Tag

Premikati Marketplace best Procurement Software for SMBs

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

By Blog No Comments

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

Spending 19 hours reconciling invoices

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mistakes, so you can focus on what really matters in your business instead of putting out fires or wasting time using outdated methods.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

Buying from the wrong supplier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying a mountain of stuff you don’t need

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

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

Buying things that are probably illegal

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

Shipping your orders to your house

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

Tight budget with no approvals

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

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

Multiple logins

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

About Premikati

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

outsourcing

All You Need to Know About Impact Sourcing

By Blog No Comments

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

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

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

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

What is impact sourcing?

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

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

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

Impact sourcing is gaining traction

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

  • Focus on the people 

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

  • Business improves through long-term relationships

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

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

Turn your company into a force for good

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

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

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

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

Final thought

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

 

Premikati Procurement Software

Picking the Right Technology Partner

By Blog No Comments

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

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

1. What needs to be done?

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

2. Put forward a clear and comprehensive RFP

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

3. Price is just one factor

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

4. Deadlines and timelines

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

5. Ensure that potential vendors are transparent

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

6. Review customer testimonies

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

7. Check for a warranty or guarantee

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

8. Look for social good

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

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

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

Take-Away: Diligent effort now can prevent future mistakes

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

Procure to Pay Premikati

A Day in the Life in the Procure to Pay Cycle

By Blog No Comments

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

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

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

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

Market analysis

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

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

Compliance checks

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

Compare the suppliers

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

Get team members on the same page

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

Determine the need

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

Create a formal purchase requisition

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

Obtain requisition approval

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

Complete a purchase order

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

Obtain another approval

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

Apply a goods receipt

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

Rate the supplier

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

Approve the invoice

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

Send the payment

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

Weekly or monthly responsibilities

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

Analyze spend

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

Final thought

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

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

Future Proof your Supply Chain

Future Proof your Supply Chain

By Blog No Comments

Future Proof Your Supply Chain

Over the past two months, every government and healthcare facility around the world has worked tirelessly to learn more about COVID-19, to treat afflicted patients and most of all, to stop the spread. At the same time, global importers and exporters have also struggled with the pandemic’s unprecedented impact on their supply chains.

Even with the lessons we have learned from the SARS outbreak, or the Swine Flu outbreak, or the 2011 Fukushima tsunami, the logistics concerns and risk management strategies have been put to the test by COVID-19.

Given the scale of the pandemic, it is difficult to rush into the creation of a methodical supply chain. Nonetheless, staying ahead means taking the lessons learned and planning for a future with the possibility of similar incidents.

Invariably, toilet paper has been the one commercial product which everyone can tie to the global panic surrounding the coronavirus. You would think people would be buying pallets of hand wash, but it was oddly toilet paper. We’ve never seen so many news headlines about toilet paper in modern history.

Despite the illogical rush, many manufacturers did not halt their production and distribution of toilet paper. Yet, there are many other products with halted production due to supply chain disruptions. Now, toilet paper is widely available once again.

Still, with a deeply linked global supply chain, operating in tight margins, this is prime time for a significant reordering. The tissue hoarding is just one example.

As a result, it is never too soon to start planning for the next potential crisis. Not to mention, global economies will be in recovery mode for the foreseeable future. Even as nations open back up, things won’t bounce back to pre-pandemic levels just yet. If the recovery period is protracted, then it will require increased levels of coordination and orchestration.

The uncertainty is still here. But, with planning, you can help facilitate a more significant bounce back. In addition, the actions you take now will set the stage for sustained performance and growth once the pandemic is fully mitigated.

Implement risk management systems

Regardless of how great the current implications are, risk management is still a priority. The tools which should be in place include credit risk and supply risk. Think of the lessons you learned from the Great Recession in 2008 to get a sense of how to address client and supply-side credit risks. Keep things in balance without any overlap.

Increase visibility

One of the keys to supply chain recovery is by increasing visibility so that you can make data-driven decisions on a timely basis using real-time data. To achieve this, look at deploying control towers to send alerts, insights, and data. If you can put these types of control towers together quickly, even better. Utilize control towers powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning which provide advanced analytics.

Next, you want to look at your direct and indirect supplier base and identify areas with increased levels of supply chain risk. Review your KPIs throughout your extended supply network, contracts, bottlenecks, stock-outs, and overall performance with the objective of working towards better synchronization.

Then, improve real-time visibility around order fulfillment while looking for areas prime for improvement such as better delivery estimates or improving expectations around product availability to even accessing inventory outside of primary fulfillment centers.

It’s also extremely important to have better visibility around the logistics infrastructure, backlogs, delays, capacity constraints, inventory levels, and the material flows. Figure out where you can improve customer service through these processes.

Further, take a look at your factories and expectations around any supplier constraints of inbound materials along with the quality of materials. How are asset utilization and labor scheduling affected by COVID-19? What is production like across various facilities? Are their quality control issues? Can you make use of advanced algorithms to address inbound quality issues, as well as finished goods quality issues moving forward?

Analyze your supply chain infrastructure and design

Before the pandemic, most organizations worked with the assumption that raw materials were always readily available and accessible for global production. It seemed a one-size-fits-all supply chain perspective. Although, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in this philosophy.

So then, instead of continuing to use static operational systems, look at dynamic distribution capacity. Find local supply sources in all of your major markets. Stop relying on single sourcing. Even if single sourcing has kept costs low, we are living and will live in a different world after the pandemic.

Research suppliers in local markets in the event you need to have a secondary source. As a result, you can diversify your supply chain and rely on more dynamic distribution.

As you can see, the only thing you can rely on is change.

Break up your supply chain. If your supply chain is too long, you can expect larger issues. Take the toilet paper example again. Production has continued, but store shelves remained empty because brand owners were not getting replenishment alerts fast enough even though they normally sit on at least two weeks of inventory. If there are a larger number of nodes affected, then the bullwhip effect comes into play with distorted signals and an increase in demand error.

Separate fact from fiction

Right now, your supply chain may be experiencing the bullwhip effect of unpredictable buyer behavior, such as the run on toilet paper and related products such as flushable wipes. Or, the panic-buying of staple items such as rice and beans, disinfectants, and medicines. There is a known-unknown matrix in the pandemic scenario. But, it’s still vital to separate fact from fiction, don’t make assumptions.

Increase agility around evolving customer demands

Manufacturers could not immediately respond to the toilet tissue shortages because they do not rely on shelf signals. At the same time, demand for luxury items tumbled. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the estimation of final customer demand more challenging but also more significant.

Figure out if the demand signals you get are coming from your direct customers, and if they reflect the pandemic uncertainties. Create a demand-planning team, using analytical tools, to ensure you have a dependable demand signal to ensure you are providing adequate supply.

In addition, use marketing insights, databases, and customer communication platforms to better understand the demand straight from your client’s customers. If data sources are limited, then use direct communication channels to plug the discrepancies. Furthermore, use stringent processes that can quickly adapt to evolving scenarios. Remember to do the following:

  • Create an accurate demand-forecast strategy
  • Incorporate market intelligence
  • Use analytical forecasting tools
  • Create a dynamic monitoring system that facilitates quick mitigation of forecasting errors

Many customers were buying based on shortage predictions. If needed, decrease the size of the orders, but make them more frequent to ensure a higher level of agility when needed and the ability to manage the highs and lows of varying demand.

Optimize both production and distribution

It’s crucial to employ scenario analysis to detect various production scenarios for understanding their operational and financial implications. And then, production should begin by making sure your employees are safe, offering the option for remote work if possible, and listening to your employees’ concerns.

Plus, scenario planning is crucial to determine the implications of a long-term shutdown. How will this affect available capacity and current inventory levels? Figure out which products are the highest in demand – strategically – taking into consideration that health and human safety are at the forefront of customers’ minds.

Further, how will these current implications impact future recovery? Draw a more comprehensive analysis with input from strategy staff, marketing, sales, and operations to contribute to macroeconomic forecasts. By taking these types of actions, you can better align production and supply chain with the expected demand – depending on the circumstances.

Improve deployment of dynamic inventory

For the most part, companies often have a primary distribution center to serve its customers. Then, historical demand data is used to optimize the network. So then, customers get the products they want, when they want them. But, the pandemic environment is anything but normal with much higher supply-side volatility and surging demand for certain types of products.

As the economy rebounds, there will be inventory imbalances present throughout the network. As a result, consider alternative routes to secure your logistics capacity. Regions will emerge from quarantine piecemeal, which means that there will be an irregular supply chain for an extended period of time. Think of how you can diversify your distribution networks and how to address regional availability. Create alternative distribution centers now.

In conclusion

Take notes from corporate investors who have been working on reducing their stock portfolio volatility and re-evaluate cumbersome overseas supply chains. Whether we are facing a pandemic, or a trade war, organizations in every sector must work at improving supply chain risk.

The only way to mitigate the impact of unpredictable pandemics is with thorough preparation. Even before the next crisis occurs, your contingencies should already be in place. The recovery may be V-shaped, or it could take longer and resemble a L-or-U shape. Still, recovery is coming. In the meantime, this is the word of the day: Diversification.

Virtual workforce

How To Thrive While Transitioning To A Virtual Workforce

By Blog No Comments

How To Thrive While Transitioning To A Virtual Workforce

Summary: Many people are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. New remote workers and businesses can help foster success by generating routine, utilizing calendar sharing, having video meetings, setting clear expectations, developing time management skills, and continuing to learn. 

 

As of 2017, 43% of employees worked remotely with some frequency. In 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering many brick-and-mortar office places, agile companies are quickly pivoting employees to remote work. Telecommuting is a great benefit in the age of social distances, but it comes with its own challenges. Especially companies and their employees who are new to telework will likely experience growing pains, but there are steps you can take to ease the transition and ensure your virtual workforce is able to thrive. 

New Normal, New Habits 

Working from home is a major transition for employees who have spent their entire working lives in an office space. While offices offer a sort of comforting familiarity, a steady set of expectations, and a familiar environment while home may be full of energetic children, stir-crazy pets, and plenty of chores and hobbies alike to do. 

The best thing for companies who are new to this form of work is to understand that is a transition and that it can take an adjustment period for workers to find their focus, their flow, and their new normal. During this period, be lenient, expect some technical complications, and have patience while new systems for collaborating and working are developed and tested among workers who are unfamiliar. 

You can ease the transition by creating a form of routine, just as employees had at the office. This could be a recurring meeting, a consistent sign-on, sign-off, or lunch time, or anything else that offers stability in this time of stark change. 

Similarly, equip teams with a calendar sharing application such as Google Calendar. When teams can collaborate and understand where time is used and how their efforts fit into a bigger picture that they all are working toward, the stress and isolation of working from home can transform into great freedom for productivity and collaboration. 

Set Expectations

When life is in a deep state of flux, employees can feel overwhelmed with a bombardment of decisions and uncertainty. Guide employees through work changes by offering clear expectations. This may mean specific output quotas, work hours, required meetings, or anything else that is a high priority for your business. 

Don’t set expectations too high or add requirements for their own sake. While structure is important, offering employees some freedom to feel into their new roles and schedules can help ease stress too, boost loyalty, and benefit your company’s culture on a broader scale. 

Communicate Differently

When workers can’t meet face to face, utilize technology to boost presence, connection, and accountability. Instant messenger and chat applications, such as Slack, help employees have real time conversations throughout the day. You can even set up a “watercooler” chat segment where employees can talk about anything to keep connection and camaraderie high. 

For meetings, use a video software such as Zoom in order to help replicate the rapport that comes with in-office meetings. Even a once-a-month meeting on a video can go a long way for morale and accountability. 

It’s important to find new, effective methods of communication with clients and buyers as well. For example, we at Premikati use remote demos to help engage potential clients. Because we are doing this from afar, we pay special attention to asking meaningful questions and really engage with our clients on a deeper level. 

Use Your Time Wisely 

Many new remote works feel like they simultaneously have more and less time than they once did. There’s no more commute time, tedious morning primping, prepping meals ahead, or other tasks that come with office work, but they may feel like work starts expanding into their personal life or struggle with focus during the day due to distractions. 

Time management is a make-or-break factor for virtual workforces. Set expectations surrounding schedules to help prevent worker burnout and the “always-on” mentality. Have focus sprints. Have patience with coworkers who may not always be available. 

Similarly, many job functions can’t be fully performed from home. If you or any of your employees are “benched” during the pandemic, look for other ways to contribute. Could they update documentation? Spend time brainstorming resolutions to industry problems? Furthermore, could they continue their education in order to make deeper contributions after the crisis? Do what you can do, and encourage your employees to do the same, but be mindful as well to not get caught up in busywork. 

Never Stop Learning

Continued education is always important to pursue, but now is a prime opportunity for many employees to pursue an expansion of their skills. Many courses are free during the coronavirus crisis, so time availability, a desire to learn, and an idea about what’s important to know are all you need to bolster yourself and your employees for the future. 

As the new normal for work continues to  change, keep learning what systems work for you and your employees, and don’t be afraid to try new things to make life, and work, a little bit easier and more connective. 

What has your business done to adjust and thrive during the transition to virtual work?  Reach out to us and let us know!

 

environmental social and governance

ESG and Your Supply Chain

By Blog No Comments

Why You Should Incorporate ESG Into Your Supply Chain

 

Companies that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into business practices can not only create more ethical companies that align with core values, but they can also enjoy a potential increase to the corporate bottom line. That’s because customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders increasingly want to associate with companies that consider ESG.

Taking these factors into account can unlock new opportunities in areas such as hiring by expanding talent pools to include diverse candidates; marketing by showcasing environmentally-friendly products to customers; and finance by making it easier to attract equity investments or take out loans by demonstrating sound governance. Becoming more ESG-focused can also extend beyond internal operations to include your supply chain.

As the United Nations Global Compact notes on its site, “A company’s entire supply chain can make a significant impact in promoting human rights, fair labour practices, environmental progress and anti-corruption policies.”

Aligning Values With Finances

While many companies may be open to incorporating ESG factors, they may think that doing so requires sacrificing profit. However, the tide is increasingly turning towards consumers seeking out ESG products and services, and many are willing to pay a premium.

For example, between 2013-2018, “products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6x faster than conventionally-marketed products,” according to an NYU Stern School of Business Center for Sustainable Business and IRI®study.

Moreover, 44% of Millennials believe that companies they do business with should always be environmentally-friendly, even if that causes a small price increase, according to a survey by Markstein, conducted by Certus Insights.

One way companies can improve their standing in this regard is to seek out vendors that align with ESG factors. Doing so can even be helpful for companies that sell services rather than physical products. For example, an accounting firm that uses environmentally friendly suppliers for office supplies, lighting, trash disposal, etc., may be able to more easily market itself as a green company and appeal to younger customers who want to work with a firm that goes beyond just focusing on finances.

Similarly, working with diverse suppliers such as women-owned, veteran-owned or minority-owned businesses can improve the social responsibility of a company by demonstrating inclusion and equality. Doing so is important considering that 70% of consumers “want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social and environmental issues,” according to the Markstein and Certus Insights study. And most of these survey respondents agree that social responsibility expectations apply equally to small and large companies.

Expand Your Supplier Network

Incorporating ESG factors into your supply chain not only helps attract stakeholders to your business, but looking at suppliers with this new lens can also expose your business to vendors that you may not have otherwise considered.

For example, looking at governance factors like the composition of a company’s board of directors or looking at how a supplier treats its own employees may cause you to spot risk factors with the vendors you currently work with. From there, you may decide to seek out new suppliers that stand out for incorporating ESG into their businesses, and these companies may be able to work with you on related initiatives like improving the sustainability of the shipments you receive from them.

One way to source ESG-focused suppliers can be through the consulting services or procurement platform of Premikati, an SAP Ariba™ partner and a certified Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) company.

To learn more about how Premikati can help your organization incorporate ESG into your supply chain and improve your overall procurement, please get in touch with our team.

cut procurement costs Premikati marketplace

Cut Procurement Costs – Not Quality

By Blog No Comments

A New Year’s Resolution to Cut Procurement Costs, Not Quality

 

Many people take on personal new year’s resolutions such as to lose weight, but what’s often more important than the number on the scale is someone’s overall health quality. Similarly, many businesses want to cut costs, but focusing just on reducing expenses may not be the most sustainable way to grow overall.

For example, switching to a vendor that supplies lower-quality products, such as for IT devices, may reduce costs in the short-term, but if those devices break down faster, it can cost more overall to repair or replace them.

Thus, companies looking to save money in 2020 should make a new year’s resolution to cut procurement costs without cutting quality. To accomplish this task, businesses can leverage:

    • Purchasing Power: Either by consolidating spend with fewer vendors or by leveraging group purchasing organizations, companies can often obtain a discounted rate for purchasing the same products and services. For example, making tail spend purchases through a B2B marketplace can enable businesses to obtain better rates from suppliers based on the combined spend of the marketplace’s multiple clients. If a small or medium-sized business tried to negotiate rates based on just their own spend, they would have less leverage than a marketplace has when setting rates with suppliers.
    • Spend Insights: As companies improve their ability to track spending, they can more easily identify pure cost-saving opportunities that have no bearing on product or service quality. For example, using spend insights to identify erroneous purchases, such as incorrect pricing or accidental orders, allows companies to reduce costs without affecting any other areas of their business. Similarly, spend data may show that companies are going over budget with purchases that do not add much value. From there, businesses can implement stronger cost controls so that unnecessarily expensive purchases do not go through.
    • Productivity Gains: In addition to the direct cost savings that can come from negotiating better rates and cutting waste, businesses can also save on expenses and potentially increase revenue through productivity gains. For example, if a business can process orders and invoices more efficiently through a procurement marketplace, they may be able to reduce the costs of using a third-party accounts payable provider. Moreover, freeing up employees’ time to focus on more revenue-generating tasks can help companies grow, without adding expenses.

Start Saving With Premikati Marketplace 

To simplify tail spend purchasing and cut procurement costs without hurting quality, businesses can turn to Premikati Marketplace, which runs on SAP Ariba™ Buying and Invoicing. The platform provides an easy way to access great pricing on quality products and services, while also allowing businesses to implement cost controls, gain rebates and streamline the overall buying process. Altogether, businesses can reduce tail spend costs by around 30% through this marketplace.

To learn more about how Premikati Marketplace can help you achieve a new year’s resolution of cutting procurement costs without cutting quality, please get in touch with our team.

holiday gifts for suppliers

Top 4 Best Holiday Gifts for Suppliers 

By Blog No Comments

Top 4 Best Holiday Gifts for Suppliers 

We’ve talked before about the importance of nurturing good relationships with your suppliers in the past. During the festive season, why not reach out to your suppliers with a little thank you for all of their hard work to show them how much you value their contribution to your business? 

Here are four great gifts for suppliers to show your gratitude this year: 

(By the way, we aren’t affiliated with any of the products below, just lots of great suppliers!)

Wireless Headset

Suppliers tend to spend a lot of time on the phone. Free up their hands so they can stretch their legs and grab a cup of coffee while on calls with this rechargeable wireless headset. Relieve some neck cramps and offer some healthy benefits that may even help them reach their New Year’s resolutions. Supply chain and squats, anyone? Plus, it offers a mute button and noise canceling. It even works with Skype. Their shoulders are sure to thank you. Amazon link here

Coffee

Sweet, sweet caffeinated magic potions that make the work happen. Few people in business will pass up a good cup of joe, so send them a box with some nice beans to give them a little boost through the season. This holiday pack offers several seasonal flavors—but it’s whole bean, so you may want to send a grinder like this one too. Something about a freshly-ground cup of coffee always makes the workday feel a little more manageable. If you really want to go all out, here’s a sampler from the same company with coffees sourced (haha!) from all around the world. 

Wrist Rest

The one thing suppliers may actually do more than talk on the phone is use their computers. Offer them an ergonomic boost to help their wrists, elbows, and shoulders with this memory foam desk set that supports their hands on both their keyboard and mouse. It’s filled with memory foam, so it may remind them of a more relaxing place (ahem, like at home in their bed), and their stress can melt away—don’t worry, the coffee will keep them awake. Here’s one with divets for airflow on Amazon.

Office Snacks

It’s how long ‘til lunch break? Ward off hunger (and hanger) without dismissing health goals many people will set for the New Year. These tasty snack packs come in delicious flavors like honey mustard, chocolate banana, and espresso, but are also portion-controlled at 130 calories each and protein-packed, so they last until lunchtime.

In case you’re wondering about some of the implications of sending gifts to your suppliers over the holidays, here are a few other helpful tidbits of information: 

  1. A guide on the etiquette of giving gifts in business with important points to understand, like corporate policy limitations.
  2. Information about the tax benefits of giving gifts in business.

Even if you opt not to send a physical gift to your suppliers this year, you should take the time to send each and every one of them a heartfelt thank you and well-wishes for the holiday and the new year. Remember, without your suppliers, you don’t have a business, so show them that their efforts—and they as people—are meaningful to you. 

 

Contact Us