In customer service, the use of voice and chatbots is now completely normal. The benefits are obvious: the more customer queries that can be answered automatically, the more time employees have to concentrate on more demanding tasks.

But can this be applied to procurement and purchasing? and purchasing? How can voice and chatbots also relieve employees here?

For 95 percent of companies using chatbots (...), the primary goal is to give employees more time to handle more complex queries in the future. (

Where can voice and chatbots be used in procurement and purchasing?

Procurement processes

Voice and chatbots support buyers in their search for suitable suppliers, products and prices. They can, for example, send automated inquiries to suppliers and thus inquire about the availability of materials and products.

By connecting the voice or chatbot to the e-procurement system, the supplier's answers can be immediately fed into the system and are accessible to all employees at all times.

In addition, a voice or chatbot knows all contracts plus discount agreements and conditions and can thus ensure that all price advantages are utilized for orders.

Updating supplier:inside data

In this way, suppliers can also inform companies about changes in their product portfolio. To do this, they contact the voice or chatbot and identify themselves, for example, via an ID number or password.

They then tell the bot which products are new in their portfolio. The chatbot then asks for the necessary information during the conversation and stores it in the system. In this way, companies can access updated data and information from their suppliers at any time.

Adherence to company guidelines in the procurement process 

Chatbots are suitable for guiding users through entire processes by means of questions and instructions. This enables employees from other departments to place orders independently without having to rely on purchasing.

The chatbot guides the employees and ensures that they adhere to the company guidelines in the procurement process. This can reduce maverick buying in companies, for example.

If an employee has a question during the ordering process, the chatbot can answer it directly in the chat. It then guides the employee back to the last ordering step and the ordering process can be continued. 

Approval processes 

The approval process can also be handled by a bot. The chatbot integrates the decision-maker into the conversation. If the decision maker is not immediately available, it opens a new, separate dialog with the responsible manager. The manager can ask the chatbot how much budget is still available and then immediately decide whether to approve the purchase. Afterwards, the chatbot can inform the employee about the approval. Or, with the help of RPA, the chatbot can process the rest of the order on its own, once it has received the approval.

Document processing 

Missing data and incomplete information can quickly cost a company dearly. With the help of a chatbot and AI, however, unstructured documents unstructured documents such as invoices and receipts into structured data. For this purpose, the chatbot accepts offers, invoices or other documents from suppliers and customers, processes them and feeds the data into the system. This can be made possible, for example, by using the Google Cloud Service Procurement DocAI. This can be easily connected to a chatbot via a conversational AI platform such as BOTfriends X.

This means that procurement data can be processed automatically on a large scale, operational efficiency can be increased and decisions can be made based on data. 

Supplier:internal and invoice management

The accounts payable department usually receives frequent enquiries about open invoices. The manual processing of such enquiries is time-consuming.

However, with the help of a chatbot, this process can be standardized and automated. The supplier contacts the chatbot and identifies himself or herself using the order or invoice number. The chatbot accesses the system and can provide the supplier with the desired information.


Negotiations are time-consuming and are therefore often only carried out in companies above a certain price level. With a chatbot, however, negotiations can also be carried out cost-effectively for smaller amounts. A detailed description of this use case can be found in our white paper "Chatbots in Purchasing".

Support for asynchronous communication

In large corporations, employees and suppliers are not always in the same time zone. This can make smooth communication difficult and slow down processes. This is where voice and chatbots can help, as they can be reached at any time and respond in real time. For example, suppliers can submit their offers at any time and the negotiations described above can also be carried out by the voice or chatbot at any time.

Another example of how Conversational AI can make processes and communication more efficient across time zones is approval processes: For example, an employee needs approval from a superior to place an order. However, this:r is located in a different time zone and is therefore not immediately available. At this point, the chatbot takes over the contact and, as soon as the approval is available, can immediately carry out the ordering process with the help of RPA.

Mentoring and onboarding

If an employee falls ill and colleagues step in, the chatbot can support them and guide them step by step through the work processes. Of course, the same is possible for new employees. The chatbot helps them with onboarding and is always on hand to answer questions.

Bottom Line

Similar to customer service, in purchasing, inquiries from suppliers or internal customers can be processed automatically with a voice or chatbot. This can relieve employees in procurement and give them more time for more demanding tasks. In addition, a voice or chatbot can also provide employees with advice and automate entire processes such as negotiations.


If you want to know more about the use of chatbots in purchasing, you can download our whitepaper.

Download Whitepaper