No one can deny that Augmented Intelligence (AI) is a reality and it is here to stay. All we can do now is try to understand the limits of technology and the benefits it can bring to the daily routine of companies.
AI can be an essential ally for a company’s procurement department, not only to expedite trading, but also to optimize the so-called “value for money”, – in other words, to make better use of the resources available for purchase.
With data analysis and AI, for example, you can create negotiating strategies based on market information, understanding all supply options, such as suppliers and their delivery capacity, financial status and innovation, in order to obtain the best cost, but without generating a risk to supply after the deal is closed.
Nowadays, without automation, a simple purchase involved the employee making a request, forwarding it to the appropriate department, which in turn runs an analysis, sends it through the approval flow in the system, asks for countless quotes from registered suppliers for price comparison, before finally making a decision.
With AI, it works something like this: a company employee talks to a corporal to start the procurement process. A Robot understands the order through natural language processing (NLP) and starts the purchasing process automatically. The purchasing platform sends the exact description of the requested order to previously approved suppliers.
Suppliers submit their proposals and quotes in PDF format. Once again, the Robot uses the NLP function to extract information from the documents, such as prices, deadlines and payment conditions, to determine whether all conditions are met. Based on this information, AI (Augmented Intelligence) qualifies the best supply options by comparing the quotes received for this item and also comparing them with quotes for similar items previously purchased and those purchased by other company departments.
The Robot will carry out the negotiation, and when the final purchase recommendation is chosen by the purchasing analyst, the system will automatically start the process of hiring and scheduling triggers/payment conditions fully covering the P2P(procurement to pay) process.
Similarly, we can mention several opportunities in the other O2C (Order to Cash) processes, automatic invoice processing, data entry in the different systems, among other use cases.
But it’s not just through process automation that Smart Automation will bring value to Procurement. With data science, we can analyze, discover trends and predict events that are critical to achieve more efficient Procurement processes.
Augmented Intelligence allows us to monitor indicators, competitive intelligence information from current providers regarding risk analysis, influence map, ownership changes, financial, legal or regulatory problems, emergence of new technologies, new entrants that help create more efficient negotiating strategies and reduce the time spent searching for new supply partners.
And there’s more. Looking at the governance and compliance side, there are machine learning techniques that can be used to find anomalies in transactions related to the above processes. These anomalies can be errors, instances of fraud or even a seasonal trading situation. This type of evaluation even allows you to understand your supplier and expand your negotiating power.
AI, process automation itself and thorough data analysis are great mechanisms to provide more security, effectiveness, negotiating power and value for money to a company’s Procurement sector.
About Auctus – Augmented Intelligence
Auctus started as the innovation department of the Innovatech Group, and within few months it managed to generate a series of consulting services marked by heavy application of data science and artificial intelligence. Later, it became an independent company and consolidated its focus on Augmented Intelligence.
The business purpose of Auctus is to offer customized solutions capable of reducing costs and improving the experience of our clients’ customers through the application of data science and intelligent process automation, where we automate not only repetitive tasks, but also integration between systems, using unstructured data and generating insights and predictions for making business decisions.