There’s a lot of talk regarding all the ways technology is going to revolutionize procurement. Blockchain can increase supply chain visibility. The Internet of Things (IoT) can change the way our business devices communicate with each other. But what type of innovations are available at the sourcing level?
From paper RFPs to conferences, it seems the way we source business has largely remained the same. Procurement teams are limited to siloed, outdated supplier databases and incomplete business information when attempting to make business decisions. It’s expensive and time-consuming to get a holistic picture of a supplier’s business health and mitigate third-party risk.
How can we adapt today’s technology for tomorrow’s sourcing needs? Here are a few innovative ways that your organization can source business.
Mobilize Your Supply Chain
I believe the key to sourcing success lies in mobilizing supply chains. Right now, supplier data is locked down in many different places that don’t communicate with each other. A large organization may have supplier data separately located throughout their ERP and CRM systems, accounting and legal departments, and Excel files floating around from supplier diversity programs, in addition to their procurement arm.
Teams are often tasked with managing legacy Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems with high overhead costs and systems that are unable to effectively manage the dynamic nature and sheer abundance of today’s business data. Traditionally, supplier information has been limited to line items such as name, tax ID, quantity and price of a sourced product, and remit-to-pay.
Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, C3PRMP, Global Head of Lead Management and Operations Amazon Web Services (AWS)
What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am responsible for marketing the Seal technology used by many Global 2000 companies to gain insight into both their buy-side and sell-side contracts. This means having a good understanding of the needs of our customers, being attuned to the areas in which our technology can help them and deliver the assets that they can use to evaluate whether Seal is right for them. This can be in terms of white papers, web copy, webinars and so on.
What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement?
Clearly, I am motivated to see more and more organizations experience the value they can gain by having a deeper understanding of their contracts, identifying obligations they have, opportunities for revenue recovery or simply understanding whether they are tight with regulations like GDPR. All of these are about gaining insight to aid decision-making. Contract analytics is being adopted by forward-thinking procurement functions across financial institutions, energy companies, telcos, process and discrete manufacturers, indeed, across nearly every industry. My role is to help more companies understand the power of contract analytics.
In today’s current pandemic, companies are looking to their contracts to see if there is language which might give them a respite out of trying to meet their obligations to their customers across the supply chain – this is usually referenced in the force majeure clauses but also needs to take into account business continuity provisions and termination rights. This is one area where the power of contract analytics can be engaged.