Save Time with AI! How to Use It in Your Everyday Procurement Life

Did you know that before the dishwasher was invented, each household spent, on average, 50 minutes per day washing dishes? 50 minutes per day! That’s over 300 hours a year, or the equivalent of 126 days per decade. The dishwasher liberated us from dishwashing drudgery!

And now, AI can liberate us from a whole lot more than that. 

If you haven’t had a chance to familiarise yourself with the latest AI developments, then you’re in for a surprise. ChatGPT, an online writing/aggregator tool, can draft just about anything for you. There are also multiple AI design tools available that can help save your procurement colleagues from PowerPoint or document hell. All of these options can save you hours, if not days, of work. 

Here’s how you can harness the power of AI in your everyday procurement life. But first, some caveats.

Putting the Warning First

It’s important to start these suggestions with a disclaimer: as good as AI is, it’s not as good as you. 

What we mean is that whenever you use AI to create anything, you’ll always need to edit and fact-check it (sometimes heavily) and add your own voice, ideas, and specifics (AI-produced content is notoriously vague). Ideally, you should use AI as more of a starting point, rather than a be-all-and-end-all for creating something. 

And always be sure to check your organisation’s policy on using AI-based tools before diving in.

Use ChatGPT to Create a Training Plan

Now we’ve got that out of the way, here’s how to use AI to save time. Have you ever been asked to create a training session for your procurement colleagues? Worse, have you been stuck for ideas? Fortunately, AI can help. 

Say you’ve been asked to create a half-hour training session on supplier relationship management best practice. To do this using ChatGPT, create a free account. Then, give ChatGPT the following command: 

  • Create a training plan for a half-hour session on supplier relationship management OR
  • Create a training plan for how to improve our supplier relationship management with examples from [insert your country], OR 
  • Create a training plan (with content and examples) for a half-hour training session on trends within supplier relationship management in procurement. 

Generally, the more specific you are with the ChatGPT, the more likely you’ll get a plan with ideas relevant to you, so keep trying different combinations until you get something you can then edit and add to yourself.

Use ChatGPT to Write a Predictions Report

A training plan isn’t the only thing that ChatGPT can create. If your team is having a quarterly planning session, and you’ve been asked to put together a predictions report on what trends might influence your particular business area over the next year or two, this is also something you can use AI for.

Try asking ChatGPT the following: 

  • Write a (insert word count) report on the top (insert number of trends) that will influence (insert your procurement category) in 2024.

As with the training plan, the more specific you get, the better. Think about key details like which country your organisation operates in, industries to account for and even where your supply chain is based. 

Of course, your report will be strengthened by adding your own insights. For example, for every trend that you highlight, ensure examples of what you’ve personally witnessed in terms of the trend and how this will impact your team. 

Use PopAI to Create a PowerPoint Presentation

There are very few of us who haven’t witnessed death by PowerPoint during our careers. It’s not pretty. Presentations with too many slides, too much information, clashing fonts and colours and terrible infographics limit our capacity to learn.

But again, AI can help. Leading on from our trend reports example – now you want to create a presentation to make it look good and more shareable across the business. There are many popular AI design tools that can help you design documents and Powerpoints. These include: 

  • PopAI: Using PopAI, you can create Powerpoint presentations or documents. Design suggestions are free, and you can sign up for a free trial where you’ll be able to download your designs. There are also paid plans if you need to design more.
  • Canva: Canva is the go-to design tool nowadays, and can help you create anything from videos to simple web pages, as well as presentations and documents. Canva has a free plan and there’s actually a lot of things you can do with it (including print your designs), or very affordable paid plans are also on offer. 
  • SlideGo: SlideGo also enables you to create free, AI-driven Powerpoint presentations. 

Remember, always bear in mind that AI is not you, and people with a trained eye will be able to tell it’s been written by an algorithm rather than a person if you don’t edit it. Take some time to learn how to use these tools and the way to get the best results.

Just like when the dishwasher was invented, you’ll rejoice when you master it, because you’ll be able to save time and focus more on what you love: procurement. 

Are you already using AI in your procurement role? How do you find it? Does your orgranisation have any policies governing it? Let us know in the comments below.