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How Purchase Order Automation Works

Using intelligent automation (IA), purchase order automation expedites the creation, approval and processing of purchase orders (POs) within an organization so you can get your goods or services to your customers sooner. IA reduces the strain of paper-heavy manual tasks on your accounts payable and finance team, which improves accuracy by reducing error-prone data entry processes. And that digital support makes work better for your accounting team.

All the Things IA Can Do

Robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and business process management (BPM) are all components of IA, designed to streamline your operations, connect disparate ERP systems and boost productivity. It can do this through various finance and accounting processes, including invoices, accounts payable, accounts receivable and many other back-office tasks.

Manual Processing
Connect work
Intelligent automation
Manual processing of purchase order entries

Manual Processing

Traditionally, purchase order entry was a paper-heavy process involving multiple steps, all of which could be vulnerable to human error. The entire process is inefficient and leaves an organization at risk due to its lack of visibility, regulations or process controls. Plus, this work can be incredibly time-consuming for your critical accounting staff, who could be used elsewhere for higher-value activities.

Purchasing Process Automation Successes


faster creation of purchase order requests

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savings per year rejecting overpriced invoices

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Top Benefits of Purchase Order Automation

Increase process efficiency

An automated procurement process decreases processing times. IA eliminates manual tasks and ensures a process is followed to the letter based on the business rules it’s fed. Processing purchase requisitions and orders manually can result in duplication and human error. IA moves your work to real-time processing without delays.

Boost customer satisfaction

Take customer service to the next level with faster delivery times thanks to less time waiting between processing and fulfilling orders. Give your customers more personalized products or services with automated, real-time tracking, order confirmations, shipping notifications and follow-ups.

Decrease processing times

IA helps reduce process complexities, saving time for your procurement professionals to focus on higher-value activities such as supplier relationship management, strategic sourcing and cost savings. Automate back-office tasks and approval workflows to speed up cycle times and increase productivity.

Improve accuracy

Purchase orders are binding legal contracts between buyers and sellers, so they must be accurate and consistent. Manual PO management is at risk for errors, which must then be tracked down and addressed. Digital workers can flag incorrect or missing information, and work with 100% accuracy.

Greater visibility

With IA’s reporting features, you can check the status of purchase orders at every stage, from requisition to fulfillment. An IA dashboard allows you to track orders, monitor spending and even identify bottlenecks or delays anywhere in the procurement process. Enable better resource allocation with IA.

Strong supplier relationships

IA fosters stronger relationships by streamlining communication, facilitating faster and more accurate order processing and promoting collaboration. IA systems enable prompt responses to supplier inquiries, resulting in quicker resolutions and timely payments.

Putting Purchase Order Automation to the Test

Automating your purchase order process helps reduce the time and labor you require, and it also makes things easier for suppliers. When they receive the automated PO, suppliers can convert that easily into an accurate invoice – relieving your accounts payable (AP) team of having to manage the payments manually. SS&C Blue Prism will help you explore the various areas in these processes where your organization can benefit from intelligent automation.

Approval workflows
Order to cash
Sales order process

Approval workflows

Speed up the purchase order approval process by reducing the number of steps and human involvement required to get work done. IA allows you to:

  • Automatically route purchase orders to the appropriate approvers based on predefined rules.
  • Prioritize and escalate purchase orders based on urgency or importance.
  • Integrate with collaboration tools such as email, messaging apps or project management software.
  • Send real-time notifications to approvers when purchase orders require their attention.
  • Support decision-making by presenting relevant information alongside POs.

Our Customers Want To Tell You About PO Automation

When the supplier’s response comes back, the digital worker immediately scans it to see which purchase order it relates to, and then figures out which department and person is responsible. This has enabled us to keep better track of overdue orders.”

Sam Proposch

RPA lead, technology and innovation team, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Since we upgraded to our second version of the Decipher it's made a huge difference to our business. That was the one driver: we moved over to SAP and we can do a lot of development in SAP with SS&C Blue Prism. We also combined OCR and RPA to create these awesome processes.”

Jaco Pieterse

Business solutions manager, Life Healthcare

We want to move away from RPA and move toward intelligent and cognitive automation and we see SS&C Blue Prism as our partner in doing so.”

Akshay Nigam

Global program manager, smart automation and advanced analytics, ABB Global Business Services Procurement & Logistics

The digital workforce program has over-delivered in its efforts to introduce RPA within the enterprise, resulting in reduced operating costs, increased backroom efficiencies and a greater competitive advantage.”

T.J. Theodore

IT fellow, digital workforce architect, Raytheon Company