The supply chain – getting focused

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A business services partner can put in place the processes and tools you need, ensuring your key initiatives remain a priority, and you stay focused as the technology evolves.

In part 1 of this blog, I talked about how many organizations are more focused on the “how of procurement” rather than the “need for procurement.” By leveraging effective demand and supply planning to take more control of what happens before a request is raised, you can drive similar benefits as those derived through direct procurement – especially in the areas of “Indirect and MRO” (maintenance, repair, and operations).

But where should you start?

Getting focused

Tackling the underlying problems (which in most organizations are plentiful!) is a daunting task, but by keeping focused – as discussed in our Digital Supply Chain report – you can build an ecosystem that delivers the required changes:

  • Onboard your partners to realize maximum benefit – there are a wealth of opportunities to make this your suppliers’ challenge as well as your own.
  • Foster collaboration across functions – by building multi-functional teams to look at these problems across the organization, it’s likely you’ll have some very clever people looking at these problems!
  • Work toward establishing a data-driven organization – with data becoming easier and cheaper to collect and manage, this is a barrier that is literally being torn down in most organizations.

Eating an elephant

How do you go about addressing something like this? The answer is in the same way they say you should go about eating an elephant – one spoonful at a time.

Specifically within procurement and master data, I advise my clients to tackle things in exactly this way – starting with a single problem, solving it, and then moving onto the next. Being agile, if you like. For example, you might begin with a specific plant or geography, developing processes and tools you can effectively support, before rolling it out further, building collaboration across the organization and with your suppliers, and always considering how you would scale it up.

In a recent article in Forbes magazine entitled “Digital Transformation: Three Ways To Ensure Your Initiatives Drive Value,” one tip offered by the author is: “Do things that don’t scale.” Tackle the data, one data set at a time is a good example – identify the data source and develop some analyses to solve a single problem. In some cases, the pay-off is there, in others, the pay-off is in what you learned rather than in what you gained.

This is where a business services partner can help, working with you to put in place the processes and tools you need, helping you keep focused and ensuring your key initiatives remain a priority, and you remain focused as the technology evolves.

To quote Sun Tzu again: “To anticipate & prevent disastrous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism.”

To find out how Capgemini’s Digital Supply Chain solution standardizes and integrates supply chain master data with planning, execution and insights, based on a proven and comprehensive framework, contact: greg.bateup@capgemini.com

Learn more about Capgemini’s Digital Supply Chain can increase your competitive advantage by strengthening your business drivers and focusing on your end customers.

Read Capgemini Research Institute’s “The Digital Supply Chain’s Missing Link: Focus” report to learn more about how organizations across consumer products, manufacturing, and retail understand the digital initiatives they are adopting, the benefits they are deriving, and the way they are transforming their supply chain.

Greg Bateup has worked with clients to deliver business transformation and BPO services for almost 30 years. For the last few years, Greg has focused on the digital transformation of the source-to-pay function, and how organizations can not only drive efficiencies in the procurement function, but also drive compliance and savings.

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