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