Obtaining best value is critical, not only to success, but in some cases to survival. An agile approach to spend management helps achieve this is by improving the effectiveness and transparency of both strategic and tactical sourcing processes, while reducing administrative time and effort. There are strategic tools available that provide flexible, collaborative, and efficient methods for conduct effective sourcing events
of all types.
Such tools also enable employees to find and buy what they need. Specific goods and services that are available from authorized suppliers can be easily accessed, and this capability is essential to achieving higher spend under management. Employees are far more likely to buy the right item from the right supplier when it’s easier to do so. Providing employees with the ability to search for, select and then order the item or service that best fits their needs and without long drawn out internal processes streamlines the purchase process for the employee and dramatically drives higher on-contract spend.
An agile system will enable you to work together with suppliers on how to reduce costs and understand cost structures. Look at options with suppliers, such as different ways of payment and different ways of managing inventory – don’t just keep doing the same thing, just because that's the way you've always done it.
Having the flexibility to proactively monitor which suppliers are at risk is also vital. There are tools available
to provide early warning of suppliers who might be in trouble. Contingency plans are essential, but you also need the tools to be able to support and manage these plans.
When automation across the whole Accounts Payable process comes into play, high levels of agility are unlocked. Invoices no longer end up stuck in offices if the team needs to switch to remote working. There is no need to trawl shared inboxes to locate related documents for approving invoice payments. Unstructured data is speedily converted into structured data. Clean, accurate invoice data is seamlessly integrated and “Matching/Approval” ready, with quick access to supporting approval documentation, e.g. timesheets.
Companies that successfully adopt agile spend management are better able to manage changing conditions and priorities. “The most relevant benefit in the midst of the Covid-19 situation is that we can access everything, in the same place, from anywhere,” stated Ian McKee, Assistant Director of Finance at the University of Sussex
. “The Proactis solutions have been hugely helpful during the situation. We moved off site very quickly but we were able to do this with confidence that none of our processes would suffer as a result. Supplier and contract management, eProcurement and all invoicing processes are digital.”
Agility supports resilience, it’s dynamic and is vital for managing change. It therefore makes sense that, as spend management is such a pivotal strategy within an organization, it should be agile. There has never been a better time to automate – or further optimize – your Source-to-Pay processes and ensure that business can continue under any circumstances.