How Can an Effective Procurement Process Help Manage a Supply Chain?
As your company grows, the number of business units you have will also increase. From accounting to customer support to marketing, all these departments will require different types of goods and services. And in order to purchase the goods and services you need without losing track of all the money you spend, you will need to put in place a procurement process that will help manage the supply chain which will in turn make your life easier. It is also the 95th reason to go beyond Telecom Expense Management!
What is an effective procurement process?
Investopedia, an American website focused on investing and finance education, defines procurement as “the act of obtaining goods or services, typically for business purposes. Procurement is most commonly associated with businesses because companies need to solicit services or purchase goods, usually on a relatively large scale.”
There are many steps that a company can take to make sure their procurement process is effective. And today, I will show you the nine steps that are necessary to make that happen:
- Creation of business requirements – Think about your company’s requirements, potential value and problems to be solved. Basically, have a detailed spend map for your entire organization. It will give you visibility into how much money you will have to spend.
- Savings – so now that you have your list, ask yourself: are those actual needs or are they wants? Take off the items you don’t really, really need, you’ll thank me later.
- Vendor choice – Before making a choice, make sure to properly evaluate them. Here is a list of some of the criteria you should keep in mind when choosing your vendors:
- Company reputation;
- Understanding of your business;
- Ability to meet your organizational standards;
- Implementation process, etc.
Don’t be scared to ask questions. Not to sound dramatic but choosing the wrong suppliers could have a pretty dramatic impact on your business’s efficiency.
- Contract and supplier relationship management – Your suppliers are chosen. The contracts are signed. Now, it is time to manage it all. Keep track of everything, this way you will know when you have bills to pay and if you are getting what you were promised.
- Operating model – Create one and don’t forget to build it on the strengths of your team. This way you’ll have a clearer idea of how you’ll create and deliver value to your customers.
So, these steps are the key to having an effective procurement process in place, and in return, it will help manage your supply chain. But first, what is a supply chain? In the Gartner IT Glossary, a supply chain is defined as “a group of functions and processes focused on optimizing the flow of products, services and related information from sources of supply to customers or points of demand.” The functions and processes include “supply chain planning, sourcing and procurement, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and services within a company and its ecosystem of partners.”
How can an effective procurement process add value to a supply chain?
Many steps are involved in a supply chain and one of the most important steps is the procurement process. I mean…how can you distribute a product to a customer if you don’t have anything to distribute? By mapping out everything you need to do to get the best products for your customers (remember the steps mentioned above?), you will create a clear path towards the next step of the supply chain and ensure a smooth process. By choosing the right suppliers and negotiating the best contracts, you will optimize the procurement process as well as the supply chain. And that will result in lower costs and a faster production cycle. And who doesn’t love to save money AND time?
How can TEM help with the procurement process?
Here are a couple of features in the Upland Cimpl platform that could help a lot with managing your procurement process and your supply chain:
- Cimpl Provider Portal – Say goodbye to emails thanks to the Provider Portal. Indeed, by giving your vendors access to the portal, you won’t need to submit orders via email anymore. You will be able to find all your requests in a centralized repository for every single one of your vendors to fulfill. Shortened communication time, removal of manual updates and seamless support from your suppliers are just a couple of things you could get from using this portal. Streamline procurement with your providers by choosing Cimpl!
- Payment Readiness module – It is one of the newest sections of the Upland Cimpl platform and it will give you a lot more visibility into your expenses. If you want to know more about this module, read our recent blog about it and you will learn what it is and how it can help with vendor management.
- Contract management module – It is another section of the Upland Cimpl platform. In there, you will be able to manage all your contracts in a single centralized repository. You will be able to track and manage contract phases, important dates, billing details and all that good stuff. Read our blog on the top benefits of Telecom Contract Management to learn more about this feature.
With these solutions, you will be able to add value to your supply chain, because you will be able to allocate the time you saved on the procurement process, to the other steps of your supply chain. For more information about our services, contact us!