The Importance of Leading Procurement Transformations with Data

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To create and lead a successful digital transformation, procurement teams need to start with data.

The old way of transformation: Took years to make complete overhauls of technology systems, with a note to collect data later.

The new, and correct, way of transformation: Let data lead the way to fix pain points and make constant improvement over time.

Armed with clear and accurate data, we can know what changes need to happen, set and adjust our goals, and get buy-in—and collaboration—from business leaders.  

Demonstrate and Create Procurement’s Value-add with Data

Procurement must be seen as a value-driver for the business. The more valuable you are to the business and its priorities, the more they’re going to buy into what you want to do, and get out of the way for you to do it. 

Supplier data is the essential foundation for procurement having any strategic capability. The more supplier data we have, the more value we can create. And by taking a data-driven approach to diagnosing what’s going on in the business, procurement can align transformation goals to the business’ goals and values.

Procurement can create value in strategic ways:

  • Cost/Savings: Business leaders have profits and losses to manage. Procurement can help manage the lifecycle of total cost of ownership production.
  • Price/Revenue Growth: Procurement positively impacts price or revenue growth through things like innovation, quality and safety of suppliers and products, and getting things on-time and in-full when competitors can’t do it in certain market conditions. 
  • Brand Enhancement: Procurement can enhance the company reputation through the way we conduct business, take care of suppliers through tough cycles, and how we unlock value and reduce friction for the customer or the company. 

Foundations and Capabilities for Transformation

Once you’ve collected the data and understand the business goals, you can get started on transformation.

There are three foundations and capabilities for successful transformation:

  • Agile Work: We’ve got to think big, act now, start small, and scale fast by leveraging data insights to learn, relearn, and continually improve. 
  • Talent: Transformation requires a data-driven talent foundation of the skills we’re going to need in the future. We build this by attracting people into the function and reshaping their skills to fit what we need.
  • Change: Designing with people rather than for people starts with data around those personas, those users, and the current state. We need to design for human adoption of the processes and tools by taking a collaborative approach with the end-users to make transformation as seamless as possible.

Data Answers the Questions About How to Deliver Value

There is massive expectation and opportunity for procurement to preserve value right now. But there is also massive opportunity to create and sustain value by being proactive and agile. 

If you have the data, it’s time to ask the question: What is this going to mean for our business, and how do I get in front of this with our business leaders and try to add value? That’s how we’re going to create successful transformations.

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