Accounts Payable function is fundamental to the operational and financial success of many organizations across the globe. Yet it continues to be viewed as a cost center.
It was never uncommon to hear of documents buried in paper trails, missed discounts and strained supplier relationships, etc. But recently, the pandemic added to these woes and proved that the ways in which many Accounts Payable teams still operate are not just dated and costly, but may also put the health and safety of employees at risk.
Stuck in the dusty alcoves of the back-office and bogged down by a myriad of time-consuming, manual tasks, an un-optimized AP Function is host to a slew of redundancies, avoidable costs, and frustrating friction areas.
Not recognizing and dealing with these redundancies will become increasingly costlier to businesses – competition is already at an all-time high and teams are being asked to deliver more every year. And in addition, issues like climate change mean that uncertainties and global disruptions will only become more frequent with time. In this backdrop, organizations that still haven’t got on the AP Automation bandwagon need to ‘level up’ to survive.
Fortunately, as per the latest bodies of research, these problems aren’t just easily rectifiable but they’re also ones that are likely to pay the most dividends once solved. Case in point: Gartner’s research found that AP (APIA in specific) is one of the best applications of artificial intelligence in a business, both in terms of business value and in terms of feasibility.
Procurement leaders have emerged from the pandemic stronger and smarter thanks to the recent development of next-gen tools such as AI and automation to support strategic goals and build resilient organizations.
To explore this technology in the evolving role of procurement leaders, Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) recently brought together Kate Seagriff, Director of Strategic Sourcing at TripActions, and Aurelie Krau, Travel Consultant at Festive Road, to discuss the topic with SIG President and CEO Dawn Tiura.
The webinar "Building Resilient Procurement Organizations with Travel & Expense Technology" pushed the audience to reexamine whether they have the tools to scale business growth, gain real-time visibility on spend, and show value by driving continuous improvement.
The Evolving Relationship Between Procurement and Technology
As the panelists explained, procurement functions are becoming the cornerstone of organizations as cross-business optimization and efficiencies grow in importance. The role of spend analytics and the procurement function has further shifted against the backdrop of a changing global economy influenced by the fourth industrial revolution, the localization of the value chain, and increasing consumer demands from mass customization and personalization.
As we brace for 2022, the future of procurement is here. We have a host of resources, insights and events to help you deliver on procurement 3.0
December Microlearning by SIG University
On December 8, experts from Majel Partners, Elizabeth Zucker and Angela Easterwood, will share an approach to identifying and selecting the best-fit KPIs for supplier relationship management strategies. That session will be followed by SIG University Faculty and Global Procurement Executive, Tom Ciardiello, who will lead an exciting deep-dive discussion on being an effective communicator.
Join your sourcing, procurement, and risk management colleagues in this two-hour interactive virtual environment to be challenged with topics related to our industries!
Did you miss our 2021 open cohort start dates and can't wait for 2022? We have fast-track and self-paced options for all programs if open cohort semester timings do not work for your schedule! Have a large group from your organization interested in taking the program together? We also offer closed cohorts for groups of 20 or more that can start when it is best suitable for your team, and volume discounts are available!
As the need for change and innovation continues to grow, companies are rapidly shifting focus towards outsourcing as a solution to assisting in digital innovation.
For many US companies, understanding the total cost of IT talent services has always been challenging, and is even more concerning now as budgets and resources continue to tighten during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are my thoughts on what to consider as you source IT talent and how to drive the “true India costs” that so many US firms are looking to take advantage of now.
Impact of Uncertainty
Many companies experienced an unanticipated disruption due to the Covid-19 crisis. Project timelines had to be extended, delivery negatively impacted and enterprise control compromised. While there’s no doubt that the pandemic has had an impact in some shape or form on all businesses, we have not seen a significant disruption with our clients at SMC Squared, in part due to the business continuity plans that were already set in place.
Continuity plans are a basic deliverable from the time of initial setup with SMC Squared and are essential for every global office. All SMC Squared global employees are provided with secure laptops and remote connectivity as part of our continuity plan if the office is not accessible. This was tested for our clients prior to COVID, so when Prime Minister Modi announced the shutdown with short notice, all of our employees had their laptops with them, including those who may have traveled home to their native places over the weekend. Therefore, despite the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, the change has had a minimal impact on work capacity.
Steven Stephan, SVP of Global Services & Co-Founder of SMC Squared
As we charge forward into 2022, procurement’s value proposition to the organization continues to grow. We have a host of resources, insights and events to help you deliver on procurement's new future.
November SIGnature Events
After an amazing Global Executive Summit, the SIG team is hard at work to bring you our next in-person event of the year, our SIGnature Events. SIGnature Events are powerful one-day meetings in which buy-side practitioners benchmark with other organizations and network with colleagues facing similar issues. Delegates will learn and network throughout the day, then wind down the afternoon with a happy hour, casual one-on-one discussions creating long-term collegial relationships.
Today, organizations need a scalable solution that enables global enterprise-wide workforce planning, a future-proof supply chain, improved compliance, better supplier management, an innovative way to engage talent, and data-driven decision-making in a way that hasn’t been possible before.
Procurement is entering a new era of increasing complexities in which traditional measures of success such as cost savings are no longer the sole focus.
Instead, and as reported in the Deloitte 2021 CPO Survey, "changing business dynamics and increasing layers of complexity" and corresponding "expectations" are transforming the way the industry thinks and acts.
For example, new and more challenging areas such as "climate change, geopolitical stability," and "increasing societal expectations" are now part of the new equation.
The introduction of these emerging variables is causing organizations to re-examine their digital transformation strategies, including how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help them address the industry's challenges.
The SIG Survey
In 2021 SIG surveyed 100 procurement professionals from Fortune 500 and Global 1000 organizations on digital transformation and AI in procurement.
Based on the results, it is clear that those responding to the survey believe that "procurement's priorities lie with how AI technology can streamline the roles and processes to deliver meaningful and sustainable results."
Unfortunately, and despite the opportunity for more significant gains, the survey reports that "several obstacles" make it difficult for organizations to "bridge the divide" between the promise of digital AI and the realization of its optimal benefits.
Crossing the Divide
Understanding the importance of AI and identifying the challenges with realizing its potential to redefine and empower procurement to achieve critical objectives is the first step to crossing the aforementioned divide.
Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics
Kristen Jordeth is the Director of Procurement Product Strategy at SAP. At SIG's Fall Global Executive Summit, Kristen will highlight how the ability to survive future disruptions will be dependent on a companies ability to manage and respond to real-time risk information about third parties transacting with the business.
What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am the Director of Procurement Product Strategy focusing on future innovations within Supplier Management and the SAP Business Network. My day-to-day responsibilities are to ensure our solutions are addressing the future needs of our customers.
What does Procurement 3.0 mean to you?
Procurement 3.0 means to make the day-to-day procurement process more efficient, transparent and streamlined. Removing tactical procurement that is traditionally done in a spreadsheet or via lots of paperwork and replacing it with technology.
How have you and your team innovated through Procurement’s new “seat at the table”?
Procurement’s new “seat at the table” has validated the need for intelligent enterprise solutions. With Procurement now involved in executive planning, it is important for the procurement processes to connect to all other business processes. At Sapphire this year we announced the SAP Business Network which brings together our SAP Ariba Network, SAP Logistics Network and SAP Asset Network together to expand transparency and enable stronger collaboration.
Recently, SIG had the pleasure of hosting Nitin Khorana, Vice President from Icertis for the September CPO & Executive Virtual Series. It was a very engaging discussion that lasted nearly two hours with tons of excellent takeaways. Let’s get into it!
Contract Intelligence Driving Visibility into Supply Chain
Nitin kicked off the day discussing the impact that COVID-19 has had on supply chains and bottom lines. As Nitin highlighted from one particular study, 97% of supply chains reported that their workforce was impacted by COVID-19. The resulting question from organizations became "how do I manage risk and how do I react quickly to maintain supply chain performance post-pandemic".
This is where Chief Supply chain officers have come to the forefront. These key players for the business have become increasingly recognized for their ability to deliver profitability & long-term business objectives. What helps these supply chain leaders elevate this supply chain performance? Visibility into their supply chains.
As Nitin points out, contract management plays a vital role in supply chain performance. Contract intelligence is able to set qualification benchmarks and processes for existing and new suppliers. By using blockchain framework delivers visibility into tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers by quickly being able to identify contracts that don't align with risk & category strategies.
A More Resilient & Efficient Supply Chain Starts with Contracts
Corporations are increasingly using their financial strength to address supply chain performance through contract-driven supply chain visibility and diversification. There are three ways that contract lifecycle management (CLM) can drive this visibility.