Procurement | March 23, 2017 | by Hugo Borda

Automation and Integration: The Keys to CIO Success

Automation and Integration: The Keys to CIO Success

The role of the CIO is changing at an unparalleled pace as automation and digitization continue to impact every department and every function within the enterprise. CIOs are playing a much more strategic role in all aspects of an enterprise.

As technology continues to advance, CIOs should consider integrating new automated technologies into their procurement department. Procurement, accounts payable, and B2B payments will benefit from the automation and integration of new technology.

Manual-based systems usually support a “people working for a system” model while automated systems usually support a “system working for people” model.  In addition, manual-based systems inherently leave open the possibility of human error while automated systems essentially eliminate the possibility of human errors.  Finally, manual-based system will only scale up by the addition of people while automated systems will scale up by the addition of hardware.

Indirect Procurement

When CIOs evaluate their companies’ indirect procurement process they often find that indirect spending is decentralized. Using an integrated solution enables the procurement department to immediately see approved suppliers, product pricing, and agreed-upon terms. This enables the procurement department to spend less time trying to track down the right supplier and more time focusing on market changes that can affect pricing and availability of specific products. It will also speed up the entire transaction process by automatically converting POs to invoices.

Accounts Payable

As in procurement, accounts payable often struggles to get invoice approval and to deal with the demands of manual based systems. Paper trails can often go astray and it becomes impossible for AP processors to track invoice statuses in real time. By integrating an e-invoicing solution into the accounts payable process, all invoices will either be submitted as electronic invoices or as scanned paper invoices and converted to e-invoices. All documentation will be stored in the system and will be matched. Matching happens automatically and the invoice is processed straight through to the company’s ERP for payment with no human intervention needed, thus eliminating the possibility of human error.

B2B Payments

Paying by paper check is both costly and inefficient. In fact, when the transition volume is too big, it may be quite difficult to meet payment deadlines. Electronic payments can help mitigate error-prone, inefficient, and manual processes. Companies that automate processes eliminate inefficiencies and reduce costs. On top of this, they also give traditionally back-office departments the chance to play a strategic, revenue-producing role in the enterprise.

Technology has already had a dramatic impact on enterprises. CIOs must take advantage of technology and integrate it in their enterprises to save time and money, and increase accuracy and real-time visibility. That is always welcomed in any enterprise.

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