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5 Frustrations Procurement Professionals Will Understand

Five Frustrations Procurement Professionals Will Understand

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Every profession comes with its frustrations, but procurement comes with its own very specific set. If you’ve been in the business for more than a minute, you’ve probably wanted to put your head through your desk on more than one occasion thanks to these special procurement nightmares.

Are You Ghosting Us?

We’ve all had it happen—after weeks of back and forth, we message a supplier an important question that will impact, well, everything else. And we wait. And wait. Days pass. Weeks. Centuries… Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but when we are relying on this one piece of feedback in particular, it can certainly feel this way. If you don’t have the answer to our question, let us know. It’s okay. Just please, please don’t put us through the special hell of ignoring us completely while we search for a solution or an answer.

How Big Are Your Shoes?

Did you promise us the moon? Well, buddy, you’ve got big shoes to fill. Unfortunately, lots of other departments (cough, cough suppliers, marketers, we’re looking at you) have their toes in their arch supports. It’s frustrating when the people we rely on to fulfill our job duties overpromise and underdeliver. It leaves us backed up and with a whole lot of explaining to do.

T Minus 10 Minutes

We get it—sometimes genius strikes at the midnight hour (and often when we are furthest away from pad and paper), but changing plans mega late in the game is really difficult in procurement. If we’ve spent months planning for everything you need to execute your brilliant plan, changing everything last minute makes us shudder. Oftentimes, it simply cannot be done on timescale that suits everyone, and we’re the ones who end up taking the flak. Give us plans and give us time and we will give you the world, though.

The Ol’ Switcheroo

We’re planners. Have we mentioned that enough? We like plans. More importantly, we like sticking to plans. So, marketers and sales folks, believe us when we say that we are looking for this one particular item, especially if we say that’s all we’re looking for. Extra especially if we’ve already said it once. Give it up on the upsell and the cross-promotion, and we’ll thank you for it. Respect our already limited time and we’ll pay it back in spades with loyalty and not-too-many emails. At least the former, as long as you keep your prices reasonable and your delivery on time.

Dripping in Gold

Speaking of upsells, do we look like we’re made of money? We can’t break the bank on every new request, every outlandish marketing idea, every new and ingenius product idea. We have to save for a rainy day and prioritize our cash flow toward the best and most efficient option. You can stop calling us names—we’re not literally always looking for the cheapest option, even if it seems that way sometimes. We’re not trying to make your life harder. We’re trying to make our dollars take us as far as we can and sometimes that means saying things like, “No, I get that it’s a more ergonomic option, but we cannot approve another (sigh) standing desk at this time.”

Did this list make you want to cry into your keyboard? You can find relief at the Premikati Marketplace where procurement is easy (and way less frustrating).

Best Practices to Open the Silo Between Accounts Payable and Procurement

3 Best Practices to Open the Silo Between Accounts Payable and Procurement

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Summary: Accounts payable and procurement work hand in hand, although many departments remain uninformed about the goals, metrics, decisions, and communications of the other. Businesses can breach data silos among the two departments by implementing Intelligent Spend Management solutions, utilizing technology and automation to its fullest, generating shared goals among the two departments, and generating a culture of effective sharing and communication. Creating flow between AP and procurement reduces risk, opens usable capital, increases business agility, and supports better supplier relationship management.

Why Is Alignment Between AP And Procurement Important?

Accounts payable and procurement can be seen like the left and right hands of an organization. Unfortunately, in many businesses, neither hand knows what the other is doing—even if they both report to the same person—which results in unnecessary fumbling, inefficiency, and lost profits. In an ideal scenario, finance, procurement, and supply chain all need to work closely together, sharing data and common goals for the greater good.

Procurement and accounts payable are an obvious place to begin when breaking down information silos because procurement is tasked with buying goods and services while accounts payable is responsible for paying for those same goods and services. Procurement and payment need to be combined under one reasonable, cohesive procure-to-pay (P2P) strategy in order for both “hands” to bring the best value to an organization.

A cohesive P2P strategy offers the following benefits to businesses:

  • Positive working capital and achievable early payment discounts generated through realistic timelines between both departments
  • Sourcing that involves more depth and insight than procurement can achieve on its own
  • Better spend analytics based on data for more accurate cash flow predictions
  • Better supplier relationship management via sharing and communicating goals, updates, and information about interactions
  • Contract negotiation with suppliers that offers greater flexibility

Intelligent Spend Management: A Strong Plus

Intelligent Spend Management enables businesses to manage every source of spending across every category while aggregating spend data under a single, unified view.

SAP Ariba, the basis for our Premikati Marketplace, is a strong proponent and deliverer of Intelligent Spend Management solutions. Focus and agility are byproducts of “[understanding and using] data, transforming it from information into intelligence, and intelligence into value.” Intelligent Spend Management allows businesses to mitigate risks, collaborate effectively, automate their source-to-pay processes, and engage in rapid acceleration—toward fast-changing customer desires and new business models and revenue streams alike.

As it applies to AP and procurement, Intelligent Spend Management helps teams communicate and prioritize better, uncover hidden spend, and collaborate more effectively with suppliers and business partners.

Actionable Ways to Open the Silo Between Accounts Payable and Procurement

In order for a business to begin the process of integrating accounts payable and procurement in such a way to mitigate risks and unneeded spending, it must begin with a plan. The following are starting points for businesses to create a path toward open, effective procedures between AP and procurement:

Agree on Common Goals

It doesn’t how hard either side is working if they are each working toward conflicting goals. Both departments should agree on common metrics and goals that both work toward throughout the month and subsequently report to relevant executives. Cash flow goals should be shared and purchasing decisions made in accordance with these goals. One shared goal which can be acted upon immediately is to create and utilize a combined, up-to-date vendor master list that is devoid of duplicates and is clear about who maintains what responsibilities in regards to the list.

Use Technology To Its Fullest

Technology is the cornerstone of adaptable, agile businesses in the modern day. Not only can technology help mitigate risk through automated processes which reduce errors and fraud, it can also be a key factor in breaking down communication barriers between departments which previously maintained their own separate records and metrics. If both AP and procurement maintain data through technological means, then that data can be more effectively combined and utilized to make better business decisions and predictions.

One immediate way to opt in to technology to support effective processes between procurement and accounts payable is via adopting and Intelligent Spend Management system. Because data will be able to be viewed from a centralized dashboard, insights and intelligence quickly follow. Having this form of system in place can also guide other processes between departments such as which key metrics to prioritize.

Other disruptive technologies may also be of use during AP / procurement crossovers. SAP Ariba, basis of the Premikati Marketplace, utilizes the high-tech trifecta of AI, machine learning, and blockchain. These sorts of technologies can assist with safe record-keeping, automation, and predictive analytics.

Create A Culture of Sharing

Information hoarding is an ineffective approach in today’s business culture. Instead, opt for a sharing culture that understands boundaries—sharing at length, but efficiently.  In conjunction with creating shared goals, each department should also share information related to their key metrics and goals, their progress, and offer solutions surrounding how the two departments can work together for overall success.

AP and procurement should share relevant information regarding invoices—such as unpaid, late invoices—and recent interactions with suppliers. Similarly, any vendor info which has changed should be made promptly available to employees in both departments, perhaps through the combined vendor list. In terms of efficiency, an action businesses can take right away is to set aside a time for sharing and questions between the two departments. If questions can be saved for the end of the workday, then constant interruptions are less likely to throw off the flow of each side’s work, yet needed questions can be answered to better inform decision-making and priorities, offering fast adaptability on a day-to-day scale.

An Intelligent Spend Management system is one way to combine effective, efficient sharing culture with technology for easily-accessible data for all.

Feel free to share your best practices or pain points below…we love to hear comments from those in the field!

top 3 procurement strategies for SMBs

Top Three Procurement Strategies for SMBs

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For SMBs, procurement can be the largest area of spending, often representing 50 percent of sales revenue. For companies looking to send value to the bottom line rather than take it away, optimizing the procurement workflow can help.

In many cases, SMBs tend to focus more on overall operations rather than more specific processes. However, targeting areas like procurement for process improvement can help accomplish goals that go beyond dollars and cents – it can also improve productivity throughout the organization, leading to greater efficiency from end-to-end.

Build bottom-line value with these procurement strategies

To help you chart a new, more profitable course forward, here are our top strategies in procurement for SMBs:

1.  Choose your supplier partnerships more strategically

If you have several buyers who tend to purchase from a range of different vendors, think about consolidating that spending into a smaller pool. Purchasing from fewer suppliers will help to streamline resources from many angles as it will reduce time you spend on sourcing and help you avoid excessive delivery fees.

Additionally, the more buying power you have with a specific vendor, the better the relationship may become over time, and it may be possible to negotiate bulk discounts based on the volume of business you do with them – a mutually beneficial situation that you could work to your advantage.

2.  Optimize procurement processes

Within smaller business operations, there is often less attention paid to purchasing from department to department. There may not be dedicated personnel or a finance department to oversee PO’s, so purchasing is done ad hoc without much regard to the availability of funds, pacing, or cost of sale implications.

In the enterprise, these functions are consolidated, and often evaluated and substantiated by technology and data, providing buyers with oversight and the tools they need to make informed decisions. Without this valuable financial data, a company runs the risk of overextending themselves by over-purchasing or overspending on the items they need.

Implementing a system to govern and consolidate all spending decisions is critical to achieving this goal, but if done manually, with spreadsheets and through other methods, error does occur, and an inordinate amount of time is spent in managing the process. An appropriate technology solution should be applied, as it will provide immediate value, reduce error, and allow employees to focus on higher-value tasks.

3.  Apply the latest procurement technology and tools

Today, SMBs have the advantage of being able to access enterprise-grade procurement technology and tools, giving them the same financial and strategic advantages as major industry players.

Procurement technology has many advantages, including:

  • Cloud-based systems are easy to manage and always available, assuring real-time insight into procurement activities.
  • The analytics delivered by procurement technology provides stakeholders with the ability to make data-driven decisions and optimize costs, improve processes, and streamline reporting workflows.
  • An e-procurement strategy removes silos within the organization, enabling collaboration between departments and consolidating efforts, resulting in cost reduction and process improvement.
  • Automation delivers great value to SMBs as repetitive tasks are accomplished efficiently and accurately, eliminating errors and improving the quality and voracity of internal data. Many SMBs spend an inordinate amount of time backtracking to find mistakes and often overlook small errors that add up over time. Automating these baseline processes improves accuracy and allows employees to devote their time to advancing business goals.
  • Another great advantage to applying an e-procurement strategy is the ability to predict trends in spending. Analytics deliver a clear picture of spending patterns and help the organization prepare for what’s to come based on actual data rather than just conjecture and instinct. Companies can be better prepared for the future and will be able to provide leadership with more accurate projections on the road ahead.
  • E-procurement also enables better risk management as it reduces overspending, redundancy, and costly errors in administration.
  • Compliance, whether related to company policy or regulatory mandates, is easily managed with e-procurement. If this is a priority for your business, an e-procurement solution will support your needs.

Premikati Marketplace: Procurement Solutions for SMBs

Premikati Marketplace runs on the SAP Ariba™ Buying and Invoicing platform. Developed specifically with SMBs in mind, it provides a way for small-to-medium sized companies to take advantage of enterprise-grade procurement strategies that will help them grow and scale.

To learn more about what Premikati Marketplace can do for your organization, visit www.premikati.com/marketplace or call us directly to get started.

Top 6 Ways to Engage Sustainable Sourcing for SMBs

Top 6 Ways to Engage Sustainable Sourcing for SMBs

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Summary: Sustainable sourcing has become a consumer and investor expectation which impacts businesses not only morally and ethically, but alters customer loyalty, price point, risk level, and more. Because SMBs make up the vast majority of global businesses, the combined global impact of ethical choices can alter the course of history as long as businesses take steps toward responsible procurement environmentally, socially, and economically.

Sustainable sourcing is at the forefront of planning efforts for many businesses as climate change and consumer expectations offer a clearer and clearer call to action. As SAP Ariba Live and the coordinating Sustainability Summitfast approach, businesses of all sizes prepare to learn how to further augment and optimize their approach to sustainability in the supply chain.

There are benefits to businesses outside of morality and ethics as it pertains to responsible procurement and sustainable sourcing.

On the financial front, sustainable product sales have risen nearly 20% since 2014 and sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) have a CAGR of 3.5%, almost four times that of conventional products. Another point for the bottom line—Millennials and Gen Z are more inclined to buy sustainable and ethical products devoid of harmful chemicals and which support social responsibility, with 73% and 72% respectively willing to pay additional costs for products that meet these requirements, according to Nielsen. Additional customer loyalty and increased prices can make a major difference to an SMB’s growth. And it’s not just consumers who expect transparency and sustainability—investors are increasingly on the lookout for responsible practices within the companies they choose to support.

Government initiatives are another reason to pursue sustainable sourcing, because many places around the globe offer incentives for responsible action. Similarly, avoidance of legal trouble and hefty fines is a byproduct of ethical decision-making in the procurement process. Because many unsavory practices hide in complex supply chains, opting for transparent sourcing platforms can help SMBs avoid unexpected compliance issues.

SAP Ariba, through their Procure With a Purpose campaign, supports the full list of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which include basic rights and expectations such as access to clean water and food, elimination of poverty, gender equality, education, and responsible consumption and production. In order to achieve these goals and many others along similar lines, SAP Ariba focuses on three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental—all of which can guide the process for SMBs who seek to practice sustainable sourcing.

Society

Social sustainability refers to human and workplace rights, while social ethicality often refers to supplier diversity and similar measures. According to the speaker at the 2019 Sustainability Summit, Givewith CEO Paul Polizzotto:

“Society is demanding businesses change the way they operate by acting more sustainably and with greater transparency – all while generating a positive impact on the world. There’s an incredible opportunity for procurement teams to amplify their organization’s impact, not only by prioritizing ethical suppliers butby sourcing from suppliers who add social impact sales incentives into these transactions to drive even greater change.”

  1. Transparency, not slavery

With more than 40 million slaves worldwide, it is important to expect transparency from all members of a supply chain, all the way to the original source. Transparency is the enemy of unsavory practices such as slave labor and is an important first step in any sustainable supply chain. SMBs can require risk assessments and reports on working conditions, even through trusted third parties, in order to reduce the chance that slave labor is part of any step in the creation of their products.

  1. Engage diversity

By working with historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) and minority-owned businesses, SMBs are able to opt for ethical business decisions that help the world economy as a whole.

Economy

Approximately 50% of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day. By supporting sustainable practices in businesses who pay workers a living wage, SMBs can impact poverty worldwide.

  1. Support economic growth in underserved communities

By choosing procurement processes which support indigenous workers and other underserved communities, wealth is spread and business grows symbiotically in tandem with one another. Single origin products can help ensure fair exchange of funds for exports from indigenous regions, but this is only one method to engage this practice.

  1. Verify risk levels for fair labor practices

Because poverty is an issue that spans the globe, SMBs can use a risk management platform to help ensure they do not support forced labor or child labor and to verify that all workers receive a decent, sustainable, living wage for the time they put in—and that the hours expected of them are similarly sane. The Ariba Network and platforms built upon it such as the Premikati Marketplaceintegrate supplier risk management software to avoid pitfalls such as this.

Environment

We often hear of large enterprises which take on environmental issues. For example, L’Oreal and McDonalds have opted to nix deforestation from their commodity supply chains. Similarly, Danone—maker of Evian water—has been developing a new, more sustainable and recyclable makeup for plastic bottles to help eliminate the pollution crisis. However, SMBs can have a substantial impact on the environment by simply choosing to work only with sustainable suppliers.

  1. Cut out toxins

Choose suppliers who elect not to use toxic and ozone-depleting substances in order to reduce pollution as well as hazards to workers and even consumers. As demand wanes, suppliers will be forced to change their processes—and those who were ethical and responsible from the outset are rewarded.

  1. Say “no” to waste

In a world overrun by pollution on land and at sea, sustainability as it pertains to wasteis a must. Ways SMBs can apply this to their own sustainable procurement process include choosing suppliers who:

  • Limit unnecessary packaging materials
  • Create recyclable products
  • Utilize recycled products in the creation of their own products
  • Create reusable products
  • Offer products which can be repaired rather than thrown away
  • Use environmentally-friendly, renewable materials in production such as bamboo

Considering SMBs with less than 500 employees account for 99.7%of employers in the US, the power held by businesses of this size is formidable. By functioning in unison, SMBs have immense sway over the state of both business and the world we live in. It is through this majority power share that GPO platforms such as ourPremikati Marketplace—powered by SAP Ariba—offer a truly actionable opportunity for SMBs to engage sustainable sourcing practices and become stewards of our future, all the while saving time and money.

intelligent spend management

What is Intelligent Spend Management?

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Intelligent Spend Management: Why it Exists, and Why you Need it

Between global sourcing initiatives, product lifecycle management, supplier diversity milestones and more, the procurement operation in any sizable company is tasked with processing immense volumes of data.

And with the immense popularity of lean and tech-oriented skill sets in the discipline, no data is more relevant to procurement than the things that impacts company spend.

The Problem: Data Islands

Often, supply chain data is kept on systems that don’t talk with each other. Some systems may be deprecated, while others exist only on certain peoples’ machines.

In operations like this, the company is said to lack something called business intelligence– the ability to efficiently analyze data with technology and derive actionable information.

Introducing business intelligence to a company typically involves change management processes with long time horizons, affecting the bottom line. The growing pains required to become a business intelligence-enabled company may require a major culture shift, too, even while dropping large amounts of money on new ERP systems and consultants.

For those procurement operations that do have all their data efficiently accessible in one place, they’ve still only achieved half the battle. Approaching the data with informatics, or the science of how to use data, poses another challenge altogether.

Intelligent Spend Management: How it Works

Thankfully, for small and medium-sized procurement operations, it doesn’t take a reverse auction guru, enterprise software wiz, and sourcing strategist all in one to enhance the unit’s business intelligence with technology. The traditional methods of enhancing business intelligence have been tailored for procurement professionals in a new, simplified process called Intelligent Spend Management.

First and foremost, Intelligent Spend Management (ISM) streamlines your software suite into a centralized hub. From there, ISM allows the supply chain professional to anticipate threats, understand their market, and work across business units to deliver efficiencies that were virtually impossible before.

SAP Ariba, the most comprehensive ISM software suite, generates more data from across the source-to-pay cycle than any other network. As the company website notes, “SAP Ariba’s vast repository of data has been aggregated from millions of companies conducting trillions of dollars in spend over the course of more than 20 years.”

Thanks to the flexibility of SAP Ariba, third-party solutions and custom flexibility can be easily integrated into the software. Efficiency-oriented solutions like Premikati Marketplace fit squarely into the suite without disruption to the end user.

Intelligent Spend Management: Starting the Conversation

With any change management process, the business needs executive buy-in for the initiative to be truly successful. Achieving that buy-in can be a challenge to procurement professionals, who may face pushback for introducing disruptive, new ideas.

Thanks to the presence of consulting companies specializing in the process, like Premikati, the conversations over how best to introduce ISM to one’s own business can take place in a guided, easy-to-understand manner.

Intelligent spend management is as much a philosophical approach to the procurement operation as it is a function of corporate business intelligence. Reach out to the folks at Premikati, who offer an SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged Solution, to start the intelligent spend conversation.

the SMB digital transformation challenge

The SMB Digital Transformation Challenge

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The SMB Digital Transformation Challenge: Why SMBs Have Typically Been Digital Laggards in Procurement

While essentially every company could benefit from digital transformation — whereby they adopt digital technologies and processes to improve everything from customer experience to IT efficiency — many organizations have yet to fully embrace this change. In particular, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) typically lag large enterprises (LE) in digital transformation, particularly for procurement functions.

SMB Roadblocks
The reason why SMBs lag larger competitors often relates to the size of an enterprise. For example, a survey of mid-sized business IT professionals, conducted by Spiceworks and sponsored by CenturyLink, found that the top roadblocks to digital transformation include:

  • Budget
  • Limited time and staff
  • Competing IT priorities
  • Resistance from end-users and internal decision makers
  • Limited skill and expertise

As this list indicates, some of the top roadblocks are tied to the resources that an organization has. And in general, larger companies have more resources. As such, digital transformation becomes more attainable as budgets increase and when employees aren’t as stretched for time.

For procurement, a lack of resources means that SMBs often cannot invest in the technology necessary to obtain visibility into spend and streamline buying processes. Procurement activities at many companies tend to be decentralized and manual, leaving organizations without the insights needed to improve in this area.

Still, these challenges are by no means limited to SMBs, it just tends to get easier as companies gain more resources. A global survey of procurement and operational leaders at companies of varying size, conducted by the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt with support from SAP Ariba™ ,found that 83% of respondents think digital transformation will be impactful but only 5% already have highly automated processes. Similarly, the survey found that data/analytics quality is the largest roadblock to more efficiency, followed by budget restrictions.

How SMBs Can Improve Digital Transformation in Procurement 

While finding the budget and convincing internal stakeholders to adopt procurement technologies may be difficult, change can be cost-effective in the long run.

For example, research from The Hackett Group finds thatdigital transformation helps typical procurement groups reduce process costs by 30%. The research also finds that top procurement groups have lower labor costs and staff levels than their peers, and they improve efficiency by standardizing and automating routine tasks.

This means that SMBs don’t necessarily need to add additional employees to keep up with competitors, but they can instead leverage technology and digital processes to become more efficient with the resources they do have.

Fortunately, procurement technology is also becoming more readily available for SMBs, whereas in the past, procurement platforms tended to be priced at a level that only large companies could afford. Now, SMBs can implement systems that allow them to move from using paper-based supplier catalogs or ordering from disparate websites to centralized marketplaces. Doing so enables employees to find all the items they’re looking for in one place online, much the way they shop for items in e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and eBay in their personal lives.

By centralizing purchasing activities, SMBs then get the added benefit of gaining visibility into their spending, particularly the small tail spend purchases that would otherwise be hard to track. Doing so enables companies to find cost savings such as by identifying unnecessary spend and implementing cost controls so that employees stay within budget.

Digital transformation in procurement doesn’t have to be overly complex, but by moving purchasing activities onto centralized platforms, SMBs can gain the insights and set the controls they need to improve efficiency. Moreover, SMBs can link digital procurement activities into the rest of their digital transformation, such as by sourcing digital-minded suppliers that can provide added value to other functions.

To learn more about how SMBs can embrace and improve digital transformation in procurement affordably, explore Premikati Marketplace, a solution that runs on the SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing Technology at a price geared toward SMBs. You can also get in touch with us for more detail.

 

About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

supplier diversity

Supplier Diversity: How it Improves Business, and How it Works

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Supplier Diversity: How it Improves Business, and How it Works

Diverse spend is an ongoing goal for companies large and small alike. For government contractors and their subcontractors along the supply chain, the goal of supplier diversity can even stand as a requirement to doing business.

Exacerbating the search for diverse spend, suppliers often don’t even realize their potential to benefit from formal recognition of their diverse supplier qualities.

Supplier diversity can therefore feel like an onerous goal at times, imposed on supply chain professionals and business owners who already face manifold compliance requirements and boxes to check elsewhere.

Fortunately, in almost any industry, supplier diversity initiatives can be successful on both the buy and the supply sides with an all-encompassing approach that utilizes business intelligence, researches outside knowledge, and takes proactive measures. (You’ve already made a good first step coming to this page!)

The benefits of supplier diversity

Most large companies have been striving to increase supplier diversity for decades. But just what is a diverse supplier?

In the case of supplier diversity where the U.S. government is concerned, the OFCCP – Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs – provides the following major small business subcontractor categories:

  • Disadvantaged
  • Woman-owned
  • Veteran-owned
  • Service-disabled veteran-owned
  • HUBZone (Small Business Administration-designated “Historically Underutilized Business Zones”)

With the U.S. federal government requiring those contracting in excess of $700,000 ($1.5 million in construction) on a deal to pursue subcontract according to certain percentages with the above small business categories, it becomes crucial for these businesses to know their supplier bases inside and out.

There are other categories outside of or overlapping with the above, too, such as foreign businesses and National Institute for the Blind (NIB) or National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) affiliate businesses.

Supplier diversity’s benefits are not limited to satisfying government contracting requirements. Having achieved supplier diversity – either as a buyer, or as an entrepreneur who has attained diverse certification (more on that below) – one’s business becomes more attractive to outside companies looking to improve diverse spend overall.

Moreover, from a marketing perspective, the potentially unique approaches of diverse suppliers can bolster a company’s ability to navigate the U.S.’s increasingly diverse demographics.

Identifying diverse suppliers

For many corporations, supplier diversity is nothing new. To illustrate, CVM Solutions found in a 2017 report that 75% of supplier diversity programs have been in place for more than 3 years. In the same survey, however, only 25% of supplier diversity professionals rated their programs as “very effective,” signaling a gap between those who knowwhat supplier diversity is and those who achieveit.

Of acute relevance to small and medium-size companies is to know how to demonstrate supplier diversity. Luckily, doing so is a relatively simple affair thanks to the existence of Supplier Diversity Certification.

Major national-level certifying agencies include the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and the U.S. Department of Transportation DBE Program, and the SBA Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program. Other major certifications exist, with even the state of Ohio operating its own Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification program.

Knowing about certifications is only half the battle. Suppliers may not realize the business benefits of certification, and their customers may not think to ask. Procurement supplier business surveys should always ask in plain terms about suppliers’ knowledge of diverse supplier certification beforeestablishing whether they have any! This simple question can save lots of time, money, and calories for all parties involved.

For small and medium businesses especially, the art of sourcing diverse spend can still seem excessively time-consuming, cost-intensive, or just overwhelming to approach. Easy-to-use tools exist to streamline this process.

Integrating diverse suppliers

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) is meanwhile known for its deep supplier sourcing database, and assigning a D-U-N-S identification number is free for all businesses required to register with the U.S. Federal government for contracts or grants.

New networks and databases are cropping up to meet the unique demands supply chain professionals face, like in supplier diversity. Premikati Marketplace, an SAP Partner-Packaged Solution, enables diverse supplier sourcing with ease.

SAP Ariba is a major software suite that supply chain professionals use to drive all sorts of business decisions.  Using SAP Ariba in a turnkey, in-browser navigation system, Premikati Marketplace connects suppliers (including diverse) with buyers. It is free for suppliers to set up, with no costs or fees to maintain.

With Premikati as a WBENC-certified woman-owned business, enhancing users’ supplier diversity connections is a key function of its Marketplace. New suppliers have the opportunity to connect with potential buyers, and potential buyers to new suppliers, thanks to the low barrier to entry design of the network.

From electronic requisition processing to supplier information queries, Premikati’s Marketplace solution is easily tailored to diverse supplier integration.

Every supply chain initiative poses unique opportunities and challenges, and supplier diversity efforts are no exception. For a more personal touch to your unique supply chain initiatives, contact Premikati’s experts for a real human’s ideas and insights on how you can improve supplier diversity and enhance other efficiencies in your company’s supply chain now.

About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

Digital Transformation in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Digital Transformation in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

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SMBs and Digital Transformation: Is Your Company a Laggard or a Front Runner?

SMBs have long been seen as being “behind the curve” in terms of transformative businesses processes. This unfortunate placement puts slow adopters at a disadvantage, blocking access to cost-saving solutions and process optimization.

With all the advantages that digital transformation promises, you might wonder what the hesitation is all about, but it could be due to one or more factors that include:

  1. Lack of awareness. In small businesses, often there isn’t a dedicated technology officer to inform leadership of new and helpful tools. Unless there is somebody within the organization who has an interest in pursuing this line of action, the company will likely continue as they have in the past, gradually losing market share.
  2. Cost-prohibitive nature of large analytic ERPs. Not every business is a good candidate for an ERP as these systems are often designed for the enterprise and not priced for a smaller operator.
  3. Lack of manpower. Digital transformation does not happen overnight. Identifying the right technology, migrating systems, training staff, and generally managing change is a time-consuming and sometimes complex process. Many businesses simply do not have in-house staff who are trained adequately enough to see it through and hiring an outside company isn’t always possible due to budget constraints.

Procurement solutions: turning laggards into front-runners

Even if your digital transformation is underway, some departments are often overlooked or put on the back burner while more critical areas are addressed. Procurement is one such area, but in truth, it is one of the easiest to gain control over, helping you lower costs and gain some competitive ground.

Procurement is, perhaps, the largest area of total spend over which SMBs do not have complete oversight. In most cases, there will be several individuals spread out over various departments who are making purchases covering everything from office supplies to raw materials.

In the enterprise, these tasks are centrally managed through the ERP. Buyers can access a centralized list of preferred suppliers, leverage an integrated PO system for efficient financial reporting, and stakeholders are provided with complete transparency into all procurement activities.

How can SMBs take advantage of enterprise approaches to save?

The good news is, the ability to easily manage spending analytics and choose from a catalog of diverse suppliers is no longer the sole realm of the enterprise.

The solution: Premikati Marketplace

Running on the SAP Ariba™ Buying and Invoicing platform, Premikati Marketplace can accomplish all of these things, offering affordability and scalability combined with the simplicity and security of a cloud-based platform.

Premikati Marketplace is a B2B marketplace that features tens of millions of items from fully-vetted and sustainable suppliers. SMBs can access features like rock bottom pricing and leverage built-in spending control, driving value straight back to the bottom line.

“Finding frictionless ways for your business to initiate digital transformation in their organization is a growing trend and plays a key role to maintain competitiveness. The challenge is that businesses are just like consumers – they want fast time to value and convenience. Premikati Marketplace offers both for SMB companies by digitally connecting suppliers to help SMB companies buy goods at market-friendly prices with control and visibility that is required by companies. This is a great foundation for any business to start digital.”

 

Sean Thomson, SAP Ariba, Network & Ecosystems

@seanthomson0108

Benefits of Premikati Marketplace

There are many benefits of Premikati Marketplace, including:

  • Control spending across multiple departments and buyers
  • Reduce time spent on ad-hoc buying processes from days or weeks to just hours
  • Up to 35 percent reduction in costs overall
  • Cashback feature: receive a rebate of up to one percent on your P-Card for all purchases

If your company is lagging behind the pack in digital transformation, even small changes can deliver significant results. To learn more about how we can help you optimize your procurement spend, visit www.premikati.com/marketplace or call us directly to find out how we can help.

About PREMIKATI

Founded in 2009, Premikati, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned Supply Chain Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, providing cost savings and financial, contractual and supplier risk mitigation services to purchasing organizations for mid and large enterprises while leveraging best-in-class purchasing processes and technology. Premikati has partnered with SAP and is one of only five companies globally to have been granted the most exclusive partnership level with SAP Aribaas a BPO Partner.

Premikati and SAP Ariba Deliver Enterprise-class Procurement for SMBs

Premikati and SAP Ariba Deliver Enterprise-class Procurement for SMBs

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For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), shrewd spending decisions can mean the difference between failure and success. But many lack the systems and staff to make procurement a mission-critical priority.

Premikati Inc. has a solution to their problem. Leveraging technology from SAP Ariba, Premikati introduced the Premikati Marketplace, giving SMBs access to enterprise-class procurement as a service.

“Small and medium-sized businesses have long wanted to take advantage of enterprise-class procurement, but they haven’t had the means,” said Marisol Buczynski Buchanan, CEO of Premikati. “Using the Premikati Marketplace, they can access millions of vetted suppliers and enterprise-class procurement tools that provide greater visibility into their spend and procurement process from end to end – all at a cost they can afford.”

As an SAP Ariba partner, Premikati has created the marketplace specifically geared to SMBs in just six weeks, from delivery to cutover to production. It provides them with critical elements they need in driving a simple, efficient source-to-settle process that quickly delivers results. Their customers can manage spending, connect with suppliers, improve cash flow, and drive compliance – all without adding complexity.

“The Sanders Group has been transacting over the Ariba Network for many years as a media technology and communications supplier to some of the largest companies in the United States,” said Mike Sanders, president of The Sanders Group. “With the Premikati Marketplace, we can now use the same SAP Ariba solution to purchase products and services we need to run our business. Premikati was able to get our team enabled and completing transactions within one hour of receiving our information.”

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