Building Projects On Strong Data

December 15th, 2013

Are you moving forward on your e-procurement events before getting everything you need?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

I was asked the other what my thoughts are on the challenges that exist in the procurement and supply chain industry and my answer is the same is it was 5 years ago….without strong data many events will not deliver the types of results and participation you are hoping for. In today’s bog we will take a look at what that means and some of easy areas you can be using to get a better handle on categories you are sourcing.

Survey the landscape – One of the most useful ways to get a handle on a category, especially one that spans across the entire company, like temporary labor, is to ask your locations and divisions basic questions about what they are doing today. Many times companies will have summary information about what remote locations are doing from a spend perspective but no detail into what is making up that spend at each location. Surveying your locations with a simple tool like the SafeSurvey™ will allow you to understand who the locations are doing business with, what their satisfaction level is, what other services they are receiving that are not defined in a contract, or whether or not a contract or agreement even exists. This will also allow you to confirm pricing you think you are getting.

Leverage your incumbent – There will seldom be a time when any source has as much insight into what you are currently spending and receiving in the way of goods and services than your actual incumbent. Your activity is what keeps them alive and they will know exactly what level of business you do with them. If you aren’t already, you should be getting monthly or quarterly detailed reports about what you are spending with a supplier and in many cases, scheduling a quarterly business review with your suppliers to ensure the processes being used and services and goods being obtained are still the best for your company. Until that point, having your supplier run Year-To-Date reports at an item level will give great insight into what you are doing today.

Poll the suppliers – In some cases where a service or product will be new for your company, you will not have access to an internal or external data source to help build the foundation of your sourcing event. In these cases taking a Request For Information/Proposal out to vendor community will need to be a step to build that understanding both of the level of service you will need but also to understand the basic pricing structure of the industry. Requests for Information are good to understand the broad picture but they should be used to immediately create a statement of work for you company which combines the details from the responses you like the best. Standardizing what you want before heading to a request for proposal will save time in the end.

Understanding what the data is telling you before you start a sourcing event is critical to achieving the best results. At SafeSourcing we run dozens of events every month for our customers and constantly help our customers build the foundation of strong projects. Our process truly is focused on the greatest value for our customers with price being only one component of that value. For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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