Category Archives: Process Transformation

The Sourcing Innovation Source-to-Pay+ Mega Map!

Now slightly less useless than every other logo map that clogs your feeds!

1. Every vendor verified to still be operating as of 4 days ago!
Compare that to the maps that often have vendors / solutions that haven’t been in business / operating as a standalone entity in months on the day of release! (Or “best-of” lists that sometimes have vendors that haven’t existed in 4 years! the doctor has seen both — this year!)

2. Every vendor logo is clickable!
the doctor doesn’t know about you, but he finds it incredibly useless when all you get is a strange symbol with no explanation or a font so small that you would need an electron microscope to read it. So, to fix that, every logo is clickable so you can go to the site and at least figure out who the vendor is.

3. Every vendor is mapped to the closest standard category/categories!
Furthermore, every category has the standard definitions used by Sourcing Innovation and Spend Matters!
the doctor can’t make sense of random categories like “specialists” or “collaborative” or “innovative“, despises when maps follow this new age analyst/consultancy award trend and give you labels you just can’t use, and gets red in the face when two very distinct categories (like e-Sourcing and Marketplaces or Expenses and AP are merged into one). Now, the doctor will also readily admit that this means that not all vendors in a category are necessarily comparable on an apples-to-apples basis, but that was never the case anyway as most solutions in a category break down into subcategories and, for example, in Supplier Management (SXM) alone, you have a CORNED QUIP mash of solutions that could be focused on just a small subset of the (at least) ten different (primary) capabilities. (See the link on the sidebar that takes you to a post that indexes 90+ Supplier Management vendors across 10 key capabilities.)

Secure Download the PDF!  (or, use HTTP) [HTML]
(5.3M; Note that the Free Adobe Reader might choke on it; Preview on Mac or a Pro PDF application on Windows will work just fine)

You Need a Plan to Mitigate Supply Chain Risks. But You Also Need a Platform.

A recent article over on Supply & Demand Chain Executive on Navigating a Supply Chain Management Toolkit noted that with a plan in place, organizations can quickly respond to any changes and help mitigate any supply chain risks.

Which is true, but how much of the risk they can mitigate is the question.

The article, which is very good and definitely worth reading (so check out the link), noted that problems arose as a result of COVID and disruptions since because many organizations use just-in-time inventory management (which we’ve already noted should have ended by now along with seasonality). The article also noted that the problems were often exacerbated by the fact that order processes were often not documented effectively and, in general, most organizations don’t spend the time and resources to really manage their supply chain. All of this is correct, as is the observation that these challenges can be alleviated with wholly embracing the tried-and-true methods for effective supply chain management because effective processes, measurements and accountability are … key to a supply chain that works for an organization.

But, on their own, not the key. Today, you also need a platform that enables the organization to:

  • quickly detect a risk event has occurred
  • quickly analyze the impact
  • quickly initiate any pre-defined mitigation plan
  • quickly implement new decisions and processes where the mitigation plan isn’t sufficient and doesn’t exist
  • monitor the impact of the risk event and the response in near real time

Otherwise, your process could be too slow, your measurements inaccessible and/or unrecorded, and your accountability (under audit) non existent.

For example, the article indicates you should start by getting a better grip on inventory management (which is correct, no product, no business for most companies), and that involves a self-assessment, forecast accuracy review, and inventory segmentation. All correct. But that doesn’t help you when all of a sudden there’s a fire in the factory, a strike at the port, or a strait/border closing. What do you do then?

It also tells you that you should focus on better supplier relations, which is also extremely important, and focus on vetting suppliers before you onboard them and then measuring them and computing the total cost of ownership of keeping them, which is also very important as suppliers should improve over time and costs should not inch up faster than inflation. It also mentions the importance of proper strategic sourcing (matrices) to get the right products from the right suppliers. Another definite. But fails to tell you what you do when all of a sudden a key supplier can’t deliver or becomes unavailable.

The answer here is you use all of your good relationships and data to immediately identify the next best supplier. If you were splitting award, you try to shift to the other supplier (if they can handle the volume — if you were doing an 80/20 split and the 80% supplier suddenly became unavailable indefinitely, the 20% might not be able to support you, or at least not for very long, and you will have to add a new supplier to the mix. If you were doing proper sourcing, and proper supplier vetting before including them in an event, then you already have potential suppliers — the runners up from your last event. A good platform will let you immediately identify them and immediately start another sourcing event to onboard a new supplier as fast as possible.

If you have a good logistics (sourcing) platform, and your primary carrier / route becomes unavailable, you may be able to identify another carrier / route that will get you the products on time, or at least be able to accelerate an order from a secondary source of supply while you wait for the first source through a lengthier route.

The point is, while you need great processes, measurements (to indicate if something is taking too long, such as an order acknowledgement or a delivery, which can be a sign of a potential risk event materializing), and accountability (to show you made efforts to detect and mitigate risks in a reasonable time frame), you can’t measure, execute processes, or provide unquestionable audit trails of accountability without a proper platform. Never forget that. (And for help, you can see our Source-to-Pay series which helps you to identify where to start with your acquisitions and what vendors you might need to look at.)

And again, remember to read the article on Navigating a Supply Chain Management Toolkit as it will help you understand the basic processes you need to put in place.

Keep Your Procurement On PACA with FSMA with Procurant!

We don’t cover specialist Procurement providers much here on SI because many don’t have much in the way of domain specific product functionality (and differ primarily on domain knowledge, terminology customization, and service offerings), but some, like Procurant, go beyond the basics and offer domain specific functionality of relevance that the market needs to take note of. Especially when such functionality can help an organization be compliant with current and, most importantly, incoming regulations they are not ready for.

Procurant, marketing itself as a strategic platform for perishables that does Procurement AND Food Safety, offers the following core functionality:

  • P2P (Procure to Pay) for Perishables
  • Inspections (recording and auditing)
  • Traceabillity that is mobile-enabled and FSMA 204 compliant
  • Market Intelligence
  • Food Safety (workflow and remote sensor integration) (not covered in this article)

It’s the one-stop solution for retail grocers, especially those with US operations, that need to manage their perishable supply chain in a manner that is both PACA and FSMA compliant. (And if you’re a grocery retailer that does NOT know what those acronyms stand for … Uh-Oh! Better find out and give Procurant a call ASAP — because failure to comply can not only result in fines but [supply chain] shutdowns.)

Procurement/Procure-to-Pay wise there isn’t much that’s unique in core functionality (as the uniqueness is with the integrated support for the perishable space), but it’s all there, and we’ll start with the core so you can be confident the core is on par with other best-of-breed Procurement solutions.

With respect to quote management, the platform contains integrated RFQ / price request that makes it really easy to not only request (updated) quotes from suppliers, but get a commitment on that price (for a certain time or volume; i.e. one week or 100 pallets). When you get a commitment, the system tracks orders against that commitment, and then lets you know when the quote has expired because the commitment has been used up (and if you still need more product, you need a new quote with a new commitment).

With respect to order management, the solution makes it easy to select products for orders from the built-in catalog, from order templates (guides), or from demand forecasts (which can pulled in from the forecasting/demand management system OR created natively in Procurant using weighted average outbound for the last 12 weeks, with more forecasting algorithms coming in a future release). The platform even supports the definition of automatic (replenishment) orders, should the organization choose that functionality. Once the order is assembled, it’s very easy to send it to the supplier for fulfillment.

Moreover, as Procurant ‘s P2P also contains integrated support for carriers and logistics (due to the need to monitor the entire produce supply chain and ensure food safety every step of the way), in Procurant, you can also assemble orders by truckload, as you don’t want to be under-shipping if not absolutely necessary (as it takes the same amount of energy to maintain the temperature when refrigeration is necessary whether the truck is almost full or almost empty) and it’s easier to trace when you decide who is shipping what, when, and on which truck. One great feature of the platform is that it’s super easy to assemble an order for a carrier. It’s just a matter of dragging and dropping order line items until the platform notifies you that the last line won’t fit in the truck (as you can encode a max # pallets, weight, and volume by truck and as soon as one limit is reached, the platform lets you know). No complex training on a sophisticated TMS required.

As a result of this deep support for logistics and carriers, purchase orders can be incredibly detailed and include shipping dates, carrier, load reference number(s), and even cross docks.

Also, order management is multi-state and the system will track and notify if there is an:

  • order modification by the buyer
  • order modification by the supplier
  • order cancellation by the supplier
  • order reconciliation by the supplier (on being notified the goods received didn’t match the PO)

and all changes by any party are maintained in a secure, unalterable, audit log.

With regards to order management, the buyers can choose whether or not the supplier can split orders, remove items, or add substitute orders. Whether or not they can change prices (or just quantities to match availability), and even when modifications will be accepted. Similarly, the administrator can determine the order creation capability the buyers have access to … whether or not they have (to use) guides, whether they can create cross-dock orders, etc.

With respect to invoice management, it’s super easy for a supplier to flip a PO to an invoice. All they have to do is enter the actual quantity shipped by line item and submit. The invoice then goes into a wait state until a receipt is entered, at which point if there is a discrepancy, the invoice is sent back to the supplier for correction before it goes into the normal processing queue, where it would be held up until the discrepancy was resolved, which could delay payment considerably if the organization has long approval chains for corrections and exception processing.

The platform also tracks supplier fill rates, so you can quickly see which suppliers are fulfilling the POs they accept and living up to your expectations and which suppliers are not. It also has price watch capability, and can alert you whenever PO or quote prices exceed current (or historical) prices by a certain percentage.

And, of course, there’s a dashboard which summarizes current tasks and open orders and great search and filter functionality to find just the orders, invoices, or quotes you are looking for.

The platform also integrates the inspection reports from their inspection app and, for any fulfilled order, you can quickly bring up the full report that summarizes the inspection (packaging, appearance, condition, flavor, and quality) on each item delivered as well as the number of items rejected. Also integrated with the Procurement platform is the Inspection Module that contains the overall inspection summary dashboard, dill downs by supplier, scorecards by supplier, and other key reports and data points on inspections. The inspect application is a mobile app that workers can use at the warehouse on or the dock to inspect the quality of goods as they come in and, if necessary, reject them on the spot.

What’s really cool is the Track and Trace capability where, for any item, you can see the entire journey from the source lot to the warehouse or the store shelf, as appropriate. You just need a GTIN, lot number, order number, SKU, or product description and, optionally, a date range and you see the store shipments, receivings at your warehouses, vendor shipments, and base lots. And you can click into each store shipment, receiving, vendor shipment, or lot and see complete details (such as the ship to, date, and receiver for a store shipment; order #, sales order, Lot, shipper, shipment date, and cases for a vendor shipment; etc.). And with their next release, the (default) output report formats will be usable for FSMA compliance. (Again, if you do grocery retail and you don’t know why this is critical, you better find out soon!)

Finally, their Market Intelligence Capability in Procurant Connect provides Commodity Pricing, Weather, and Transportation analytics and tracking. The commodity pricing tracks price movements across all commodities by region; the weather pane integrates forecasts down to the county level; and the transportation analytics tracks average load fees by lane (defined by city pairings), as well as price changes and shipper / transportation availability (surplus, slight surplus, adequate, slight shortage, or shortage).

Procurant can integrate with your ERP and AP (payment) system, your TMS (or onboard carriers natively, which is something not many P2P systems can do as carrier management is critical in perishable supply chain management), and your supplier master (for supplier onboarding) if it’s not your ERP.

All-in all, Procurant is a fantastic solution for the perishable supply chain procurement and one that absolutely has to be on the short list of any grocery retailer that needs to get a handle on their perishable supply chain in a manner that will allow them to be fully PACA and FSMA compliant.

Vroozi: Address the Bluesy of your Procurement Problems With a Solution That’s Doozy and Approved by the Choosy! Part 2

Our last post began our discussion of Vroozi, a modern P2P solution that is usable by all organizations of al sizes regardless of where they are, what devices their people use, and where they are in the Procurement journey. Vroozi offers an extensive P2P++ solution that is enterprise grade (and used by some of the largest companies in the world) but that is also priced for the mid-market (that they started out to serve). Yesterday we covered the core e-Procurement and Invoice Management capabilities. Today we’ll cover Payments, the Supplier Directory, Analytics, Platform Administration, and the Supplier Portal.


Unlike many P2P vendors who stop at okay to pay, Vroozi integrates with NvoicePay and CorePay, can push payments into those platforms, actively monitor status, and then pull out changes to payment status as they occur so a buyer, and supplier, can always see the status of any payment.

Cheques, ACH, Wires, and/or V-Cards

Depending on your payment system, Vroozi gives you multiple options for payments and allows you to specify which payment method is to be used by the payment system.


The platform is capable of verifying taxes, as it integrates with Avalara and Vertex out of the box. Thus, if the customer buys a subscription to one of these platforms, Vroozi will use them to automatically maintain up-to-date global tax rates, as well as track any tax exceptions and waivers (as overrides) that you have based upon your global status. It can also track all of the taxes that you owe and simplify your tax management. Alternatively, if you don’t have these subscriptions, you can set up your standard rates in the Taxes area under Master Data Management. but if you do a lot of global business at a lot of different locations, this is not recommended. (Also, if you purchase a subscription to Avalara or Vertex after Vroozi installation, you just need to provide your access details in the Vroozi Connectors Manager.)

Supplier Directory

Supplier Management maintains a copy of all suppliers being transacted with by the organization and the records contain basic company info (name, address, primary contact channels), business information (business and tax ids, company attributes [for catalog/search enhancement], categories, payment terms, geographic service area, sustainability notes, description), insurance info (by insurance type with policy numbers and expiry dates), supplier contacts, PO submission method (platform, email, etc.), and related contracts.

Vroozi is not designed to be a supplier master — as most organizations use their ERP or a specialist SXM platform with deep supplier relationship, performance, compliance, or risk — functionality, but is designed to maintain all of the relevant information on active suppliers for purchasing in the P2P tool, and can push updates back to the source system, as most updates will come in during Procurement efforts.

One of the unique capabilities of the platform is the ability to configure all of the electronic supplier interactions through the supplier management screen — where the buyer can define how to send POs, confirmations, and RFQs to the supplier; (whether or not and how it will) receive PO acknowledgements, change requests, (advance) shipping notices, invoices, etc. from the suppliers; how m-way matches will be made; how payments will be made, etc. The electronic interaction with every supplier can be configured to a very fine-grained level, as well as the control a supplier has in their portal.

Contract (Meta) Data Management

Contract (Meta) Data Management in Vroozi is on a category and item basis, as each catalog, or item, can have an associated contract. Vroozi is not a CLM system and makes no claim to be such, but understands the importance of tracking relevant contract terms in the P2P system, as well as the source documents in case the need arises.


Analytics in Vroozi is powered by Looker that provides out-of-the-box reporting dashboards on spend, suppliers, documents, catalogs, user, and master data as well as a dashboard custom designed for AP Managers that provides easy access to invoice, memo, and PO data. Vroozi is not a full spend analysis platform, nor is it claiming to be one. If you need help with historical spend classification and categorization, or a standalone spend analytics platform, they work with Spendata, which we have covered here on Sourcing Innovation in 2018 (Don’t Throw Away That Old Spend Cube! Spendata Will Recover It For You) and this year (The Power Tool for The Power Spend Analyst, Now Usable By Apprentices As Well!).

Vroozi also supports report subscriptions and most users choose to get their pre-configured reports through email on a regular basis. The platform comes with a large number of basic reports where the user can define the data subset and fields they want to see and the report will be generated and sent to them.


The self-service administration capability in the platform is quite extensive.

Catalog Management

The company can define as many catalogs as it wishes, including multiple catalogs for the same supplier if they want to customize catalogs for sub-companies, departments, regions, or some combination thereof. Catalogs can be created and updated from CSV files or manual on-screen definition (on a product by product, or service by service, basis). When a new catalog (update) is being worked on, it is in a working state. Once the updates are completed, if the user has catalog manager authority, it can go into an approved state, and, if not, it goes into an approval queue. (Suppliers can be given permission to manage their catalogs, but all of their updates automatically go into an approval queue.) Once approved, the catalog can be pushed to live, scheduled to go live at a certain date and time, or held until the organization is ready to publish. All data and meta data regarding catalogs and items can be accessed and maintained in the Vroozi Content Manager.

Workflow & Rules

The rules for email submission, document submission, and approval can be organization defined and maintained quite easily. It’s very easy to define email aliases and user group targets for communication and refined rules for structured document submission (invoice, shipping notice, etc.) which can be routed based on company codes, plant codes, cost centers, and other organizational details enabled in the Accounting section. Similarly, purchasing requests can be routed to the right approver group based on company codes, plant codes, cost centers, etc.

When it comes to purchase requests, the rules support the financial approval workflow or the sourcing approval workflow. Unlike many last-generation tactical e-Procurement / tail-spend platforms, Vroozi understands that even tactical and tail-spend purchases will require organizational approvals beyond Finance / Budget Owners. IT will have to approve software and hardware purchases. MRO will have to approve replacement components (as being sufficiently compatible with existing systems and products). Risk and Compliance will have to approve services. And so on. For Finance, workflows can be spend limit or staircase based, auto-forward to the next group or approver if the first group or approver is not available or does not respond within a time period, and define a global fallback approver (who can have single-approver override status). Sourcing approvals can be defined by request type, supplier, category, or product type.

ERP & Connection Management

As noted above, Vroozi integrates with a number of applications for Tax, ERP, AP and other Master Data Management solutions out of the box. Connecting to these is simply a matter of providing id and connection keys. For example, there are out of the box connectors for Quickbooks, NetSuite, and Xero.

Vroozi also supports an extensive API which can be used to configure connections to (custom) ERP instances and other master data systems for suppliers and products. The API calls and keys can be updated through the connector manager.


Vroozi can maintain budgets natively in the platform or pull them in from the system you use for Budgeting. This allows every request to automatically be checked against available budget.


The Vroozi platform can support multiple purchasing units, plants, approval groups, and projects as well as supporting full definition of the chart of accounts, company codes, cost centers etc. Each purchasing organization and plant can have its own code that can be used in budgets and routing rules. Approval Groups group approvers into a group with a similar function that can be used for routing inquiries and documents for approval (versus routing to individuals, allowing for faster processing and workload distribution). Projects are associated with a company, a unique code, a time period, possibly a parent project, and, in addition to this information, only needs a name. Quick to setup and easy to track spending against a project. The chart of accounts captures the companies GL codes and related information and the cost centers captures the cost center hierarchy of the organization.


From a Finance/Accounting perspective, the Vroozi platform is very configurable. The organization can decide whether or not they want to support multiple purchasing units or plants, profit centers, cost centers, classes, locations, location types, projects, customers, WBS elements, and even GL accounts within the platform.

Company Profile, Locations, Users, Currencies, UoMs, Categories, and other Standard P2P Data

All of the master data can be maintained by the customer organization administrators through the Master Data Module of the Vroozi platform.

Help Portal

Vroozi ships with an extensive help portal that covers the entire system functionality. In addition, for every customer, they can insert custom documents, videos, application links (to appropriate screens), and even searches as desired by the customer to help their users.

Supplier Portal

The Vroozi Supplier Portal is where suppliers access their orders, notify the buyer of shipments, flip POs to invoices, and check their invoice (and payment) status.

On the home screen, the supplier sees a summary of their orders, ASNs, pending invoices, and payments and can quick click into their profile (for maintenance), users (for maintenance), purchase orders (to see historical, with new at the top), shipping notices, invoices (to see historical, new at the top), and their payment status.

With respect to invoice submission in the Vroozi platform, a vendor can:

  1. flip a purchase order (PO) to an invoice, simply by selecting the PO, verifying the quantity shipped, and submitting the invoice (and they can override the price or tax fields, but that will result in a failed match and there will be no straight through processing)
  2. submit an invoice in a standard encoding, including CXML or EDI, through an API
  3. submit a PDF invoice through the platform or a well-defined e-mail address

In these scenarios:

  1. the invoice goes into the queue for processing
  2. the invoice goes into the queue for processing
  3. the invoice gets sent to the the AI invoice processor that auto-extracts the information for the buying organization (and then, when the buyer AP manager logs in, presents the PDF invoice side-by-side with the processed invoice for verification for easy confirmation and correction, and then the invoice goes into the queue for processing)

Once the invoice is in the queue for processing, the matches are applied, and if they succeed, it goes straight for approvals, and if the invoice is against a blanket PO or contract and in budget, it can be auto-approved and go straight to posting, which can get the Vendor paid fast (and gives the Vendor a reason to use the system).

Note that we did not mention RFQs because Vroozi has streamlined the RFQ process for Vendors and when a vendor gets an email invite, it takes them right to the RFQ response page where it’s usually just a matter of providing their price per unit and submitting the bid. They can change the due date, quantity (if they can’t provide the total requested), or even the part number (if they believe they have a viable substitute) if they want to, knowing that it may decrease their odds of winning the bid. This makes sure they don’t lose it in a list of events in the portal or have to go through unnecessary steps just to submit a quick bid to an RFQ.

All in all, Vroozi is a very extensive, and complete, P2P solution that is perfect for Mid-Market and larger enterprises who need an easy to use system that can be customized with multiple views for multiple sub-units, whatever those may be.

Vroozi: Address the Bluesy of your Procurement Problems With a Solution That’s Doozy and Approved by the Choosy! Part 1

Vroozi was founded in 2012 with a vision of building a modern P2P solution that could be used by all organizations and Procurement professionals regardless of where they were and what device they were using — as they were the first P2P platform with a mobile-first philosophy. The goal was to build a solution that was easy to use, automated to the extent possible, collaborative, and easy to adopt by all individuals in the organization that needed to make purchasing requests, do Procurement, give approvals, and make payments. The opposite of the highly manual, closed, and cumbersome first-generation systems that gave their users the City Boy Blues.

They’ve achieved their goal, and then some, with a solution that is enterprise grade but yet priced for the mid-market. Whereas most P2P solutions fall short of payments, they can do payments (with their direct integration into two leading payment platforms) — and they can do invoicing compliant with both post-audit and clearance countries. Whereas most Procurement solutions require you to switch to a sourcing suite for a simple RFQ, they can do RFQs too. Whereas most focus on either internal/hosted or punch-out catalogs, they do both, as well as mixed and templated service offerings — all through a single integrated search that can also take into account enhanced company and product attributes on hosted and mixed catalogs. Whereas most P2P solutions don’t tie to contracts, the Vroozi platform can maintain all appropriate contract metadata to track spending against contracts and budgets. Whereas most have only the minimal supplier details to send the PO and Payment, the Vroozi platform allows for extended data to be maintained to allow for in-depth recommendations during search, straight-through processing rules for invoices when there are minor exceptions, and meaningful reports and analytics. Speaking of analytics, whereas most P2P platforms have limited to non-existent reporting solutions, Vroozi has integrated a reporting package that’s on par with most mid-market Source-to-Contract and P2P suites which provides a decent starting point for many organizations to get a handle on their spending.

Going back to supplier data, Vroozi can integrate with your ERP/MRP/Supplier Master and keep the relevant supplier data current for you — enhancing what you already have. It’s an extensive P2P++ solution that can even negate the need for a sourcing platform in an organization where the majority of purchasing is tactical or of moderate value or less. (If an organization doesn’t have a lot of high spend or strategic categories that need sophisticated sourcing technology with auctions or optimization capability, they can usually do without a dedicated platform and use pay per event solutions like MarketDojo or consultancies with licences. In other words, the only other solution the organization may need is a CLM solution — which only enhances the value of the Vroozi solution.) Also, because it can be opened up to the entire organization, who can have view access into the status of their request and all associated documents at all times, it has intake out of the box. (And because it can connect with relevant enterprise ERP, Finance, and S2C systems, it can serve as the Procurement orchestration platform as well.)


In the Vroozi platform, e-Procurement revolves around purchase requests that come from:

  • catalog search
  • non-catalog requests
  • RFQs

which may or may not be accessed through their SmartChat NLP (Natural Language Processing) tool.

Integrated and Intelligent Catalog Search

In the Vroozi system, a user can do a search across all of their catalogs, whether they are hosted, punch-out, or mixed (as the user can replicate part of a punch-out catalog in the hosted environment to augment and enrich the data with relevant company and product attributes that can aid in not only the search but the ranking and recommendation). The system can support ordered recommendations based on (lowest) cost, contract/preferred status, diversity supplier, or a weighted combination of those and/or other factors.

Search brings up results in a consumer like (Amazon) interface where it’s one click to add to a cart, and one click in the cart to initiate a purchase request. If a user can’t find what they want internally, or prefers a third-party site, one click takes them to the punchout site, and one click in the punchout site (including Amazon [Business]) takes them back to the Vroozi portal to submit the purchase request.

Search can be filtered on all relevant dimensions (supplier, brand, product [sub] category, etc.), which, if the content is hosted, can also include a slew of company attributes and product attributes. Company attributes could include diversity, green certified, preferred contract, premier (off-contract) supplier, IT, MRO, Office Suppliers, and other relevant categories. Product dimensions can include preferred product (off-contract), free shipping, refurbished, warranty, etc.

Non-Catalog Requests

Not all requests are for products found in a catalog. Some are for custom configurations of products where standard configurations are catalog, and some are for relatively standard service offerings that have contract pricing based on easily defined variables or configurations. The Vroozi application can support both of these through extended-catalog and non-catalog requests. If a buyer needs a new laptop with a custom configuration, the system will bring up an item with drop downs and/or special request fields where the user can select the precise configuration she needs. If a buyer needs to request janitorial services for the new, temporary office location, she can bring up the request, specify the required parameters that define the service level (square footage, type of cleaning [one-time or daily/weekly maintenance for a period of time, deep cleaning, etc.], hours it needs to be completed in), and the system will compute the number of people needed and the contract rate. Even complex requests can be completed and submitted quickly and with ease.

Bulk Upload Requests

Vroozi supports the creation of requisitions via extremely simple bulk upload. It can be as simple as a 2-column .CSV file containing Item Id, Quantity rows for basic products in the catalog. In addition, a full SOW (Statement of Work) requisition can also be created simply by specifying the core fields of: Supplier ID, Category ID, GL Account, Item Description, UOM (Unit of Measure), Price, Tax Code, Currency, Start Date, and End Date for each line on the SOW (Statement of Work). All of the appropriate information is automatically pulled in to create a complete requisition, which can be instantly used to generate a PO if the purchaser is buying from approved suppliers/blanket POs within their budget and auto-approval rules.

Next-Gen AI Powered Smart Chat

One of the main selling points of the intake and orchestration platforms getting all the buzz (and all the funding, some to the point where they are going to have to sell the solutions at ridiculous prices to reclaim the investor’s money) is their ability to not only make it super easy for organizational users to make Procurement requests in natural language through an AI chatbot, but an AI chatbot that will ask the right questions to get them to the exact product or service they need and let them put a request in with a single statement or confirmation (“create purchase request” or “yes”), and, in particular, text-based smart chat bots that can be served through an API to another enterprise platform the employees use daily.

Well, guess what? Vroozi has this too! No need for an overpriced “intake” or “orchestration” platform.

The Vroozi Smart Chat Bot is very well designed, and will ask as many questions as needed to get the user to the exact product or service they need. In the laptop scenario, the system will ask for the primary use (business, development, etc.), memory requirement, storage requirement, etc. In the services scenario, it will confirm the user wants janitorial services, confirm the vendor and contract, take the user through the questions, propose the requisition, and automatically create it with a confirmation.


RFQ Functionality in Vroozi is very straight forward. The user simply has to give the request a name and due by date; define the products or services they want by description, part/service number, category, quantity, unit of measure, and delivery date; and select the suppliers from the directory (or create a new ad-hoc supplier; however, no PR or PO can be created without approvals and master data setup if awarded to an ad-hoc supplier). That’s it. Then it’s wait for either all the suppliers to respond or the due date to hit, evaluate, make an award, and (if no ad-hoc suppliers were selected that require approval), create the requisition. (Once the RFQ is created, the suppliers are notified by email, and it’s one-click from the e-mail to go to the bid screen, where they will be required to enter their one-time bid passcode to prevent compromised logins.) Awarding is just a matter of selecting the bid and clicking the award button.

Easy One Click Approvals

Once a purchase request has been created, it goes to the first approver for approval. It gets entered to their queue in the Vroozi application, where they can approve it instantly, and through e-mail, where they can one-click approve or reject it. The click takes them to either a screen that acknowledges their approval, or a screen that acknowledges their rejection where they can input a reason and whether or not the requester can resubmit with a modification. To make the rejection process super easy, the user can select a standard reason for dispute from a drop down and only needs to free-form enter a reason or further explanation in special situations that should not be the norm.

Invoice Management

Vroozi is not just an e-Procurement platform, it’s also an Invoice-to-Pay / Accounts Payable platform with full invoice management capability. The great thing about the Vroozi platform is that it supports super easy PO flip in the portal (as well as allowing vendors to submit invoices in multiple standard encodings), meaning all the data can come in complete, correct, and already matching. They also support PDF (by email) submission, and have the capability to process (relatively) “standard” PDF invoices and auto-extract all the key fields.

Once the invoice is in the queue for processing, the matches are applied, and if they succeed, it goes straight for approvals, and if the invoice is against a blanket PO or contract and in budget, it can be auto-approved and go straight to posting, which can get the Vendor paid fast (and gives the Vendor a reason to use the system). If they fail, then the invoice is stopped for processing. If everything matches and there are blanket POs or contracts and budgets are met, it can be auto-processed and goes straight to the posting queue. If not, it goes out for approval. Once the invoices is stopped for match failures or is deemed to need manual approvals, it stays in the processing queue until it has received any necessary non-AP approvals (which might be required if all invoices above a threshold value or for certain categories must get sign-off even if there is an approved PO) and there is a goods receipt to match against the invoice with the PO for a 3-way match or an AP manager completes exception processing and pushes it to to the processing queue. Once corrected and/or approved, the invoice goes straight to posting. And, of course, the supplier, if they use the portal, sees the current invoice state at all times.

The great thing about the platform is the power that is contained in approval chain creation and management, which can be setup in the same manner as purchase order approval chains if desired. Once an invoice is in the processing queue, if there is a 3-way match, it is automatically processed, and if it matches exactly or within tolerances, it goes straight to posting without any touch. If there is only a 2-way match, and if there are exception rules (for example, services, recurring charges, etc.) that allow 2-way processing, then if there is an exact match or a match within tolerances, it will also go to straight to posting without any human touch.

In other words, in Vroozi, only exception invoices need to be processed, and a single click can reject and flip them back to the supplier (preferably with a reason) or accept them when the variation is acceptable, agreed to, or approved by the buyer (such as a higher price for substitute items when an order was made without the necessary notice). Furthermore, to ensure that exception processing is efficient, the end user organization can define multiple types of exception handlers to ensure that the invoice is routed to the right group when there is an exception. For example, if it’s just a tax issue or an unexpected shipping and/or handling charge, then it can likely be resolved by AP and should go to an AP clerk. But if it’s a unit price issue that doesn’t match the contract, which the supplier is refusing to back down on, it might need to go to Procurement for an exception approval or to Legal who may need to call the supplier and explain what will happen next if the unit price isn’t fixed.

In addition, there are built-in options for auto-processing / auto-return for overcharges. The system can automatically reject the invoice, automatically modify the invoice based on agreed to amounts and then notify the supplier of the changes upon approval, or leave the invoice as is and automatically create a credit memo (and notify the supplier on approval that the credit was applied against this invoice or will be applied against a future invoice at payment time).

Shipping Notices & Good Receipts

The Vroozi platform is capable of accepting and processing shipping notices in the same manner that it receives invoices, and these can even be used in a 4-way match if desired by the system. Shipping Notices and Goods receipts are incredibly easy to create in the Vroozi system. Just like a user can one-click flip a PO to invoice, they can one-click flip a PO to a shipping invoice where all they have to do is verify the line-item quantities. Similarly, a user can one-click “flip” a goods receipt from a PO, shipping notice, or invoice as easy as a supplier can flip a PO into an invoice. All the user has to do is enter the quantity received for each line item and the goods receipt is complete and can be used in the 3-way match for straight through processing. Note that if the organization has turned on the appropriate matching, the users will have to receive goods before the associated invoices can be processed.

3-Way Match and Straight Through Processing

The power of an I2P solution is one that can automate invoice processing touch free and free up valuable Procurement and Accounts Payable time to focus on the exceptions and the issues, and not tactical processing which prevents issues from being resolved, and sometimes even from being detected when an invoice has too many line items for detailed processing and all the AP clerk can do is a rough check on the total amount versus the total expected amount. Also, as it is capable of automatically processing every invoice that comes in, it can identify obvious and potential duplicates, invoices that don’t match a PO, and invoices that are potentially fraudulent and reject them or “quarantine” them for manual review.

Credit Memos

Credit Memos are automatically created during invoice exception handling when the buyer decides that the organization is going to pay the PO price (which usually happens when the organization has a contract or valid commitment that has not yet expired from a previous quote), overrides the invoice price to the PO price, and then approves the invoice, which is queued for payment at the adjusted amount captured in the (automatically generated) credit memo that is sent to the supplier. The supplier gets the credit memo in their portal, as well as a status change that informs them that the buyer adjusted invoice has been approved for payment.

Come back tomorrow where we will continue our discussion of the Vroozi P2P++ offering, including Payments, the Supplier Directory, Analytics, Platform Administration, and the Supplier Portal.