Benefits of automated procurement processes

How your organisation can benefit from automated procurement processes

For many rapidly growing businesses manual procurement processes are no longer suitable to meet the needs of their growing staff numbers and supplier base. And when size and complexity reach a tipping point it means change which invariably involves automation of some or all the internal processes.

Automating internal processes can be seen as risky and complicated, especially when it comes to the procurement function. Some may question – is it worth the risk and investment? However, there are many benefits that any growing business can benefit from, starting from a single view of all purchasing through to cost reduction and less manual administration

One of our rapidly growing clients, Coventry Building Society (CBS), is now reaping the benefits of a transition from manual processes to a full Source to Pay solution. CBS is the UK’s third largest building society offering a range of savings and mortgage products. It operates in a highly regulated industry, with a history of all technology projects being managed in-house. The need to automate and streamline many of its procurement processes became clear as CBS started to rapidly grow.

Being able to order the right products at the right price from approved suppliers in minutes can provide any procurement team with more time for strategic sourcing and supplier management. CBS acknowledged that automation of orders and invoices would help save time and resources as well as minimise the number of mistakes. Moving away from manual processes allowed CBS to have better control of all procurement activities with clear visibility of all organisational-wide spend enabling informed future decision making.

As the business grows so does its supplier base and it can be difficult and time consuming to manage it successfully without an automated process in place. CBS identified that it needed to improve its supplier management from the initial tender process through to supplier relationships and risk management. It now enjoys a joined-up view of all supplier data, relationships and activities as well as a single view of all sourcing activity.

Adding more complexity, CBS has zero tolerance when it comes to potential security issues, which was a crucial part of the project. Most organisations recognise that security is very important and any data needs to be handled with care and in a safe environment. We worked closely with CBS to meet the stringent security requirements and ensure a secure, robust integration between a cloud application and CBS’s existing IT systems.

CBS now has approximately 400 users across all six of CBS’s head office locations and now stores and manages 1,500 supplier contracts in one central location, improving visibility and control of the supplier base. If you would like to find out more about how CBS transformed their procurement processes, please download the case study here.