The act of obtaining or buying goods for business can be extremely complex. Compounded by numerous risks and time-consuming tasks, the additional pressures of procurement (like planning, supplier research, value analysis, price negotiation, contracts administration and inventory control) only add to the overall stress of the job. With so much to consider, the need for safe, efficient and reliable solutions to meet the demands of procurement are highly advantageous.
Today, digital solutions are constantly changing the way business is done. The advancement of technology has transformed almost every sector and operation for the better and there’s no sign of it slowing down, says Rudi Kruger, General Manager of Risk Solutions at LexisNexis Data Services. “Technological innovation benefits business by putting pioneering solutions in the hands of busy professionals, thus promoting self-sufficiency and accuracy,” he said.
In procurement, digital innovation has several benefits. “The business of procurement has immense scope and need for innovation. These include solutions to not only make the function simpler, but also to eliminate risk, increase transparency and create equal opportunity, thus ensuring effective spending for a business,” said Kruger.
Most importantly, solutions that assist with combatting fraud are highly valuable. “Fraud is a great concern in any financial transaction, but can be even more concerning when there are employees and external suppliers involved,” said Kruger.
Consequently, supplier vetting is one of procurement’s tedious processes that can be simplified with a technology solution.
Web-based systems can assist organisations (public and private) and procurement professionals to identify and prevent corruption within procurement processes by vetting existing and potential suppliers.
When evaluating potential solutions, Kruger advises that candidate technologies must be able to recognise conflicts of interest within your organisation, potential suppliers or supply chain partners; and identify potential connections and ownership of property, and highlight outside business interests of employees, which helps combat corruption.
To mitigate reputational risk, organisations must investigate negative and positive news on suppliers and employees, which is another area in which technology can be a great ally.