2016 has been a year of profound change in our business and the products we offer to our clients. Moving away from the traditional ways of working, we have taken the bold step to automate parts of the procurement process by implementing bold new technology.
Speeding up processes that would have taken our teams many hours/weeks/months of work the past. Surely this is crazy move for a consultancy such as ours, we have no desire to become a pure software house and the value we add to our clients is all about the time we spend analysing their procurement spend. So why have we done it?
We’re no longer helping to source items that are a little bit cheaper, but re-engineering whole business processes around maximum value creation.
Evolution of procurement processes
Tough times demand innovative solutions and as businesses focus their attention on mission critical, direct spend categories the traditional procurement role needs to evolve. We’re no longer helping to source items that are a little bit cheaper, but re-engineering whole business processes around maximum value creation. This is only possible if time consuming tasks are automated and performed in a fast, efficient and error-free way.
As routine procurement becomes automated long established tasks of crunching RFx responses through endless rounds of supplier clarification and negotiation can now be condensed into one seamless task using electronic procurement technology. These new inventions support complex pricing structures of multiple categories all in one database. The data is analysed without using spreadsheets by the analytics engine, removing the accompanying human errors.
How this helps
This frees up to time to focus on the ambitious change management elements of procurement which add real value to the bottom line. One such element that can literally open up a whole new world are the technical specifications, essential when tackling direct spend categories. By developing new specifications one precision engineering client of ours was able to achieve 30-40% savings by throwing away their old rule book and sourcing from beyond their traditional geographies.
We have adapted our business because braver thinking is needed and automating traditional business processes is one step along the journey to freeing up the time for a new way of working to emerge.
For a pharmaceutical client, this meant reviewing all laboratory supplies. Almost a third of their total savings came from product substitution. These types of savings can only be realised and sustained by a team that has the time to work on the substitution and validation process of new products while they hand the price discovery task over to the automation.
A forward thinking solution
Far from cannibalising core working patterns, utilising this new technology is what really helps embed procurement into the fabric of a company and allows it to flourish in today’s ever changing business environment. We have adapted our business because braver thinking is needed and automating traditional business processes is one step along the journey to freeing up the time for a new way of working to emerge. Focusing on the change management elements of procurement is what will ultimately give your procurement team wings.