Is RPA The Gateway to the Digital Transformation of Procurement? (Procurement Foundry Special)

Posted on November 14, 2019


Real examples of RPA’s at work in the P2P lifecycle

By providing a place to “converse, share, and grow from our collective knowledge,” the Procurement Foundry’s goal is to become the largest community of Procurement and Supply Chain Management professionals in the world. Given the number of procurement pros utilizing the site, I think that they are well on their way. Check them out at Procurement Foundry.

And while you are at it, check out their blog from which the following excerpt has been taken.

A few years ago, there was a famous Tweet from Box CEO Aaron Levie regarding Uber, which speaks directly to the benefit of P2P’s digital transformation including AI and Robotic Process Automation or “RPA.”

In his Tweet, Levie made the statement “Uber is a $3.5 billion lesson in building for how the world *should* work instead of optimizing for how the world *does* work.”

Putting aside the fact that Uber is still an unprofitable enterprise, the premise of building for the way the world “should work” is no less relevant than if the high-tech transportation company was rolling in ROI dough. 

The “Should” in Should Work

Back in 2014, I wrote an article about the laborious processes associated with invoicing and that a “touch-less approval of electronic invoices is how the world should work.” 

I then went on to suggest that the ideal system would be one where upon receipt of an invoice, there would be an automatic validation against internal rules and external data sources (e.g., tax rates), a reconciliation to the ERP system, and finally an approval for payment without human intervention.

Only in rare instances where there were exceptions would someone have to intervene. At the time, research suggested that more than 90 percent of all invoices could be processed and settled in this fashion. 

Besides giving personnel the freedom to focus on more strategic areas of the enterprise, the benefits of such a system is the realization of significant savings. 

Use the following link to read the rest of this article, and while there, check out the many other interesting articles and resources on the Procurement Foundry site.