2020 Vision: Putting Sourcing at the Center of Visibility and Impact

Digital transformation increases data visibility.

Vision is a funny thing. Until relatively recently, humans were at the mercy of circumstance when it came to sight – if you had 2020 vision, you were lucky, but if not, you had no choice but to hope for the best. Then, glasses, telescopes and microscopes were invented. Then, flashlights. Suddenly, we could see very near and very far, and even in the dark. With the right tools, our world was transformed. 

Similarly, visibility in business is transforming with technology. In the past, we used notebooks and spreadsheets to transfer information. Today, we’ve seen customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and human capital management (HCM) software take off and transform the level of visibility within the business, allowing for unprecedented impact. Now, it’s Sourcing’s turn to transform and break free of spreadsheets and cumbersome legacy tools.

VSP Global Looks to Transform Sourcing

At VSP Global, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits provider in the United States, this sourcing transformation was a key priority. VSP serves over 77 million members by focusing on quality and affordability in eye care insurance, high-quality eyewear, ophthalmic technology and connected doctor-patient experiences.

To continue delivering the best results for their members, VSP Global set out to transform the way it approached the procurement process to drive better business outcomes, increasing stakeholder collaboration and visibility across the enterprise. The procurement team aligned on prioritizing four specific processes:

  • How they ran sourcing events such as RFI’s, RFQ’s and RFP’s
  • How they tracked incoming projects and the status of those projects for better visibility
  • How they reported savings across the sourcing team to amplify Procurement’s success
  • How they communicated with stakeholders to provide clarity and obtain buy-in from all lines of business

VSP Prioritizes Visibility for Sourcing Transformation

VSP’s sourcing team strives to achieve 100% early engagement with the business, as well as its large supply base. For the VSP team, this meant simplifying the sourcing process by making it easier for the business to engage with sourcing and easier for suppliers to submit proposals. Adapting to meet the dynamic needs of VSP’s global organization required flexible, transparent processes that facilitated better collaboration. In summary, VSP needed a solution that would help them manage and streamline workflows so they could focus on building strategic partnerships.

They decided to partner with a provider of intuitive sourcing and supplier engagement technology and have since achieved measurable results. "We’ve increased our savings exponentially—by an order of magnitude of three to five times,” reported Greg Tennyson, Chief Procurement Officer at VSP.

>>Greg Tennyson identifies 7 must-have skills to become a true procurement leader<<

As a result of this partnership, the procurement team’s visibility into sourcing data and supplier relationships has increased dramatically. They’ve also improved adoption and compliance compared with their previous system. Ultimately, managing more sourcing projects in a collaborative pipeline has driven greater savings and more opportunities to work together across the business with strategic supplier partnerships. 

Increased Visibility Transforms Sourcing and Supplier Relationships

This joint project has enabled VSP’s Procurement function to enhance its offerings, deliver an ROI of 700%, and achieve savings on spend under management year-over-year of approximately 12% to 15%. How? By focusing more on strategic sourcing activities and improving internal business relationships, eliminating hours of manual work.

Today, nearly 90% of all RFx’s are run through the platform, leading to increased transparency, adherence to the sourcing process and improved business outcomes. The platform adoption also allowed for better visibility into projects in the pipeline, increased adoption by the VSP employee base in terms of engaging both the sourcing and procurement operations teams for project requests and questions, and better customer engagement using the collaboration feature for the RFx and intake tools. Lastly, the transformation provided improved tracking and reporting of cost savings negotiated by the sourcing team, leading to greater visibility around sourcing project success and improved stakeholder buy-in.

So, what’s the secret to increasing visibility of sourcing activities and impact throughout the business? According to Siddharth Ramesh, Manager of Corporate Procurement at VSP, it’s simple. “Develop a strong value proposition when going after new technology and digitization initiatives,” he recommends. For VSP, this value proposition was clear: they needed more visibility into sourcing and supplier engagement processes so they could see where to prioritize their impact.

VSP is now able to get buy-in for strategic sourcing services across the business. Automated reporting and progress updates allow sourcing teams to showcase their progress with the lines of business. They’ve also been able to standardize sourcing practices across a large team. Leveraging collaborative workflows to gather requirements and perform supplier evaluations takes the burden off of sourcing professionals and encourages stakeholders to be more involved and accountable throughout the sourcing process. Plus, open, well-managed channels of communication facilitate a dialogue between VSP and its suppliers, which in turn fosters more productive business relationships and encourage innovation.


VSP Global and Scout RFP will team up at SIG's Fall Global Executive Summit to show you how to make your digital transformation dreams a reality. 

 
Stan Garber, President and Co-Founder at Scout RFP

Stan Garber, President of Scout RFP, has 15+ years of industry experience as an entrepreneur. Stan and Scout’s CEP Alex Yakubovich previously co-founded ONOSYS, which was later acquired by LivingSocial. While growing ONOSYS, Stan experienced the frustrations of corporate procurement processes. Since 2014, Scout has grown from an intuitive Request For Proposal cloud offering to a full-fledged SaaS platform that empowers sourcing and procurement teams at companies like JetBlue, SunTrust, Owens Corning, Twitter, Workday and VSP Global with the tools they need to manage sourcing and supplier engagement processes. At Scout, Stan oversees all go-to market and business development activities.