CAN ePROCUREMENT TILT THE
ODDS IN GAMING & CASINOS?
eProcurement is the Odds-On Favorite for Casino and Gaming Enterprises
by Salim Khalife, Founder & CEO
The gaming floor may be the main focus for revenue and profitability for casinos and gaming establishments, but the stakes are equally as high surrounding back-office operations like procurement. Smart procurement strategies within the casino and gaming industry bring visibility, cost savings, control, and efficiencies that can turn what was previously thought of as a cost center into a valuable asset, contributing to the overall success and profitability of the organization. Here we take a look as some of the common requisition and procurement challenges facing procurement professionals in the casino and gaming industry, and ways eProcurement software can tilt the odds in their favor
1. Covering the variables in the requisition process
Gaming and casino operations typically have large workforces, working in a variety of jobs, across many departments. The requisition process will likely vary depending on these variables, with housekeeping following a different workflow than maintenance, for example. Similarly, when a requisition contains many items, it’s not unusual for it to be appropriate to have multiple approval paths involved. A different approval path might be needed depending upon a line item’s vendor, amount, general ledger account, budget, or department.
An electronic procurement management solution (eProcurement) that supports an unlimited number of workflows will allow you to tailor the requisition process to the requester — by job role, type of request, department, or another factor that makes sense for your organization. Look for a procurement management solution that provides unlimited requisition approval rules to fit the way your organization does business.
2. Hold out for improved control over routine spending
As you know, it takes a lot of “stuff” to run a casino and gaming operation. With so many functional areas of the enterprise, and so many products and services required to keep each functioning, it’s vital to bring both efficiencies and controls to the requisition and procurement processes to ensure spending remains managed and within budget.
Tools including guided buying catalogs and PunchOut bring efficiency, control, and simplicity to the requisition and procurement process. Guided buying catalogs can be organized by vendor, by department, by functional area, or other meaningful grouping and include predefined vendor items, pricing, and accounting information. The catalogs provide a simple and intuitive interface option for users to select items with a few clicks and automatically submit them for approval simply by checking out of their shopping cart. PunchOut is an industry-standard technology that provides a method for a purchasing agent to buy from suppliers’ websites from within the buyer’s own eProcurement application. With PunchOut, users can browse and shop a supplier’s catalog in real-time on the vendor’s website, populating their requisitions automatically, resulting in quick, error-free processing.
3. Betting on better inventory management
Typically, we think of requisitions as the first step in the purchasing process. An employee recognizes the need for a product and creates a requisition to begin the approval, sourcing, and purchasing cycle. But requisitions are equally useful when the requested products are held internally, and as a tool to streamline inventory replenishment.
Casino operations typically hold a fair amount of inventory, purchasing many commonly used products in large quantities for efficiency and economic benefits. A requisition can be the starting point for initiating an inventory transfer from, for example, a stocking warehouse to a department storeroom. Using requisitions for these internal transfers creates an internal audit trail that provides a high degree of visibility into where and how your organization’s inventory is being held. And when the procurement software is integrated with the inventory system, there’s additional visibility into what’s in stock, where, and what’s on order allowing you to better manage the entire procurement process — including the ability to fulfill a requisition from available stock, instead of purchasing. EProcurement solutions are also useful tools to aid in inventory replenishment tasks, as the software can automatically create purchase requests based on order point quantities, turning a manual step into a streamlined activity.
4. Doubling down on efficiency throughout the approval process
Casino and gaming operations can cover a lot of ground — as can the employees that work there. When organizations can make requisition entry as fast, simple, and straightforward as possible, employees are more likely to embrace the system, keeping more spending under management and driving procurement cycle efficiency from step one.
Mobile requisition entry and approvals are a natural fit for busy casino operations. Employees can initiate requisitions and managers can view and approve requisitions from their tablets or smart phones — from wherever they are working.
Strategic gaming and casino operations recognize that smart procurement practices are a game-changer. When procurement is aligned with management’s vision and empowered by technology capable of driving successful business outcomes, the payoff for the enterprise is huge. A study by The Aberdeen Group found that organizations leveraging eProcurement software lowered their requisition-to-order costs by 49%. Another recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study reported that high-caliber sourcing and procurement teams use data, automation, and collaboration to effectively guide and improve decision making. The right procurement management software streamlines the requisition and procurement process, while providing the data and automation that benefits the entire organization.
About the author:
Salim Khalife is the founder, president and CEO of Paramount WorkPlace, a technology company that develops, sells, and supports advanced web-based and mobile requisition, procurement, and expense software solutions for mid-market organizations. The company introduced its first cloud-based SaaS requisition application in 1997 and continues to innovate and expand its partnerships and integrations ever since. Learn more at www.paramountworkplace.com.