How Procurement Protects Your Most Valuable Commodity: Your Time

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi.

As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto:

Article 20: The most valuable commodity that we will manage – and by extension our partners, technologies and systems – will be our time.

Technology has done amazing things when it comes to helping you manage your time and your business. However, with more websites and online companies competing for your attention, you’re faced with information overload that can result in an increase in time to find the data you’re actually searching for. According to the International Data Corporation, a knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours each day searching for information. In a world where time is money, those hours mean precious dollars and productivity going down the drain.

The Internet gives every researcher, company and neighbor down the street the ability to generate content and disseminate it easily to the masses. While this is a great way to share information and learn new things, it also has led to millions of webpages that can become overwhelming to navigate when doing research. For example, if you search for “software vendor” 8,050,000 results are immediately generated. You could spend a lifetime weeding through these millions of pages.

So how do you cut down on the amount of time that is wasted when searching through page after page on the Internet? One of the ways procurement will be tasked with giving all business users back valuable time in their day will be streamlining the process of searching for information. Consolidating all vendor catalogs into one easy to access location and offering valuable guidance based on past searches and purchases will be vital. Sending automatic notifications when an item returns to stock or a new item of interest is added to your system will also help simplify the process.

These relevant prompts will speed users through the procurement process and help to avoid replicating searches when an item isn’t initially available. With the ability to search a large database of products from multiple vendors in one application, you’ll avoid wasting the time it takes to access multiple sites with different information.

Another time-saving capability procurement can deliver is the ability to make the evaluation and decision making processes easier. Calculating and comparing differences on multiple sites is tedious, frustrating and time-consuming. By offering users the ability to compare prices, read product reviews and see full product details in one location, the need to access multiple vendor sites is eliminated.

In a world where 40 hours a week never seems like enough, users are looking to procurement solutions to give them the tools they need to better manage their time and become more productive by streamlining the procurement process. Purchasers can identify the supplies needed and send an electronic request directly to the approver in your company who then can confirm the purchase. That information then seamlessly flows into your ERP system, eliminating any need for data re-entry.

Like any software implementation, user adoptability is extremely important to ensure success. The more available a system is, the wider the adoption rate. A mobile application ensures your procurement system’s success. Mobile technology has changed the way we do business and allowed valuable time spent away from the office to be utilized instead of wasted. With a mobile procurement application, employees who are on a business trip or out of the office can still access the same data and programs they would be using if actually at their desk.

With immediate access to purchase orders on a mobile device, purchases can be approved anytime, day or night, eliminating paper orders that can sit for days on a supervisor’s desk waiting for a signature.

Company-wide adoption of mobile procurement software means one thing: more time in the day and a more productive workforce. As the speed of business gets faster and more efficient, a procurement department that can not only keep up with that speed but also make it even more streamlined will be increasingly valuable to the organization.

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