Robotic Process Automation(RPA) in Procurement Process

Procurement Process

One of the major concerns of an organization is that the procurement team spends most of their time on administrative tasks. 

They have gradually started incorporating Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to take up the administrative tasks to free the procurement to focus on other activities.

Benefits of RPA in Procurement process

  • Helps in minimizing manual intervention by automating the entire process
  • Helps in processes where there is a need for human intelligence to take decisions
  • Helps in developing a strong audit trail for future
  • Helps in reducing human efforts and enabling them to focus on other strategic initiatives

Uses of RPA in Procurement Process

Purchase request to Purchase Order

Earlier the procurement team had to process the procurement request and create a purchase order manually. It led to a delay in raising a Purchase Order and scope for errors. With RPA integrated into the procurement process, the team can complete the entire process from raising a purchase request to raising a purchase order within a short span of time. Once the purchase request is raised, the software automatically follows a workflow such as assessing the request, seeking approval from concerned department head and processing the request to raise a PO.

Demand and Supply Planning

RPA helps organizations in the end-to-end management of the demand and supply planning. It removes the silos between the different departments such as managing procurement, shipping, warehousing, and inventory, and manages them as a single centralized team. RPA is particularly helpful in job-by-job level tasks. So, if the software detects that the warehouse is full of inventories, it automatically notifies the procurement department about it. This helps the procurement team to take stock of the situation.

Inventory Management

Inventory is the core of every business. Organizations have to check if they have enough inventory levels to meet the customer demands. RPA helps the procurement team to monitor the inventory levels, notify when the level of inventory becomes low so the team can order for the products, and provides real-time report that helps the team to get an update on inventory levels at any time of the day. This helps them to assess the current needs and forecast the future needs.

Work order Management

Work Order is a task assigned to the procurement team for a customer. Work Order software helps the procurement team to keep track of customer’s request. Sometimes the team is unable to complete the work order leading to revenue loss. To overcome such losses, and to facilitate better management of work order, companies are now using RPA in their work order management process. The software notifies the team as soon as a work order is created and allocated. This allows the concerned member of the procurement team to pick it up for execution. Once the work order is completed, the software closes the Work Order and notifies the client of the status.

Invoice Processing

Invoice processing involves end-to-end management of invoice – right from receiving it to posting it in the accounting system. A manual invoice processing involves at least 15 steps of the procedure before posting it, which makes it susceptible to delay and human errors. RPA helps in reducing the time and minimize errors by automating the process. The procurement team scans the invoice using OCR to extract the data. The software automatically matches the extracted data against the Purchase Order. If the fields match, the invoice is automatically posted to the accounting system. The entire process is completed in four steps.