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(Chapter 2) Adventures of Ivan the CPO: 10 Technology Tools Every Procurement Team Needs in 2018

Previously – Chapter 1: Ivan joined his new job as a CPO, with a host of challenges which needs to be overcome.

Chapter 2: Friends in Need, Indeed!

Ivan needed to fix the maverick purchase leakage and fast. However, he could not overburden his new team yet, neither did he command the amount of trust yet within the group which is essential for putting in the extra effort.

There was, however, a helping hand extended to him by the Zycus Supplier Enablement (ZSE) team and, he decided to take it. The objective – to set up a central, easily manageable platform for all catalogs and punchouts, and a seamless process to generate, match and manage invoices. The challenge – it meant communicating, persuading and enabling the 6 to 8 thousand suppliers the company works with. It was indeed a colossal task, to work with a diverse set of vendors, some who don’t use technology at all, some who provide multiple items daily and cannot afford a downtime, some with just a group email id to communicate with, some who are tough to reach and so on. But the smile never left the lips of the ZSE team whom Ivan explained his scenario – they expected this and faced this day in, and day out, ZSE explained.

Then, together, they lay out the schema of how this gigantic monster was to be tamed. First, they selected the few critical suppliers who offered punchouts/ catalogs and integrated their system with the ZSN platform so that the data is now available at a click. Next, they used previous years PO details to shortlist a high priority segment who account for 50% of total purchases. These segment they devoted their full focus on, including customized emails, exciting rewards, periodic calls, interesting training programs, workshops and what not. Soon every company in this segment was setting up their catalogs on the platform, confirming POs, generating ASNs, Invoices, etc. on the click of a button. And since these invoices were automatically matched using 3-way matching techniques, and status/ payment information was all visible to the supplier, the volume of frantic phone calls and escalation emails from suppliers suddenly dropped drastically. Ivan’s team now looked a little less hurried.

ZSE team, was in the meantime, shifting focus to the other set of suppliers, who contribute from 50 -80 percent of all transactions. They had in the meantime; worked with their marketing team to create a robust email campaign for this segment and more and more suppliers were now being covered every day. The Zycus Supplier App was also promoted to encourage better adoption, and soon even the problem of non-PO invoices and paper invoices was solved, but more on that later.

It has barely been a few weeks, but Ivan can see the change is starting to take shape. Now with external compliance on the right track, and freed up time for his team, it was time to take on other challenges. Onward, ho!

Learn how Ivan made indirect purchase requests easier and faster in Chapter 3


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