Transforming Supply Chains: Insights from the Source-to-Pay Automation Webinar with Esker

by Editorial Team

Embrace Automation and Strategic Sourcing to Thrive in a Competitive Market

The future of supply chains in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is being reshaped by Source-to-Pay (S2P) automation. On June 20, the Global Supply Chain Council, in partnership with Esker, hosted a highly interactive webinar to discuss how S2P automation can align supply chain strategies in APAC. With 100 professionals in attendance, the session featured industry experts sharing valuable insights and real-world examples.

Key Highlights from the Webinar

The webinar, “How Source-to-Pay Automation Helps Align Supply Chain Strategies in APAC,” brought together industry leaders to discuss market trends, challenges, and the strategic importance of S2P automation. The speakers included:

  • Charlie Cheah, Managing Director, Asia, Esker
  • Jessie Kok, Director of Finance and Business Analysis, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Jonathan Pole, Enterprise Sales & Account Specialist, Market Dojo

Understanding Market Trends and Challenges

Charlie Cheah kicked off the webinar with an overview of the current market situation. He highlighted key challenges such as inflation and talent shortages that procurement professionals face. According to Cheah, “Inflation remains a significant concern, particularly in the Americas and Europe, while talent shortages continue to impact sourcing activities.”

He noted a trend where procurement professionals increasingly report to finance departments, creating a shift in roles and responsibilities. This integration aims to enhance efficiency and strategic alignment within organizations.

The Shift Towards Strategic Sourcing

Cheah emphasized the transition from traditional Procure-to-Pay (P2P) processes to more comprehensive S2P automation. He explained, “The focus now is on strategic sourcing, building stronger supplier relationships, and integrating procurement with finance for better decision-making.” This shift is particularly relevant in APAC, where sourcing activities are concentrated due to geopolitical factors and economic growth.

Real-World Examples: Case Studies on S2P Automation

Imperial Brands

Jonathan Pole shared a compelling case study on Imperial Brands, a global FMCG company that transformed its procurement process with S2P automation. “Imperial Brands faced visibility issues in their sourcing process, leading to inefficiencies,” Pole explained. By implementing Market Dojo’s solution, they achieved a five-fold increase in tool usage and a 6,000x ROI. This change allowed the company to focus on strategic tasks rather than manual data entry.

Swinburne University of Technology

Jessie Kok discussed Swinburne University’s journey with Esker, highlighting significant improvements in efficiency and cost savings. Before automation, their procurement process was entirely manual, leading to delays and high administrative costs. “We reduced process time by 75% and achieved 80% cost savings,” Kok noted. The automation also transformed the roles within the procurement team, allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives and governance.

Implementing S2P Automation: Key Considerations

Cheah outlined several steps for assessing organizational readiness for S2P automation:

  1. Standardize Processes: Identify current processes, what works, and what needs change.
  2. Engage Stakeholders: Secure buy-in from management and align process changes with strategic goals.
  3. Manage Change: Implement effective change management strategies to ensure smooth transitions.
  4. Leverage AI: Utilize AI for transactional tasks, allowing professionals to focus on strategy.

The Role of AI in S2P Automation

AI plays a crucial role in modern S2P solutions. Cheah explained, “AI handles transactional work, allowing valuable resources to focus on analytical and strategic tasks.” Esker’s solutions, embedded with AI, provide transparency and efficiency, ensuring accurate data processing and insightful analysis.

Interactive Q&A Session

The webinar featured an engaging Q&A session where participants asked about automation, supplier management, and compliance. A notable question addressed the integration of procurement and finance. Jessie Kok shared her perspective: “By integrating procurement with finance, organizations can proactively manage costs and activities, improving overall efficiency.”

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

The webinar underscored the transformative potential of S2P automation in aligning supply chain strategies. Key takeaways include:

  • Embrace Strategic Sourcing: Shift from transactional tasks to strategic initiatives to build stronger supplier relationships.
  • Leverage Technology: Utilize AI and automation tools to enhance efficiency and decision-making.
  • Engage Stakeholders: Secure support from management and implement effective change management strategies.

Engage with Us

What challenges have you faced in your procurement processes? How do you see S2P automation transforming your supply chain strategies? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Stay tuned for more events and updates from the Global Supply Chain Council. Together, we can navigate the complexities of supply chain management and drive innovation in the industry.

This blog post is brought to you by the Global Supply Chain Council in partnership with Esker. For more information on our events and initiatives, visit our website.

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