Easy as it seems, maintaining an up-to-date database of your suppliers can be a complex chore if you do not know where to begin— should you source all the files from your purchasing department, the archived contracts, or ask your colleagues? Given the frequency with which your company may be ordering raw materials and other supplies, it does not seem likely that you will finish preparing your vendor list in time for your next optimal procurement—‘optimal’ being the key term here.
In these uncertain times, with the global economy slumping at a steady pace, businesses, more than ever, are having to work around their shrinking IT budgets, and ‘optimal spending’ takes precedence over all other business strategies.
IDC forecasts a reduction in global IT spending by 5.1% in 2020, a consequence of the ensuing aftershocks of the Coronavirus outbreak. Many predict the economic shocks to recur over the course of a few years, with countries around the world going into a recession-like situation.
Small and mid-sized firms have been hit the hardest— the latest McKinsey poll focusing on US SMBs during COVID19suggests that 56% out of the 1000 respondents thus surveyed, with annual revenues below $500 million, claim to have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
The prospect of investing in game-changing technology at the moment seems a distant option. However, if we are to look closely at the IDC forecasts again, you get a sense of what exactly companies are looking for in order to get onto a path of recovery and growth— Cloud technology. The demand for Cloud services is expected to grow by almost 4%, proportional to the increasing need for flexible work and operating modes by businesses in a restrained work environment (2020 May, IDC Forecast).
So where does this leave businesses like yours looking to get the best quality supplies from vendors, at affordable prices, and within budget? It’s still technology, Intelligent Automation, to be specific, that will give you a headstart in terms of accessing the best suppliers just when you need them. But you will be investing in a Cloud solution that is centrally hosted and can be purchased on a subscription basis. This saves you from spending your dollars on server hardware/software, user installations, maintenance and upgrades, not to mention the high level of scalability you can exercise without needing additional IT support.
A cloud based Intelligent Document Capture (IDC) software utilizes digital transformation technologies such as AI and Machine Learning to automatically capture data from vendor invoices. The software is preconfigured to capture a vast array of data fields and formats from invoices. In the event the IDC bot encounters an unfamiliar invoice from a new vendor, it utilizes AI and Machine Learning to learn from user actions performed to extract data the first time. The IDC bot emulates these user actions to capture all subsequent invoices.
This automated vendor invoice processing system helps record and classify vendor information that can be viewed as a ready directory of suppliers. This vendor directory can give you a lot of insights on the state of your inventory, the viability of each of your suppliers, as well as knowledge of which suppliers to source when faced with a crisis and you need to secure the limited inventory at affordable prices. In a way, Intelligent Document Capture of vendor invoices provides you with a system of consistent and up-to-date vendor mapping that you can immediately refer to in order to secure the best raw materials and related supplies within budget. Cloud based Intelligent Process Automation with Intelligent Document Capture technology offers companies a suitable lever to mobilize their business in a tough economic climate, without needing to spend their valuable reserves.