PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Zip Adds Generative AI Procurement Assistant to Spend Orchestration Platform

office worker

Zip has added a generative artificial intelligence (AI) procurement assistant to its spend orchestration platform.

The company has also added two other AI-powered capabilities — document extraction and intake automation — to help companies streamline procurement, Zip said in a Wednesday (June 26) press release.

“The problem with business purchasing today is that much of the process is still cumbersome and time consuming,” Zip Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Lu Cheng said in the release. “Zip’s generative AI capabilities change that, transforming this process by guiding employees through purchasing decisions, automating tedious tasks and reducing the complexity of navigating company policies.”

The Zip AI assistant guides employees through the purchasing process, automatically starting the purchase request and helping employees navigate the company’s spending policies, according to the release.

The platform’s new AI document extraction capability scans order forms, contracts and other documents in seconds; parses the data to create a single source of truth; and makes that information available to be used to automate tasks, the release said.

The third new addition to the spend orchestration platform, AI intake automation, pre-fills purchase requests with data from order forms. This saves time and boosts accuracy by eliminating the need to manually enter price, item quantity, billing frequency, and other purchase and supplier information, per the release.

“This is a concrete use of generative AI that makes work faster, easier and more efficient so that every team that touches the procurement lifecycle can focus on the real, strategic work that will move the needle,” Cheng said in the release.

By tapping embedded generative AI solutions to automate previously manual workflows, flag legal and security risks, and generate valuable business insights, firms can enjoy downstream enhancements across their operational workflows and even rethink the staffing requirements needed for procurement and payment functions, Cheng told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview posted in October 2023.

“CFOs are excited about the labor savings and the ability to run their teams a lot more efficiently,” Cheng said. “And when we talk to procurement heads, they look at it as a pretty massive time saving because they are typically spending 50% of their time reviewing contracts but now they’ll be able to actually spend more time negotiating and running RFPs and doing a higher level of work that will help the company’s bottom line.”

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