RPA for Procurement

Better in business with software robots.

With RPA in procurement, digital assistants simplify and accelerate your daily business and enable efficient and price-conscious procurement of resources in a complex and dynamic market.

RPA is an essential building block for cross-departmental digital transformation. We have compiled a selection of RPA use cases for the procurement department from our customer projects. Gain an overview of the diverse applications of software robots and the positive effects for every business.


More Speed

Software robots carry out tasks quickly and tirelessly  thus accelerating your processes.

Higher Quality

The virtual employees work precisely and error-free – and you can look forward to excellent results.

Increased Satisfaction

The digital colleagues take care of annoying routine jobs – making your employees happy.

KPI Reporting

Industry: Energy Supplies
Function: Procurement

The purchasing department of a European energy group transfers more than 20 key performance indicators (KPIs) from SAP to a reporting Excel file each day to keep track of the warehouse and order stock.

This monotonous copy & paste task takes up one hour of the responsible employee’s working time every day.

Instead of the employee, a software robot now does the task. It logs into SAP, reads out the daily KPIs, and transfers them to a new tab in the Excel reporting file – precisely, quickly, and error-free.

Saving time:
the software robot finishes the process within 7 minutes – and the employee has gained 1 hour of time for more value-adding tasks

100% quality:
software robots work error-free

employees are freed from monotonous routine tasks

RPA in Dunning

Industry: Energy & Utilities
Function: Backoffice/ Procurement

A municipal energy provider compares all incoming payment reminders from suppliers with existing invoices on a monthly basis. If there is no corresponding invoice for a reminder, the supplier is informed.

The undemanding, monotonous task of reconciling payment reminders with their respective invoices takes up half a working day each month of a qualified employee in the back office.

A Servicetrace software robot automatically matches payment reminders and invoices: the digital employee opens existing reminders in SAP/R3 and copies invoice number, amount, currency, and supplier number.

It then uses the available information in SAP Vendor Information Management (VIM Analytics) to search for suitable existing documents and invoices.

If no corresponding document exists, the software robot informs the supplier via e-mail – and documents the process in SAP.

Timely processing:
the software robot checks incoming payment reminders immediately

Reduced effort:
the software robot processes about 80% of the required comparisons end-to-end

Satisfied employees:
the automation eliminates annoying routine tasks

Processing Purchase Requisitions

Industry: IT/ Services
Function: Purchasing

The purchasing department of a large government IT service provider has to handle time-consuming, monotonous standard processes on a daily basis. This includes, for example, the handling of purchasing requisitions which are generated at several locations in SAP and which the department has to check and process. One employee needs around 15 minutes of work per purchase requisition.

The growing volume of work is overwhelming the workforce: Thousands of cases are still open and must be dealt with on time.

The IT service provider has automated the processing of the purchase requisitions.

Servicetrace software robots log into SAP/R3, search the system for new purchase requisitions and examine these based on predefined criteria.

They enter incorrect requisitions into an Excel table. After successfully verifying the purchase requisitions, the software robots assign them to their corresponding purchasing group and document the process in SAP.

Faster processing:
now only 5 min/purchase requisition

More output:
100 processed requisitions/day

More satisfaction:
The robots free the employees from an annoying, monotonous task

Researching Supplier Contracts

Industry: Life Sciences
Function: Procurement

A German city administration wants to transfer its CRM (Customer Relationship Management) from an old to a new system. The project is under time pressure and suffers from a lack of IT resources, as it is supposed to run over the Christmas season. Historical data from the last three years with approx.
150,000 lines per year have to be processed for the data transfer.

The project must be completed within the given time frame, but the high volume of data makes it impossible to do this manually with the given resources.

For each supplier whose mail address is not known, Servicetrace software robots search for invoices stored in SAP xFlow and scan the PDF files for the sender’s e-mail address.

They assign the found data to the respective suppliers in an Excel spreadsheet. After a manual check of the Excel by purchasing staff, the software robots transfer the mail addresses into the supplier database.

Fast and flexible automation
of an extensive project with scarce capacities

Time savings of approx. 5-10 minutes per supplier:
400-800 working hours in total, that employees can use for other tasks

Error-free data transfer and assignment

Processing Order Confirmations

Industry: Manufacturing
Function: Procurement

An international machine manufacturer receives a yearly amount of approx. 20,000 order confirmations as scanned PDF files. Procurement staff have to record all incoming order confirmations in SAP and check the corresponding order for possible deviations.

Each employee spends an average of ten minutes entering an order confirmation and comparing it with the order. With over 3,000 working hours per year, this process is very time-consuming and costly.

Servicetrace software robots automate the data comparison between the order in SAP and the incoming order confirmation. They enter correct confirmations directly into SAP. If there are discrepancies between an order and its confirmation, they inform the person responsible.

Process acceleration:
fast, immediate processing of all incoming data

Process quality:
consistently error-free comparison between order and order confirmation

Time saving:
procurement staff can devote themselves to more value-adding tasks

Obtaining Supplier Quotations

Industry: Manufacturing
Function: Procurement

The procurement department of an internationally leading technology organization checks every day in the internal SAP system whether new materials have to be ordered. Then, in an external system, the employees research suitable technical drawings and attach them to the inquiry to the suppliers. Lastly, they need to monitor the return of the suppliers’ quotations.

This monotonous and administrative task requires more than one hour of work of a qualified procurement employee every day, which could be used for more value-adding tasks.

Servicetrace software robots automate the process of requesting materials and monitoring quotations. They automatically check SAP for needed materials for which prices have to be requested, research the corresponding technical drawings in an external system, create and send the requests to the suppliers, and monitor the return of quotations in SAP.

As soon as all supplier quotations have been received or the deadline for quotations has expired, the procurement staff will be notified to decide how to proceed.

Higher employee satisfaction:
employees are freed from monotonous tasks in favor of higher value tasks

Saving time:
1 hour per day and employee

error-free and timely requests for suitable quotations

Procure-to-Pay Automation

Industry: Manufacturing
Function: Procurement

A steel manufacturer has around 3,500 contracts with suppliers worldwide. These contracts should be checked annually for several parameters such as duration, order volume, or payment conditions and, in the event of sub-optimal evaluation, would then be put out to tender again. This is because, especially
in the raw material-intensive steel industry, low-cost procurement at the best current market conditions is critical to the business.

However, there is a lack of capacity in the purchasing department for the time-consuming task of examining all existing contracts in such great detail. Therefore, they are usually simply extended – and not renegotiated with better conditions. At the same time, the optimization of supplier
contracts holds enormous potential for cost reduction.

Software robots from Servicetrace automate the procure-to-pay process.

They collect data on existing contracts from SAP and the internal CRM system and transfer it to a colleague in procurement as a structured and clear basis for decision-making. The latter reports back to the digital assistant as to whether contracts should be extended or re-tendered. The software robot handles both the extension and the online tendering of supplier contracts.

Following a tender, it checks the incoming offers and forwards the three with the best conditions to the purchasing department.

Cost reduction:
save up to 30% in procurement

Competitive advantage:
purchase at the best conditions on the market

Process optimization:
efficient human-bot cooperation

Software Robots order Faster

Industry: Pharma & Life Science
Function: Procurement

The purchasing department of a German pharmaceutical manufacturer has to process almost 5,000 orders per month. This involves a lot of manual work: In order to generate a purchase order from the departments’ purchase requisitions, the procurement staff has to collect data from several systems.

The creation of a single purchase order takes about 15 minutes. According to the current order volume – and the trend is rising – the processing time thus adds up to over 1,200 working hours per month. This means a massive capacity commitment of the employees, who are clearly overqualified for this undemanding task.

Software robots from Servicetrace take over and accelerate the process: They scan SAP for incoming purchase requisitions, pull information about the ordering department from the CRM, compare the data from the requisition to the quotation, and create the purchase order in SAP using preconfigured standard
text blocks.

The process from receipt of the purchase requisition to the finished order now takes only 3 minutes – and runs 24/7.

Increase speed:
software robots process cases immediately – and 80% faster

Improve quality:
software robots do not make mistakes

Exploiting potential:
employees gain time for more demanding tasks

Up-to-Date Inventory Management

Industry: Retail
Function: Procurement

Each individual store of a large German groceries retailer maintains its stock in its own SAP system. Once a month, the product stocks and new orders from the decentralized stores are transferred to the head office.

Because the central inventory system runs on a legacy mainframe application without an interface to SAP, the individual stocks from all stores have to be entered manually – a time-consuming, monotonous, and errorprone process. Out-of-date or incorrect inventory management adds to unavailability of goods, compliance logistics, and financial planning.

The retailer decided to employ Servicetrace software robots for a fully automated inventory management.

First, the software robots read the stock and order data in the SAP systems of the individual stores which is then consolidated in a central Excel file. In a last step, they transfer the data to the central inventory management system.

error-free processing of data

>90% faster inventory reconciliation

Time savings:
3 days per month and employee


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