Desperately seeking value in digital procurement?

Seeking value in digital procurement

You’ve implemented a digital solution, but you’re not seeing the value you expected. Why? There are a number of possible reasons, elaborated on here by Dooka South Africa, to ensure you’re getting bang for your buck.

In a world where data drives decision-making and the speed of business is accelerating, it’s no surprise that procurement teams are looking at digital solutions to streamline their processes. That’s why we’ve seen an explosion in demand for cloud-based procurement platforms that help companies save time and money while reducing risk compared with traditional approaches.

Unfortunately, many organisations implement these new technologies without understanding just how much value they could realise if they truly embraced them — or even how much money they’re currently wasting by not utilising the full potential of their existing systems.


There are multiple reasons why companies may not be seeing the savings they hoped for after implementing a new system. Some common issues include:

  • Not enough time and money are saved by automating processes. These systems should be designed to save time and money in one way or another, so if there aren’t any changes on these fronts, then there must be something wrong (or not yet realised) with your design.
  • Lack of user training on how to use the new system properly. If employees don’t know how to use their new software or are afraid of making mistakes when using it themselves (which could lead them back into using pen and paper), then it’s no wonder they would rather stick with their old ways!
  • Lack of integration between systems used across departments (e.g., Accounts) without proper documentation outlining how data flows between them (e.g., annual reviews). This issue usually occurs because everyone is so focused on getting something out there rather than thinking through every possible implication first – and then documenting those implications – which would otherwise help eliminate mistakes down the road by providing clear communication channels within each department as well as between them.

Read on to uncover four major reasons why you’re not seeing the value you expected from your digital procurement system.

1. You didn’t prioritise the indirect spend category, where there is value to be realised.

One way to get the most out of your digital procurement process is to look beyond just direct spend. Indirect spend, which includes IT services, office supplies, furniture, and travel in addition to a host of other categories, has been growing by 7% each year since 2011, according to a McKinsey report. Indirect spend can be a major source of savings for organisations—yet it’s often overlooked by procurement teams.

Indirect spend (or tail spend) is often forgotten about when it comes to cost savings because it’s not as visible or “important” as direct spending. A lack of visibility also makes vendor contracts harder to track, making them ripe targets for fraudsters. Unnecessary costs in this category tend to creep up on you over time.

Managing tail spend through a P2P platform system is problematic. There are typically many more suppliers focused on low-value, high-volume items. Tail spend can account for a large part of total corporate spending, but is usually far from optimised. It is clear that focusing efforts on the unrealised value in the indirect spend category can significantly impact bottom-line savings. Tail spend needs a specialised digital solution over and above the standard P2P systems. Focusing your online efforts towards indirect spend can help realise a ton of value in your business by saving you major time, effort, and energy– as well as actual Rands.

2. Your employees aren’t utilising all the new platform’s features.

Next, you should make sure that your employees are using all the features of the new digital platform.

In order to do this, you’ll want to ensure that they have been trained on how it works and what it can do for them. This training should include a discussion of how much time each feature will save them, as well as any other benefits they may not have considered yet (like invoice generation and approvals automation).

You should also encourage your team members to explore new features and how they can best serve them. A good way to do this is by making sure they know what each feature does, so they don’t need assistance from IT when working with them in the future. It’s also a good idea to work as a team in understanding what parts of your procurement process can be automated and made easier by digital tools that already exist.

3. Your company is still facing red tape, bureaucracy, filling out forms, and complicated approval processes when it comes to purchasing.

It’s true that your company has now implemented a digital procurement process. But if you’re still facing much of the same red tape and approval processes, of course, this means you’re not seeing the value of your new system.

With so much competition in the business realm today, companies can’t afford to wait around for approvals or fill out endless paperwork before buying something they need right away – especially when there are platforms like B2B marketplaces that streamline these processes with intuitive user interfaces. Plus, many of these B2B marketplaces integrate with existing P2P online procurement systems to fully automate your purchasing and bring you maximum value.

4. You’re still spending time vetting suppliers and getting quotes before signing a deal.

In today’s fast-moving world, time to market is critical for companies looking to innovate. The traditional procurement system can take months – from the time multiple quotes are collected from suppliers, to the approved and signed contract and eventual delivery. This is unacceptable for many organisations, but especially those seeking an edge in a highly competitive market.

If you want a faster, more efficient way of buying goods and services, consider outsourcing your purchasing process to a marketplace model where the marketplace vets suppliers. Some B2B marketplaces have been designed so that large enterprises can filter the supplier database based on specific criteria such as vendor location, ESG standards, or vendor company size. The transparency aspect of online B2B marketplaces can really increase the value you find from these procurement systems by increasing competition, as well.

B2B Marketplaces are the future of digital procurement

A B2B Marketplace is aimed at addressing that tail spend that is often so problematic with Procure-to-Pay (P2P) implementations. The way to look at it is that a marketplace for tail spend items will complement and work with the existing P2P system and make the entire breadth of corporate purchasing effective and efficient.

With a B2B Marketplace, buyers and suppliers can connect directly to streamline their purchase processes— no more back-and-forth emails or time spent on phone calls. This direct communication allows companies to save time, money, and other resources while improving the efficiency of their procurement processes overall.

Plus, with an online marketplace platform like Dooka at your disposal, you can manage your indirect spending better than ever before. With reports that reveal exactly which vendors are meeting your expectations, you’ll be able to easily see which ones are worth keeping around for another quarter or two—and which ones might need some extra attention in order to meet your needs moving forward.

Dooka’s digital procurement platform has everything you need to streamline your processes and create a more efficient purchasing department for your business. Our ability to integrate into your existing P2P platform ensures you unlock the full potential of your digital procurement investment and makes for an easier change management process.

With our automated features, you can get rid of manual tasks such as vetting suppliers and getting quotes before signing deals. We even create purchase orders for you! You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters most– actually carrying out the mission of your company. Leave the tasks of finding the best prices, negotiating terms with suppliers, and sorting suppliers based on critical requirements to us – all within one system that’s easy to use, by anyone at any level, within your company.

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