Setting Strategic Sourcing up for Success in the Next Normal

If there’s anything the first half of 2020 has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. From pivoting to entirely remote operations, to shoring up disrupted supply chains, and taking a leading role in business continuity planning, strategic sourcing has been tackling uncertainty from all sides. With approximately 2.7B of the global populations affected by shelter-in-place ordinances over the past few months, enterprises everywhere have turned to their sourcing and procurement organizations for guidance on navigating unique challenges and protecting their futures. 

Strategic sourcing leaders across all industries have taken these challenges in stride, using digital capabilities to stay connected and ensure the business continues to run smoothly despite disruptions. Recent events have made it clear that lengthy, manual procurement processes will no longer make the grade amidst the rapidly changing business landscape. Technology-enabled sourcing teams are more effective in managing change and are better equipped to:

Align Tightly with Executives and Stakeholders

As teams and executives are spread across geographies, it is critical that sourcing teams have a dedicated hub for collaboration with their stakeholders. Amidst ongoing disruptions, businesses must closely monitor and reevaluate their sourcing priorities on the fly which requires real-time collaboration capabilities. Effective sourcing leaders are also staying tightly aligned with the C-suite by providing up-to-date reporting on cost savings as well as total visibility into project pipeline and spend. As the rate of business increases, executives and stakeholders must have automated analytics and real-time status updates on their urgent projects in order to make strategic, data-driven decisions. 

When Sourcing, executives, and key stakeholders have total visibility into procurement processes, Sourcing is able to drive exponentially more impact across the entire enterprise. When LendingTree, the largest online lending marketplace in the U.S., prioritized digital acceleration in their procurement organization, they experienced staggering results including:

    •  93% of stakeholder approval of increased collaboration with digital system
    • Nearly 10X increase in projects completed
    • Massive increase in savings booked

Accelerate Sourcing Processes and Reduce Cycle Times

Strategic sourcing teams simply do not have time to hunt down necessary data from disparate spreadsheets and email chains. They need a single source of truth that centralizes their information and automates cumbersome tasks like data entry, request processing, and project and savings tracking.  Especially during times of uncertainty, Sourcing needs the agility to adapt and move quickly on shifting priorities. 

Intuitive technology also helps sourcing leaders like Uber’s Head of Strategic Sourcing & Supply Chain, Brish Bhan Vaidya, dramatically reduce time spent in negotiations while fast-tracking urgent projects. In a Supply Chain Dive report, Brish notes that with technology, “a reverse auction takes about 10 to 15 minutes to set up and about 20 minutes to manage” where “[previously] negotiations could take one or two weeks to complete.” By using technology to help automate the auction process, sourcing leaders like Brish can dramatically expedite their contract process, freeing up their time for more strategic initiatives.

Ensure Supply Chain Sustainability

Recent disruptions have exposed major gaps in many business’ supply chains and sourcing leaders are now tasked with ensuring their strategic partners have stable value chains. According to a Deloitte study, however, approximately 65% of procurement leaders have limited or no visibility beyond their tier 1 suppliers. Successful sourcing leaders must have the ability to closely partner with and monitor their suppliers in order to adequately protect the business. 

To recover their supply chains and safeguard their businesses from future disruptions, strategic sourcing leaders must have total visibility into their suppliers as well as mechanisms for feedback and performance evaluations. With the speed of business ever-increasing, sourcing leaders need a way to communicate en masse to their vendor partners and aggregate these responses for strategic decision-making. By keeping in constant communication with suppliers, sourcing leaders are better able to understand where potential risks lie. 

Set Your Sourcing Team up For Success in the Next Normal

While we may never be able to truly plan for the unexpected, there are steps strategic sourcing teams can take to ensure they’re prepared for whatever the next normal holds. One thing is clear: the future is in the cloud. Technology-powered sourcing teams are far better positioned to lead their businesses through uncertainty with complete visibility, real-time collaboration, streamlined processes, and data-driven decision making. 

Want to learn more about how Scout RFP, a Workday company, can help your team drive enterprise-wide impact and spearhead a strong recovery? Schedule a demo today and learn how to accelerate your sourcing. 

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