Managing Data Complexity for the Procurement Cycle

As procurement cycle data changes and grows, it becomes more and more complex and difficult to manage manually.

Technological advances, including mobile applications and devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), and widespread WiFi connectivity results in more data available at all stages of the supply chain. Globalization means that as potential markets emerge, the circle of potential contributors to the supply chain is widening rapidly.

In order to maximize the potential of procurement cycle management, a wide variety of data must be normalized so that disparate systems speak the same language. Also, manual intake must be automated to reduce man-hours invested in repetitive tasks.

Once inefficient processes are phased out to free up time for workers to make more strategic business decisions, data can be analyzed effectively so that managers all along the supply chain continue to make the best decisions for their organization.

Procurement Cycle

Normalizing Data

The first step in managing complex data streams is to normalize, or harmonize, data flowing in from various sources. Each existing or potential vendor in the procurement cycle may use a different system, network, or procedure to transfer information. To make this data usable for analytical purposes, it must be translated from many disparate languages, or types of data, to a single, ‘clean’ source.

Manually managing complex data streams requires an enormous amount of manpower, and leaves significant room for human error, as different types of data are manually manipulated to a single database or spreadsheet.

Creating an in-house system that can translate different data streams, from email to spreadsheets to API or EDIs used by different vendors also requires significant investment, in employee time, equipment, and maintenance. EDI software can also be very expensive to implement, leaving enterprise companies with little flexibility

One cost-effective solution for normalizing different data streams is to purchase a system created specifically for that purpose, such as Orbweaver Connect. Orbweaver Connect provides data normalization, taking data in all formats and translating it to a single, usable source that can be used for data analytics throughout the supply chain.
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Automating Data Intake

With a manual data intake procedure, companies spend valuable time issuing, tracking, editing and comparing RFPs and RFQs. Additionally, a manual process is open to errors in translation, transmission, and data entry activities.

Automating electronic component purchasing and the RFQ/RFP process results in greater overall efficiency, allowing far more transactions to be processed, so that organizations can take better advantages of potential opportunities.

Automation also means that less employee time is invested in the RFQ process, further reducing costs and saving employee efforts for higher-level tasks that contribute directly to the company’s strategic goals.

Related: The Positive Impact of Automation on Electronics Manufacturing Jobs

Orbweaver Advance is a solution developed specifically for the electronics manufacturing community, that automates the RFQ process, eliminating a time-consuming, error-prone manual process and replacing it with a cost-effective, efficient, and accurate one.

Data Analytics

The procurement cycle will continue to grow more complicated, and the data that is available to improve a company’s supply chain activities will grow more complex as well. Normalizing the data available from different sources, and using the power of data analytics to gain valuable insights can help a company to achieve strategic goals, whether those goals are cost reduction, inventory stabilization, or accurate planning and forecasting.

With procurement cycle processes in hand and automated, employee time can be diverted from manual, repetitive tasks and instead be focused on activities with a greater impact on an organization’s strategic goals. Once data is normalized and intake is automated, analytics can be applied to such tasks as vendor management, negotiation, and planning and forecasting to the advantage of the organization as a whole.  

To learn more about how to automate the procurement cycle and eliminate manual data entry, connect with the Orbweaver team and request a free consultation today.

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