It’s ok to admit: automating your business processes sounds great, but it makes you a bit nervous.
“How much time will I save?” “How much money will new software solutions cost me?” “And…will the new software put more money in my pocket?”
These are all fair questions. But, regardless of the many questions, reality cannot be avoided: you need to automate your business process.
At Procurify, we are acutely interested in automated purchase order software. In fact, automated purchase orders are a critical aspect of our software solution. But to accurately describe the importance of automated purchase order software, it isn’t enough to focus solely on that specific topic.
We need to look at the complete, automated procure-to-pay cycle.
The Procure-to-Pay Cycle
So…what is the procure-to-pay cycle?
According to RPI Consultants, a U.S.-based business consultancy, the procure-to-pay cycle refers to the “entire process by which organizations buy and pay for goods and services, from the request for the product by the operations staff to the issuance of the purchase order, receipt of the goods, and finally payment of the invoice.”
Simply put: the procure-to-pay process encompasses every step in how a business obtains a good or service.
Okay. So…what is an automated procure-to-pay cycle?
Again, according to RPI Consultants, procure-to-pay automation is “using technology to streamline part or all of the procurement process.”
In regards to purchase orders in particular, automated purchase order software is a software solution that electronically creates purchase orders, complete with all the requisite information, to be sent to a seller. The purchase orders created in such software are also catalogued for easy reference.
Steps in the Procurement Process
A quick refresher on the steps in the procurement process:
• Requisition approval
• Issuance of purchase orders (when automated purchase orders are created)
• Receiving Invoices
• Matching invoices
• Issuing payments
Benefits of Procure-to-Pay Cycle Automation
As the above definition highlights, automating the procure-to-pay cycle is all about saving time, saving money and achieving critical visibility into a company’s spending.
Here’s a quick list of benefits:
• Creating paperless procurement environments;
• Reducing time required for each step of the procurement cycle;
• Increasing the number of transactions received or sent electronically;
• Increasing visibility of information, including company spending;
• Eliminating manual processes.
Visibility into spending (the ability to see how much the company, department by department, is spending) is a critical advantage for businesses of all sizes. And procure-to-pay automation will provide that visibility.
Gaining that data allows for more accurate budgeting and forecasting – again, critical processes for all businesses. The more a company understands about its spending, the better executives will be able to make decisive, critical decisions about the future of the organization.
So, we started off this post by saying that in order to understand why automated purchase order software is important, it is first necessary to look at the entire procure-to-pay cycle. And now that we’ve done that, it is easier to see that automated purchase orders are an important part of that entire process.
And when we use on technology to modernize a critical – yet dated – business process, the desire is to streamline work, which leads to savings of both money and time. The procure-to-pay cycle – and, by extension, purchase orders – is no exception to that rule.