In 2020, we experienced a rapid workforce transformation, with employees everywhere trading in their physical workplaces for virtual offices. With this massive change, employees’ workstyles – along with their day-to-day wants and needs – shifted dramatically.
With this year finally coming to an end, it is time for procurement and AP leaders to sit down with their CIO and think about how they can best accommodate their employees in the new year. As a Customer Leader in Spend Matter’s 2020 E-Procurement, Invoice-to-pay and Procure-to-pay SolutionMaps, we know a thing or two about implementing a procurement system that has your employees’ back. Our customers are on the path to digital procure-to-pay and are ready to tackle the new normal of remote work as they continue to grow adoption, spend controls, budget control and spend savings in 2021 and beyond.

Digital and Modern Procurement Tech

The days of treating automated procure-to-pay platforms as a nice-to-have are long over. Remote work is here to stay, and to boost employee satisfaction, efficiency and productivity, procurement leaders need to digitize and modernize their current procurement and financial systems.
Without digitization, employees spend hours on manual and paper-based processes that reduce efficiency and limit visibility. These issues are exacerbated in remote work environments, where it’s harder (and somewhat impossible) to collaborate on paper. The time spent on manual financial processes – like managing vendor invoices, cutting payments and emailing suppliers – limits procurement’s ability to focus on more strategic initiatives that benefit their career and your business. How many of your employee’s wasted time driving into the office for vendor invoice mailroom functions like opening and scanning paper invoices?
This is always a problem – but it’s magnified in remote environments where employee engagement is more difficult than ever. How would you rather have your best talent spend their time – on tactical processes that limit productivity, or in strategic areas that benefit the bottom line and increase employee engagement?

Invest in solutions that are easy to use

If your current procurement system is not user-friendly and highly accessible, then it is more of an inconvenience than a value-add for your employees. When the purchasing process is difficult, employees will go at it on their own, which results in a reduction in adoption leading to an increase in rogue purchasing and maverick buying.
Today’s employees demand modern and mobile business purchasing software that makes it easy to find and buy the goods and services they need to get their job done. In 2021, focus on giving your employees a consumer-like shopping experience on the front end (think Amazon and Google), backed by robust, enterprise-grade financial controls.
Offering a simple solution that requires minimal training and is easy for employees to use will boost adoption, efficiency and spend under management, making both employees and employers happy.

Access to Best-of-Breed and Modern Tech

Okay, so you want to give your employees access to modern, mobile and digital tools, but you already have existing infrastructure in place, and don’t have the time or resources to rip-and-replace. What should you do?
The answer is simple – integration. The one word that enables procurement leaders to add digital, specialist solutions to existing ERP and financial systems.
Recently, we’ve seen an explosion of innovative and cloud-based financial and procurement tools that enhance productivity and value. Your team needs access – especially when forced to work remotely. The right cloud integration strategy should make it easy to add innovative, best-of-breed and modern tech innovations to your stack, while retaining the control, power and management capabilities of existing ERP and financial systems. Starting by adding a ‘build your own’ marketplace can leverage current investments, giving your employees access to a modern and mobile purchasing experience while ensuring they only shop from contracted suppliers.

New Year, New Tech

A digitized and modern procure-to-pay solution is the gift that keeps on giving – to you, to your business, and most importantly to your employees, no matter the season. Our CEO Joe Fox says it best, “When employees have anytime, anywhere access to a procurement system that works seamlessly with their existing financial systems – employee adoption, spend under management and savings surge – resulting in better financial outcomes for both departmental budgets and the bottom line overall.”
So, what are you waiting for? Sit down with your CIO and CTO today and engage them to help find a procurement solution that will work best for your employees in 2021.