Procurement Automation: What Is It and Why Do You Need It

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min read time
February 3, 2023
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Are you looking to eliminate procurement hassles and streamline the process? You’re not alone; businesses are actively looking to simplify SaaS buying, which has led to procurement automation's popularity.

SaaS procurement automation is the process of using technology to streamline and optimize procurement processes. From automating purchasing orders and tracking vendor performance to improving data accuracy, purchase automation is increasingly being adopted as a powerful tool for achieving cost savings and optimizing operations.

In this blog, we explain what it is, why it is essential, the various processes involved in it, the benefits it offers, and how to automate your procurement processes.

What is SaaS procurement automation?

It is the process of using a tool to automate your SaaS buying process to increase efficiency and team productivity.

By automating specific manual processes related to SaaS purchasing, businesses can reduce time-to-purchase, eliminate manual errors, and have greater visibility into their spending budgets.

It helps businesses manage their procurement needs securely while also giving them the power to negotiate better deals with SaaS vendors and keep track of their purchases and product usage metrics.

This is what a typical SaaS buying process looks like.

An illustration of procurement automation process

From the point of raising a request to purchase, it is a time-consuming process, so doing it manually is not a feasible option. Thus arises the need for SaaS procurement automation.

Why do you need an automated procurement process?

When it comes to efficient procurement management, automation is critical. The importance of automating your procurement process cannot be understated. Here, we’ll talk about the importance of an automated process and automated procurement tools,

Streamlines the purchase process

Automation will significantly eliminate manual tasks and simplify the purchasing process. Request approvals, purchase order creation, RFP submission, invoice processing, etc. can all be easily accomplished using a procurement system.

This can significantly reduce the time and effort required to complete these tasks, allowing the procurement team to focus on more strategic activities.

Eliminates shadow IT

Procurement teams can use automation workflows to create an ideal procurement process. Having a defined process will assist the team in eliminating shadow IT; however, in retrospect, the lack of a procurement process may also be a cause of shadow IT.

Procurement automation software will simplify the process of creating an ideal procurement, which can greatly reduce shadow IT. A recommended practice is to use a procurement tool that provides 100% application visibility.

With app visibility, you can get a centralized view of your SaaS stack, identify the applications that were purchased without the knowledge of the procurement team, and optimize them.

Helps manage compliance requirements

Procurement automation software helps ensure compliance with regulations, such as GDPR and industry standards, and user agreements with SaaS vendors to reduce the risks associated with non-compliance.

These tools will provide a detailed analysis of the vendors, including their compliance certifications, so you can make a well-informed decision.

Provides better control over spending budgets

Enforce budget restrictions and set up rule-based approval workflows to prevent dark purchasing and ensure that no purchases are made outside the policy or preset budget limitations.

It enhances the security of the procurement process

An automated procurement system provides greater security for businesses when purchasing from vendors. It also allows for better tracking and control over data access and usage.

Reduces costs and time associated with manual tasks

Reduces manual labor and saves time in creating purchase orders, tracking vendors and invoices, and managing payment processes. This results in faster SaaS purchases and renewals, as well as improved cost and time savings.

Improves vendor relations and negotiation

Procurement software will empower your team with the latest vendor insights and accurate app usage data. This can enhance your negotiation without frustrating your vendors.

As the vendors will also be integrated into the system, they’ll get complete visibility into purchase orders and invoices, improving the relationship.

Furthermore, procurement automation software with vendor research functionality will help you dig deeper into vendor details and their customers. This can help you stay updated on vendor policies and maintain consistent communication with SaaS vendors.

SaaS purchase automation process

Listed below are the steps involved in procurement process automation:

1. Understand the current process and define the procurement workflow

The first step is to evaluate your current procurement process and identify redundancies. Take note of what went well and where improvements are required. Also, before you start automating, you should know what your teams need.

Next comes the workflow: lay out your workflow, create an essential roadmap on how the procurement process will flow, and who’ll be responsible for approving requests, submitting RFPs, negotiating, creating invoices, and so on.

2. Choose the right procurement automation software

To automate your procurement process seamlessly, you’ll need a procurement tool. There is numerous SaaS buying software available in the market; choose the one that fits your procurement needs.

A recommended practice is to select SaaS purchasing software that can also double as a SaaS management tool and provides expert negotiation services. This way, the software will do most of the heavy lifting, while your procurement team can focus on strategic tasks.

3. Automate data entry tasks

Automation can simplify data entry or repetitive tasks such as inputting orders or creating purchase orders. This reduces the need for manual entry and makes the process more efficient and rapid.

4. Renewals and approvals

Before initiating the workflow, it is vital to create customizable intake forms so users can raise intake requests for any type of purchase. While making intake requests, you’ll have to specify the relevant workflows so they get triggered when the respective requests are raised.

Similarly, each purchase category should have an individual stakeholder responsible for verifying various tasks within the request approval process. The stakeholder must verify the authenticity of the request and cross-check with the IT team for applications with similar functionalities before approving the request.

This can reduce the number of duplicate apps in the SaaS stack.

5. Initiate the workflow

Every time a purchase request is raised for a particular product, the respective procurement workflow will be initiated, and the responsible stakeholders will be automatically alerted through email, SMS, or Slack.

Once the request is verified, it will be approved and moved to the procurement team for purchase. The team will collaborate with the finance team, compare competitive prices, find the one that provides the best value for the pricing, and proceed with the negotiation and purchase.

6. Monitoring and continuous improvement

The work isn’t done once the procurement workflows are live. The team must monitor and track its performance and evaluate the system and its stakeholders. If the workflows are not performing as per business needs, they must be reconfigured, tested, and optimized.

Constant monitoring and improvement are needed to achieve a seamless procurement process.

7. Integrate with other systems

Integrating your automation platform with other systems, such as ERP or CRM, will allow you to get insights from data across different scenarios quickly and without manual effort, decreasing errors and significantly speeding up decision-making processes.

You can integrate the procurement platform with your financial systems and get spending insights on each application and department. You can leverage this data during procurement negotiations.

8. Implement KPIs

To effectively measure the success of your procurement process, KPIs should be in place so that performance can be evaluated throughout the implementation phases and further improvements can be made if needed.

Most businesses overlook the importance of tracking SaaS buying KPIs. Launching a procurement workflow only accomplishes a part of the process; measuring KPIs and adjusting accordingly is necessary to achieve procurement goals.

SaaS Procurement automation benefits

Automation eliminates the hassles of manual operations, but that isn’t the only advantage of automating your procurement processes. There’s more to it,

  • Procurement automation software facilitates faster purchasing decisions than manual processes.
  • Improved supplier relationship management as automation tools accelerates the purchasing process and makes engaging with the vendors easier.
  • Increased transparency on the procurement process and spending as all records are stored electronically, making auditing easier. The progress will be displayed for all the users to verify, this increases accountability.
  • Enhanced risk management due to improved compliance policies through advanced workflow and analytics capabilities.
  • Better cost controls as pricing can be negotiated based on supplier performance metrics, market insights, and existing supplier benchmark data.
  • Easier budget tracking due to improved analytics capabilities provides real-time insights into department spending patterns.
  • Eliminates duplicate or obsolete purchases to ensure that SaaS purchases are made only when they are actually required.
  • Assists the team in creating an ideal procurement process; this eliminates unverified spending and shadow IT.
  • Pre-defined workflows to save time and the hassles of starting from scratch.

How to automate the procurement process with CloudEagle?

CloudEagle is a SaaS management platform with automated procurement workflows and assisted buying services. CloudEagle can simplify and streamline your SaaS purchasing process, helping businesses purchase the right product without breaking a sweat.

How does it work?

Procurement teams often chase approvals, leading to a slower purchase process. But with CloudEagle workflows, the entire process can be automated, saving the team time and boosting their productivity. Here’s a roadmap of the process,

  • The user raises a purchase request.
  • The request triggers the corresponding workflow.
  • The respective stakeholders for the tasks are alerted through Email, Slack, etc.
  • The process moves forward as the stakeholders complete their tasks. The process can be seen in the activity section.
  • Once the tasks are completed and the procurement issue is given.
  • The procurement team proceeds with the purchase.

Each step or task flows like clockwork with CloudEagle workflows; no manual intervention is needed; the platform will do all the heavy lifting for you.
Also, manual procurement processes are prone to bottlenecks due to a lack of transparency and accountability.


A procurement platform like CloudEagle will let users see the complete flow of the process in the activity section. This transparency increases accountability. Procurement is not a one-person task; it is a collaborative process involving numerous organizational stakeholders. And CloudEagle lets you do that; you can assign tasks to different members and ensure their timely completion through reminders and alerts.

From raising purchase requests to initiating the workflow and completing the procurement issue, the entire process can be simplified with CloudEagle workflows. Here’s a quick rundown of the features

  • Customizable intake forms and requests
  • Pre-defined workflows
  • Instant notifications and alerts
  • Assisted buyers
  • Vendor research
  • Price benchmarking data

The exciting aspect of CloudEagle workflows is that you can create forms and workflows for various products and not just SaaS applications.


Procurement automation enables businesses to manage their procurement process cost-effectively and efficiently.

Automation saves time and increases productivity; this article discussed purchase automation, the process, and its benefits. To automate your procurement process, you need a SaaS purchasing platform like CloudEagle.

Its customizable intake forms, workflows, alerts, and process transparency can help businesses streamline their procurement. The platform also provides "assisted buying" services, where a team of on-demand experts can perform vendor research for you and negotiate to procure the products at the right price.

With CloudEagle, businesses can save time, money, and hassle while streamlining their entire SaaS procurement process. If you're looking to simplify your procurement process, sign up for a free demo of CloudEagle today to see why it's the best choice for your business!

Written by
Prasanna Naik
Co-founder, CloudEagle
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