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Enhance Your Procurement Process So it’s Easy to Do More

If you’re hung up on manual tasks, disparate spreadsheets, and siloed data, then achieving a single line of sight into your procurement process will make it easy to do more.

Despite today’s disruptive climate, procurement is progressing to become a more strategic function. However, without a real-time view of suppliers, contracts, or project statuses, procurement can struggle to support the growth of the business. In fact, Deloitte’s Global CPO Survey 2018 found that 65% of procurement leaders reported having limited or no visibility beyond their Tier 1 suppliers. That’s a serious gap for any company.

Without Innovation and Transparency, You Run the Risk of Falling Behind

Furthermore, Deloitte noted that transparency and a culture of innovation are the hallmarks of sourcing teams that do deliver an impact. And when only 33% of procurement leaders believe that they are equipped to execute successfully on their digital procurement strategy, there’s a big opportunity for teams that can make this shift.  

The same study affirmed, Few organizations appear to be progressing at the rate that their C-suite executives consider necessary for achieving overall goals. Indeed, in the majority of areas, the level of impact has declined and the forecast application of new technologies is low.” So, what’s the secret of teams that are successful here?

By priming procurement processes for today’s accelerated pace of change, your team can support phenomenal business growth — especially during uncertain periods.

This was a major theme at last week’s Procurement Leaders event in Miami. But for many attendees, the challenge is further upstream. We heard there are three key competencies to master that ensure a successful culture of innovation. For any team tackling digital procurement, on an accelerated schedule, it’s critical to focus on collaboration, continuous improvement, and visibility.

Need a place to start? Let the following sourcing stories inspire you on your journey.

Three tried-and-true stories about making your procurement process do more:

1. Put together sourcing guidelines and policies built on collaboration

To drive innovation, you need a solid foundation built on people, process, and technology. In fact, that’s how Uber’s Head of Global Strategic Sourcing has been able to show value beyond a savings number. The team leveraged the great relationships built with stakeholders in order to put together sourcing guidelines and policies. They also met with their CFO and outlined a savings methodology that articulated how they would define cost savings. By building this foundation, Uber’s sourcing team could look to technology to help scale and streamline operations to show value to the business.

To enhance your process: Form a foundation built on people, process, and technology. Hire a stellar team with the necessary skills, develop or evaluate your procurement policy, and look to the proper tools to put your policies into action.

2. Drive continuous improvement by engaging early and often with stakeholders

At a recent Sourcing Leaders event in Chicago, experts in the industry shared the most important skills they’ve learned to become more effective in sourcing.  One attendee said, “Make an impact before the ship has sailed. Find the windows of opportunity, hit hard, and hit impactfully to get alignment moving forward. While cost-savings has been branded and sold into the business, it’s important to set up steering committee meetings with stakeholders.” Prioritizing and building cross-functional relationships will come easy as long as you engage early and often.

To find your opportunities: Set up steering committee meetings with your stakeholders. Reframe your thinking in a way that is relationship-centric (rather solely dollar-centric). Consider how any actions will impact your stakeholders and the relationships that matter to the business.

3. Get ahead of the curve with immediate, up-to-date visibility

Quickly responding to disruption means being able to handle a higher workload without getting mired in disorganization. Anadarko, one of the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas companies, relies on an agile supply chain managed by a high-performing sourcing team executing against rapidly evolving market conditions. Anadarko had previously relied on a manual process using emails, spreadsheets, and Word documents, which didn’t provide the transparency that they needed. To facilitate transparency between supervisors, managers, and stakeholders, they streamlined the reporting process by reducing the number of status updates, ensuring everyone has immediate, up-to-date visibility.

To find your view ahead: Start by getting a pulse check on your benchmarks. Understand where you stand with alignment between supervisors, managers, and stakeholders. Collect feedback on current challenges with visibility that put the business at risk.

Priming your procurement process for innovation means getting valuable time back so you can do more. So, master these three competencies and become a leading organization that progresses at an accelerated rate. It’s time for procurement to deliver unprecedented value for the enterprise.

Have you heard any inspiring stories around sourcing innovation or enhancing the procurement process? Drop us a line by tweeting @scoutrfp and share your POV.

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