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(Chapter 3) Adventures of Ivan the CPO: 10 Technology Tools Every Procurement Team Needs In 2018

By Somdipto Ghosh
In Procure-to-Pay
Mar 1st, 2018
Previously – 
  1. Chapter 1: Ivan joined his new job as a CPO, with a host of challenges which needs to be overcome.
  2. Chapter 2: Friends in Need, Indeed!

“Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost”

The report on Ivan’s desk stated that only 20% of total spend was from catalogs last year.  Right, so what to do now? Ivan’s actions already ensured a significant number of categories were under catalogs, so the absence of catalog spending required deeper investigation. Ivan decided to talk to 2 of the biggest spenders: the IT team and the global sales teams over their buying patterns.  Turns out there is more than one reason for them not buying from a catalog:

  1. People often buy items which can be called by multiple names, which sound very different. Further, various items may be used for a common problem (especially true for software). These options are not visible in a catalog search
  2. A lot of the items both IT and Sales need requires very detailed specification, and prices can vary very much due to small individual specifications

While there are more reasons, including the occasional laziness, for not buying items from a standard catalog, these two problems needed immediate remedy. “We can’t expect our colleagues to follow our process always,” thought Ivan “ They would always want to do a natural language “google-type” search and also expect the ability to customize their purchase. We need to make this possible without loss of our spend control.”

Guided Buying Software

Fortunately, the Zycus P2P software went beyond what he had hoped. Using the software any user can do a natural language search and received not just keyword-based results but also category based results. This meant they received better options to choose from, whereas at the back-end every choice they made was assigned the proper category, proper workflow, budget and so on. This meant more spend on catalog, and also better and faster compliance management for all spend.

Next, his team started collating different requisition forms to take care of any unique purchase type. Luckily Zycus already had a repository of more than a thousand such eForms to take care of most categories. These forms ensured that the requester was able to capture all necessary fields for his request in accordance with the type of purchase, and coupled with guided buying it meant a much better purchasing experience for off catalog items.

Ivan now had a system in place for any indirect purchase request, and the dynamic workflows also helped the procurement team become more efficient. But more than that now he had better relations with different departments, who were starting to recognize that purchasing is becoming easier and faster. This would help the next phase of planning that Ivan had in mind…


Know how Ivan routed purchases to the existing negotiated contracts and ensured cost savings in Chapter 4


About "" Has 11 Posts

A technology enthusiast by nature, Som has diverse experience in promoting and facilitating procurement improvement in companies across USA, Australia, Africa and Asia in a variety of roles encompassing Business Development, Alliances Management and Marketing. Currently shaping Product Marketing for Zycus, he is focused on finding easy answers to life's complex problems.

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