Artificial intelligence

How AI Can Solve the Biggest Challenges in Procurement

Need for Artificial intelligence in Procurement

 

As Procurement leaders plan their 2022 Savings targets, they are exploring new ways to unlock the full potential of their operations and realize its true value. In today’s digitized environment, that true value of Procurement lies in becoming a strategic unit of the firm, which contributes towards growth and innovation.

To enable procurement teams to be more strategic, firms must put AI at the center of their arsenal and use it to assist with forecasting demand trends, optimizing bids for estimated savings, calculating supplier scores based on negotiated contract terms, monitoring budget performance, and much more.

Procurement leaders often get caught in the hype of AI but organizations need to consider AI as just a software system that can solve specific problems across the procurement lifecycle. It helps teams to automate mundane tasks and processes resulting in boosting productivity and cost-efficiency.

Beyond productivity and efficiencies, having sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) by your side certainly provides a competitive edge to your organization.

 So how does AI help solve the procurement puzzle? 

let’s go through some use cases-

Consider yourself as a buyer with a need of some office supplies at your global headquarters; AI can assist your sourcing and procurement teams at every touchpoint in the procurement lifecycle, simplifying the buying process in the following ways-

1) AI-Assisted Sourcing

AI can help identify what to source and where it should be sourced from. AI software can take into account all your needs in terms of products needed for the office supplies, any specifications for those products, and then give suggestions for your next best contract or supplier base to work with or manage, this will shorten your time spent on sourcing and help to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Zycus’ Merlin AI can learn your sourcing patterns and behavior’s making intelligent supplier recommendations for future needs.

2) AI-powered Auctions & Supplier Performance: 

AI can assist your team in eSourcing items and help with bidding. AI software can place bids on behalf of suppliers, send out RFIs or RFPs, and track your project’s performance in real-time. AI’s language processing capability allows it to read the content needed then produce proposals dynamically based on that data. 

AI even provides insights into what could be improved upon or how you can avoid pitfalls that are commonly made by procurement professionals. 

This significantly reduces time spent on error detection and correction as well as saves the effort of all teams. Zycus’ Merlin AI can empower your sourcing team by analyzing supplier performance-related data such as audits, evaluations, credit scoring, delivery time performance, and use it for future decisions regarding certain suppliers.

3) AI-powered Spend Analysis & Classification

AI/ML can also help classify and interpret hundreds of billions in transaction data, which can be leveraged to aid predictive analysis resulting in procurement organizations taking “intelligent” decisions. AI can help automate this process and monitor your organization’s spending to identify any irregularities. AI helps in real-time spend analysis and helps reduce the time spent on your company’s procure-to-pay process.

Being a leader in spend analysis, Zycus has analyzed spends worth over USD 2.1 Trillion and delivered over USD 200k recorded savings. 

This gives Zycus a unique position to help any enterprise realize their savings opportunities, ensure high visibility and provide intelligent decision-making capabilities. 

4)   AI-powered Contract Management: 

AI software monitors, reviews, and extracts insights from contracts that can be used both today and in the future to help minimize risks and maximize opportunities for savings. While you are focused on making sure all your product needs are met, AI makes it possible to identify risks across suppliers which not only leads to enhanced compliance but also offers better insight into supplier performance and potential mitigation strategies or early detection of supplier issues.

Zycus’ Merlin AI will make you more proactive in managing your contracts versus reactive.

See what analysts say about Zycus Contract Management Lifecycle Solution

Merlin AI has been able to amplify the efficiency of sourcing and procurement teams by 75% and reduce the time for contract analysis by over 80%. 

Organizations using Zycus’ CLM solutions have been able to get more value out of their contract management process and maximize savings.

Learn More: Zycus iContract Solution;

5)   AI-powered Catalog Management

Catalog management isn’t always easy and there are often multiple versions of a product being managed at once across different catalogs, suppliers, etc. AI can manage these several differences quickly by finding duplicates, associating items with the correct catalogs, identifying new product opportunities, and so on. AI can help you achieve optimal catalog management to reduce costs related to sourcing relevant products.

6) AI-Powered Invoice Processing

Once you receive an invoice from your supplier via email and then you download it onto your system. The next step would be to identify and extract all the detailed information. AI can entirely automate this process by enabling automation of invoice matching by intelligently reading and “understanding” the invoices, and extracting the pertinent information such as invoice number, supplier name, invoice due date, product description, amounts due, and so on.

Analysis of important data points and automated classification of invoices for further process refinement helps to improve the accuracy of invoice submission leading to on-time payments. This can help capture early payment discounts with better visibility and result in enormous savings opportunities

Zycus’ AP Automation Solution has enabled firms to leapfrog into the new age of invoice automation by reducing 60% of operational costs, enabling faster invoice processing leading to a 30% reduction in approval cycle time.

Conclusion

AI has tremendous potential to empower procurement leaders and gain a distinctive advantage to early adopter organizations by delivering superior ROI. The applications of AI in areas of spend classification & analytics, contract management are enjoying wider acceptance across industries.

Zycus Merlin AI has already enabled large organizations to get more value from their procurement lifecycle. Progressive organizations are evolving into the next paradigm of procurement transformation and AI is at the center of this evolutionary process.

Tanmay Dhar

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Tanmay Dhar

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