Data & process analytics

Case | Optimization of a purchase process

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Despite the use of specialized software, which enables the scanning and electronic approval of purchase invoices, the purchase department of an international manufacturing company did not perform optimally. The involved employees experienced the process as inefficient, unclear and not user-friendly. For example, it was not always clear which employees had to approve the invoice, many invoices were electronically sent to the wrong approvers and the installed process barely took department-specific necessities into account.

Therefore, the management of the manufacturing company desired to optimize this process. In addition, the management wished to implement the software in a second, bigger production plant to replace the paper invoice approval flow throughout the company.

To realize this, the management asked horsum to help them to:

  • Ensure a more efficient use of the present software;
  • Optimize the current approval process: more efficient, clearer and more user-friendly;
  • Facilitate the roll-out of the software (scanning and electronic approval) in the second, bigger production plant.


horsum facilitated the optimization and roll-out in a phased approach.

Based on interviews with key users and data-analyses, potential optimizations were identified. In this respect, horsum carefully paid attention to department-specific necessities. Together with the software supplier, these necessities were matched with “unused” standard solutions within the present software. If no standard solutions were available, the costs and benefits of potential customizations were evaluated. In addition, horsum examined the possibilities within the existing IT-architecture. As a result, horsum designed an optimized purchase process: a lean process with sufficient attention for adequate internal controls (approval matrix, segregation of duties, reporting features,…).

Next, horsum put the optimized process into practice. During the roll-out of the process, circa 100 employees were trained to efficiently use the software. During the first weeks of the roll-out, users were frequently asked for feedback. The purchase process was further designed and optimized by implementing this feedback.

Thanks to horsum’s guidance, the optimized purchase process was successfully designed and implemented. Some employees even nominated the optimization exercise as one of the best in their company history!