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Digital procurement transformation – one step at a time

By Jemma Bell, UK Business Executive at Proactis

Revolution, transformation, process change; when it comes to your Procurement function, these words can often seem scary, even intimidating.

The prospect of a huge procurement transformation can be quite daunting, but in reality, the maturity of your Procurement function can, and should be a progressive journey. A journey that is broken down into smaller projects that address clearly understood pain points and be implemented quickly to allow for rapid realisation of benefits, and with minimal disruption.

Regardless of where you stand, you almost certainly have things you know you can do to improve effectiveness.
  • Increase procurement capacity.
  • Build more procurement talent.
  • Standardise on procurement best practices.
  • Improve transparency and repeatability.
Again, this may seem like a huge challenge. How do you do this? Where do you start?

Forward-thinking technology suppliers such as Proactis work with organisations to understand the needs and immediate issues, then work with them to deliver a solution for that problem. It’s a process of evolution rather than revolution. In reality, a modern solution provider must not only offer technology that makes life easier for all employees who will have to use the system, they should become a partner that is focused on tangible outcomes, and actively participates in the delivery of those outcomes or even owns and guarantees them. And this can be all at once, or a series of incremental planned steps. Not only does this make the process more manageable, it also ensures that the solution is embedded and used to its full potential.

If running ad-hoc sourcing events is time consuming, difficult to manage or costly, for example, a modern technology provider would work closely with you to identify where and how to improve. If your supplier base is complex with multiple challenging characteristics such as varying company sizes, suppliers that represent high volume purchases to one-time interactions, and different technology, you need a common platform for all of supplier engagements. Leading solutions support this through expertise and technology that streamlines every aspect of supplier interaction.

These are just a couple of examples that can be broken down into incremental steps in your procurement evolution process. Depending on the solution provider that you chose, you have the option to take a modular step, safe in the knowledge you are able to satisfy your immediate needs, and have an integrated, agile, future-proof solution.

Ultimately you need more than a procurement solution provider. You need a trusted partner.

Few providers today can truly collaborate in a partnership role, as many lack the breadth, depth, flexibility, domain expertise and track record of success to support the unique requirements of each organisation. Only those providers that do reflect these characteristics, and can bring highly flexible solution capabilities, at the rate that you dictate, will be able to deliver the rapid results that are needed in today’s economy.

We would be very interested in discussing where you are in your journey, and the experiences you have had along the way. Please drop me a line.