Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

Is Procurement Automation Effective? What Procurement Leaders Say

Is Procurement Automation effective?  Well that depends on if you are a Procurement Leader or content to be less than stellar.  According to a recent study by IBM, The 2013 Chief Procurement Officer Study, top performers found Procurement technology solutions to be between 97-99% effective depending on the solution.  Most compelling was Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) with 94% of top performers finding SRM to be Above Average or Excellent in effectiveness followed closely by Contract Management.

The conclusion by IBM, "Top performers are, by a considerable margin, more adept than underperformers is using procurement technologies."

How can procurement technologies help you to become a top performer? 

Wednesday Jul 24, 2013

Audience Questions from our Webinar - Key Procurement Issues for 2013: Going Broader and Deeper- Webinar Replay

The response was tremendous to our recent webinar with Chris Sawchuck from The Hackett Group along with Chris Nelms of Ameren.  Lots of great information along with some interesting questions some of which we captured here.  If you are interested in trends and solutions for procurement you need to view the webinar replay here or download The Hackett Group Report: Key Procurement Issues for 2013.  

 Of the borders you discussed: process, geography and information, which presents the greatest challenges? 

Chris Sawchuck: Overall we’ve made good strides in process and geography. Information, it’s the biggest challenge and also the biggest opportunity. The future of procurement is a lot about the information and the intelligence we can provide to our internal stakeholders. Our ability to harness all the aspects and turn that into intelligence that our businesses can turn around and make decisions against. How do we get our arms around all the sources of information that exist in systems both inside our companies and outside our companies as well as with the people? We need to capture this information and use it to enable the business processes that we have.

What were the biggest challenges around implementing your procurement system?

Chris Nelms: The people aspect was the biggest problem. We were able to keep the issues closed which helped. Once we decided on something we didn’t change our mind, despite pushback. That combined with trying to keep everything vanilla without a lot of customization.

What are some of the key ways companies have used to break down geographic borders to implement common processes when underlying legal systems vary greatly?

Chris Sawchuck: What I’ve seen companies do is come together to design processes in a more common way, center led. And it’s important to involve all stakeholders including finance and audit groups along with procurement. And then go out to the business and look for exceptions that can be approved exceptions. Versus having the variables that tend to exist in many organizations.

What approach did you take with suppliers to get them to use your supplier portal?

Chris Nelms: For iSupplier portal it benefits us both. It streamlines the flow and it’s really easy to use. They pick up their PO, they get a pdf of the order. We can reduce the cycle time and pay them within the agreed upon terms. Eventually you start building it into the contracts, you’re going to use iSupplier Portal. 

Tuesday Jul 09, 2013

Why Supplier Enablement is Critical

Your employees won’t use a self-service procurement system if it is not connected to most of their relevant suppliers. If end users don’t find the products they need in the system, it won’t have value to them. Maverick buying will result, less spend will be managed, and the consequences are lost savings. A waste of all the negotiations you have conducted in order to save money. 

The reason most companies don't enable more suppliers is simply a matter of resources, time, and IT complexity. Large suppliers are very sophisticated and may have the ability to hook into customers through direct integrations with their systems, typically through electronic data interchange or extensible markup language (XML). Small companies can connect through a supplier portal, where they can view and manage transactions. That leaves a forgotten middle tier that are too small and may not have the resources to connect into a supplier network in an automated fashion, but have sufficient volume of business to make using a manual supplier portal cumbersome. This tier of suppliers is less likely to be enabled, in fact the average company only enables a handful of companies less than 10% of their total supply base!   Though the other 90% may not have the same dollar volume they still represent a huge number of transactions which creates a burden on your company to process and collaborate with suppliers around POs, invoices and status. 

Oracle now offers an important solution that combines Oracle Supplier Network, with Oracle iSupplier Portal, or Oracle Fusion Supplier Portal, or Oracle PeopleSoft eSupplier Connection and services and solutions delivered by Oracle partner Transcepta, that enables supplier/network connections. Oracle Supplier Network provides a free way to connect with a core group of suppliers that support XML and have the IT resources to establish the connection. A supplier portal provides transaction management for small suppliers.

For customers that would like to connect thousands of suppliers as opposed to only their top 20, Oracle partners such as Transcepta can enable all suppliers with an automated connection, regardless of sophistication level, system, or transaction volume. This means customers can finally connect the forgotten middle tier—gaining a greater ability to manage spend. Plus, Transcepta can provide value-added tax compliance where required.

Learn more by downloading the whitepaper Maximize Supplier Enablement for Procure-to-Pay Success.  


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