Robotic Process Automation (RPA) & Procurement

 What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology buzzword you don’t want to write off. With a quick ROI and a multitude of useful applications, RPA has the potential to become a vital tool for the future of procurement.

The name speaks for itself. RPA software empowers organizations to program virtual robots to automate repetitive tasks or processes currently completed by employees. Robots can be programmed to automate tasks within specific software applications like, SAP, Microsoft Excel, Outlook to name a few. They can even automate tasks on a User Interface, like a web application.

We found a video the demonstrates RPA in use.Check it out here.

RPA delegates repetitive, low-thought processing to robots rather than humans, which decreases errors and increases efficiencies. This in turn, grants employees within the organization the opportunity to allocate more time to strategic, cognitive-intense work.  In essence, robots will not be replacing employees, but rather complementing them by extending their abilities and scope. This means more time for activities like, major projects, team building initiatives, or individual skill development.

Procurement Applications

Procurement is transactional at its core, and many repetitive tasks are typically required. For example, the processing of:

  • Requisitions
  • Purchase orders
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Reports

Because of its transactional nature, the P2P process is ripe for RPA implementation. But in addition to P2P transactions, robots can be leveraged in other unique areas such as report automation, data cleansing, email notifications, or specific processes unique to your organization.

By automating high volume, repetitive tasks, RPA can empower the professionals of your procurement organization. This has the potential to increase their cognitive capacity while simultaneously building a more efficient organization. With proper research of solution providers and collaboration with your IT department, RPA is no longer a technology buzzword, but a key asset to your procurement team.

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