Procurement automation: Top processes to automate

If you’re still manually completing business processes like purchase orders, invoice approvals, and contract approvals, then your business is missing out on valuable automation opportunities. You’re probably also slowing down your procurement processes, reducing productivity overall.

Procurement automation can help, and it’s so easy to implement that there’s no reason not to automate these repetitive, time-consuming processes. Your procurement team will have more time to dedicate to more important activities — and your entire business will stand to benefit.

Understanding procurement automation

Procurement automation refers to using technology to cut down on manual tasks and facilitate a prompt procurement process. Using process automation, you can streamline tasks like your contract approval process, avoiding bottlenecks and freeing up staff to focus on the more detailed tasks that need their decision-making skills and a human touch.

When you automate your procurement process, you eliminate some of the manual tasks that eat into staff time. In fact, procurement automation can deliver a lot of benefits. Not only does it streamline your workflow, but it can enhance accuracy and help reduce or eliminate errors in data entry and other manual processes. Your procurement system will run more smoothly and efficiently.

Top processes you can automate

Your procurement system is probably full of repetitive tasks that you can automate. Streamlining these tasks with automation software will pay off in faster, easier processing.

1. Purchase orders

Your business might see hundreds or thousands of purchase orders every quarter, so automating them can save valuable time. Jotform’s purchase request and product purchase order form templates help digitize this process.

You can customize each template to meet your needs and then share the forms on your website or in an email. Staff can complete the forms digitally, giving approvers access to the information they need to make the approval in a clear, easy-to-read format.

2. Vendor management

Using templates to collect vendor and supplier information is another way to automate your procurement process. Jotform’s supplier registration, new vendor setup, and simple vendor contact forms are ideal for businesses that contract with a lot of vendors each year.

These forms eliminate the need for your staff to perform data entry. You can provide them to new vendors on your website or through an email, and once the vendor completes the form, that information can feed into a spreadsheet or upload to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. There’s no data entry to worry about, and you’ll ensure that your business quickly gathers all of the essential information to get new vendors set up.

3. Invoice approval

Dealing with paper copies of invoices is an error-prone, time-consuming process. With Jotform templates, you can convert your invoice approval process to an online operation.

Templates like the authorize payment form and the payment receipt form reduce the time it takes to approve invoices. With all the relevant information readily available online, there’s no tracking down the correct invoice or dealing with paper approval processes. You can issue payment receipts digitally and ensure that you’re paying invoices promptly.

4. Contract approvals

Jotform can also help you streamline the process of signing and approving contracts. With a wide selection of contract templates that includes a sales agreement form, a terms and conditions form, and more, you can speed up the process of creating contracts and approving them.

Just send a link to the contract form to any contractors you’ll be working with. They can complete the contract digitally, and you’ll receive the finished document right away. With Jotform Sign, you can collect e-signatures on contracts in just a few clicks.

And with Jotform Approvals, you can even set up automated approval workflows by adding approvers, conditional logic, and more. This faster approval process can help keep projects moving forward and on schedule.

5. Inventory management

Inventory management is a time-consuming task, especially if your staff are still taking inventory with pencil and paper. Using a digital stock inventory form or inventory checklist form helps you digitize the process, saving staff time. You can pre-populate these forms with each of your item types, making it easy to take inventory.

These digital forms can also increase accuracy, as they eliminate the potential for typos in product names or product numbers. By putting this form on an employee-facing page of your website, your staff can complete the form, and its data will automatically feed into a spreadsheet. You can then efficiently manage and order inventory.

Implementing procurement automation in your business

You don’t need to invest in expensive software to automate your procurement processes. Jotform is a highly versatile platform that can streamline many of the tasks that are costing you unnecessary time and labor. Investing just a little time in setting up these automated processes can streamline your operations and make your workflows more efficient.

Photo by Cup of Couple

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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