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From Manual to Digital Procurement: Everything You Need to Know!

January 20, 2022 by: Dominic Barrett
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Why Digitalization Makes Sense

Digitalization is happening in all walks of life and as a concept, it’s far from being a cutting-edge idea. But digitalization in procurement is still relatively unexploited and can therefore be a vehicle to drive competitive advantage in an age of volatile raw material and transportation costs.

At AirFaas we talk with a lot of industrial manufacturing companies in Finland. Whether they’re SMEs with aspirations of growth or global multinationals looking to increase efficiency, the problems they face are often relatively similar.

Is there a Problem with Procurement?

Most procurement is completed manually with a trusty Excel file, stored in the cloud so all members of the team have access. Communication is conducted via phone and email, and business data is entered into a legacy ERP system that is necessary for production. Often the data will be scattered as team members have their own way of working and their own copies of files stored on local devices.

When management wants insight, the trusty Excels are cross-checked with ERP data, reports are compiled, and findings presented. This data reflects manually entered business data and on some occasions strategic data from the RFX and quote comparison stage.

ERP systems are great at supporting procurement by making sure that you buy the right goods at the right time. But often they do not give tools or insight into areas such as supplier performance, and they lack the ability to fully support the centralization of both strategic and operational procurement from RFX to the handling of quality issues and all processes in between.

Which Companies are Fully Digitalizing Procurement?

Most companies don’t have easy access to data on direct spend. Of course, the largest companies in Finland can utilize systems such as SAP Ariba, Jaggaer, or the Oracle Procurement Cloud to get a 360-degree into their spend and work towards having 100% spend management. However, for the large majority of other companies price and time of implementation excludes them from getting on the same digital footing as these industry leaders.

A Digitalization Solution for the Masses

AirFaas offers an affordable, fast to implement, cloud-based solution to give the large majority of companies the tools to digitalize and automate strategic and operational purchasing simultaneously. Buyers get digital tools to create request for quotations, compare quotes, create and approve orders, receive shipments, and handle quality problems. Based on the data in these processes you can create price lists, organize product categories and centralize all data inside a single project.

As AirFaas is an ecosystem you also open a portals for customers and suppliers, ensuring higher degrees of accuracy in data, increased transparency and better communication. Ultimetly this leads to efficiency gains towards customers and suppliers alike.

Management can log in at any time, view real-time data, and get KPIs and reports directly from the system. AirFaas is not an island and easily integrates with your existing systems to allow a seamless flow of data. You can connect items such as orders, price lists, or products, from your PDM, ERP and accounting system via an API.

So, What’s the Catch

The truth is that AirFaas is not a silver bullet for an ineffective process, no system is. Motivating a team to commit to the implementation of a new system and process is the most challenging aspect.

We will be here to support you throughout the transition though!

We will help you analyze your current process, and then define and create a document of best practices to support your staff in transitioning to a new system. We will provide you with enough training so that every team member that is involved is confident and happy with this new process. We will offer you continued support and will work with you to develop new features and functionalities in a way that constantly creates new value for your company (we update the system every month and as a cloud-based solution all updates are instantly available for all users).

All of this is part of our standard package to deliver exceptional customer service alongside a best-in-class product. It's not an optional extra and there are no consultancy fees. So there's only really one question left, are you and your team ready to transition from manual to digital?

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