Tools

Using big-data analytics to drive forward business value in procurement - Part 1

WalterCharles_.jpgA conversation with Walter Charles, Chief Procurement Officer, Biogen.

Walter Charles' global procurement teams support billions of dollars in annual purchases. Having spent decades at Kraft Foods, Kellogg's, Johnson & Johnson, and now Biogen, Charles provides keen insight into the state of procurement today as well as how big data analytics is disrupting the landscape to provide CPOs with meaningful answers to more strategic procurement execution.

6 things to consider before you purchase any procurement technology

DanQuinn.jpgThinking of investing in some of the latest procurement technology? If you have not consulted market trends, got a third opinion and done all of your research, you might want to pull on the reins, advises Dan Quinn, Senior Vice President of cloud-based spend management provider Jaggaer (Middle East and North America).

Blockchain: what are the opportunities for Procurement?

Bertrand_Malteverne.jpgBy Bertrand Maltaverne, a Solutions Consultant who helps organisations digitally transform their procurement practices.

To be honest, I haven't totally figured out all of the details of the inner workings of the blockchain technology. And I do not think I will ever try to as some of it is very technical. I also do not believe that Procurement professionals should do it either. However, it is important to understand the implications of the blockchain technology. Because of the way the blockchain works, it has unique characteristics that represent a breakthrough with tremendous value for Procurement.

Digital transformation in procurement: how culture influences the successful implementation of a digital strategy

Jon_Hansen.jpgIn what Gartner has called the Postmodern ERP era, eProcurement technology and technology in general has become more accessible from both an availability and ease-of-use standpoint than it has been historically. However, does increased technological accessibility ensures success if cultural misalignment exists within an organisation?

Jon Hansen, Editor and lead writer for the Procurement Insights Blog, unpacks the digital revolution and corresponding cultural influences from procurement's point of view.

Procurement predictions for 2018

Procurement_Predictions.png

Digital innovation moves procurement risk and transparency forward

RudiKruger_2017.jpgThe act of obtaining or buying goods for business can be extremely complex. Compounded by numerous risks and time-consuming tasks, the additional pressures of procurement (like planning, supplier research, value analysis, price negotiation, contracts administration and inventory control) only add to the overall stress of the job. With so much to consider, the need for safe, efficient and reliable solutions to meet the demands of procurement are highly advantageous.

The changing face of the procurement office - a digital revolution

SarahGeorge.jpgBound by the challenges of reducing costs, managing supplier risks and ensuring financial and regulatory changes in policies, chief procurement officers (CPOs) have a tall order. Sarah George, ERP/EPM Cloud Applications Business Development and Product Strategy Manager at Oracle, unpacks the changing digital face of the procurement office, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Is fragmentation in corporate travel playing havoc with your policy?

EuanMcNeil_HS.jpgCorporates, suppliers and travel management companies (TMCs) need to work together to help improve transparency and reduce the impact of fragmentation on costs and efficiencies.

What is fragmentation? It's when staff try to book travel within their travel policy but are forced to access different sites to source that travel other than the company's preferred procurement channels and processes.

Turning supplier information into procurement insight

 

RudiKruger_2017.jpgDecisions and consequences go hand-in-hand. This is why having adequate, relevant information at your fingertips is a critical aspect of any decision-making process - more so when these decisions affect the operation of business and company reputation.

In procurement, the optimal goal is to manage risks and costs within a company, making it an imperative department of business. Businesses spend a significant amount of time vetting potential suppliers before embarking on a partnership, and pertinent data provides them with the right tools to make informed decisions with information that is easily interpreted by management.

However, the vetting system should not end when an agreement is reached between a business and its supplier. Intensive research and vetting on future and current suppliers should be a continual safety requirement to ensure all procurement legislation is adhered to, says Rudi Kruger, General Manager of Risk Solutions at LexisNexis Data Services, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Do SA business travellers toe the travel-policy line?

 

TravelPolicy.jpgTraveller non-compliance is an increasing area of concern among travel buyers and managers internationally, with great efforts made to persuade travellers of the benefits of compliance that extend beyond “because the company said so”.

A recent study conducted by FCM Travel Solutions and the African Business Travel Association (ABTA) revealed that the level of non-compliance among South African travellers is limited, however. At least 42% said that their travellers rarely or never booked out of policy, with a further 39% indicating that it didn’t happen often.

Is your travel technology a strategic procurement partner?

 

EuanMcNeil_HS.jpgWe’re in the throes of the 4th industrial revolution, where technology has changed the way we live and do business. Research shows that by 2020, half of the world’s business travellers will be millennials. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the role of travel management companies has evolved way beyond making travel bookings.

Offering an online booking tool is no longer sufficient. To remain competitive, travel management companies need to draw on the latest technologies to create integrated travel ecosystems through which they can help their clients achieve specific business objectives.

Process-driven travel management has evolved into a strategic procurement function, requiring professional skills in benchmarking suppliers, issuing RFPs, negotiating contracts and collecting data for KPIs, says Euan McNeil, General Manager of FCM Travel Solutions SA, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Procurement is about to get smarter, faster and more efficient

 

Cognitive_procurement.jpgA ‘cognitive procurement’ solution is set to redefine the source-to-settle process.

The solution delivers intelligence from procurement data - together with predictive insights from unstructured information - to help make decisions in supplier management, contracts and sourcing activities.

What is procurement's future in the 4th Industrial Revolution?

 

Mluleki Ntlemeza.jpgThe fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the Iines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, builds on the digital revolution (known as the Third Industrial Revolution) that has been occurring since the 1950’s, said the World Economic Forum.

'4IR' has seen the emergence of technologies in procurement, which are set to disrupt established methods. Examples are cognitive procurement and Blockchain.

Mluleki Ntlemeza (MCIPS), e-Procurement specialist at PetroSA, unpacks the impact of the fourth Industrial Revolution on the future of procurement in this month’s SmartProcurement.

SAP functionality can relieve the pinch of your procurement group's rationalisation

 

StevenFreemantle2.JPGReducing costs is a common survival strategy for organisations to employ. But, as the economic situation deteriorates, what started as a doing away with coffee, printing paper or non-essential spares becomes organisational restructuring, which may translate into job cuts. Purchasing departments have not been spared the distress of this kind of cost management, yet are still required to maintain (strategically) the service levels needed to keep customers satisfied.

Having seen many forms of cost reduction over the years (as an advisor in SAP supply chain optimisation), Steven Freemantle notes that staff reductions are seen as an accepted, albeit hugely disruptive, strategy to weather the storms of uncertain economic times, and like many strategies, there is often a disconnect between strategic intent and the day-to-day tactical activities.

“Staff are often thrust into new or different supply chain roles where they quickly become overloaded, however, if you run SAP this kind of painful organisational change can be soothed in many ways – there are SAP tools to effectively do 2, 3 or 4 people’s jobs,” says Freemantle, from SweetThorn Thought Leadership, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Forget cost management - think 'value management'

 

value_management.jpgIn tough economic times, management may take a ruthless approach to various areas of the business where they perceive costs as being too high. For example, they immediately cut the marketing budget – when in fact marketing may be more critical than ever before. Or they trim down expenditure on IT systems, when investing in more streamlined IT processes can quickly turn into a cost saving.

Typically, costs within a company are being divided into pure operational costs - but these, in themselves, have massive indirect costs (head office expenses, FICA [for banks], IT, etc.). But in taking this approach, businesses usually have little to no idea of what the true cost to provide their service/product is.

Your SAP user community might be lying to you, but only because you let them

 

StevenFreemantle2.JPGIt is not unusual to find the procurement departments inside SAP-driven companies at loggerheads with their internal customers. In extreme cases sales, production planning, maintenance and procurement staff are on the verge of conflict – the common enemy being procurement. The typical symptom is accusations of dismal service countered by allegations of poor or no planning and utterly unrealistic expectations. This blame shifting descends into turf defending, silo mentality and, ultimately, supply chain role players becoming less and less liberal with the truth, says Steven Freemantle, of SweetThorn Thought Leadership, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

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