By Alex Wilkinson (pictured), Chief Operating Officer, Solutionize Global
Every day, modern-day leaders are being challenged to operate within tighter parameters when it comes to productivity, cost and efficiency. These three elements are vital when considering the current strain on the economy following the global crisis – and helping organisations to survive.
What this has led to is a greater requirement for technology to become more sophisticated. In turn, practitioners are being tasked to adapt swiftly – so that they can provide attractive, streamlined services and an unrivalled competitive edge.
This is especially the case within the procurement and finance arenas. These industries are continuously shifting their focus in how they can strategically enhance efficiency via advanced digital methods. And for those that get it right, they’re typically in a much stronger position to ensure business continuity – even during the most turbulent of climates.
Today, there’s even more reason to stay ahead of the curve, especially as a 2016 Chief Nation and SAP Ariba report revealed how 77% of industry managers anticipated that new procurement technologies would be one of their sector’s biggest trends of recent times.
For modern-day leaders, adapting to economic flux comes with the territory, but that doesn’t mean they have to do everything themselves. So, how can successful C-suite chiefs handle the current pressures they face, and still meet greater supplier demands for IT products and services when time and resources are constantly against them?
Now might be the time to hand over the reins to tech procurement specialists. Selecting an expert who understands the industry and ever-evolving marketplace can encourage a more flexible and agile approach, amongst other advantages. Here are five reasons why organisations should consider the options…
- Ensuring optimum speed when sourcing goods and services
There will be few firms that have not been negatively impacted by the current climate – resulting in their supply chain being hit the hardest. Leaders are often left to ‘pick up the slack’ as they attempt to continue ‘business as normal’. But the clock isn’t slowing down, and time is of the essence.
Bringing in a savvy tech procurement specialist should provide managers with both the opportunity to focus on their company continuity priorities, and also feel secure that services will still be efficiently sourced and quality goods delivered on time – regardless of the climate.
Speed is of paramount importance in today’s saturated marketplace and having someone knowledgeable on hand to quickly select the best vendors to meet the brief, negotiate the right price, and organise swift distribution can help to keep projects on track and meet end user demands.
2. Establishing a centralised approach for orders
Very much in the same vein as speed, efficiency relies on operations being streamlined and secure throughout. Having one point of contact is often better than a number of individuals or departments getting involved – which could over-complicate an order and slow things down.
Not only that, for managers this means there will only be one Service Level Agreement – and terms and conditions guidelines – to adhere to, resulting in no lengthy sign-off processes and fewer security concerns, because everything runs through a single source.
3. Exploring a wider portfolio of vital contacts
Leaders who know that they have a professional IT procurement service on hand to always turn to is vital for both peace of mind and maintaining a professional, transparent, and consistent service.
Specialists will typically have a wider network themselves too, so if further products or services are required – that aren’t in their current portfolio – there will likely be a trusted contact they know that can help.
Companies that have strong, meaningful relationships with their suppliers may often treat them like an extension of the existing team – providing motivation, a reliable service and greater competitive edge. Additionally, clients know they’re getting a dependable, streamlined offering.
4. Reducing costs and controlling outgoings
Managing budgets in today’s business climate is all about having agile supply chains that enable enterprises to adapt to ever-changing market conditions. Therefore, variable cost structures – such as flexible purchasing models – should typically be in place to encourage an elastic approach that helps organisations to both control outgoings and scale effectively.
In addition, leaders will want to be safe in the knowledge that their tech procurement needs are being met in the most cost-effective way – perhaps through real-time tracking solutions – so they can release capital for investment across other areas of the business, when needed.
And, if there’s ever a need to re-evaluate budgets, specialists should be able to introduce new suppliers – and renegotiate with existing ones – to alleviate any stresses and save money on transactions and overall operations.
5. Ensuring the best solution to build credibility
Managers must feel that they can speak to their procurement consultant whenever their organisation’s needs evolve. And, in turn, the professional must be one step ahead – understanding how global developments are causing business flux and impacting on efficiency.
By offering in-depth knowledge of the marketplace in real-time – and across a broad range of sectors – this expertise should not only deliver direct benefits but also help leaders to ‘learn from the best’ and improve on their own capabilities. Additionally, specialists often know when the time is right to bring in numerous vendors to provide a commercially savvy solution.
When selecting procurement experts to manage the IT supply chain, it’s important for businesses to firstly align their buying strategy with the overall objectives. This way they can clearly identify where the need is for a specialist, and when they’re required to step in.
Creating a streamlined service that delivers in a timely and efficient fashion will not only create greater loyalty with the end user but develop credibility and a trusted service that positively impacts reputation and bottom line – and delivers true competitive advantage.