e-Procurement

5 procurement practices inside SAP to get ahead and stay ahead

 

StevenFreemantle.jpgTime and again Steven Freemantle encounters procurement managers who feel that their SAP systems hinder, rather than aid, the satisfaction of their organisations’ purchasing needs. This definitely need not be the case. There is an urgent requisite for this crucial supply chain function to go back-to-basics. Instead of employing more people or adding new functionality to their SAP suite, procurement managers need to learn how to exploit the standard SAP functionality their companies bought when SAP was originally implemented.


In this month’s SmartProcurement, Freemantle, of SweetThorn Thought Leadership, discusses the five leading practices that procurement managers should employ to make use of SAP toolsets that have been around since at least the 1990s.

5 rules of deploying a successful procurement system

 

Value.jpgAccording to Gartner, North American companies recently spent $1.4-billion (R16.8-billion) per annum on sourcing and procurement applications. For their investment companies seek two fundamental benefits: lowering costs for the goods and services they purchase; and making their employees more productive.


However, are these companies receiving their money’s worth?


A survey conducted by the Topline Strategy Group (TSG) suggests that while some companies are receiving their money’s worth, many others are getting nothing for their investment.

Public sector e-tender portal and central supplier database set to go live

 

SupplierDatabase.pngGovernment is introducing an electronic tender portal for public sector contracts to improve the supply chain.


President Jacob Zuma said the portal system would be phased in from April, however, it this has been pushed to May.


Government is taking action to improve the performance of its supply chain management system to “prevent fruitless and futile expenditure as well as corruption”.


A centralised supplier database would also be introduced this month. It is a central list of approved suppliers that have been vetted for cost and quality, managed by the chief procurement officer, said Treasury. Once it is fully functional, it will replace around 600 supplier databases that currently exist.

Top 4 ways procurement can leverage business networks

 

AlexSaric.jpgIn his frequent conversations with procurement professionals, it’s become clear to Alex Saric (Vice President of Business Networks Marketing at SAP) that the importance of increasing collaboration with suppliers is well recognised, but, when we start to discuss what that means in practice there is far less clarity.


For example, few seem to understand how to leverage business networks, a key enabler of such collaboration, to drive greater value. After all, in today’s Networked Economy, we are more connected and dependent on our trading partners than ever before.


Based on his experience, Saric has identified top ways that procurement professionals should leverage business networks.

3 supply chain lessons from the mismanagement of the EBOLA disaster

 

EbolaSupplyChain.pngThe current outbreak of Ebola is the largest and most complex since its discovery in 1976, exceeding the sum of all previously identified cases.


In October 2014, The World Health Organisation announced that there could be 10 000 new cases of Ebola per week and the current outbreak’s mortality rate had increased to 70%.


What was considered West African problem became a global concern with cases being treated in Europe and America, some of them resulting in fatalities. While there is a concerted effort to contain the outbreak, the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières, an NGO working in the affected regions, said earlier that “six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it.”


The question that businesses need to ask themselves is what could they learn from this experience, says Suresh Somasundaram, Director of Business Network Marketing at SAP, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Sourcing the Twelve Days of Christmas

 

12DaysOfChristmas.jpgOn the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me... a purchasing headache.


The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English Christmas carol, in which a series of increasingly grand gifts is given on each of the twelve days of Christmas.


As any “true love” knows, the Twelve Days of Christmas is always a nightmare for a professional buyer, says James Marland, Network Growth VP at SAP Business Networks, in December’s SmartProcurement.

Case study: e-procurement and procure-to-pay effectiveness at Mondi

 

eprocurement.jpgA recent study conducted across international divisions of Mondi Ltd found that the South African-listed pulp and paper giant does not fully utilise, compared with best practice, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and electronic procurement (e-procurement). In fact, Mondi South African Division meets only 11 out of the 28 recommended best practice requirements (41%) in the procure-to-pay (P2P) process.


Based on the study, it was recommended that Mondi standardises the utilisation of ERP and e-procurement solutions as far as possible throughout all divisions at a global level, which encompasses its operations in 42 countries and 33 000 employees.

Driving expenditure management excellence with the numbers on your side

 

Mclaren_Mercedes_F1.jpgControlling an 800-horsepower Formula-1 racer by relying on mere arm muscles and foot sensitivity can turn out to be a dangerous exercise, said Michael Schumacher. Similarly, making trusted and confident supply chain decisions requires analytics of more than pencil, paper and Excel spreadsheets, Keertan Rai, of Ariba Expenditure Visibility, tells SmartProcurement.

Does procurement's future lie in the cloud?

 

CloudFuture.jpg"Procurement is essentially an activity where most of its key processes happen with agents who are outside your company and so it has a high affinity for cloud computing ('the cloud')," says James Marland, Vice President: Network Growth for Ariba, an SAP Company, tells SmartProcurement.

Moving Localised Procurement into a Global System

 

Kala_Sivasubramanian.jpgInternational organisations committed to continuing operation in South Africa have likely tasked their procurement departments with supporting SA’s drive to increase local production within the economy through increased local procurement. But, when operating on an international scale, how can an organisation’s global procurement system support local procurement while still giving visibility into aggregate spend volumes? Furthermore, if they work with SA’s public sector, how do they build compliance with local content regulations into their global procurement systems at the same time?


Kala Sivasubramanian, a procurement manager from Global Services at Ariba, an SAP Company, discusses the level to which cloud-based procurement solutions can be customised to support country-specific requirements, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Are you Nephophobic? Overcome your fear of the Cloud

 

FearOfCloud.jpgWhile helping his daughter with her Ancient Greek, James Marland was reminded that it’s easy to construct plausible English words out of Greek stems. One of the broadest sets of such words is lists of ‘phobias’: fears that range from the well-known claustrophobia and xenophobia to the unlikely Koumpounophobia (fear of buttons). After looking up the Greek for “cloud” he came up with the word Nephophobia.


Nephophobia (n): fear of clouds, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Which came first: the barcode or the egg?

 

egg_barcode.jpgJames Marland - Vice President of Network Strategy, Ariba, an SAP Company


Do you remember the days before barcodes? All the goods in shops needed a pricing sticker, which meant someone would have to trundle round the stockroom or the floor tagging items with a pricing machine, and then the till operator would manually enter the price into an adding machine at the till. Quaint, huh?

A commerce network - building a bridge from both sides

 

SydneyHarbourBridge_1930.jpgThe photo alongside of the construction of iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge got James Marland, Vice President of Network Strategy for Ariba, an SAP Company, thinking. Work began on the landmark structure in 1925, and the construction work moved steadily inwards until it finally met in the middle five years later. While you won’t find him viaduct-spotting or waxing lyrical about trusses, Marland saw some striking similarities in the way that a commerce network is created, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

In search of a true Business Network

 

holygrail.jpg“He says he’s already got one.”


The above quote comes from Monty Python, when the King asks a French soldier to join the quest for the Holy Grail. The French soldier says he is not interested as he’s already got one. James Marland, Vice President of Network Strategy for Ariba, an SAP Company, sometimes gets a similar reaction when he talks about the business network: “We’ve already got one,” although not usually in a cod-French accent.

View the clip here

This “other solution” often takes the form of a portal, an EDI connection, an industry marketplace, an outsourced scanning solution or some combination. In this month’s SmartProcurement, Marland identifies the ten key characteristics of a business network.

Reducing transaction costs - the end of the firm?

 

RonaldCoase.jpgThe man who introduced the concept of transaction costs recently passed away at the age of 102. Interestingly, his 70-year-old theory explains organisations’ vertical integration in the first half of the 20th century and their contradictory aggressive outsourcing more recently. But how is the lower transaction cost offered by the Internet revising the theory? asks Ariba’s James Marland, Vice President of Network Strategy, in this month's SmartProcurement.

 

Unlocking SA's multi-billion e-procurement market

 

SDandRSP.jpgSouth African supply chain consulting specialist Resolve SP has partnered with Irish software company SourceDogg to deliver effective e-sourcing.


The partnership will bring SourceDogg’s e-procurement solution to the South African market. The announcement was made during the Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa led by Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello.


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