AI and procurement: smart procurement practices in the future

When it comes to transforming business operations, artificial intelligence (AI) is often the first technology…...

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When it comes to transforming business operations, artificial intelligence (AI) is often the first technology that companies look at. AI has numerous benefits, so it is not surprising that it is a highly sought-after technology for procurement processes. In fact, AI and procurement are meant to be together, and organisations that understand this unique intelligence will be able to manage their spend while maintaining quality and timely deliveries. 

Here are some smart practices that procurement should adopt when it embraces AI. 

Automate procurement tasks

AI has the unique ability to automate simple and complex tasks. It is possible for procurement to bring purchases under its control by ensuring that it can accept free-form requisitions, such as the ones that many departments send through email along with formal requisitions. Speech and image recognition are also transforming procurement, with many companies now accepting purchase requisitions from off-site employees via images and telephonic requests. Rather than complicating the procurement and approval processes, AI has helped with requisitions, allowing procurement professionals to actively manage spend. 

Strategic sourcing

AI has the ability to learn a user’s sourcing pattern and behaviour. Based on this learning, it can recommend suppliers that fit into the parameters of procurement. CPOs can also benefit from this technology’s ability to identify prospective suppliers, predict market prices in a volatile market, and analyse the relationship that the organisation has with existing suppliers. 

Uncover patterns

Procurement generates large volumes of data, and analysing it for anomalies can be tough. However, procurement-focused AI can look for discrepancies in the data set and compare them to purchase orders and invoices. As a result, it can minimise errors and fraud while pinpointing suppliers that are advantageous to the company. 

With organisations looking to transform procurement into a strategic and profit centre, adopting new technologies has become imperative. AI has the potential to bring about dramatic and significant procurement transformation.

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