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How API’s and Excel Add-ins are simplifying digital transformation projects for food procurement teams

Posted by Mintec Team on Feb 26, 2021 12:27:58 PM

Digital Transformation in Procurement

Mintec’s Head of Technology, Mark O’Sullivan, recently confirmed that APIs remain a crucial tool when implementing digital transformation strategies within leading food and beverage brands.

The most effective procurement teams are leveraging APIs (Application Programming Interface) as a simple method to integrate all their proprietary and 3rd party data sources quickly. Mark summarised why companies are doing this and what APIs enable them to do as:

  • Future-proofing – value beyond the application, providing key differentiators
  • Reduced Cost – removing manual steps and redeploying the people required to move the data around
  • Efficiency – moving faster, more cost-effective
  • Partnerships - critical to building a healthy ecosystem
  • Competitive Edge – API-first integrations enable digital native companies to disrupt entrenched competitors

 

Click here to learn More about Data Integration for the Food and Beverage Procurement Teams

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The increasing volumes of data frequently mean a similar increase in data sources. As a result, the problem many organisations and individuals face is acquiring the necessary data and integrating it with existing proprietary and 3rd party data to gain an incremental advantage. However, the greater insight this can deliver ensures it remains a critical goal for many leaders charged with digital transformation initiatives.

To achieve these benefits, many organisations are investing in digital transformation projects. There is, however, the perception that that these projects must be complicated or costly. This assumption need not be the case when considering some of the off-the-shelf options, such as APIs and, to some extent, the flexibility offered with the Excel Add-in function.

An API is software that allows two or more applications to connect. It acts as a messenger delivering requests to the service provider and returning the response. It is an interface that enables the application to talk to each other through simple commands.

API or so call Data Direct, integrations enable companies to automate tasks and make requests, share data quickly and easily between separate systems. APIs would allow businesses to integrate data in an agile and efficient way without spending a lot of time and money.

The ease of integrations means that an API can enable different platforms and applications to connect and share information to carry out diverse tasks. For instance, we share the current market price of a commodity from an independent provider with internal procurement systems to benchmark actual supplier prices to identify price variance negatively impacting the businesses cost of goods sold.

The benefit is that APIs can simplify data integration according to the specific needs of the business. As a result, the company or individual can obtain better results while investing less time and reducing development costs.

The integration of data is a critical component of any automation strategy, enabling manual or repetitive data tasks. As a result, the volume of tasks can be scaled further to help procurement and category teams to implement an automated process to monitor the impact of changing market prices across the broadest range of products possible. The integration enables data to be shared and analysis and reporting to be carried out in near real-time, which can better enable the identification of risks and opportunities that would previously have been outside the scope or capacity of individuals to monitor.

APIs will continue to remain an essential part of the road to digital transformation in 2021 and the core of innovative new business models. They remain the foundation of delivering on critical goals which require simple implementation that can be developed faster, delivered better and with the lowest cost to the business.

Click here to learn more about how 2021 will be digitally transformative for Food & Beverage procurement leaders.

 

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Topics: procurement

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