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How Source-to-Contract has become more of a balancing act

Joe Catling, Business Development Manager, Proactis

Many organisations have been under pressure for some time to minimise costs and reduce risk in their supply chains. But as supply chains have been impacted across the globe thanks to the pandemic, these pressures have intensified. This has led to the Source-to-Contract process, which combines sourcing, supplier management and contract management, becoming a delicate balancing act.

On the one hand, you need to ensure your organisation gets the best value from the goods and services you buy from qualified suppliers and approved contracts, while on the other hand, decisions must be weighed against a range of important factors, such as whether the supplier is compliant and meeting performance and quality standards.

But the effects of the pandemic have proven difficult for even the most adept Procurement professionals - with uncertainty around price volatility, mounting supplier failures, recurring capacity and material shortages or in some cases, over-supply.

All business executives, but especially procurement leaders, have had to maintain business operations, fulfil urgent demands, and mitigate supplier challenges against a backdrop of significant disruption to their teams. But we have seen with a number of our customers that many have been able to adapt and:
  • Quickly assess supply chain, and engage with suppliers if necessary.
  • Respond to increased sourcing requirements and purchasing of specific categories of items.
  • Ensure that all staff can buy and pay for goods and services they need to do their jobs from approved suppliers.
  • Manage the need for new products and services while reducing the reliance from traditional channels.
  • Drive the maximum value from every supplier contract.
  • Move between remote and on-site working.
When speaking with customers, I have found that when Procurement teams are forward thinking, they have the flexibility to adapt, and are able to react to the unexpected. They have a good network of suppliers, often through the Proactis Global Supplier Network and the right technology to support sourcing and purchasing, no matter where a team is working. For Sourcing and Procurement teams, the ability to onboard new suppliers quickly, efficiently and comprehensively is now critical. Processes need to be in place that support fast on-boarding to minimise the risk that comes with rapidly adopting a new supplier.

Working with customers over the last year or so has highlighted to me just how important it is for software to be agile enough to evolve with an organisation, from sourcing to payment. This ranges from the availability of procurement services, to new levels of risk assessment and compliance, to being able to manage procurement planning with greater confidence, collaboration, accuracy, and flexibility to name a few.

It would be great to hear about your experiences of the pandemic, how they have affected your processes, and what plans you have in place as we come out of the other side. Drop me a line - [email protected].