ServiceNow takes aim at procurement pain points

Purchasing teams are a bit like help desks – always being asked to answer dumb or inappropriate questions

ServiceNow's efforts to expand into more industries will soon include a Procurement Service Management product.

This is not a dedicated application – ServiceNow has occasionally flirted with templates for its platform that come very close to being apps. Instead it stays close to the company's core of providing workflows that put the right jobs in the right hands, and make sure they get done. In this case, it will do so by tickling ERP and dedicated procurement applications, using tech ServiceNow acquired along with a company called Gekkobrain in 2021.

The company believes it can play to its strengths with procurements via a single, centralized buying team.

ServiceNow says it expects most central procurement teams are deluged with all manner of procurement-related inquiries, making the department a bottleneck and source of frustration.

CTO Pat Casey told The Register one way to address that issue is to train all staff on procurement software, although this can have varying levels of success.

ServiceNow is hoping customers will pick its method of attacking the problem, which is to implement workflows that allow those who could usefully participate in procurement processes to do so through its SaaS services, which can enable self-service so that buyers don't need to bug the procurement team for updates or assistance.

Before a the pandemic tangled every notch along the IT chain, it was not always obvious what made supply constraints go awry. The ServiceNow solution therefore includes analytics that identify which purchasing tasks aren't going well, and why. That function extends to risk analysis for finance departments, so they can understand procurement's impact on money movements as well as the progress of goods. ®

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