Every business, no matter the size, no matter the industry, should aim to achieve Continuous Process Improvement (CPI). Budgets are tight across most businesses, with many having to do more with less (less staff, less money). Employing methods to continuously improve can enable a business to not only simplify processes, but to reduce process waste and optimise workflows.
Consolidating and controlling spend has never been more important, with all departments under increased scrutiny to deliver cost efficiencies.
Continuous improvement is a hot topic at the moment, with Forbes highlighting that constant improvement is a "Best company trait" and that organisations should “embrace continuous improvement to power operations.” The Hackett Group
also recently stated that "continuous process improvement is a must for organisations striving to achieve and maintain profitability and competitive advantage."
The main objective of continuous process improvement is to make small, incremental changes that will provide greater value in the long run by determining whether they’re meeting the goals of the company. And process improvements can be made across the entire organisation, including in the area of spend management and procurement.
When it comes to getting strategic procurement correct, for example, a recent Proactis Survey
identified that fewer than 25% of organisations feel they are close to getting the procurement process right, while three quarters can see sizable opportunities to improve. Besides missing out on substantial savings from better supplier agreements, a sub-optimum strategic procurement process misuses the team’s time to work on administrative tasks.
CPI can provide organisations with increased profits and productivity, improved quality, enhanced supplier satisfaction, reduced costs, more consistent data entry and so much more. With spend management, such improvements can reduce the risk of supplier non-conformance and non-compliance, improve financial control and visibility, provide a broader, better-rationalised supplier base, and free up time to perform more value-add tasks.
Types of processes that can be improved as part of CPI include:
Adoption of technology
One of the most important considerations to the success of any process or system is the ability to gain organisation-wide adoption. Proactis’ intuitive, easy-to-use design enables a cultural shift that empowers employees to execute routine daily purchases on a self-service basis within established organisational controls. Departmental managers, purchasing professionals, and even suppliers, work in the system to request, purchase, invoice, and approve, simply and in a consolidated way.
Reduction of cycle time
Reducing the time it takes to process an invoice can free up staff to focus on more value-add activities. With Proactis you can now reduce the direct cost of invoice handling by automating the full invoice lifecycle from the time they are received to the time they are authorised for payment. You can eliminate paper handling to create a fast, accurate “low touch” digital invoicing process.
Visibility of spend from transaction through to summary analysis is invaluable to support every level of decision-making. Proactis applications give insights into all levels of spend to improve decision-making.
In order to truly streamline any process, users throughout the organisation must be empowered to perform appropriate steps to ensure compliance. But without built-in controls enforced automatically by the supporting system within the platform, it is impractical to expect everyone to understand and comply with all policies and procedures. Proactis’ comprehensive built-in controls make it practical to ensure organisation-wide compliance with all purchases, budgets, and approval policies, for example, ensuring greater compliance within the organisation.
You need to ensure on-contract spend and use of approved suppliers across your organisation, and monitoring contracts is time- and labour-intensive. Proactis enables you to alleviate the whole task of creating new contracts every time you onboard a new supplier. With standard contract templates users will only need to make minor updates, saving loads of time drafting up new contracts in every instance.
These are just a couple of examples of how CPI delivered using Proactis can help you increase productivity, improve quality and consistency and reduce costs. Proactis makes it possible.