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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.

 

Organized Contract Management

5 Reasons You Need a Real Contract Management System

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Are you still using Sharepoint or similar software for contract management? You may be putting your business at risk and losing a lot of time and credibility in the process. A real contract management system not only boosts efficiency and reduces liability, it makes everything so much easier. It’s like sending your contracts on a vacation with a day-spa—the whole supply chain process is going to be a lot more zen. 

If I give you fifty random contracts to find… how fast can you find them?

If you’re not using a robust contract management system, the answer to that question could be days, weeks, or worse—maybe you couldn’t find all of them. If that last part applies to your business, you’re not alone.

When we have had clients come to us for help with contract management, we’ve asked them this exact question. One client (we’re not naming names! There’s no shame in fixing a broken system.), they could only find sixteen out of fifty contracts over the course of three full days searching.  Yikes. Talk about a costly timesink, especially when you think of this inefficient process accumulating over years of business. 

“When am I honestly going to need to find fifty random contracts?” some ask. Let’s talk about when and why this matters to your business. 

  • You need to cancel a contract. You are not sure about the start or end dates.
  • You have suppliers for duplicate or similar products.
  • Your company gets involved in litigation regarding a supplier, perhaps due to faulty products that caused harm to your customers.  
  • Your line of business is in the healthcare industry. Not being able to pass this test effectively could jeopardize your business’s accreditation.

With proper contract management, this task should be as easy as searching Google. A few quick taps of the keyboard, and there are your contracts. Easy peasy, and so much less stress when a situation is already wearing on your nerves, such as in the case of a lawsuit. It’s one less thing for you to worry about, and can save massive amounts of time, money, and Tylenol over years of running a business. 

Are all of them signed by both parties? 

A contract that isn’t signed by both parties is no contract at all—it’s as enforceable as a scribbled-on burrito wrapper. Especially when you’re dealing with lots of different contractors who renew at different times of the year, it can be difficult to track who has signed what and sent it back without a good system supporting you. 

Carrying contracts that aren’t signed by both parties is a huge risk to your business.  We’re talking sub-par harmful products with no recourse, errors and ommissions insurance nightmares, unfortunate liabilities in the case of catastrophe. It can be legal chaos to find out, in a desperate moment for your business, that a contract was never signed, thus there’s nothing you can do. There was never an agreement at all, for most purposes. 

A successful contract management system will ensure everyone you do business with has signed all necessary documents, so you’re never caught with your pants down. This brings us to our next point…

Do you use electronic signatures?

A startling number of businesses are still managing contracts like they were dropped in a cubicle in the early 90s. Faxing? It needs to be a thing of the past. And let’s toss out pen signatures too while we’re at it.

Let’s be honest, do you think your business would basically implode if we dropped your fax out the window? 

Well, let’s have a lesson in gravity, because putting so much stock in an outdated, inefficient method of transmission is costing your business a lot of time and money as well as putting your business at risk. 

Electronic signatures through applications like DocuSign are a reliable method of signing contracts in a way that boosts efficiency for you and your contractor while also resolving the issue of carrying contracts signed by only one party. 

With e-signatures, contractors are shown step by step which places require signatures and initials throughout a contract, so there are no more missed steps. Aside from the fact that it is straightforward, nearly instant, and auditable, they also help in another way—reminders. Have you been waiting for two weeks on a signature? Let the platform automatically remind your client. It’s one less thing to pay your employees to manage and is likely to get that contract back signed faster than older methods. Plus, it’s easy to organize contracts that are already digitized. Bye, bye scanner. Enjoy the company of the fax machine. 

Do you have a report that shows when all of your contracts expire?  

Is it time to renew your contracts? Right now? Last week? If you’re like most businesses without a CMS, you have no idea. 

Knowing when your contracts expire lets you be a step ahead. Unhappy with a supplier? You’ll probably need some time to search for a new one before you drop the old one. That means research, comparisons, time, and ultimately money. It’s not something you want to have to rush through. 

A real contract management system will let you know which contracts expire 30 / 60 / 90 days in advance, so you have plenty of time to determine your most advantageous next move. 

Can you quickly and easily keyword search?

Do you need to know which contractors you have supplying bed linens? Toilet paper? Are you among the buyers in the Great Glitter Conspiracy*? With a proper contract management system, you just need to do a simple text search to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for anything less than user-friendly, data-driven contract management that keeps you ahead of the curve instead of rustling papers and unjamming the fac machine way, way behind it. 

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)

 

*Spoiler alert: After much deliberating and searching among hordes of Redditors, the answer has been found.  It’s the boating industry. Boat paint uses glitter. However, the intense secrecy surrounding glitter production and the surprising technological complexity of glitter creation makes it worth a look for the curious at heart. 

 

Procure to Pay Premikati

A Day in the Life in the Procure to Pay Cycle

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Even with advanced solutions available, many businesses still try to make do with their legacy systems – and manual tools –  when managing their procure-to pay process. Even if work is getting done, it is often prone to error, redundant, inefficient, and slow.

It’s really just a matter of time before countless issues arise and cause damage to a company’s procurement strategy, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic where companies need to be agile most of all.

So what does the procure-to-pay process entail? The procure-to-pay workflow is a coordinated set of actions based on the objective of acquiring goods and services at a reasonable cost and in a timely fashion. It begins with need identification and moves on to invoicing and payments. There are several steps, and they need to be executed in order.

Invariably, the procure-to-pay process is one component of supply chain management. Once the required goods or services are obtained, the supply chain department will make sure these goods or services reach the right destinations. Of course, a day in the life is never ordinary. Keep reading to learn more.

Market analysis

Most people will research a company’s goods or services before making a purchase. The same is true for the procurement-to-pay process. The initial step is to perform a market analysis. The goal is to get the best deal possible. In addition, the company’s budget is met.

Often, a procurement manager will look at how a fluctuating market may affect prices. Further, they will also review prices from a list of suppliers. After the comparisons, the procurement manager may send a request for quotation (RFQ) to help make the final decision.

Compliance checks

In the digital era, compliance is one of many areas a company must adhere to based on their industry and location. There are federal, state, local, and global regulations to follow. As a result, the procurement manager must ensure all contracts are in compliance with legal mandates. Moreover, the procurement manager must remain apprised of any legislation updates and revise company policies around procurement-to-pay when needed.

Compare the suppliers

Each supplier has their pros and cons. What’s most important is working with a supplier/s who can meet a majority of the company’s needs. A supplier usually isn’t signed on to a contract without a careful review. Plus, the supplier must demonstrate they can deliver the necessary goods and services as needed and that they are of the desired quality.

Get team members on the same page

Planning out schedules for employees is part of the process with the intent of meeting deadlines. Not to mention, any issues with goods or services need to be addressed immediately. Sometimes this means holding weekly, or daily, meetings to get the team and suppliers on the same page.

Determine the need

For starters, the initial step is to figure out a valid need and the associated business requirements. Then, the procurement team starts work on the terms of reference (TOR) and statements of work (SOW).

Create a formal purchase requisition

Once the TOR and SOW are completed, then the procurement team will fill out and submit the requisition form. The form can vary in procurement whether it be for consignments, purchases, or something else.

Obtain requisition approval

The procurement manager usually approves or rejects a purchase requisition based on whether it meets the need and budgetary guidelines. Not to mention, incomplete requisitions are automatically rejected. This is about focusing on best practices to ensure the company saves money without sacrificing on quality.

Complete a purchase order

The purchase order will be based on a negotiation around payment terms, price, and delivery time. A spot buy may also be executed for unique purchases or unmanaged category buys. The purchase orders will also come from the purchase requisitions.

Obtain another approval

As you can see, there are many approval procedures to go through during the procure-to-pay process. The purchase orders are reviewed for accuracy and legitimacy. Suppliers also have the option to reject, approve, or renegotiate. Usually, POs are sent electronically – they can be entered right into the supplier’s PO system. And once a PO is approved, then a legal contract ensues.

Apply a goods receipt

Now is the time to take stock of the goods or services. Were they delivered on schedule? Are they of the quality promised by the supplier? Do they comply with the contract? There may be other policies in place before creating the goods receipt. Additionally, the goods receipt can be rejected and the process restarts.

Rate the supplier

It is crucial to have reliable suppliers. Based on the goods receipt, performance can be assessed. Again, the procurement team will look for quality, budget, compliance, timely delivery, and several other factors. Any negative ratings will be stored for future reference.

Approve the invoice

Once a goods receipt is approved, a three-way match between the purchase order, the vendor invoice, and the goods receipt is performed. If there are no discrepancies found, the invoice is approved and forwarded to the finance team for payment disbursement. The goods or services are matched against the line items published on the invoice. In the case of inaccuracies, the invoice is rejected back to the vendor with a reason for rejection.

Send the payment

Once the invoice is approved, it is submitted to the accounting/finance department for approval. Payments are then sent based on the terms of the agreed-upon contract. Unquestionably, the payments will be made as one of these types: Final, advance, partial, installment, holdback. Other stipulations accounted for may occur, for instance, when a supplier offers a discount for payments made 10 days after a goods receipt.

Weekly or monthly responsibilities

Outside of the strict procure-to-pay workflow, procurement managers will consistently review purchase orders and potential suppliers for other needs. In fact, needs can evolve and demands will change – as we have seen directly during the COVID-19 crisis. Bid awards will also be created, subject to final approval. Sometimes, procurement managers may also handle the responsibility of creating bid specifications.

Analyze spend

Again, the procurement-to-pay workflow was designed to get the most cost-effective goods and services possible with the required quality. Therefore, the procurement manager will continuously monitor spend – searching for any potential areas of concern such as a supplier changing or raising their pricing structure. Keeping an eye on all purchases helps to conserve resources while meeting the company’s budget initiatives.

Final thought

As you can see, the procure-to-pay process requires a strict adherence to specific actions, guidelines, and regulations. The workflow is ripe for incremental improvement as the world becomes more digitized.

To ensure value development, and success in a post-pandemic world, innovative companies are transitioning to Procure-to-Pay software as a means for addressing inefficiencies and creating an agile environment. Are you ready to streamline your entire procurement-to-pay process? Experience the Premikati difference. Schedule your free demo today.

Ariba Snap procurement

Procurement Lessons in the Midst of a Pandemic

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As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world, supply chains and procurement saw their traditional modeling around price negotiations, contract compliance, and cost control become overwhelmed with unprecedented challenges. Through this time, Premikati has learned that managing risk is paramount.

Suddenly, supply chains and procurement have been disrupted in ways we have not seen in our lifetimes. Many large and small entities had to immediately reconfigure their manufacturing, and procurement, to producing, distributing, and meeting the most essential healthcare supplies and foods to ensure populations are safe and healthy.

All of these actions required identifying new suppliers, vetting them, and ensuring enough liquidity to purchase necessary goods at scale. Further, unused inventory needed to be addressed as well.

Invariably, experts from every field prognosticate on how COVID-19 has changed our lives – and our economies – forever. The many blanket, and even extreme, disruptions to our work lives only serves to convey that we are still all playing a role in this huge experiment where technology has led the transition from traditional office environments to remote working and virtual happy hours. Is the future here, right now?

At Premikati, we don’t have any exact predictions around how this pandemic will impact procurement processes over the long term. What we do see is an opportunity to determine how digitization and new platforms can help companies gain a competitive edge once we reach the other side – and, we will.

Naturally, we all hope the pandemic will end soon and life will return to normal – as it has in previous disaster scenarios. Yet, it appears that many facets of our economy will never return to the pre-pandemic version of normal.

At this point, technology can help solve many of the issues which the pandemic has brought to the forefront. It’s time to change the mindset and work in a more collaborative and strategic way.

History in the making

For the first time in modern procurement, and supply chain history, a pandemic created a global impact on supply, demand, and the available workforce simultaneously. In order to revive the supply chain, and get things back to efficient processes, we view automation as a critical aspect.

In light of the global cracks in the supply chain, automation can help to increase productivity at home and with alternative suppliers who are located much closer to the communities they serve. In fact, with automation, many processes can be successfully executed domestically while creating new job opportunities for tech-savvy employees.

We also consider how important data will be not just now, but for the future of work. For procurement, greater connectivity demands an acceleration in digitization across the board and a utilization of collaboration tools, industrial IoT, and AI-driven insights to improve agility, capacity, predictability, and availability.

What does the future hold for procurement?

At Premikati, we truly believe that companies who invest in strategic technologies will come out of these perilous times with a competitive and profitable edge. Not to mention, your in-house team can ultimately become much more productive.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for procurement in terms of addressing supply chain risk and business continuity. Perhaps it’s time for full-scale deployment of connected intelligence.

Yet, sourcing is just one side of the issue. Companies should also understand the supplier side. When you can comprehend the issues affecting your suppliers, then you can more efficiently ward off potential issues in the future. Some of the most critical components for the supplier side include:

  • Tier 1 supplier risk
  • Ensuring an alternative supply network
  • Efficient workforce planning
  • Bolstering the supply chain
  • Improved planning
  • Business continuity amidst plant closures
  • Production flexibility
  • Capacity security
  • Global planning

Think about your non-negotiables: Customers, employees, products, services, lines of business, and more. Which of these are the most critical for business preservation?

Without adequate plans in place, many businesses went towards overadjusting where they would increase inventory across the board – just as consumers were doing the same hoarding toilet tissue, masks, disinfectants, canned goods, soaps, and hand sanitizers. Nonetheless, overadjusting can come with consequences such as excessive inventory during a time when consumers have cut back on spending.

Disruptions have occurred upstream and downstream. The most successful companies will work on improving visibility, agility, and responsiveness using strategic analytics. As a result, you can determine how you can mitigate the risks and begin recovery quickly.

At Premikati, we realize that every company is at a different stage in terms of dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. Not to mention, problems can vary depending on region. We want to offer guidance on where to find opportunities in the midst of unprecedented challenges. Quick action is essential right now.

Premikati can help your organization control the narrative and the outcome, complete with a thriving environment. Working through this crisis, we are prepared with new business models created to define the future of work in procurement and for supply chains.

Final thought

The organizations with the highest likelihood of weathering this storm are those who have achieved the optimal balance between short-and-long-term strategies. During a crisis, the most common mindset is the short-term one. On the other hand, being forced to operate differently has helped many businesses see what they can do and also, what they need to do.

More than just adapting to the current environment, become a market shaper and take part in the reinvention.

Premikati hopes that by sharing what we’ve learned about this pandemic, that we can help strengthen your procurement processes. Our solutions are focused on accelerated efficiency, resiliency, mitigation, scalability, and flexibility. We are all facing this together, so let’s collaborate.

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