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When bots do the buying

As-a-Service is hitting the buyer’s suite

Overview

Procurement teams, saddled for years with outdated systems and capabilities, can now leverage digital as-a-service models to fast-track strategic performance.

As digital business services mature in the near term, subscribing to bot-enabled procurement can alleviate buyers’ transactional loads, freeing them for more strategic pursuits.

Many of today’s core procurement functions are becoming industrialized, shifting to digitally-enabled services that can be supplier-funded. And this is enabling leading companies to run procurement at half the cost.

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Removing rote tasks from procurement activity frees up 40% to 60% capacity

Key findings

Accenture Strategy sees the market moving to a source-to-pay, subscription-based service, coupled with business services that execute operational and transactional processes. More expensive, on-premise technology solutions will be replaced by these digitally powered services platforms.

For instance, a global energy company recently saved $2.5M annually by automating more than 100 procurement, finance and accounting processes, resulting in a 67 percent decrease in manual average handling time.

Companies can expect an IT cost reduction of 10 to 20 percent when they re-architect their IT footprint, rationalizing applications as they move to an as-a-service model. They can achieve an additional 10 to 40 percent in savings through IT-enabled business optimization such as increased automation, self-service, and the working capital reduction implicit in an as-a-Service solution.

As-a-Service business model can reduce operating expenses for procurement by 40% to 50%

Recommendations

Moving to procurement as-a-service could be your next step. Here are pragmatic steps you can take.

  • Segment the work to be done by:

    • Refocusing your retained Procurement organization on higher value activities.

    • Standardizing roles, policies and processes.

  • Become leaner and more strategic:

    • Partner with key strategic suppliers to move to growth.

    • Staff skills differently.

    • Purge operational and transactional activities.

  • Create a buying experience that makes it easy to buy and

    • Put the end-user at the center of all design decisions.

    • Rationalize your digital landscape to avoid the patchwork quilt effect.

    • Partner with as-a-Service providers to ensure your technology needs are being met.

    • Move away from on-premise technology.

As-a-Service

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