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Premikati Contract Management

Contract Management for CFOs

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7 Ways Financial Departments Benefit From A Modern Contract Management System

 

Finance and procurement go together like peanut butter and jelly. Procurement teams must have both time and funds to complete their tasks while financial departments must control spend and guide money towards the highest-impact activities available. Contract management software like SAP Ariba help finance and procurement work together smoothly while saving everyone a ton of time and money. Here are seven ways a good contract management system can benefit your financial department: 

Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TOC)

If there’s one thing that excites a finance pro as much as increasing a company’s revenue, it’s saving a boatload of money. Using a contract management system is a high-impact path to lower TOC vs. a traditional pen, paper, and fax machine system. Between reduced liability costs, on-time contract renewals, salaries that go further thanks to a major speedboost, and data-based insights into suppliers, a proper contract management system can go a long way to reduce costs. As compared to the analog method and other digital contract management systems on the market, SAP Ariba offers more bang for the buck at a lower price point for any small to medium enterprise looking for a robust contract management system. 

Mitigate The Risk Of Costly Liability Issues

Many risks are preventable with the right tools. Contract management systems help mitigate risks, effectively saving money, in a variety of ways. First, they reduce contract errors such as unsigned fields or accepting a modified, nonstandard contract without review. Because compliance and performance information is stored within the CMS, it’s also easier to see which suppliers may pose problems for the business in the future by offering shoddy quality products or failing to maintain compliance with governmental agencies. 

Stopping these problems from the onset can save massive amounts of money in legal fees as well as reductions due to loss of reputation. 

Broadstroke Benefits With E-signatures

E-signatures let suppliers sign their contracts online. This process can save a lot of money compared to mailing back and forth paper materials which can be bulky and expensive, especially in the face of rising mail costs. The e-signature, however, is traceable and secure. Platforms that offer this service such as DocuSign—the software of choice for SAP Ariba contracts—come with other perks too. They walk signers through each step of the signing process, highlighting the field to sign or initial to make sure no spaces are left blank. This reduces fees that could be associated with any legal recourse that arises from an unsigned or improperly-signed contract. 

Save Time And Reduce Salary Costs

Perhaps more beneficial, e-signature software reminds signers to complete the task which not only ensures compliance, it saves a ton of money in time procurement doesn’t have to spend to reach out and pester people for signature. The cost associated with procurement and legal professionals can quickly balloon if employees get bogged down in sluggish outdated processes. By providing contract templates and a clause library as well as esignature functionality and dashboards with the most important information, each employee can focus more on high-impact tasks instead of menial, wrote jobs. 

Never Miss A Key Date

Especially when underperformance has been an issue, missing a key date to cancel or renew a contract with a supplier can be devastating financially. While it can be incredibly tedious to try to manage all major contract renewal dates using analog methods, a good contract management system can keep everyone on track for success. SAP Ariba offers users a dashboard with upcoming important dates such as contract renewals so there is ample time for research and negotiation that could save a lot of money.

Gain Full Visibility Of The Entire Contract Lifecycle

Optimization is hard when you can’t see everything at play. Contract management software offers financial departments full visibility into the contract management lifecycle making it easier to analyze, strategize, and optimize for the best possible cash flow scenario. With SAP Ariba, the entire set of actions from initiation to renewal are kept in a central database with a variety of other supplier information within a fully-auditable trail. 

Analyze Your Best-Value Suppliers 

With more information about each individual supplier, finance professionals gain insight into  how each supplier plays a role in the organization. Which suppliers bring the most value to the table based on a variety of factors? Where is there room for negotiation? Which suppliers should be replaced as soon as possible. By understanding where value lies within your contracts and suppliers, it’s easier to make wise choices without all the guesswork of papers and pens. 

About Premikati

Premikati is a woman-owned business of procurement experts providing best-in-class software to maximize your company’s ROI.  

Our award-winning team has a 100% success rate implementing on-time and on-budget, due to our agility, leanness, operational experience, and the ability to tailor the transformation process from C-level to end user. (For more information, visit www.premikati.com)

Group Purchasing Organization Premikati Marketplace

Leverage Group Purchasing Organizations for Your Business

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When you talk about Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) for improving cost savings, the most strategic way this is done is through indirect spend. For example, an organization’s expenditures that are necessary for ongoing business operations but does not directly impact a company’s final output of products or services.

Items categorized under indirect spend might be hardware, furniture, contracted labor, office supplies, and cleaning services. Companies can become members of a GPO to enjoy significant discounts relative to buying items individually and paying for the retail markup. Other ways a GPO can save money include the following:

Specialized Programs: In-office technologies such as smart devices, hardware, and software.

Negotiation: Let the GPO handle supplier relationship management while the company enjoys the advantages of pre-negotiated pricing such as can be found through vetted Ariba suppliers within the Premikati Marketplace.

Accessibility: SMBs may find it more difficult to get the best pricing from the top suppliers. A GPO can help small and mid-sized companies receive the same aggressive pricing usually reserved for enterprise businesses.

What is a GPO?

Usually, a GPO will offer a platform for businesses in similar sectors to join. A GPO is designed to negotiate competitive supplier pricing for its members. As the GPO grows in size, so do the discounts. As a result, A GPO can give many small and mid-sized businesses access to cost savings they may not have reached on their own.

How do GPOs operate?

The driving component of a GPO is its membership. To illustrate, a large number of members gives the GPO the leverage to purchase in volume. And, by purchasing in bulk, every member receives a much better deal on the supplies they would normally purchase. So then, businesses can garner the benefits of bulk pricing without having to purchase in bulk.

How GPOs save companies money

Every business has purchasing needs. Yet, those purchases will add up quickly due to retail markup and inability to negotiate better prices are items bought in small volumes. On the other hand, GPOs can negotiate on behalf of their members to get better pricing.

The contracts can be broken down into two facets: A discount and a rebate. GPO specialists will reach out to and negotiate with manufacturers to set the pricing and rebate levels. In terms of rebates, a GPO contract may offer a rebate per case of products paid to an operator. GPOs also conduct savings analysis of several months’ worth of invoices to see where they can implement further cost cuts. In essence, the GPO is your partner and one who is well connected. A GPO may also offer procurement consulting and supply chain management.

Other forms of savings

There is also more to a GPO than the straightforward cost savings. GPOs also save businesses time because they no longer have to go through the exhaustive search of finding the right suppliers then trying to negotiate a price that fits within their budgets. A GPO takes all the work out of negotiations.

Would a GPO membership make sense for your business?

There isn’t any question that a GPO membership will help to keep costs down while saving businesses time around supplier searches and negotiations. The power of group purchasing makes pricing much more competitive. Not to mention, these savings can help to keep businesses operational when dealing with unprecedented circumstances such as a pandemic.

Premikati encourages businesses to take a diversified approach and to work with a GPO that aligns with your business values and objectives. As a result, you can bring more procurement benefits to your organization that will go beyond monetary savings.

CFO Spend Visibility in Procurement

3 Ways for CFOs to Increase Spend Visibility

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Summary: Premikati Marketplace bolsters the efforts of CFOs by offering an easy-to-use consumer-style B2B purchasing platform with deep, enterprise-grade spend controls and analysis tools. Premikati offers trusted suppliers with steep discounts on repeat purchases, supplier importing, rebates, automatic approval workflows, pricing thresholds, and money – and time-saving process cost reductions.

If you’re a CFO, you care about your company’s bottom line. If the health, wealth, and profitability of your business is being hindered by less-than-ideal procurement practices, then a marketplace, like Premikati, that offers deep spend visibility and approval controls while also reducing hours needed to manage purchasing tasks may be right for you.  Read on to find out how Premikati Marketplace can increase spend visibility and cut costs in your business.

Know Your Sources

Suppliers are the lifeblood of any business, so it’s important to know that you’re using the right ones. What that means will be different for every business. Sustainability, cost, quality,  relationships, and contract terms all play a role in maintaining a healthy, visible spend and supply chain.

Because Premikati is underpinned by SAP—a leader in sustainability—CFOs can help ensure a healthy supply chain in terms of social and environmental impact as well efficiency via streamlined processes. What does this mean for your bottom line?

“…the majority of Generation Z (54 percent) state that they are willing to spend an incremental 10 percent or more on sustainable products, with 50 percent of Millennials saying the same.” –Greg Petro on Forbes

Plus, Premikati offers new sources of savings across the board through a high-quality, trusted list of suppliers. Many companies see up to 35%  savings on frequently-bought products.

Do you already have a supplier your company trusts? Premikati supports custom catalogs with suppliers you already know with very little overhead to get started.

With Premikati, you not only gain access to a list of reliable suppliers, but also an interface that allows your procurement team to quickly compare prices and aggregate suppliers in one simple, easy-to-use platform.

Reduce Time And Costs

Clunky, outdated buying processes can become time-consuming and burdensome. Every hour wasted on reinventing the proverbial procurement wheel is a billable hour from an employee or contractor, hours that can quickly cut into profitability. Premikati helps you streamline the entire buying process and simplify vendor management, saving you time and money.

Gone are the days of needing a password for every single supplier. Premikati lets users access the entire marketplace from a single user account. That and process automations such as automatic spend approvals can reduce the ad-hoc buying process down to hours instead of days or weeks. Controlled spending also limits costs in predetermined ways that keep spending from spiraling out of control.

Plus, Premikati lets your team quickly and easily see which suppliers they are utilizing for which products and at what price point—this helps reduce buying things you don’t need because procurement wasn’t able to locate a pre-existing contract with a supplier. Easily search product categories and types to see where your money is going or view an automated report at a schedule set by you.

Beyond the 35% savings seen by most companies on products they use often, most also receive a typical rebate of 1% on all Premikati purchases made with your P-card—a system which, itself, reduces unexpected costs.

Control Your Spend

Spend controls with Premikati are as simple as ever. The P-Card lets you set exactly how much can be spent ahead of time. Automated approval workflows and reporting, user access controls, the ability to control specific commodities as well as create price thresholds make spend control and analysis easier than ever before.

Premikati balances the ease of a consumer-grade platform such as Amazon with deep, enterprise-grade control, analysis, and automation tools. This makes for a fast, reliable, and truly visible purchasing experience that increases profitability by cutting costs and heavily reducing time expenditures over analog processes and disparate toolsets.

About Premikati

Get what you really want from your purchasing software. The Premikati Marketplace offers procurement that is as intuitive as online shopping with the robust data of Fortune 100 companies and extensive customization options, all with no IT required and no commitment.

You can order what you want—where, when, and how you want it. Diversity filtering? Sure thing. Support local? Absolutely. We even support custom catalogs and customer-specific vendors.

Merge that with full spend control and visibility, real-time reporting and analytics, custom approval flows and automation, and you’ll find a best-in-class software that’s tailor-made for small- and medium-sized enterprise businesses.

Premikati scales seamlessly with your business with no impact to end-users and no additional training required. We have prices to fit every budget, and we can have you up and running in hours.

All of this with white-glove customer service included at no charge, so you can always trust you can talk to a real person when you need them.

Don’t settle for anything less. Contact us today!

Premikati Marketplace best Procurement Software for SMBs

Don’t Let These 8 Things Happen To Your Procurement Team

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Is your purchasing software pulling its weight? Poorly executed purchasing platforms not only cost you time and money, they put your company at legal and reputational risk. If any of the following sound like you, it might be time to kick your lazy procurement software to the curb and trade up for a real man—uh, business marketplace. We meant business marketplace. 

Spending 19 hours reconciling invoices

PO recon—while it sounds like some cool Navy SEAL mission, the reality is far less glamorous. In 2020, there is literally no reason to manually reconcile purchase orders with invoices or your accounts. Process automation here saves time and prevents costly mistakes, so you can focus on what really matters in your business instead of putting out fires or wasting time using outdated methods. Automated reconciliation ensures that everything matches up all of the time, without you ever needing to think about it. 

Buying from the wrong supplier

Your purchase order is a legally binding contract—so what happens when you buy from the wrong supplier? Not only might you have to adjust the purchase to show the correct supplier (which is going to be a real doozy if you’re manually reconciling invoices and it’s already been reconciled) to keep a proper audit trail, you may also face legal repercussions. 

Alternatively, you may be buying from a supplier that’s wrong for you. Perhaps you could reduce costs by using a supplier for multiple types of purchases in order to facilitate a loyal working relationship. Or, maybe you just picked the supplier that costs way more than the rest. The Premikati Marketplace can help you cut costs by offering new sources of savings via a list of high quality, trusted suppliers—many of which offer up to 35% discounts on frequently purchased products. The right supplier is waiting for you at Premikati Marketplace. Already have a couple of the right suppliers? We can add your own suppliers too!

… Or a supplier you don’t even have a contract with

Maybe your contract has expired. Maybe it was never a valid contract at all because its still sitting in a pile on someone’s desk, waiting to be signed and faxed and filed. Do you know which contracts are active and valid? 

Don’t subject yourself to the legal risks that come with doing business without valid contracts. 

“On average, 94% of tail spend comes from uncontracted suppliers.” —Premikati Marketplace

With Premikati Marketplace, you can automate old, analog systems and see which suppliers you’re working with—with the click of a button—in order to gain both efficiency and visibility.

Buying a mountain of stuff you don’t need

Would your warehouse and office closet make Marie Kondo giggle with maniacal glee? Space is a precious commodity especially as consumers and other businesses expect faster and more personalized experiences with every passing day. Every dollar spent on useless things that you don’t need is a dollar you can’t invest in moving forward with your business or keeping an edge on your competitors. 

With good B2B procurement software, you can easily see what you’ve already bought so you don’t double (or triple!) up on what you need.

Buying things that are probably illegal

You want a supply chain that is socially responsible and legal at every link. The Premikati Marketplace is underpinned by SAP, a world-renowned company that is a leader in sustainability.

Shipping your orders to your house

There’s nothing else to say about this. You know who you are. Prevent it with a good procurement platform like Premikati Marketplace. 

Tight budget with no approvals

Especially if you’re a startup or you’re maximizing growth or perhaps if you’re using a zero-based budget, money can be tight. Competition can be stiff. And sometimes, to make the move that will really help your revenue, differentiate you from a competitor, or skyrocket your growth, you have to make swift decisions. If your purchasing processes are bogged down by archaic methods and you’re waiting by the telegraph—err, email—for your PO approval, guess what? Your opportunity may have already passed. If you were making hand sanitizer in January 2020, you better bet you needed to scale and scale fast before the supplies were gone. 

With a good procurement platform, you can control your spend to the cent but also implement automated purchase approvals. Stop leaky spend and without slowing progress… that’s the dream, eh? 

Multiple logins

How many users and passwords do you really need to fulfill your procurement needs? Stop sacrificing security because Lilly is keeping her password taped to the bottom of her keyboard because she has too many to remember. Free up your tech support from endless verifications and password changes. Keep your purchasing processes safe and efficient by reducing the number of accounts you need for purchases.  With the Premikati Marketplace, each member of your procurement team will only need one login total, not one login for EACH supplier portal.  One and done – quite a nightmare saver for your tech support team.

About Premikati

Get what you really want from your purchasing software. The Premikati Marketplace offers procurement that is as intuitive as online shopping with the robust data of Fortune 100 companies and extensive customization options, all with no IT required and no commitment. 

You can order what you want—where, when, and how you want it. Diversity filtering? Sure thing. Support local? Absolutely. We even support custom catalogs and customer-specific vendors.

Merge that with full spend control and visibility, real-time reporting and analytics, custom approval flows and automation, and you’ll find a best-in-class software that’s tailor-made for small- and medium-sized enterprise businesses. 

Premikati scales seamlessly with your business with no impact to end-users and no additional training required. We have prices to fit every budget, and we can have you up and running in hours. 

All of this with white-glove customer service included at no charge, so you can always trust you can talk to a real person when you need them. 

Don’t settle for anything less. Contact us today!

 

socially conscious supply chain

How to Build a Socially Conscious Supply Chain

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There was a time when the socially conscious supply chain was more of a side dish, or perhaps icing on the cake so to speak. For instance, after profits were made, it was a nice-to-have if a company performed some social good in the process. Well, these days, the icing on the cake is now the main dish when it comes to branding. In fact, consumers and employees alike expect organizations to be socially conscious. How much has this permeated the mainstream? According to EngageForGood.com:

  • 86% of customers want businesses to have a stand on social issues,
  • 77% feel a deeper emotional connection to socially conscious companies relative to businesses following a more traditional methodology,
  • 73% of respondents said they would be more likely to defend a company if it was socially conscious.

The statistics above aren’t the only research compiled on how beneficial it can be for a modern company to engage in socially conscious practices. The returns can come in the form of consumer trust, greater visibility, improved shareholder value, and an increase in employee retention.

The pressure, not just from employees and consumers, but also from investors and shareholders is to embrace socially conscious practices and become more responsible for the safety and wellbeing of every individual affected by any phase along the supply chain.

Thinking of a socially conscious supply chain means incorporating social, good governance, and environmental factors into decision-making and all processes. Further, this is about a long-term strategy for improving the economic, social, and environmental value along every phase of the chain. 

In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council outlined the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and provided these three pillars:

  • The state duty to protect human rights
  • The corporate responsibility to respect human rights
  • Access to remedy for victims of business-related abuses

By deploying a socially conscious supply chain, companies secure their place to operate in a more socially conscious world. 

Now that you know the reasons, here are four ways you can build a socially conscious supply chain.

Adopt a long-term approach

Remember, a socially conscious supply chain isn’t just a trend. As a result, it is crucial to develop initiatives that are designed for today and in the future. It helps to start with an effective business case and to get buy-in from key stakeholders. 

Prioritize long-term growth over short-term gains. It should be a concept that is holistic in nature. Moreover, the focus should be on mitigating risks, branding improvement, and overall cost reduction. Then, implement tracking capabilities to ensure that your supply chain remains socially conscious.

Audit for social conscious protocols

Looking up and down your supply chain, it is vital to determine areas that could become more socially conscious. The objective is to infuse socially responsible practices throughout your supply chain. You can start by screening prospective new suppliers for their processes around

  • Sourcing
  • Social standards
  • Quality 
  • Environmental standards 

Have your supply chain audit your suppliers regularly along those standards. Next, evaluate your suppliers relative to globally-recognized standards around sustainability. Collect data that can be quantifiable and serve as evidence for any decisions you make. 

If there are socially conscious violations in your supply chain practices, you have the data to move forward with any resolutions you make. In addition, you can work closely with your partners to provide training around socially conscious practices not just for the executives but for their employees as well.  

Stay transparent

Consumers want companies to be both transparent and authentic. Naturally, it’s difficult to be authentic without transparency – which is fundamental towards building a socially conscious supply chain. When you can show transparency within your supply chain, you build trust and may even improve your reputation and competitive standing.

To illustrate, many grocers have had to change their purchasing processes over the past decade where they are buying more fresh produce as demand for processed foods continues to wane. Also, many consumers now want to know whether their food was ethically caught and organically grown. The same is true of the coffee industry where customers are moving towards fair trade sourcing practices such as executed by Equal Exchange or Allegro. In terms of the supply chain, the best option is end-to-end transparency.

With this type of transparency, impact assessments can be executed and any associated mitigation can be quickly deployed. Although this strategy may take more upfront investment, it is the preferred approach as opposed to running a supply chain that imposes human rights violations, environmental damage, and is exposed to fraudulent practices. So then, transparency also allows a company to remedy unfavorable scenarios more quickly and not buckle under the strain of bad branding and outdated practices.

Work with minority suppliers

A socially conscious supply chain includes partnerships with minority suppliers. In fact, minority-run businesses have been growing at two times the national average. This is a part of the economy that must be recognized. Additionally, a supplier diversity initiative can positively impact up to 15% of overall earnings.

Not to mention, all suppliers should be treated fairly and offered fair compensation that is on time. Add flexible contract options and onboarding processes, and you’re on your way to a much more socially conscious supply chain.

Final thought

By taking the steps listed above, supply chain business leaders can improve their branding, reduce their environmental impact, enhance their social impact, and secure their license to operate in a more socially conscious marketplace. What other ways can you think of that will help build a socially conscious supply chain?

 

outsourcing

All You Need to Know About Impact Sourcing

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There isn’t any question that inclusive corporate practices and business shared values have been highlighted in recent years as customers increase their search for companies who induce rich social impact throughout their supply chain and workflows. In fact, contemporary organizations risk falling behind the curve if they don’t adopt impact sourcing in their processes.

For several years, companies looked at deploying “social good” policies as a type of afterthought or even icing on the cake. The main focus was profit. Now, things are changing. Many millennials, and gen Z’ers, actively search for businesses who have long-term strategies around social impact.

Today, embracing and embedding social impact into business processes is no longer an option – it is mandatory. Even prospective employees only want to work for companies that have infused social good practices into their overarching policies.

Not to mention, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, consumers have countless options right at their fingertips. In the end, they will choose to patronize a business with values that align with theirs. Now, let’s talk a bit more about impact sourcing.

What is impact sourcing?

Many industries are in the position to improve their business practices. Impact sourcing simply means employing individuals who come from a disadvantaged background, and providing them with opportunities they might not have otherwise received. 

There are billions of people who just can’t access professional business opportunities because they also don’t have access to higher education. For instance, Africa may have the largest workforce on this planet, but they certainly don’t have enough jobs for their populations. Impact sourcing offers employment to people who live in locations with persistently high rates of unemployment. 

Further, these are people who may live in rural areas, or even slums, and don’t have access to secondary education. So then, as these types of people receive better career opportunities – and higher wages – they can actually go to college and be better able to help their family members who are in need.

Impact sourcing is gaining traction

Led by organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), impact sourcing is also proving advantageous for companies who adopt this particular business practice. According to BSR, “Impact sourcing is not philanthropy; it is a business practice that seeks to maximize societal and business outcomes.” There are also some practical applications you can implement within your company. 

  • Focus on the people 

A successful impact sourcing program should not be about the numbers, or even the algorithm, it should be about the people. These are not automated robots, but every employee has unique gifts and talents they can bring to your organization. And, through their tenure with your business, they can spread the benefits throughout their communities. Not to mention, you are accessing a talent pool inundated with motivated individuals. Moreover, you don’t have to change your organization’s values simply because you are hiring in another country or working with a supplier in a disadvantaged area.

  • Business improves through long-term relationships

It always helps to remember that, when it comes to business, the bottom line is still critical. You certainly want to be known as a company who prioritizes social impact. Yet, that shouldn’t be the end all and be all. Your business should still ensure your customers get the quality they’re accustomed to along with the right price and the right customer experience.

Invariably, happy employees are much more productive and they are much more loyal to a company. As a result, they have the potential to become more skilled at their roles which leads to getting a larger amount of work done in less time. The best way to improve happiness and motivation is to offer an opportunity to someone who – under normal circumstances – would not have received such an offer.

Turn your company into a force for good

There is still limited understanding about the various populations – throughout the world – who need more help. In this regard, it takes time and research to determine where your impact sourcing program can make the most impact.

Participate in conversations with people from disadvantaged communities to gain a better understanding of their experiences and challenges. Partner with organizations such as the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC). Currently, the GISC is challenging its member companies to start hiring at least 100,000 workers before the end of 2020. The GISC also offers toolkits for download which include case studies and best practices. Now, you can design your impact sourcing strategy. 

Next, host job fairs in disadvantaged areas. If your company can’t be there physically, then partner with local organizations. Other ways to help include offering guest lectures, online training, and mentorships. Change people’s lives with training and education.

Remember that disadvantaged communities aren’t only found in developing countries. There are disadvantaged individuals in developed countries, as well. 

Final thought

There is no greater feeling than knowing your company can help disadvantaged individuals out of poverty all around the globe. Impact sourcing can provide some stability in war-torn regions when opportunities for career, education, and training increase. When a person feels secure, they also gain a feeling of peace. Just take a look at the change in formerly war-torn regions of southeastern Europe where many citizens now work remotely for companies all over the world. As the global skills gap continues to grow, it’s time to consider the talent outside of the traditional pools.

 

Premikati Procurement Software

Picking the Right Technology Partner

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Not all technology partners are created equal. The best run companies attract and retain top-notch talent and the on-staff management team knows how to see a project through to success. Lesser companies simply want to cash checks.

By following the eight considerations when selecting a partner below, however, you’ll greatly increase your chances of finding a high-quality technology partner that can deliver.

1. What needs to be done?

First, make sure you understand your project. Many companies and executives have a vague idea of what they are looking for. However, you want more certainty when writing an RFP and reviewing potential partners. Breakdown as many details, features, and functionalities as possible. Consider the user journey, integrations, and future needs as well. Make sure you include all of the above in your RFP. Loop in your on-staff technology and software experts to source their feedback.

2. Put forward a clear and comprehensive RFP

For many companies, the journey to finding an excellent technology partner starts with the Request-for-Proposal (RFP). This document outlines what you need and who you are as a company. You want to provide enough details to give companies a clear sense of the project and scope without bogging potential partners down with unnecessary or redundant information.

3. Price is just one factor

Price is an important consideration but one of many. Make sure you examine other aspects and ensure that no matter the price you pay, you’re getting a good value. Also, make sure you know the “true cost.” Some vendors quote a given price but end up going well over budget, and you may have to pick up the tab. Others tack on costs, like implementation and support. Understand the total costs of the project before signing anything.

4. Deadlines and timelines

Ask the business for a reasonable estimate of the timeline. Don’t simply take their word for it, however, and also ask about projects in similar scope and how long they took to complete it. Further, inquire about projects that went over initial timelines and what happened. What caused the delays and how did they resolve it? Remember, however, quality is often more important than speed. A hasty project may result in poor software that you have to grapple with for years.

5. Ensure that potential vendors are transparent

You want to work with vendors who are honest about their resources, time management, and capacities. Additionally, ask for a clear roadmap with deliverables and goals that the partner feels is reasonable. On your end, the roadmap should be clear and easy to decipher.

6. Review customer testimonies

Great partners can usually offer a lot of testimonies. Past clients, employers, and partners can vouch for their skill and success. Ask for a portfolio and a list of past clients you can contact. When you contact clients, dig deep and inquire about short-comings, hiccups, and more.

7. Check for a warranty or guarantee

Great companies often stand behind their products as a point of pride. It’s a good sign if a company offers extensive warranties, guarantees, or other assurances. On the other hand, if a company offers no guarantee, be wary.

8. Look for social good

This is about converging profit and purpose. At Premikati, we believe every business should be engaged in creating social value. Do we believe we can accomplish both our business goals while empowering society’s goals? The answer is yes, and this is one of the reasons why we partner with SAP.

Invariably, every industry must decide whether to put values over profit. As a female-owned business, Premikati wants to add values and ideals to every choice we make to ensure socially responsible decisions. As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” SAP continues to make a commitment in service of local and global communities. SAP believes every individual brings a unique set of skills, talents, and experiences to induce a truly dynamic workforce. In fact, they have pioneered the effort to promote neurodiversity in the workplace by starting their Autism in the Workplace program in 2013. This program has had major success in hiring employees on the autism spectrum, with a 90% retention rate, to help ensure a much more inclusive workplace for all.

Moreover, SAP supports communities in many ways by contributing to a wide variety of organizations, by supporting employee volunteerism throughout the year, and by partnering with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For instance, SAP offers a “Dollars for Doers” program with matching gift grants, dollar for dollar, for active employee volunteers to the organization of their choice.

Take-Away: Diligent effort now can prevent future mistakes

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll find the perfect technology partner. Still, by considering all of the above, you can greatly increase your chances of success. Choosing the right partner is a vital step to ensuring a good project outcome, so take your time, examine things closely, and find the partner who aligns with your values and objectives.

supplier and buyer teamwork

A Day in the Life of a Supplier

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The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on getting back to the fundamentals within the supply chain. It’s really all about agility and alignment with evolving customer demands. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for suppliers to have the ability to respond quickly with unexpected changes in demand. There may be spikes for certain types of products and shortages with others, just as we have seen firsthand during the COVID-19 crisis.

For instance, fear-based buying left most grocery stores with continuously empty shelves. Then, these stores started limiting the amounts customers could buy on specific products to alleviate the rapid shifts in purchasing habits.

Not to mention, since restaurants had to close, consumers spent more of their time and budget preparing meals at home. As a result, suppliers had to demonstrate their ability to offer varying products quickly and accelerate the speed of shipments even while many workers were choosing to stay at home.

Then, there is the flexibility factor. As everyone sheltered-in-place, grocers were no longer battling it out for the top spot in the grocery delivery business. Consumers quickly transitioned to shopping for their groceries online rather than battling it out in crowded stores with long lines. In real time, grocers – and suppliers – had to change their business models to meet this rising demand.

As you can see, suppliers certainly have their hands full and this will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future. So what does a day in the life of a supplier look like? Keep reading to learn more.

Wear multiple hats

A supplier may be involved with the planning and management of manufacturing processes. If so, this requires a jack-of-all-trades perspective since suppliers must also be involved in marketing, prospecting, sales, negotiations, accounting, shipping, and more. Invariably, this can be tricky during a pandemic.

To illustrate, the right goods must be produced efficiently, at the quality expected, and at the right price, then shipped/distributed expeditiously. Not to mention, a supplier’s clients may have evolving needs as well. Profitability can only be attained when productivity, and efficiency, are achieved in all of the above areas.

Provide quality products

Suppliers must ensure that their products meet the standard their customers expect. Not only does this help to retain their relationships, but also helps with referrals, reviews, and word of mouth. If a supplier offers multiple products, then the job becomes even more complex.

And quality isn’t just about the end product, it starts with the production engineers as well as the planners, controllers, and supervisors who ensure quality controls are all met before final output.

A typical day

Naturally, the scope of work will depend on the product/products being offered and/or produced. To start, there may be a walk around the manufacturing plan and production areas to ensure everything is in working order. If not, the right protocols are in place to fix any issues. Pay reports may be reviewed along with sales reports.

Next, the incoming orders will be checked along with their production and distribution progress. Details such as date, quantities, time, status, and more may be cross-checked against production.

After looking at incoming orders, a production meeting may be held with all necessary team members to discuss the work for the day and to draw up a production schedule. Some of the key talking points will be around deliveries, stock, revenue, quality control, and customer service.

Once a production meeting is satisfactorily adjourned, it’s time to look at inventory and any quality issues. In between all of these activities there may be client meetings, fielding phone calls, and responding to team member inquiries. Plus, there may be training for new team members and ongoing training for everyone else.

Moreover, another walkaround may ensue. Depending on the status of production, there may be fluctuations in the urgency of customer requests – especially in the event of a pandemic. So then, delivery performance reports will also be looked at very closely. Transportation routes may be optimized Suppliers always have to be prepared to address multiple projects at one time.

Marketing

Getting noticed is one of the hardest things for many businesses, including suppliers. Often, suppliers have to go well out of their way, with many potential clients asking them to register on specific vendor/supplier portals.

Once you’re in the portal, the potential client can see all of your details. There are potential customers who won’t even consider suppliers if they aren’t registered. Even if a purchasing agent wants to work with you, the head office may only allow payments to registered suppliers.

Unfortunately, registering in a portal doesn’t guarantee that potential customers will work with you. Registration is often a necessary but not sufficient requirement. Entering all of your information into a portal takes time and if you don’t hear back, it can feel like a waste of time. For this reason, some consider client-specific portals to be a black hole.

Yet to get on a single portal you may have to fill out a thorough application. In some cases, before you’re accepted you must also undergo an inspection or evaluation. Inspectors may want to examine personnel, your facilities and equipment, quality assurance measures, production, and more. And no matter how hard you work, there’s no guarantee you’ll pass.

Given that there are over 2,000 supplier portals in the United States and 3,000 globally, it’s easy to see why so many suppliers are jaded. Registering for each portal would consume a lot of labor hours. Meanwhile, companies are trying to manage social media, run adds, produce content, and drum up leads.

In terms of other marketing tactics, many suppliers send staff to trade shows and conferences. Other staff members are on the phone, cold calling leads, following up with potential customers, or trying to pin down a specific customer’s needs. And all of these campaigns generate data, which someone has to analyze. In other words, a company may lack the manpower to register in each portal.

Of course, even resource-strapped companies may try to register for portals. The question then is which portals to register for? With thousands of options, it’s smart to prioritize the ones that will lead to the most leads. There’s no easy answer. A popular portal may seem to offer the most leads but competition is high. A lesser-known portal may offer fewer leads, but also competition.

While portals present challenges, they also present opportunities for suppliers, and ease for companies looking for suppliers. A portal makes it easier for the hiring company to find and verify the right supplier. Some companies prioritize certain suppliers, such as local companies or diverse suppliers. By setting up a portal specifically for these suppliers, companies can find exactly who and what they need.

Portals may also make it easier to manage relationships. These days, suppliers, buyers, and internal users may all collaborate and interact. The right portal empowers these relationships and allows for more optimized delivery of products and services. Increasingly, systems are automated as well, sending notifications, executing calculations, and more. As such, getting noticed as a new or small supplier can feel like a full-time job.

Take away: Collaborate and learn

Another aspect of a day in the life of a supplier is finding other suppliers who can serve as partners so that everyone can be more resilient and better prepared when a crisis hits. It’s always important to collaborate with other suppliers who can share relevant knowledge and products to make up for any potential shortages. Out of the many hard lessons learned from COVID-19, the most vital ones are that agility, flexibility, and efficiency are the keys to survival.

 

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