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From Paper to Platform: Future-Proof Your Procurement Team With Digital Transformation – By Johannes Vocke, CFO, FutureLog

Source FutureLog

In an eye-opening survey by PwC, global procurement professionals have spoken when it comes to their digital transformation initiatives. By 2025, procurement departments have an average target of 72% digitalisation, with efficiency, transparency, traceability, and cost savings as some of their main drivers. Procure-to-Pay (P2P) has also benefited the most from the digital transformation of any procurement process, ahead of areas like spend analysis and supplier management. This may be because recent reports cite that digital procurement can reduce processing costs by up to 50% and increase efficiency by 60%.

Slow adopters in hospitality should take note, especially considering the impact of industry-specific challenges like labour shortages. Legacy procurement systems overwhelm workers with manual tasks while reducing visibility, making purchasing cycles even longer. Larger hotel chains are notorious for siloed goals, data, and communication between procurement and other operations, creating even more friction points.

There’s also the challenge of navigating price volatility, supply disruptions, and seasonality, which can make it difficult for hospitality procurement to optimise spend and adhere to budgets. Adding greater complexity to this environment is evolving guest expectations. Hotel procurement must be able to adapt quickly to customer demands, especially those surrounding social and environmental responsibility, as well as more personalised and experiential offerings.

These factors point to increased pressure to streamline procurement processes through digital transformation, freeing up personnel to focus on higher-value tasks. By adopting solutions like cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation, hotels can gain more control, efficiency, and agility in their purchasing cycles. This is key to staying competitive and realising cost savings, even in an uncertain economy.

Are you future-ready?

While “digital transformation” has become an industry buzzword, there are specific ways that emerging technologies can enhance the function of hotel procurement. Processes like purchase order creation, invoicing, and supplier selection can be fully automated, eliminating manual tasks while shortening the procurement cycle. Workers can focus on more complex and value-generating responsibilities, like fostering relationships with strategic suppliers.

Benefits of digital procurement include:

There are many avenues to procurement digitalisation, but moving P2P software to the cloud is a must for any hotel aiming to future-proof its purchasing strategy. When hosted in the cloud, P2P centralises operations and communication in one place, making it easier for procurement teams to collaborate both internally and externally.

Supplier portals allow for real-time information and document sharing with vendors, supporting improved supplier relationship management. Cross-department information, such as financial metrics, can also be securely shared. This not only minimises information silos but also helps align procurement with the hotel’s broader goals and roadmap.

What’s more, P2P software can leverage tools like AI and data analytics to improve efficiency and help procurement make more strategic decisions. These insights allow for greater spend visibility, helping hoteliers reduce risk and realise cost-saving opportunities. For example, data analytics can quickly and accurately:

An advanced procurement platform can also help hotels meet targets when it comes to social and environmental responsibility. Rather than searching for and comparing vendors manually, P2P systems can use advanced filters to find sustainable and diverse-owned suppliers. Hotels can also more confidently document their purchasing practices, which is beneficial for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting and compliance with other mandates. It’s also an effective way to address changing guest values, which are increasingly concerned with responsible sourcing and ethical practices in the companies they purchase from.

Maximise your investment with a P2P system created by hoteliers, for hoteliers

By digitally transforming the procurement process, hoteliers can make more cost-effective purchasing decisions, streamline the procurement cycle, facilitate stronger vendor relationships, and improve procurement efficiency and collaboration. These outcomes are all crucial for staying competitive and resilient, even in an unfavourable economy or hiring market. Hotels that want to adapt quickly to consumer expectations—especially those concerned with sustainability and transparency—will also benefit from more agile, tech-driven purchasing cycles.

Adopting a cloud-based P2P system effectively achieves these results, helping hotels unlock sophisticated capabilities like AI. However, not all procurement solutions are created equal. By using software designed specifically for hospitality applications, hoteliers can ensure that digital transformation investments address their unique challenges and deliver a significant ROI over the long term.

This is the guiding principle behind FutureLog, a digital procurement platform built by procurement strategists with 25+ years of experience in supporting digital transformation initiatives for some of the world’s leading hospitality organisations. FutureLog uses a FutureLog uses a centralised, cloud-based approach to fundamentally transform hotel procurement, promoting streamlined communication and connectivity between all P2P stakeholders. It’s a smart investment that can help your purchasing team deliver greater value—not just within the procurement function itself, but for the entire organisation.

About the Author:

Johannes Vocke

Johannes Vocke is the Chief Financial Officer at FutureLog, the leading global cloud-based procure-to-pay platform for the hospitality and gastronomy industries. Prior to joining FutureLog, Johannes spent over a decade at prestigious Big 4 firms spanning Germany, the U.S.A. and Switzerland, working primarily on professional audit services and honing his skills in finance. With an M.Sc. in Accounting and Taxation from Mannheim, Germany's #1 Business School, and a B.Sc. in Economics and Law from the University of Munster, Johannes is responsible for leading all strategic financial initiatives across the organisation and is driven by his passion for innovation, analytics, and process optimisation. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, exploring the great outdoors (sometimes on foot, sometimes on his motorbike!), and is an avid festival-goer. Connect with Johannes on LinkedIn.

About FutureLog

FutureLog provides a fully integrated, cloud-based procure-to-pay platform for the hospitality industry. We facilitate an end-to-end procurement process from purchasing, through inventory management and up to invoice processing; all available in one platform to save you time and money. The FutureLog procure-to-pay platform is the foundation for seamless connectivity between Hotel Operations, Corporate Centres and Suppliers.

Suzanne Ward
Vice President Digital Marketing and Communication
+41 41 759 1861

Posted by on May 21, 2024.

Categories: Technology

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