Stay on top of the Purchase Order Cycle with Workflow Automation.

Are you on top of your purchase order cycle? Getting continuous updates on the business spend, the status of purchase orders and invoices, and inventory puts you in complete control of the procurement cycle. If manual processes define your purchase order cycle, then you must be prepared for delayed payments, tedious paperwork, and overlooks. What is the best option to stay in complete control of the procurement process without a tedious manual workload? Read on to know-how.


Understanding the Purchase order Cycle

The purchase order cycle is the central part of the procurement cycle. It is one of the key performance indicators that measure the productivity and capabilities of the procurement team. Ordering, obtaining and paying for the goods or services the business requires make up the procurement cycle. Optimizing the purchase order cycle can result in a substantial reduction in business spending.

An average purchase cycle comprises the following steps.

Purchase order generation

Approval of the purchase requisition is the step that leads to purchase order (PO) generation.

Budget review and Requests for Proposal

The finance team reviews the PO to ensure that funds are available. In a manual purchase cycle, the next step after approval of the PO is sending requests for proposals to vendors. Interested vendors will submit quotes against the RFP.

Supplier review

The RFPs are reviewed and compared by the procurement team to choose the winning bidder.

Purchase order submission

The procurement team does negotiate with the chosen vendor for price, quality, and terms of goods. Once the negotiation is completed, a purchase order is sent to the vendor. Once the vendor accepts the order it becomes a legally binding contract between the parties.

The purchase order cycle can be manually operated, or automated. For lengthy and complex purchase cycles, automation can streamline the process for optimal business spending and operational efficiency.

Manual Purchase Order Cycle

A manual purchase order cycle is managed by human resources. Most business processes that are managed by human resources are prone to inaccuracies and bias. We are well aware of the tedious and cumbersome nature of manual purchase order processing. The obvious issues faced in a manual purchase order cycle are delays, misplacement of documents, neglected processes, long email trails for approvals, inaccurate data, overlooking compliance policies, and expansive paperwork.

The less obvious impact that manual processes have on operational efficiency are low productivity, low employee satisfaction, a larger carbon footprint, and high business spending. The redundant and repetitive steps present in manual purchase order processing bring down the productivity of the process. When employees are assigned these repetitive tasks, they end up spending less time on project-related work. As a result, their job satisfaction and productivity come down. Manual purchase order processing involves more paperwork, which leaves a large carbon print. Redundancies in manual processing result in high business spending and low operational efficiency.

Outdated manual tools, inaccurate data, and neglected processes – the pitfalls of the manual purchase order cycle. Automating the purchase order processing helps eliminate redundancies and improve operational efficiency.

Automating the Purchase Order Cycle

As businesses expand, the purchase cycle becomes more complex and requires many resources, talent, and time. Running the cycle in manual mode is not cost-effective and productive.

Transferring the purchase order workflow to software makes up for the inadequacy of manual processing and also provides many advantages.

* Apart from eliminating inaccuracies and delays in the manual processing of purchase orders, automation also improves productivity by cutting out redundancies and repetitions.

* Employees also get to spend more time on meaningful project activities instead of repetitive admin work.

* The approval process in purchase order processing can be automated for eliminating bottlenecks and delays in approvals.

* Automation also ensures complete adherence to compliance and terms of company policies.

* The pay-out process to vendors is also efficiently handled through automation by eliminating human intervention.

* Data recording and documentation in an automated workflow are accurate and updated.

* Proper documentation also ensures smooth and transparent auditing.

* Automation of the purchase order also ensures that every PO is cross-connected with related documentation.

Market Outlook for Procure to Pay Software

Running a business cost-effectively and efficiently always does not require new product lines or acquisitions – optimizing core processes has a significant impact on value creation and cost savings. Take control over your purchase order cycle with Cflow.

Our workflow automation software can be set up within minutes without any technical expertise.

According to Globe Newswire, the Procure to Pay Software market is expected to reach 9.2 billion USD by the year 2026 at a CAGR of 7.6%. Key market growth drivers are increasing strategic procurement developments and the increasing need for streamlining procurement processes. Driven by such promising growth of procure-to-pay software, progressive businesses are taking to automation at a rapid rate to improve operational efficiency.

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