Subscribe to the blog

Get the latest Procurement insights from our experts

Five key advances in supply chain technology

by | April 21, 2016

It’s said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As a complex and often intricate structure of buyer and seller relationships, the supply chain is no different.

Thankfully, technology needn’t be a weak link. In fact, today it can be used to strengthen the entire chain, end-to-end. Here are some of the key advances in supply chain technology that you should be taking advantage of:



There are many organisations who claim to be operating electronic invoicing processes, however many of the early adopters are using dated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solutions, many with high manual intervention statistics – technology nowadays need not have this step in the process – the invoice should be truly electronic.

Getting the invoice into an OK to pay state as quickly as possible opens up a wealth of benefits and opportunities – conversely, there is no opportunity if the invoice is only ready to pay on or later than the agreed payment terms. An effective and modern eInvoicing solution will ensure that invoices reach this state as quickly as possible.

Procure to pay systems for indirect procurement

The Technology of the modern Supply Chain- Procure to pay systems for indirect procurement

Even with eInvoicing solutions, if you want to address all spend, direct and indirect, then pursuing efficient requisition, ordering and receipting processes is imperative to having something against which the invoice can be matched and approved. A procure to pay system like Coupa or Ariba will do just that.

Supply Chain Whitepaper

Shared services; one accounts payable process

Shared services

Many larger organisations are moving, or have already moved, to a shared service set up, where the global (or at least regional) back office processing is all done in one place.

With the increasing spread of far more open technologies, it is far easier to implement a single, common solution to orchestrate the accounts payable process even if the processes upstream within the territories are operating various different solutions.

Portals for real time collaboration between buyer and supplier

The Technology of the modern Supply Chain- Portals for real time collaboration between buyer and supplier

The volumes of transactions across the “buy-chain” mean that managing this off system is impossible. A portal facilitates the electronic integration of invoice traffic ensuring no re-keying or OCR issues and as such massively decreasing the need for slow manual intervention.

Portals also ensure that the supplier can manage their own early payments through any form of dynamic discounting. This is also the only efficient way to scale an early payment program to the entire supply chain, as most organisations don’t have the capacity to individually negotiate discount rates for all suppliers.

Visibility and event based triggers with financiers

Visibility and event based triggers with financiers

Having a comprehensive solution like Taulia in place that helps to manage relationships with third party financiers allows you to quickly and efficiently take advantage of complex dynamic discounting opportunities.

A system that can decide on when to push the financing of the payment out and when to keep it internal – based on configured business rules for each transaction – that can monitor all this and keep track of the transactions provides true supply chain financing flexibility and gives you the ultimate level of control.

Prepare yourself for Supply Chain efficiency

These are just some examples of the supply chain technology that is available to help you take control of the supply chain, and importantly, the finances that hold it together and keep it flowing.

Find out more about the supply chain technologies offered through Xoomworks Procurement:

Technologies button