But what does state-of-the-art sourcing look like?
Here are five proven ways can you transform sourcing today if you have the right tools and expertise available.
Improvement #1: Sourcing events
It's possible to define and manage each sourcing event as a project with a sequence of one-time and iterative events, complete with dependencies and well-defined responsibilities. But the admin side is refreshingly simple, thanks to easy-to-customise templates, a milestone manager, system alerts and even visual charts that help everyone see the status of every project.
Improvement #2: RFx document manager
Need to capture what your colleagues need from suppliers? The process can be made infinitely simpler, thanks to a questionnaire tool that helps your team to speed up the definition process. Each question has formatted answers, a scoring mechanism, panel marking and auto-evaluation. Multiple people or departments can be involved if you wish. Responses can also be managed electronically and supplier communication handled automatically.
Improvement #3: Auction manager
In many instances, an openly competitive opportunity is the best way to source goods or services. With the right tools, the process doesn't need to be stressful and panicky. An auction manager solution can manage online bidding with ease — based on price increments, whilst factoring in any number of other parameters, such as quality, delivery, service and proximity. You can watch in real time as the hammer comes down.
Improvement #4: Quick quote manager
Sometimes you need a fast and simple way to obtain multiple competitive bids for one-time purchases of well-defined goods and services. A quick quote manager enables buyers to specify an item using free-form text and send an immediate 'invitation to quote' email to any combination of suppliers. The system records all interactions, making it easy to clarify requirements and select the right supplier.
Improvement #5: Extra resources
According to research, 65% of companies rely on sourcing teams of just 1-2 people, making it difficult to maximise savings. However, finding a partner who can provide managed sourcing services can make the difference when it comes to reducing procurement costs, maximising value and maintaining solid supplier relationships. Outside expertise can also mean you apply the right tools instinctively, make the most of leading best practice and get your business transformation up and running faster.