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Operational Efficiency

Balancing Act: Aligning Procurement Strategy with Overall Business Objectives

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Aligning procurement strategy with overall business objectives has become a cornerstone for achieving sustainable growth and competitiveness.

This ensures that procurement activities not only contribute to cost savings but also support broader business goals, such as risk management, innovation, and operational efficiency.

 

The Imperative of Strategic Alignment

The alignment of procurement with the overarching goals of an organization is crucial.

In 2024, procurement departments face the challenge of contributing to tasks like supply chain risk management, cost avoidance, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives.

Procurement strategies must be tailored to support the goals set by executive leadership and reflect the key objectives outlined in the organization’s annual statements.

This involves setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives and ensuring that these objectives are specific and measurable over time, covering areas such as supply chain risk management, cost savings, business process improvements, and ESG goals.

This approach demonstrates the procurement department’s value to the organization and ensures the procurement function is in sync with the larger business strategy.

 

Harnessing Digital Transformation

Digitalization has become a pivotal factor in modern procurement strategies.

Digital procurement solutions, such as digital-tendering, heat maps, and e-catalogs, are transforming the way procurement departments handle non-critical items like C-Parts and tail spend.

These tools aid in reducing complexity, improving transparency, and enhancing the efficiency of procurement processes. For example, using digital tendering solutions can simplify the tender process, enabling procurement departments to handle a larger volume of items efficiently, leading to significant cost savings.

Similarly, digital tools like e-sourcing platforms and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can accelerate sourcing and purchasing processes, thereby increasing the pace of procurement operations.

 

Aligning with Business Goals

Procurement must align not only with enterprise-level strategies but also with specific functional strategies such as finance, IT, and people strategies. This involves understanding the current business phase, whether it’s growth or consolidation, and aligning procurement activities to support these phases.

For instance, aligning with the IT strategy is crucial, especially during times of technological transformation in the procurement function.

Similarly, understanding the organization’s people strategy can help in planning the expansion of the procurement team in alignment with the overall business objectives.

 

The Multi-Faceted Benefits of Strategic Procurement

Strategic procurement goes beyond cost-cutting; it’s about creating value across the supply chain.

By implementing strategic procurement, businesses can achieve cost savings, improved supplier relationships, enhanced risk management, increased efficiency, innovation, and value creation, and focus on sustainability.

This multifaceted approach enables businesses to operate more effectively in complex environments, optimizing their operations and staying agile.

 

Risk Management and Innovation

Risk management and fostering innovation are critical aspects of strategic procurement.

Developing strong relationships with suppliers and involving them early in the product development process can mitigate risks such as supply chain disruptions and foster innovation by tapping into suppliers’ expertise.

This collaborative approach not only minimizes operational disruptions but also ensures timely delivery of goods or services while maintaining high-quality standards.

Strategic procurement positions organizations to stay ahead of the competition by effectively managing risks and encouraging creativity and knowledge sharing between all parties involved.

 

Implementing Strategic Procurement

Implementing strategic procurement involves assessing current processes, setting clear objectives, developing a comprehensive sourcing strategy, building strong supplier relationships, leveraging technology, and tracking performance metrics.

These steps ensure that procurement strategies are effectively aligned with business goals, leading to improved operational efficiency and long-term success.

 

Aligning procurement strategy with overall business objectives is not just a matter of operational necessity; it’s a strategic imperative that can drive significant business success.

 By embracing a holistic approach to procurement, organizations can navigate the complexities of today’s business environment, achieving cost savings, fostering innovation, and ensuring sustainable growth.

 

venture capital and procurement

Protecting Your Investment: The Role of Procure-to-Pay Solutions in Venture Capital Success

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In speaking with countless VC and other investment groups, the same question comes up every time, “What can I do to protect the success of my investment?”. 

It’s a world rife with risk, no doubt – but also major returns.  To understand where one can find balance and a sense of security, let’s dig in.

 

The High-Risk Nature of Venture Capital Investments

Data from PitchBook revealed that approximately 3,200 venture-backed firms in the U.S. have closed their doors, with these startups having raised a staggering $27.2 billion.

This figure underscores the inherent risks associated with venture capital investments, where the failure rate is high, and the financial stakes are even higher.

While many investments fail, the success of a few can offset these losses and generate significant returns. This balance of risk and reward is a fundamental aspect of the venture capital model.

However, beyond the allure of potential high returns lies the critical issue of investment risk management.

Market, operational, technology, and financial risks pervade venture capital investments, with factors like market changes, product or service relevance, competition, and the startup team’s capabilities significantly influencing the success or failure of these investments.

The Importance of Operational Risk Management and Due Diligence

Operational risks, in particular, highlight the importance of effective spend management within the invested companies. An incomplete management team or a startup lacking in operational experience and focus can lead to poor financial management, including inefficient spend management. This inefficiency not only jeopardizes the startup’s success but also the VC’s investment.

To navigate these risks, venture capital firms employ comprehensive due diligence processes. These processes aim to evaluate the financial stability, market position, legal compliance, and operational capabilities of potential investments. The goal is to identify and mitigate risks, including those associated with poor spend management, before they can impact the return on investment.

The Challenge of Spend Management in Startups

Spend management is a critical operational component that often gets overlooked in the fast-paced environment of startups. However, the consequences of neglecting this area can be dire.

Ineffective spend management can lead to uncontrolled expenses, wasted resources, and ultimately, financial instability. This not only affects the startup’s growth potential but also exposes the venture capital firm to greater financial risk.

The Solution: Procure-to-Pay Systems

Enter procure-to-pay solutions like SAP Ariba™ Buying and Invoicing. These systems act as a safeguard for venture capital investments, ensuring that the funds are utilized efficiently and effectively. Procure-to-pay systems streamline the purchasing process, from procurement to payment, enhancing transparency and control over expenditures.

How SAP Ariba Can Protect VC Investments

1. Enhanced Spend Visibility: SAP Ariba provides a clear view of a company’s spending activities, enabling better financial planning and analysis. This visibility helps VCs ensure that their investments are being managed wisely, with funds allocated to strategic areas that drive growth and value.

2. Controlled Procurement Processes: By standardizing procurement processes, SAP Ariba reduces the risk of maverick spending and ensures compliance with financial policies. This control is crucial for startups, where every dollar spent needs to contribute to the company’s strategic objectives.

3. Efficient Workflow and Approval Processes: The automated workflow and approval processes in SAP Ariba reduce the time and effort required to manage purchases. This efficiency prevents bottlenecks and ensures that funds are deployed rapidly and effectively in areas where they are needed most.

4. Strategic Supplier Management: SAP Ariba’s Business Network consists of over 10M vendors, turning every purchase into an opportunity for savings and efficiency. This strategic vendor management helps in negotiating better terms, improving supply chain reliability, and reducing costs.

5. Risk Mitigation: This isn’t just about saving a few dollars; it’s about setting a standard for financial diligence that protects your investment at every turn.

 

By implementing a robust procure-to-pay solution like SAP Ariba, venture capital firms can significantly reduce the financial risks associated with their investments.

These systems ensure that the startups they invest in have the tools and processes needed to manage their finances effectively, thereby safeguarding the investment and maximizing the potential for a successful return.

 

 

To learn more about how SAP Ariba™ solutions can provide insurance on your investment, click here.

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!

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 ach

  1. Procurement Strategy

ieved 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.

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.”

Costs of Your Supplier Relationships

What are the Real Costs of Your Supplier Relationships?

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Summary: Supplier relationships can be costly in terms of both money and time investments, and can also be rife with risk. Many businesses are turning to B2B marketplaces in order to lower cost and risk alike and instead focus on collaborative relationships, strategic partnerships, and innovation. 

When you’re in business, you have to form relationships with suppliers in one way or another in order to get the job done. However, the way you go about building supplier relationships can make all the difference to your bottom line as well as the innovative potential of your business. When seeking out suppliers and a way to interact with them, it’s important to be aware of the actual cost of the relationship, the risks involved by doing business with them, and the alternatives you have at hand.

What Are The Costs Of Your Supplier Relationships?

When it comes to supplier relationship management, the whole ordeal can be costly if you let it get out of hand. If you have too many suppliers, you risk high costs, confusion, and overcomplication in other areas of business which rely on these supplies, like production. Too few suppliers, and you’re in an “all your eggs in one basket” situation which rarely leads to good things in business or in life.

According to a study by The Hackett Group in 2012,

“It costs roughly $700-$1,400 in internal costs (i.e., labor, outsourcing, technology and related overhead) to source each supplier, set it up in internal systems, transact with it and manage the relationship on an ongoing basis.”

Among the reasons to consolidate suppliers cited in the study, is that added buying power with each supplier can lower your cost of purchase as well as your supplier management costs.

Even beyond money, dealing with paperwork manually, fixing invoice errors and discrepancies, and communicating with suppliers over inquiries costs companies about 6500 hours a year—and you can bet that they are paying someone for each and every one of those hours.

What Are The Risks Of Working With Your Supplier?

Trust, transparency, and longevity are all valid concerns when contemplating the risks of working with suppliers. Contract management alone can be a hefty ordeal, especially if you find yourself dealing with a subpar supplier, since contract renegotiation can be a long and arduous process.

Each supplier you manually add to your supply base also results in a cadre of compliance risks. How do they safeguard their data? How does their preceding supply chain look—are they reliable? Are they utilizing corrupt practices somewhere down the line like forced labor, poor work conditions, or even human trafficking? Without a process in place alongside the skill and man-hours to verify each of your suppliers compliance standards as well as consistent checks to ensure their standards are regularly updated and maintained, you run the risk of severe ethical and reputational harm to your business.

When business neglect to regularly analyze their supplier lists and consolidate where it’s relevant to do so, spend visibility also suffers. Companies may pass along orders to vendors sheerly out of convenience, desire, or cost with little further rationale—all of which can lead to costly situations down the line. Being able to monitor and have full visibility into your company’s spend is vital to healthy, low-risk supplier relationships.

Why Are More Companies Looking To B2B Marketplaces For Their Suppliers?

The middle ground between too many and too few suppliers is paring down to focus on your key suppliers and nurturing those relationships. Similarly, employing the necessary services to validate the compliance of your suppliers can save you many dollars and headaches throughout the course of your business. Both of these reasons are why many companies are turning to B2B marketplaces to source their suppliers.

B2B marketplaces enable buyers to home in on key suppliers, increase spend visibility, lower overhead costs of SRM, and allow businesses to focus on the more important aspects of having supplier relationships and with far fewer worries. Instead, businesses can spend their time developing collaborative, strategic relationships and key partnerships in order to boost innovation and profit for everyone involved.

One well-known supporter of building strong, collaborative supplier relationships as a driver of innovation is Toyota. Approximately 15% of Toyota’s suppliers can be classed as “strategic potential or actual co-developers.” They are sure to invest additional time and resources in these suppliers through activities such as attending R&D shows to spur discussion about new technologies.

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