The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Ivalua, reveals that procurement, supply chain and finance professionals are spending 31% of their time dealing with inefficient and outdated paper-based and manual procurement processes which restricts procurement department’s time to provide greater strategic value. It was also found that 66% of all businesses surveyed believed its operations still relied on paper-based processes as part of their respective procurement strategies. These figures cost UK businesses on average approximately £1.9mn (US$2.3mn) annually.
“Against the backdrop of an increasingly dynamic market, featuring Brexit and growing trade friction between the US and China, the role of procurement is becoming increasingly important,” said Alex Saric, smart procurement expert at Ivalua. “Procurement is perfectly placed to help manage this growing risk landscape, support innovation and create sustainable cost savings. However, the lack of digitisation is holding procurement teams back. Whilst functions such as accounting and marketing have embraced digitisation and made great strides over time, procurement at most organisations has remained a digital laggard, leaving many businesses unprepared to face today’s rapidly shifting business landscape.”
Considered a leader by Gartner, Ivalua’s Source-to-Pay suite is utilised by more than 300 companies worldwide. With Ivalua’s findings showing that significant work still needs to be done in the area of digital transformation in the supply chain space, there has been progress made to rectify these figures. The survey showed that 97% of businesses surveyed are investing in technology to further accelerate digitisation, with the key focus areas being: data analytics with 67%, cloud-based platforms experiencing 62% and artificial intelligence (AI) featuring 40%. The data also found that purchasing, invoicing and budget management are considered the top three digitised processes, however, organisations have only managed to digitise 45% of their total procurement processes so far. Supplier onboarding, sourcing and contract management are currently believed to be the three least digitised processes. With 85% of all respondents believing that procurement and supplier management are less digitally mature in comparison to other business functions, Ivalua’s report believes that there is still a way to go until businesses become fully digitised.