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Futurize the Buyer experience

Futurize the Buyer experience

4th Jun 2018

CPO

By Tech Mahindra Team

Enterprise buyers are demanding user experience to be at par with new age companies like
Amazon a with neat display of categorized products with details and a recommendation
engine that would suggest similar products based on the user buying history. The
storefront will be further augmented with third-party ecommerce platforms allowing access
to millions of products to enterprise buyers yet simplifying the corporate controls and
payment procedures.


Tech Mahindra is actively leveraging new technologies such as RPA, Blockchain and
Cognitive AI/ML computing to enhance the Enterprise Buying experience. The use cases of
such technologies exists across the procurement lifecycle starting from running solicitations,
onboarding vendors, setting up contracts, processing purchase orders and making
payments. For example let’s consider supplier onboarding process; the typical steps involve
sending a vendor data form to suppliers, routing the form to suitable approvers and
entering the form data into the system of record. The process consists of multiple steps
involving exchange of information through multiple agents. A lean approach can address
process simplification by creating a web form to be accessed by the suppliers, whereas RPA
can automate the supplier onboarding by automatically populating the data into the
system. An AI agent can check for duplicate records as well as restricted party lists and
throw exceptions to address the onboarding risks. Often the requests to extend the vendor
to other sub groups in the enterprise as well as blocking/ unblocking or modifying the
vendor records can be automated through RPA. We have also invested in partnerships with
organizations like BuyerQuest and GEP to take our next gen source-to-pay strategy to the
next level.


The below diagram shows the automation potential across various procurement processes.


Automation & AI play an important role in buyer experience. Buyers often want to
understand the commodity landscape before initiating a new solicitation (RFP/RFI). While
an RPA tool can scrap the web to get the latest from the relevant portals, an AI engine can
process the text and extract the relevant commodity information from the scrapped web
pages using NLP engine. The engine can further check the existing contracts as well as
historical performance of the vendors for the given commodity and provide insights
allowing the buyer to structure the solicitation and extract maximum value from his efforts.
The same AI engine can identify the most appropriate RFP template from thousands of
existing templates and provide a list of most appropriate clauses that are needed to run the
solicitation.


The downstream contracting, its performance and payments against deliverables can then
be processed leveraging Block-chain Platform using smart contracts. The immutable
contracts or SMART contracts will reduce the time in addressing contract disputes as well as
enable timely vendor payments. RPA tools will further automate the transactional payment
processes, account reconciliation and regulatory filings.


RPA tools will generate and create the necessary reports/ dashboards reducing the time to
create analytics. Finally the AI/Bots will meander through the vast procurement data to
classify the spend and supplier performance. The AI abilities of the new spend tools can
create unique co-relations with other supply chain data unknown till now and will create a
basis of further spend optimization opportunities.

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