Built on the Market-Leading BSM Platform, Coupa Releases Purchase Order Collaboration to Support Direct Procurement and Complex Spend

Nari Viswanathan
Nari Viswanathan
Sr. Director, Product Segment Marketing, Coupa

Nari is currently Sr. Director of Product Segment Marketing at Coupa, where he helps bring products to markets in the areas of Supply Chain Design and Planning. Over the past 20 years, Nari has held VP and Director of Product Management, Research and Marketing roles at Aberdeen Group, River Logic, Steelwedge and E2open. He has significant experience building products from the ground up and managing the P&L for a product suite. He is a proven B2B marketer with expertise in content marketing, competitive intelligence, and positioning. He has published numerous thought leadership articles, whitepapers, blogs and delivered dozens of webinars during his career. Nari Viswanathan is a five times SDCExec Supply Chain Pro to Know award winner. Nari holds a master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.

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Built on the Market-Leading BSM Platform, Coupa Releases Purchase Order Collaboration to Support Direct Procurement and Complex Spend

The old way of managing purchase orders (POs) may be putting you and your business at risk

You want to know where your orders are and to feel confident everything will arrive on time and in full. A smooth PO process is essential for your supply chains and business to run smoothly. But with disruptions, shutdowns, and rising costs, POs may change with little notice, leading to supplier delays, unplanned shutdowns, missed shipments, and ultimately the loss of potential revenue.

To minimize these negative impacts and drive cost savings and improve resiliency, procurement and supply chain leaders need to be able to monitor direct materials procurement at the most granular of levels: from tracking the minutes of unplanned downtime to revenue reductions due to missed deliveries.

Coupa’s new product release in direct material procurement — Purchase Order Collaboration

To address the specific needs of direct and complex spend planners, who often face the greatest headaches with disruptions like the ones described above, Coupa has launched a new product: Purchase Order Collaboration. Announced at Inspire Americas 2023, this product provides the ability for direct material suppliers to respond to POs at a line-item level and ensure supply for critical raw materials and finished goods for resale.

At its core, Coupa PO Collaboration enables collaboration between buyers and suppliers to help businesses gain transparency and control over their procurement processes, ensuring timely delivery of critical supplies. Built on the Coupa BSM platform, PO Collaboration provides a reliable method for managing strategic procurement of direct, indirect, and MRO materials with line-level PO confirmations and comments so you and your suppliers can address issues in real-time.

Distinctive, integrated, flexible control over direct spend and complex procurement

Our PO Collaboration product stands out from the competition in a few ways: 

  • Bi-directional integration to MRP systems: To help your planners as they orchestrate the delivery of all raw materials and components needed for product manufacturing, the right MRP system should generate POs with bi-directional integration in order to ensure suppliers fulfill POs within a specific time period and with the right quantity and quality required.
  • A simple and flexible user interface for suppliers to respond to POs: Purchase orders often undergo a significant amount of changes in their lifecycle. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that suppliers lack clear channels to communicate updates on quantity, price, promise dates, etc. Bridging this gap is important to ensure an efficient and error-free workflow for both planners and suppliers. Coupa PO Collaboration achieves this goal with workbenches that provide at-a-glance views of any PO exceptions that have occurred, making it easier to identify where action is required and eliminating the time-consuming task of manually reviewing thousands of POs line by line.
  • Enabling better supplier adoption based on supply-risk categorization: Historically, other attempts at PO solutions have focused on the top 20% of suppliers that drive 80% of volume. However, this simplistic approach does not take into consideration that plant shutdowns can occur due to any critical part shortage or disruption, regardless of the volume. A supply risk-based categorization of procurement is key to success (and with more than 9.5 million suppliers across direct, indirect, MRO, and services categories, Coupa has a strong track record of onboarding and managing a large number of suppliers).

Making direct material procurement and purchase order collaboration work for you

When you are a planner at a large retailer or a manufacturer, you are dealing with purchase orders with dozens or hundreds of line items. You need the confirmation of those items – the price, quantity, and delivery date – to happen seamlessly and without any errors. You must rest assured that any changes to the PO must be communicated back to the ERP systems of record. You and your suppliers must capture any contextual information associated with PO changes through comments so that it can be reviewed later.

“A digitized and optimal Procure-to-Pay process is critical to ensure that supply chains flow smoothly and with minimal supplier late deliveries, full orders, and reduced invoicing errors.

"Coupa’s Purchase Order Collaboration capabilities unite planners and suppliers to know where materials are in the order cycle and to communicate in real-time with each other to avoid unwanted surprises.”

— Senior Manager, Corporate Finance of a Large Luxury Retailer

Coupa’s PO Collaboration software grows with your company

As the Chief Procurement Officer or the Chief Supply Chain Officer, you need visibility across all spend and to know how well their suppliers are performing. Suppliers also need a platform they actually want to use to collaborate effectively.

Coupa’s PO collaboration system not only grants you visibility, transparency, and control, but also helps you reach economies of scale faster. It also handles direct and indirect spend as your POs grow in volume and complexity, empowering you to make better and more timely decisions and reducing unplanned shutdowns and customer delays.

Coupa’s Purchase Order Collaboration is the first of several forthcoming innovations in our suite of Supply Chain Collaboration updates. We’re constantly enhancing direct spend processes so you can see all of your direct and indirect spend data in one user-friendly place. As our customers grow, we’re committed to growing with them.