Machine learning and artificial intelligence are expected to drive the next generation of supply chain solutions with the emergence of a self-aware platform integrating humans, data, and technologies. Leading vendors of P2P offerings are increasingly investing in integrating AI and machine learning capabilities to help organisations transform real-time insights into spend analytics.

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According to Quadrant Knowledge Solutions’ SPARK Matrix for P2P Suites, 2021 ‘’Due to the growing focus on transforming manual processes to digital, automating P2P processes (such as requesting, purchasing, invoicing, and more), and providing a collaborative environment for supplier compliance validation and approvals, many organizations are increasingly investing in emerging technologies such as AI/ML, blockchain, and Natural Language Processing.’’ Organsisations are looking at P2P solutions that offer an AI guided buying experience that will enable them to select the right solution or product and simplify the decision-making process. A P2P platform should offer AI-powered guided shopping experience that automatically understands the organization’s requirements and guides the users to select the right product. The platform can also recommend appropriate suppliers/service providers of selected products.

ELCOM EVOLVE MultiQuote AI

ELCOM is leveraging machine learning to automate product mapping and provide instant product visibility, as it enables the suppliers to upload the catalog and automatically categorise products as per the buyer’s preference. Elcom has developed an artificially intelligent agent who understands what you want to buy and knows the best place to buy it. It can use product descriptions in MultiQuote RFQs to automatically identify product categories. This is particularly powerful in the healthcare system where the descriptions can be very difficult to classify. Our AI solution can identify related suppliers in RFTs/ RFQs. This is useful when a buyer knows a particular supplier but wants to identify similar suppliers that will improve the outcome of their sourcing exercise.

The AI solution can be used to take raw procurement data and automatically:

  • Classify the products to multiple taxonomies including eClass/ UNSPSC/ CPV/ MultiQuote Category
  • Identify alternative suppliers
  • Identify saving opportunities

Elcom’s AI agent is trained using a unique and diverse procurement database built over 10 years and millions of transactions. This is the combined knowledge of thousands of buyers, suppliers, and our own procurement experts and thus enables market testing on thousands of items at the click of a button! Once the data is uploaded, our AI agent investigates the market in real-time. Up-to-date pricing on thousands of items is then delivered directly from the suppliers. Extensive research and development have been invested into the algorithms that underpin our AI agent. These state-of-the-art machine-learning techniques have been specifically tuned for maximum performance and operational efficiency in procurement related tasks. Our smart agent has also been developed to automatically monitor, learn, and improve its accuracy over time. The more data it sees, the more intelligent it becomes.

Key features of our intelligent buyer are:

  • It classifies and source products without any intervention
  • It monitors competition in real-time, making automatic adjustments and suggestions as required
  • It monitors suppliers and makes recommendations using a sophisticated algorithm and a combination of performance indicators
  • It suggests items that are most likely to achieve largest savings

How does our smart agent deliver savings?

Following categorization, product lines are ready to be sent to suppliers via MultiQuote for Market testing, One-off procurement exercise, and Catalog replenishment. Our AI agent delivers savings by:

  • Market testing: – investigating savings opportunities from the basket of goods
  • One-off procurement exercise: – obtaining best value on all expenditures
  • Catalog replenishment: – Automated process of renewing and updating price lists, quotations, and contact information, delivering significant savings year on year whilst ensuring all the data held in 3rd party systems is up to date all the time

By automating all relevant and repetitive processes, our AI-powered P2P software can efficiently manage end-to-end procure-to-pay processes and help organizations save costs and reduce cycle time.

Author

  • Carolina Duran

    Carolina Duran, VP of Marketing at ELCOM, joined ELCOM in May 2016 to lead the company's marketing team and implement a robust and efficient strategy to secure brand positioning and growth in the UK and internationally. ELCOM is a global Supply Chain Technology Provider which praised itself for making procurement smarter, more connected, and transparent.

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