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Omentra.com defines future of business procurement

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Moving in sync with rapid advancements in digital technologies that are remaking business supply chains and transforming how procurement functions deliver value, Omentra.com, the country’s pioneer online procurement service provider, has driven superior value to a host of local business entities through their solution.

Omentra.com Head of Operations Nadun Kumara outlined their plans for 2018 and gave an insight into the future of digital procurement and how organisations need to ‘rethink’ in managing their procurement activities.

He stated, “In the global arena, transactional procurement is becoming more automated and supplier management is becoming more proactive. Many global conglomerates and SMEs have embraced eProcurement systems and cloud-based procurement tools. However, in Sri Lanka, procurement hasn’t commanded the same kind of attention or investment. Current procurement policies and tools are geared towards driving a process, with a lot of rigor and controls versus an experience or outcome. Our solution was aimed at creating an ecosystem of interconnected suppliers for local companies and a streamlined and simplified method that enables swift decision-making in all procurement activities, thereby eliminating the conventional “ fire fighting” that procurement executives go through.”

The future outlook: Nadun continued, “The current solutions we have made available in the local market will be further enriched with additional data sources and the inclusion of category-level key performance indicators (KPIs). The future will entail in guiding category managers through a configurable process that includes every step in the creation of a category strategy. This will include analysing the market, generate automated price and specification benchmarks across entities, have automatically generated dashboards that will help identify and capture sourcing opportunities in real time, generate savings, measure implementation effectiveness, have relevant meetings with cross-functional partners online and overall  have all the activities related to procurement stored and tracked digitally up to the final implementation steps.”

He further explained, “Future solutions will additionally offer more sophisticated analyses like bid-comparisons or best-of optimisations, fuelled by comprehensive, category-specific bid sheets, templates, and analysis sets. The increased power and ease-of-use of these solutions will significantly drive up the penetration of digitally managed and optimised sourcing events. These advanced procurement systems will be especially useful in the case of large, high-value outsourcing contracts, which are often governed by complex legal frameworks and dozens of individual service line agreements and KPIs. Future systems will automatically extract all these conditions from contracts through machine reading and match them against continuous streams of invoices, supplier activity and performance data. The value here is huge, considering the high level of manual effort currently applied to contract governance.” 

A host of benefits: Outlining the current benefits generated through their solution Nadun said it offers the ability to search and get quotes electronically, make comparisons online and have the ability to connect with suppliers digitally. The system is also interconnected with suppliers to transmit digital POs and invoices, eliminating the need for invoice matching with the receipt of goods and services being automatically tracked. Overall, the solution helps organisations to be well-positioned to negotiate the “right” prices with the “right” suppliers, allowing for timely and effective interactions to challenge what, where, and how to source. So you can call it a ‘source-to-pay’ solution in procurement,” said Nadun. 

Disrupt and conquer: He added, “With more services going digital, procurement should be no exception. Therefore, Omentra’s plans for 2018 will be focused on aligning and expanding our services to match the changes taking place in the global marketplace in digital procurement and making them accessible to Sri Lankan business entities.”

In conclusion Nadun commented, “Whist this industry is still in their infancy, eventually all of the value drivers of digital procurement will ultimately result in higher efficiency per transaction, superior insights leading to better negotiation results and lower risks through improved foresight. This will mean developing new value propositions, meeting new business needs and integrating data across functions and value chains. Most importantly, it will fundamentally reshape the procurement organisation and its capabilities to take on the challenges and opportunities of the expanding global digital revolution.”


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