Organizations have a lot riding on the efficiency and effectiveness of their procure-to-pay processes. Disruptions to an organization’s ability to purchase or pay for materials, goods and services can negatively impact its supply chain, customers and financial standing. Yet, most organizations rely on manual or semi-automated procure-to-pay processes that cost too much, take too long, create too many errors, provide inadequate visibility and frustrate internal stakeholders and suppliers. A big part of the blame can be pinned on the top-down approach that most organizations have traditionally taken to automating business processes. Another contributor is the exploding volume of “dark data” – untapped structured and unstructured data from documents such as invoices, purchase orders and shipping documents. Robotic process automation (RPA) with cognitive automation makes it easier and more cost effective for procure-to-pay organizations to automate. The technology empowers business users with software robots (bots) that automate business processes, such as procure-to-pay, to achieve operational and strategic benefits.
This paper details the challenges with traditional approaches to business process automation, provides an overview of RPA and cognitive automation, and lays out the technology’s benefits in procure-to-pay.