should get a better idea which suppliers you can rely on and which will not be able to weather the storm with you.
Planning for The Future with A Diverse Supply Chain
At this point in the pandemic, you’ve probably already started finding ways to get back on your feet with sourcing and procurement. You might have identified suppliers that aren’t able to help you and replaced them with alternative suppliers. And you might still be working to get procurement back on track and prepare for an uncertain future. Automation can help with this task as well.
Automated software speeds up and streamlines the entire procurement process. This leaves your employees with more time to spend on tasks like optimizing your supply chain. The software also stores all the information about your suppliers in one place and provides sorting and search tools so you can quickly access their information.
You can use your automated software to identify trends in your procurement system and avoid common procurement mistakes. For example, perhaps you notice that your suppliers are concentrated in Asian regions (or any other single location). In that case, you may want to diversify to include suppliers in other areas of the world. This would help reduce the risk of your company being completely cut off if the supply chain breaks down in certain regions.
As you add new suppliers, be sure to take a close look at their financial health and the stability of their business. It can be tempting to save money by going with the least expensive supplier. However, in the long run, it is often better to choose stable companies with great customer service that you can build relationships with and rely on when things get tough.
Using Procurement to Save Money and Build Resilience
It’s going to be difficult for any company to ignore the importance of procurement’s role in a post-pandemic business world. Those in the procurement department should be prepared to continue filling a key role in a company’s future strategies. There’s likely to be a high demand on procurement to help the company find ways to save money. Many companies will also expect the purchasing department to get ready to handle any supply chain disruptions in the future.
Procurement automation software can be a big help when you’re trying to save money. For one thing, it’ll help you maximize employee productivity. Another benefit is that it reduces, or even eliminates, maverick spending and mix-ups like duplicate orders. You’ll find it much easier to coordinate purchasing across the company as well as manage and control spending.
Using business process automation for procurement can also help you plan for the future. As you come up with new strategies for managing sourcing and procurement, you’ll be able to customize the software and program it to automatically enforce your company’s updated policies. Improved visibility into and control over your procurement process also makes it easier to analyze and reduce risk.
We Can Help
If you’re like most of us, the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on your company, your community, and your employees. While it’s impossible to anticipate every risk in the post-COVID-19 world, NextProcess’s automation software offers the sort of flexibility you need to adapt to rapidly changing situations in supply and procurement. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free demo to see exactly how our software can help your company.