Srividya Kannan, Founder, Director, Avaali Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Our solutions enable enterprises to increase process efficiency by over 35% - 50% and reduce costs by about 15% to 20%.

Jan 06, 2021 09:01 IST India Infoline News Service

In and interaction with Shweta Papriwal, Editor, indiainfoline.com, Srividya Kannan, Founder, Director, Avaali Solutions Pvt Ltd. said "Amongst downstream process value chain, our solutions for supplier collaboration, invoice to pay automation and payment approval automation solutions are adopted by several large enterprises".

We understand that Avaali has deep expertise on Procure to Pay solutions for enterprises. What kind of solution offerings do you have and what business outcomes has it delivered?

Avaali’s solutions for the procure to pay functions include both upstream process automation for the source to contract functions as well as downstream processes for the procure to pay processes. We have automation solutions for strategic sourcing, PR requisitions, RFI/RFQ and negotiation processes to contract lifecycle management and supplier onboarding and master creation processes. Amongst downstream process value chain, our solutions for supplier collaboration, invoice to pay automation and payment approval automation solutions are adopted by several large enterprises.

Our solutions enable enterprises to increase process efficiency by over 35% - 50% and reduce costs by about 15% to 20%. Our solutions for reverse auctions enable a quick and transparent process for price discovery coupled with bringing down cost procurement costs by at least 15%.

Why is digital procurement such an important topic in the post COVID world?

As enterprises strategize for a bounce back to recovery and growth, procurement plays a very critical role to reduce supply chain complexity and improve supplier governance. The new challenges faced by procurement include managing inventory in accordance with the changing demand patterns, identification of high-risk suppliers as well as timely visibility to any supply delays. These could be effectively solved with automation.

Keeping small and mid-sized suppliers afloat with early payments ensures that there is a healthy, diversified supplier base who are available to deliver at a fast pace when required. Enterprises are vigorously automating this process to ensure that various tens of thousands of invoices being received from thousands of suppliers are checked as per standardized and accepted policies and paid on time.

Enterprises are also realizing that cost reduction opportunities could be immense in procurement, right from getting to closer to market prices at the shortest possible time via Reverse Auctions to the sheer cost of supplier collaboration and management via Supplier Portals.

What are some of the manual interventions in the process and why are enterprises looking to prioritize this for automation?

Procurement processes typically have a lot of manual interventions which lead to long cycle time and poor turnaround. From the RFQ to PO process and from PO to payment, there are numerous steps in processes which is executed by numerous stakeholders. These are done typically on excel files, emails or at worst on paper. Workflows are manual and there are hardly any audit trails. Several thousands of various types of invoices are received over emails or in hard copies and processing them is not only tedious but also time consuming. There is hardly any systematic archiving of data or documents.

With the pandemic and most employees still working from home, managing this process manually has become a virtual nightmare for enterprises. Enterprises are accelerating the pace to automating this process since it severely impacts their performance. End of day, strong supplier collaboration is core to recovery and to build resilience within enterprises.

What technologies are enterprises adopting to automate this process?

There are numerous good practices being adopted by enterprises to automate procurement processes. Supplier collaboration portals automate supplier engagement from release of RFP/ RFQ to evaluation, vendor selection, vendor onboarding, PO release and invoice to visibility of goods receipt to notifications and alerts to suppliers on status of various transactions.

Contract management solutions enable automation of the full contract lifecycle, provide audit trails of comments, workflows, annotations, and enable risk free records management based on regulatory or internal company policies.

With reverse auctions, the cost of procurement can be brought down significantly as market prices are determined very quickly during live auctions rather than prolonged negotiations. This further has a significant positive impact on process visibility.

Invoice automation solutions automate the entire process of invoice receipt to post, while also archiving invoices and automate workflows in the process.

Robotic process automation automates various tasks in the process including master data creation, purchase requisition and purchase order approvals to providing various dashboards and reports.

With solutions like spend analytics, insights on procurement data help identify patterns and detect anomalies that help decision making to improve procurement performance and bring down costs.

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