Digitally Transform your Procurement Processes

Intro

According to the CIPS website the importance of procurement to organisations can be summarized in these three categories:

  1. Control Spend

    • Companies can spend 2/3 of their revenue, so small cost reductions or avoidance can have dramatic impact to the bottom line.

  2. Prevent Corruption

    • Corruption adds up to 25% of the cost of procurement contracts in developing countries, and can add up to 10% of business costs globally.

  3. Protect Your Brand

    • Accountability for inadequate or exposed supply chains now goes right to the top, with the company’s reputation on the line.

While there are established Enterprise grade systems in use to manage the volume of transactions, many Procurement Organisations are forced to manage many of the processes geared to delivering the above objectives outside of these systems, often in Excel. As soon as information starts to be captured in Excel and shared via email then central visibility and control is compromised and collaboration becomes increasingly difficult.

Softools is a cloud-based digital platform that enables Apps to be developed in hours without the need for code.

The advantage of using Softools to manage processes that cannot be handled within core Enterprise systems is it provides: visibility, governance, real-time collaboration and scalability across locations. Softools’ zero code capability means Applications can be fully customized to address the processes that you want to digitally enable.

Over the past two years Softools have successfully been helping CPO’s address these challenges. Here are a few examples;

Project Portfolio Management

Procurement teams are always challenged to find and deliver cost reduction. How do you capture potential initiatives, prioritise them and then track their progress from delivery to benefit realization?

  • Codify your best practice approach to managing spend reduction initiatives in Softools. This provides a consistent way of planning, managing and reporting on procurement projects.

  • Automated reports on progress, risks, issues, actions and benefits.

  • Visible and collaborative action planning to manage the deviation between actual savings and target savings – seeing the gap early and formulating and tracking a robust plan to address it brings the best chance of delivering results.

 Automation of Processes

  • Despite efforts to automate, purchasing processes can still involve multiple people executing paper processes including RFPs, contracts and supplier onboarding forms.

  • One customer sends an Excel Sheet all over the world to collect and verify supplier information before being able to accept the supplier and instruct a Master Data Record to be created in the ERP system.

Imagine there being a workflow driven digital process with rule based validation to avoid errors and rework.

Supplier management

  • The risks of suppliers being unsuitable to your organization are increasing and the threat to your brand could cause catastrophic damage. Consequently, there is an increasing need to perform Due Dilligence

  • The Due Dilligence itself is ever evolving, with new threats emerging like cyber crime. There are more questions to be asked and evidence to be gathered. So to remain agile companies often conduct these checks on paper forms or using Excel.

  • There is not one size that fits all, the level of due diligence required on an established global supplier will be different to a small enterprise operating from a high risk country.

Imagine an application that can orchestrate the due diligence process, is adaptable to respond to new risks, is accessible by your suppliers and internal teams and has intelligence to ask the questions required based on the supplier’s profile.

Please contact us at info@softools.net to for more information on how we can help to rapidly transform your Procurement Processes.

Maintaining a Robust Customer/Supplier Database with Softools

On our travels with customers we came across an interesting challenge, for which we have a pragmatic and impactful answer.

The contact details of your customers/suppliers can become outdated quickly as people change roles or leave companies.

Still, companies rarely have processes in place to keep this information fresh.  Here’s where Softools can help. Easily configure an application that generates actions which are divided and assigned to the appropriate data owners responsible for validating the contact information. 

Custom stage/gate alerts track progress and ensure nothing is missed.  The audit trail gives management visibility of what tasks were completed, when, and by who to ensure accountability across a data cleansing framework. Users can be notified of any changes via email, SMS or Slack.

The benefits of an accurate and robust customer/supplier database are innumerous, including the ability to generate trustworthy insights and analytics, and optimal business correspondence costs. But, the primary benefit is ensuring opportunities are not missed due to inefficient communication.

When is the best time to perform this data validation process? We recommend these activities become a periodic process but should definitely be undertaken during a change of systems ahead of migrating data.

Are you about to embark on a systems migration? Do you need to implement a process to consistently validate your data? Whichever the need, get in touch!

Betty Crocker, IKEA and Softools?

What could US food company General Mills,  Swedish furniture giant IKEA and Softools have in common? The BBC recently published an article about economic behavior and psychology, specifically the idea that consumers experience higher levels of satisfaction from products they help create. Originally pioneered in the 1950s with General Mills’ Betty Crocker cakes and now dubbed the “Ikea effect”, this concept is truly the spirit of Softools! Except, rather than baking a cake or assembling your new desk, you can rapidly transform your business’s software use. We empower companies with a zero-code development tool, allowing them to construct process-improving business applications in their own image. Check out the full article here and see why dessert, furniture and software sometimes aren’t all that different.

GDPR

GDPR

Our hot topic for this month is GDPR as we are now just under a year away from these new regulations coming into place. In April 2016, the European Parliament adopted a new standard to improve data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU).  The GDPR does not simply apply to EU domestic business, but to companies worldwide that target their goods and services to European citizens.  The deadline for compliance is 25-May-2018, and fines for non-conformance will be as high as 4% of global turnover for the business.

In preparation we have put together a GDPR App Suite to provide a comprehensive solution for assessing compliance and managing actions to address areas of risk or non-compliance. The suite includes a Readiness Audit, a Data Flow audit, a Risk Calculator with a full Monte Carlo scenario analysis and a Mitigation Register. 

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Digital Transformation

Discussions with Business & Technology leaders over the last 12 months have revealed a very different set of challenges to the preceding period.  They talk of new opportunities arising from emerging technologies and the increasingly pivotal role of IT to business survival and growth, but they also talk about the complexity of their current infrastructure and how in an ideal world they would prefer to start with a blank canvas.

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