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5 Frustrations Procurement Professionals Will Understand

Five Frustrations Procurement Professionals Will Understand

By Procurement No Comments

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).

the SMB digital transformation challenge

The SMB Digital Transformation Challenge

By Procurement No Comments

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.

Digital Transformation in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Digital Transformation in Small and Medium Sized Businesses

By Procurement No Comments

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

By Procurement No Comments

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.”

Ariba Snap procurement implementation

Procurement with a Purpose – SNAP! Implementation

By Procurement No Comments

Marisol Buchanan, CEO of Premikati, Inc., had the pleasure to speak in NYC at SAP Ariba’s Business with a Purpose Summit – along with Step Up for Students (SUFS) COO, Anne White.  The challenges faced by SUFS and and solutions of implementing SAP Ariba’s Guided Buying and SNAP! tools are highlighted below.

The Problem

At a high level, Premikati had been tasked with giving parents and guardians access to their children’s scholarship funds AND providing easy access to the things they are allowed to buy including tuition, provider services and school supplies.

If we asked to partner on this project a few years ago it would have been very difficult from a change management perspective and we would not have recommended Ariba due to the complexity and all of the massive capabilities of the software, which is a good thing for large corporations but rather confusing for a basic consumer who may not even know what the word “Procurement” or “advance ship notice means”.

The Solution

Now, through the innovations made by SAP Ariba to the user interface and adding Guided Buying, along with the simplicity of SAP Ariba SNAP!, the implementation end user training has been drastically simplified.

This is imperative considering the landscape of the situation:

We have:

  • 100,000 families
  • not using corporate devices with standard operating systems
  • limited access to email
  • low user experience with business support technology like WebEx for training
  • multiple languages
  • many families with multiple children
  • 2000 schools which now are “Suppliers” who have limited experience with “e-Invoicing”

With this said, Premikati, Inc. has developed a robust and creative Change Management Strategy.  In addition to standard business communication vehicles, we are leveraging social platforms such as text messaging, YouTube, Facebook and twitter to engage and interact with these families in a way that easy and common for them.

So, essentially, we are taking complex procurement technology and best in class business processes and applying them in a way to make a positive impact on families, because that is what really matters.  That is truly procurement with purpose.

Premikati with Aon Cornerstone

Premikati, Inc. partnering with Aon Cornerstone

By Press No Comments

Premikati, Inc. with Aon Cornerstone

Partnership, A “Win-Win” For Premikati, Inc. Clients Looking to Diversify Their Supply Chain

Indianapolis, IN Nov.2, 2016 – Premikati,Inc. today announced a strategic partnership with Aon Cornerstone, a business unit of Aon plc (NYSE:AON) that focuses on fostering strategic alliances with minority business enterprises. (MBE), headquartered in Indianapolis, is a WEBNC certified woman- owned firm with extensive experience in the risk mitigation industry. Aon plc is the leading global provider of risk management, risk and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing solutions.

Aon Cornerstone unites the global risk management and human resource solutions of Aon with the local presence and functional knowledge of (MBE) to deliver distinctive value to clients. By leveraging the specialized expertise, broad resources, global network, intellectual capital and best practices of the two firms, this partnership is positioned to deliver strategic, integrated strategies and solutions for managing risk and human resource demands while meeting important diversity and inclusion imperatives in an increasingly complex global environment.

Through a rigorous vetting process, Premikati, Inc. was chosen by Aon Cornerstone as a new addition into their exclusive network of partners seeking to care for existing clients’ needs surrounding diversity and exploring new endeavors that would afford global corporations, Fortune 100 companies, and large public entity clients the opportunity to work with a minority-owned firm, while simultaneously giving them the comfort of Aon’s extensive global network of resources, support and service.

About Premikati

Premikati is a WBENC certified WBE Management Consulting and BPO firm that is specifically tailored to Contract Management and Procurement. We help our clients with all facets of contracting and procurement strategy as well as outsourced Contract Management Services.   We employ procurement executives, attorneys, contract management professionals, Six Sigma Black Belts, and certified Change Masters with extensive experience either inside or consulting with the world’s top companies.

For more information on Premikati, Inc., log onto https://www.premikati.com

 

For more information on Aon Cornerstone, log onto http://www.aon.com/cornerstone

Premikati Transforms Contract Management with SAP Ariba

Premikati Transforms Contract Management with SAP Ariba

By Press No Comments

Certified WBE outsourcing firm leverages cloud-based solutions to fuel efficient digital process that delivers savings and compliance

PALO ALTO, Calif., November 16, 2016 – The cloud is where efficient contract management is happening. But many businesses lack the technology and resources to get there. Premikati is out to change this, with some help from SAP Ariba. The business process outsourcing and management consulting firm today announced that it will leverage Ariba® Contract Management Professional to drive an efficient, digital process for managing contracts that delivers savings and compliance.

“We have seen clients of all sizes and industries struggle with contract management,” said Marisol Buczynski Buchanan, CEO of Premikati. “Lack of tracking with respect to items such as expiration dates, renewal terms/price increases, service level agreements, notice provisions, and even counter signatures is all too common. With SAP Ariba, we can help them overcome these issues.”

An SAP Ariba BPO partner, Premikati will use SAP Ariba’s technology to perform contract management services not only for large enterprises, but for companies under $500 million in annual revenue. And in doing so, it aims to eliminate many of the barriers that prevent them from pursuing digital strategies such as a lack of resources to implement and manage software. “We can have them up and running in two to three weeks at a very cost-effective price point,” Buchanan said.

Ariba Contract Management Professional is the industry’s leading SaaS solution for contract management. Uniquely designed to eliminate the paper and ink from the creation, execution, and management of any type of contractual agreement, the offering enables companies of all sizes to efficiently:

  • Automate and accelerate the entire contract lifecycle
  • Standardize and control contract development
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders
  • Strengthen operational, contractual, and regulatory compliance

“Contracts are the lifeblood of any organization and managing them effectively can deliver strategic advantage,” said David Johnston, Senior Vice President, Partner Ecosystem, SAP Ariba. “With SAP Ariba’s technology and Premikati’s contract management expertise, companies of all sizes can get on the road to automation and drive an efficient process that lowers both their costs and risk.”

To learn more about SAP Ariba’s contract management solutions and the value they can deliver, visit: www.ariba.com. Learn More.

About Premikati

Premikati is a WBENC certified WBE Management Consulting and BPO firm that is specifically tailored to Contract Management and Procurement. Premikati helps its clients with all facets of contracting and procurement strategy as well as outsourced Contract Management Services including the drafting and negotiation of contracts.   They employ procurement executives, attorneys, contract management professionals, Six Sigma Black Belts, and certified Change Masters with extensive experience either inside or consulting with the world’s top companies.

About SAP Ariba

SAP® Ariba® is the marketplace for digital business, creating frictionless exchanges between millions of buyers and suppliers across the entire source-to-pay process. Our market-leading solutions enable companies to simplify collaboration with their trading partners, make smarter business decisions and extend their collaborative business processes with an open technology platform. More than two million companies use SAP Ariba solutions to connect and collaborate around nearly one trillion in commerce on an annual basis. To learn more about the company’s offerings and the transformation they are driving, visit www.ariba.com. Learn More.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 335,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com. Learn More.

 

 

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Premikati inc, SAP Gold PArtner

Why Procurement is the Best Job in the World

By Procurement No Comments

When you pass someone on the street and mention procurement as a career, you’re likely to get blank stares and maybe even snores from the uninitiated. In reality though, procurement professionals have a whole host of opportunities to find joy and gratitude in their jobs as well as chances to make a real difference in the world. What makes this job so great? 

Friends In High Places… And All Places

When you’re in procurement, you’re constantly talking to people both in and outside of your company. You have the opportunity to form connections with suppliers all over the world (which can, in turSAP Procurement Softwaren, lead to even more opportunities) as well as folks from all manner of department within your own company. Procurement pros regularly interface with marketing, finance, PR, and everybody in between. If you play your cards right, this can result in real, meaningful interpersonal relationships just as it can career opportunities.

The Coolest Tech in the World

Procurement and technology go together like peanut butter and jelly. Especially at top, enterprise-level companies, the technology utilized in procurement departments can be staggering. Even in small and mid-sized businesses, though, it’s likely you’ll get to work with cool new tech like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. This type of tech can be used for things like accurate supply and demand planning.

The Nomad Life If You Want It

Procurements pros can go literally anywhere if they’re good at their jobs. Have you always wanted to take the plunge and move to Costa Rica? France? Cambodia? There will be jobs ready and waiting to utilize your skills. Additionally, as with many other professions, lots of procurement workers are opting for the remote-work route, letting them work from coffee shops and shared workspaces in a new city every day of the week.

Life-Saving Superheroes

From avoiding environmental catastrophes brought on by poor human ethics to providing aid in the event of national disasters, procurement professionals are in the lineup to help save the world. In procurement, you get to help decide to utilize sustainable, environmentally- and socially-healthy suppliers over the ones who cut corners, pollute the planet, and take advantage of people through forced labor and other similarly heinous actions.

In the same vein, procurement pros step in too when humanitarian aid is needed, like in the event of hurricanes in Haiti.

Job Makers

We all know someone who has been passing resumes to everyone who will stop long enough to take one, but who still doesn’t have a job. It’s just the state of the economy sometimes, when skills and job openings don’t align, or the money simply isn’t there. By working in procurement, you get to help create jobs, allowing more people to sustain themselves and their families. In procurement, you impact business at a core level, opening opportunities to create more, sustainable, dignified jobs for the people who are happy to fill them.

Make Money, Spend Money

The name of the game in procurement is to spend other people’s money. You get the opportunity to learn all sorts of tactics for managing money, saving, budgeting, etc.—skills that can carry over to your personal financial life as well.

Speaking of personal finance, this is a job after all. In procurement, you can expect to get paid with some reliability and have a reasonable amount of job security. Luckily, procurement pros also tend to see decent raises and a growth in their value over time as they learn new skills—they may be less likely to stagnate on the income scale compared to other professions. And, with all your procurement skills, you’ll know how to negotiate and manage your money to get every bit of value out of each dollar you earn.

Are you a procurement professional who loves your job? Do you want to connect with suppliers who will make your day even brighter all the while getting great deals on the purchases you make for your business? Check out the rest of Premikati site!

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