Technology has advanced significantly since the days when procurement leaders were only managing RFIs and RFPs among their “little black book” of trusted suppliers. Today, big data and artificial intelligence now offer an expansive view of an entire supplier market and unprecedented access to vast wells of verified data. This advancement has opened the door to a new approach that can completely transform the strength of procurement decisions and enable procurement teams to impact a company’s bottom line in new and sometimes unexpected ways.
When the COVID-19 global pandemic struck, businesses faced the task of rapidly shifting office-based employees to remote environments. Today, the primary focus is on managing these makeshift workplace models more efficiently. In the process, long-term initiatives are now on the back burner.
Having a sound tail spend management strategy has never been more important than it is today. It’s a key differentiator – and competitive advantage – in a down economy in which cash is king and cutting costs is a high priority. Procurement teams can no longer rely on direct materials for savings—those costs have been negotiated to death.
At U.S. insurance companies, policyholders’ claims represent 70% to 75% of the total cost. This makes complete sense, of course, since policyholder benefits are the sole reason why anyone buys insurance products and services.
The problem is, at insurance companies, procurement is limited to supporting indirect spend — real estate, marketing, finance, etc. — which accounts for less than 10% of the organization’s total costs and severely limits our ability to provide substantive value.
In a landmark 1983 article in the Harvard Business Review, Peter Kraljic introduced a purchasing portfolio model using a 2 x 2 matrix. The Kraljic model was based on the premise that purchased products and services can vary significantly in terms of importance and risk. Based on this, procurement professionals should use different sourcing and supplier management strategies depending on the importance and risk profile of each purchase.
Training a company’s team members is a foundational step in running a company, but it is often forgotten when busy times hit. This is a big mistake. Putting the time and effort into designing a training program that suits the unique needs of procurement will drive more effective results in less time. Employees will be better equipped to manage the various situations and surprises that sourcing across numerous categories brings about.
Before getting into the topic, write down two things:
1) Your high-level definition of the term spend under management
2) What percentage of your company/organization’s spend would you estimate is under management?
Once you answer those questions, read on…
While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, enterprises are looking beyond the current crisis with the hope of pandemic-proofing their supply chains and operations to build resiliency. But that view is too limited to build true resiliency. The next global business disruption crisis might be a pandemic, but it might also be something entirely different or so novel it's never been considered. Today's resilient enterprises need to embrace a mindset shift to view risk through a much wider lens.
The coronavirus outbreak is having a profound impact on every business’ supply chain. The U.S. manufacturing PMI indicated the worst contraction in production, new orders, and employment since the 2008 recession. Nearly 75% of companies report supply chain disruptions in March, a number most expect to rise further.