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Procurement is evolving. It’s evolving from simple buy and sell, from endless admin and labour-intensive processing. It’s evolved to a strategic powerhouse that delivers value, mitigates risk and boost procurement efficiency across the business.

Through sophisticated procurement technology, organisations up and down the UK are saving money on the products they buy and cutting the time spent on monotonous tasks. They’re building long-term relationships with suppliers that generate value, create innovation and improve business performance.

They’re also empowering their teams to do exactly the same. By freeing their execs from admin and processing, they have more time to develop the skills and talents that will drive the function in the future. It’s a win-win for everyone. Your company gets extra value and your people get a more rewarding and satisfying job. Here’s how you can start:

Automate as much as you can

Automation gives you immediate bang for your buck. Implementing it is simple and because it’s a mature technology, it’s a very safe investment. So what do you get? It reduces errors, waste and complexity overnight. It processes your invoices, RFQs and purchase admin and more. Most importantly, it gives you time. Think of the number of supplier invoices, POs, deliveries, payments and returns you deal with each month. Letting tech handle those for you gives you back hundreds of hours per month and reduces errors to zero.

Data: get the essentials right

Data helps to leverage value and if you are to make better decisions it is necessary to use it well and to use it wisely. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. What you already have offers value. For example, I-Tel can look at the last six months of procurement invoices you have and help you to identify overall spend patterns. Seeing where you are spending, what you are spending it on and how much allows you to identify patterns. From there you gain an understanding of the types of supplier you should be working with and enter into agreements that create value internally and externally.

Empower your execs

Automation removes the boring part of executives jobs and frees their time to do more strategic work. To help them meet future challenges of the profession, you should train your teams with soft skills – communication, problem solving and to tell stories with data – that is, the bits the tech can’t do. And train them to analyse and interpret data and to negotiate. What you get in return is an exec that complements your tech and who is capable of working alongside stakeholders to leverage its advantages. Moreover, you get someone that creates far more value for the organisation.

Use Analytics

Monitor your spend and monitor the market. There are plenty of tools available that do that. We think ours is the best. Why? We’re directly connected to more than 300 global suppliers. Through those connections and our sophisticated in-house tech, we can compare prices and availability to ensure you get what you want, when you need it and for the right price. We also continually monitor your procurement to ensure optimum performance freeing up time and resources for your business to remain competitive and progressive.

Final thoughts

Technology is changing the way procurement teams work. Modern procurement is fast, agile and responsive to changes in the market. What was once an admin-heavy cost centre is now a strategic powerhouse capable of delivering cost saving and boosting operational efficiency. To reap those benefits:

• Automate your admin
• Use your data wisely
• Upskill your execs
• Take advantage of market-leading analytics

For more advice and information on optimising your indirect procurement, visit itelgroup.co.uk.