5 Ways Automation Makes R+D Procurement Departments More Effective

  • 5 Ways Automation Makes R+D Procurement Departments More Effective

    5 Ways Automation Makes R+D Procurement Departments More Effective

    In companies with a research and development (R&D) department, R&D often has very specific procurement needs. Getting R&D and procurement working together effectively can be a challenge, though. A breakdown in communication between the two departments can result in misunderstandings, frustration, and costly procurement issues, including inaccurate or duplicate orders and maverick spending.

    Business process automation (BPA) software streamlines procurement. User-friendly, cloud-based procurement software automates repetitive tasks, centralizes procurement management, and makes the entire process more cost-effective and efficient. Your company can use many of the features that make BPA a great choice for procurement to improve procurement’s relationship with the R&D department.

    5 Ways Automation Makes R+D Procurement Departments More Efficient Po Saas

    1) Establish Communication Between R&D and Procurement

    One of the big things that causes issues in R&D procurement is a lack of communication or understanding. In organizations where the departments are siloed or communication breaks down, the two departments might feel as if they’re working at cross-purposes when they should be assisting each other.

    On the one hand, procurement might not understand the pressures, requirements, priorities, and timelines that R&D works under. At the same time, R&D might not know about the strategies, priorities, and constraints that procurement has. Finding an effective R&D procurement strategy requires input and cooperation from both parties.

    2) Implement A Transparent Procurement System

    Helping those in R&D understand how procurement works can go a long way toward eliminating frustration on both sides. In a procurement department, one of the priorities is getting all of the company’s purchasing spend under their management. When employees go around the approved purchasing system, procurement can’t negotiate payment terms, effectively manage budgets, and ensure compliance with company policies.

    Maverick spending in R&D might happen for a host of reasons. R&D might be trying to get around what they perceive as unnecessary red tape, or they might simply not know about the company’s purchasing policies. Automating with cloud-based BPA software helps your company create a centralized procurement system that allows for greater visibility into the process. You can also set the system up to automatically enforce procurement policies and make it easy to place orders within the system.

    3) Customize Software for User-Friendliness

    One of the great things about NextProcess software is that we’ll work with you to customize it to your company’s exact needs. You can add as many users as you want to the system, and even customize the way they view the software system. There is no charge for additional users; you pay per transaction rather than based on how many people use the system. This means that your procurement department can grant software access to as many people in R&D as needed.

    With access to the procurement system, R&D can place orders directly in the software. The user-friendly system generates purchase orders automatically, making the paperwork side of purchasing very simple. Procurement can also set up item catalogs and punch-out catalogs to make it easier for R&D employees to find approved products and suppliers.

    5 Ways Automation Makes R+D Procurement Departments More Efficient Po Automation

    4) Work with R&D When Negotiating with Suppliers

    R&D often has very specific procurement needs that vary depending on focus and industry. Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing companies, for example, are very different from each other, but they each have very specific R&D needs. Delays or substitutions can be disastrous. If the procurement department wants to manage R&D spend, they’ll need to work closely with R&D to ensure they’re sourcing the correct materials. At the same time, R&D will need to be transparent with procurement about their needs and timelines for materials so procurement can work effectively.

    With input from R&D, procurement can track down reliable suppliers and negotiate payment terms that benefit the company. Then, procurement can populate the item catalog and punch-out catalog with the suppliers and products they’ve negotiated, making it easy for employees in R&D to make purchases as needed. Procurement will have more control over the purchasing aspect of R&D, and R&D will be able to order needed supplies without worrying whether they’re complying with company regulations.

    5) Use Automation to Enable Employees

    One of the ways that BPA software helps a company is by taking over repetitive tasks and freeing up employees to focus on other things. In a procurement department that is paper-based or uses a digital system that isn’t automated or centralized, procurement employees might not have time to work closely with R&D.

    When automation software takes over routine purchasing functions, procurement employees have time to focus on tasks that add great value to the company. They’ll be better able to work with R&D, as well as negotiate with suppliers and maintain good relationships with them. The data automatically gathered by the software system also makes spend analysis easier and more accurate, giving procurement employees the data needed to make more informed decisions.

    How NextProcess Can Help with R&D Procurement

    When you choose NextProcess for automating your procurement department, we will work closely with your company to match our software to your needs. NextProcess is highly involved with software implementation, ensuring that everything goes smoothly and that your employees are comfortable with the new system. If R&D procurement is a priority, we can work with you during software implementation to make sure that things are set up to make that process work smoothly. Contact us today to schedule a free demo so you can see our software in action and learn more about how we can help your company manage procurement more efficiently.