Three Kinds of Data Every Procurement Professional Needs to Succeed

By SMART by GEP

February 22, 2016 at 7:11 AM

This content is sponsored by SMART by GEP.

It should come as no surprise to procurement professionals that they should have the data they need to do their jobs at their fingertips. Relevant data is on their desktops, in books, and on the minds of key people on their teams. But what happens when the data is lost or colleagues leave the company?  

Procurement needs discipline—a process—to capture that knowledge, keep it updated and eventually disseminate it. 

At stake in this competitive environment is nothing less than an efficient procurement operation proficient at supplier management resulting in savings for the company. 

The right procurement software can help. 

For procurement, relevant data falls into three groups:

The first group is data procurement gathers through spend analysis, which provides a snapshot of purchase history. A good start, but procurement requires more. It needs to know which internal business units and departments are purchasing goods and services and the suppliers they use. 

Procurement needs external information—on the company’s competition, commodity and category markets, supply base, and economy. Rounding out this group is information on the maturity of categories managed which can help determine whether to involve subject matter experts in a new sourcing strategy, i.e., marketing.  

A second group contains data procurement shares with others in the company involved in the procure-to-pay process, including information in supplier contracts that can be used to create content for a catalog. Having this information helps ensure internal users who buy from the catalog are complying with procurement policy, i.e., purchasing items from preferred suppliers at negotiated prices. 

Procurement also needs data on the contracts themselves such as which are up for renewal and whether the team should craft a new sourcing strategy for the goods and services when the time comes. What’s more, procurement needs to be able to present this information in a way that colleagues in accounts payable, receiving, supply management and finance can also use it.    

Finally, and perhaps most critical for procurement, is information gathered from taking a macro view of the company. The image of “not seeing the forest for the trees” may help explain: Stepping back and taking a look at the forest, or in procurement’s case, the company, may provide information that can help gain an advantage over competition. 

For instance, many companies in industries flush with cash pay little attention to procurement—until there’s a downturn—while others with management teams that understand procurement value and have strategic sourcing teams are not caught unaware; warning signs may help ward off disaster. Procurement will only have this information if it is looking at the company from the top.

Is this all the data procurement ever needs to be successful? Of course not. 

Implementing spend management tools helps ensure that procurement has the technology and data it needs to do its job successfully. For example, SMART by GEP’s Category Workbench provides procurement with critical insight into relevant procurement data within the system as well as from third parties for category management. 

Project management and a savings tracking tool allow users to set up schedules to regularly view information and qualify it, helping with contract management: Procurement can run sourcing events without having to consult with subject matter experts unless it sees signs on a macro level that point to a need to rethink the sourcing strategy. No less than this has risks, sometimes resulting in business failure or closed company doors. 

Learn more about procurement software designed to let you succeed at www.smartbygep.com

 


Tags: Procurement Technology Spend management procure to pay sourcing spend analysis procurement software
Category: Blog Post

SMART by GEP

SMART by GEP is a complete, unified source-to-pay software platform, native to cloud, touch and mobile technologies with comprehensive sourcing and procurement functionality, including spend analysis, sourcing, savings tracking, contract management, supplier management, procure-to-pay and more.

Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), SMART by GEP leverages cloud economics to deliver a solution that easily handles the heaviest processing requirements of GEP’s Fortune 500 and Global 2000 clients, while eliminating burdensome infrastructure and support costs.

SMART by GEP is easy to set up, deploy and use, with no extensive training required. All GEP products are platform-agnostic (they work with SAP, Oracle or any other major ERP or F&A system)


Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »


Related Content

Advanced Marketplace “Sensing” Helps Procurement Contribute to Corporate Profitability

Dennis Bouley

For most procurement professionals, the level of job complexity is on the rise. An average procurement manager these days is likely to oversee $50 million dollars in spend and is managing over 100 suppliers and a thousand parts. Given these circumsta… Read More

Outsourcing of Indirect Spend Dollars is Common Practice. Why is MRO Different?

George E. Krauter

Total spend in manufacturing facilities can be placed into three categories: materials for production; projects for capital investments; and parts and services for indirect expenditures. Although there seems to be a dearth of information regarding pe… Read More

Effective Sustainability Reporting Now a Supply Chain Critical Success Factor

Dennis Bouley

Government regulators and consumers are requiring a higher level of transparency from corporations, leading brands and their supply chains regarding how sustainability initiatives are being driven. Unfortunately, many companies are struggling Read More


Supplier Profiles

Staples

Staples Advantage is the one supplier that offers all the business solutions you need, all with the expertise of a specialty vendor. Read More

Digi-Key

It started in 1972 with an idea, a new concept in distribution. Today, Digi-Key Corporation is one of the fastest-growing electronic component distributors in the World. The stimulus for this growth is Digi-Key's customer-centered business philosophy… Read More

Lunney Advisory Group

Lunney Advisory Group was founded in 2007. Our firm is not your typical consulting company. Some members of our firm are highly qualified and experienced industry executives/practitioners while others are full time or adjunct university professors.… Read More


Webcasts

What CEOs Expect Of Purchasing

Guest Contributor

Procurement and supply management leaders have a seat at the table, and management’s expectations are high. But what do CEOs really want, and is purchasing delivering on these expectations? This webcast looks at how procurement and supply management … Read More

Growing Purchasing Influence On Indirect Spending

Guest Contributor

At world-class companies, purchasing’s influence touches just about every area of spending. But, how exactly do procurement teams get to the point where other departments approach them for help with sourcing such indirect categories as human resource… Read More

Procurement-Finance Collaboration

Guest Contributor

Procurement & finance are two business functions which are often at loggerheads with each other. One reason for this is the lack of perception alignment on an important metric of procurement and finance performance - 'savings'. Read More