Manufacturing CFOs Cite Uncertain Economy for Payment and Procurement Automation Delays

Economy Blamed for Procurement Automation Delays

Manufacturing companies, along with other trade businesses, have had to learn to roll with the punches the last few years in order to survive.

Modernizing procurement systems could provide sector firms with long-term benefits to their bottom lines, however, and in the face of longer-than-expected inflation and other economic uncertainties, many companies are reevaluating their digital systems innovation spending.

The latest PYMNTS collaboration with Corcentric, “Digital Payments: A Changing Economy Sparks New Priorities for Systems Spending,” revealed that one area getting a renewed eye toward modernization by the manufacturing sector is procurement.

Digital systems that are investment priorities

Although 42% of manufacturers already invest in procurement innovations, a hefty 44% of sector firms are still planning to invest sometime in the future. Driving implementation delays is economic uncertainty, as 78% of surveyed manufacturing chief financial officers said the factor is very or extremely influential in their decision to invest in procurement.

It may be tempting to enact across-the-board cuts during times of economic volatility. However, skimping on procurement modernization may be sacrificing long-term cost benefits in favor of more immediate savings, as 72% of manufacturing CFOs noted improvements in the efficiency of their company’s procurement processes when investing in the system’s digitization.

Fortunately, for the 44% of manufacturers planning to modernize their procurement systems, multiple options exist to ease the transition.

Last October, integration and automation provider TradeCentric and spend management platform Coupa Software announced an enhanced joint partnership. TradeCentric helps buyers and suppliers connect, automate and scale their transactions, with its solutions part of the CoupaLink Partner Program. This collaboration strengthens TradeCentric’s presence on the Coupa App Marketplace, a platform connecting businesses with certified solutions across supply chain, procurement and finance functions.

Days later, spend management FinTech Airbase announced the addition of automated procurement features to its solutions, aimed at supporting purchasing processes for medium- and large-sized businesses. The new automated features include documentation and data routing, three-way purchase order matching and custom tagging of additional stakeholders.

Further padding the list of readily available options is Simfoni, which in November acquired spend management solutions company Xeeva. The deal combines Simfoni’s intelligent procurement solutions, eSourcing and spend management with Xeeva’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered spend management and procurement technology. Simfoni’s purchase is meant to bolster the FinTech’s pay-as-you-go solutions with AI-based data enrichment, payments automation management and additional scope and scale around spend management.

Decisions about where to focus innovations investments within an uneasy economic landscape may be difficult. However, considering both short- and long-term benefits solutions such as procurement modernization provides could behoove firms seeking the most value for money spent.

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