Whenever we face a crisis, our attention is understandably focused on finding a solution as quickly as possible. We, in essence, become "locked in the moment" because the fallout of inaction is usually significant.
However, in our hasted energy to resolve a problem, we tend to lose sight of why we are in this situation in the first place. In other words, there is a bigger picture beyond our narrow scope of immediate impact, and we need to recognize its importance.
I like to think of it as the slow-leak tire syndrome. You have a tire with a slow leak and must repeatedly pull into a service station to fill it to the proper inflation rate. Is it an inconvenience-absolutely, but is our frequent station stops enough of a hassle to prompt us to either repair or replace the tire?
When I was originally asked to write this article on the disruptive impact a potential West Coast port workers' strike would have on supply chains, the slow-leak tire analogy immediately came to mind.
A Long Time in The Making
The contentious situation we are now facing at this and other ports in North America has been brewing for some time, pre-dating the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
There is no denying that procurement must change. We can sense it in what our executive team asks of us, what our supply partners are suggesting, and the increasing role of technology in everyday procurement workflows. In addition, the business has recognized what we are capable of, which has opened the door to increased insight and influence.
Suppose procurement leaders and teams are going to be ready to make the journey ahead. In that case, we must carefully design our desired future state, leverage the resources currently available to us, including automation and broader access to talent, by tapping a virtual workforce.
ProcureAbility's vision for the future of procurement is an organization that is viewed as a partner to the business, generates value beyond traditional measurements, and leverages technology and process optimization to increase strategic focus. In the following, we will answer two of the most pressing questions: What precise mix of talent will be required? What processes and technology are needed to enable this future-state organization?
Talent: What precise mix of talent will be required?
With the rise of workforce virtualization, the sky's the limit for building out the future team. Before defining the combination of talent needed for in-house resources, it is essential to identify their responsibilities. A standard pillar of high-performing organizations, even today, is the separation of strategic and tactical activities.
This month we kick-off SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date with Procurement’s rebirth.
Procurement Technology Summit
The 2021 Procurement Technology Summit will pioneer a new era for sourcing leaders and their teams to transform the future of procurement. Come prepared to engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking, and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.
This year’s agenda includes a really unique line-up of keynote speakers who are covering key Procurement topics like design thinking, diversity & inclusion, the future of technologies and building a high-performing team.
We’re inviting SIG’s buy-side members and their ENTIRE TEAM to attend. Yes, you read that right! Whether you’re a team of two or 200, everyone on your team gets to attend for free!
The Summit will take place May 4 – 6 and will be 100% online, so you can attend sessions as it fits your schedule. You do not want to miss this event, so register today and get ready to be impressed!
SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program graduate David Romo-Garza discusses how discipline and organizational changes will create efficiencies throughout the lifecycle designed to implement Intelligent Process Automation.
Automating processes is still a challenging endeavor for multiple organizations. Lines of Business (LoB) continue to struggle to understand the steps that it takes to implement and manage Intelligent Automation efforts effectively. Bringing discipline to an undisciplined culture creates a multitude of barriers that have a trickle effect that prevents organizations from effectively automating their processes.
Navigating the Lines of Business and Processes
During my last position at my current organization, I experienced the pains and aches from both perspectives, the LoB and the Process Owner. On one end, I represented the LoB, who was trying to automate the due diligence procedures related to vetting our third parties. While the process was considered automated, it was ineffective and broken. It required countless manual tasks, including requiring end-users to save their assessments in an excel spreadsheet.
Additionally, the system design contained a detrimental limitation that prevented users from partially completing an assessment and returning later. The system did not have the ability to save progress prior to completing and closing their official assessments. Further, the system did not effectively introduce business controls designed for preventive nor detective error/compliant applications.
David E. Romo-Garza, Director of Business Risk and Controls
This month we host our April SIGnature Event, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date, and registration is open for SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit.
Geofencing of Employees, Onshoring and More - The New Normal
There’s still time to register for our upcoming digital SIGnature Event on April 21. The theme for the event is The New Normal. Senior-level and above delegates will participate in an executive roundtable hosted by Oliver Wyman to discuss energy transition and sustainable procurement.
Concurrent to the Executive Roundtable session will be an interactive panel discussion on Diversity & Inclusion, hosted by Janice Green, President & CEO , Women’s Business Enterprise Council Pacific (WBEC Pacific) .
Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit
Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!
Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.