How to Streamline Contracts and Procurement (During the COVID-19 Pandemic)
Streamlining contracts and procurement even before the COVID-19 pandemic may have been difficult. Still, once the pandemic hit and everyone had to move to work remotely, it may have become much more difficult. As the pandemic surges on, your sourcing and contract management strategies may still be struggling.
Perhaps some of your team is still home, some are hybrid, some are in the office, and there is a mix of chaos going on. First and foremost, having the right procurement software solutions in play can always keep everyone on the same page in that respect. However, there are other ways to streamline your contract and procurement processes, especially during the pandemic.
Streamlining Contracts and Procurement: Going Digital
Suppose you haven’t moved into the world of eTendering and eProcurement, where you’ve taken your procurement management to a completely digital format; it’s an absolute must in the wake of the pandemic.
Now that everyone is in their respective corners and in their work-from-home offices, there isn’t time for, “Hey, can I get an update on that?” or “Is that contract approved by legal yet” types of situations. One of the benefits that the right software offers, like a procurement suite or even a simple contract management tool, is complete visibility throughout the contracting process from start to finish.
Not only are you offered spend visibility, but your team should also be able to see where each task is in the workflow. Provided everyone has access to the sourcing and supply chain management software, there should never be a misstep in the contracting process.
Contracts and Procurements: Spend Analysis and Opportunity Assessments
Another benefit of integrated procurement technologies and software is the ability to run spend analysis and opportunity assessments from those reports or view contracts and spend by region or risk level or any other view that matters to you. Not only should you have complete spend visibility, but the ability to track maverick spending, look at indirect spend (as well as indirect procurement costs), and see which suppliers have been performing (and the ones that haven’t been). You can also use category management in procurement, allowing you to assign spend in focused areas, streamlining the way for greater efficiency.
Software also allows you to track KPIs (Key Performance indicators), things you should never, ever ignore as you run spend analysis, as well as other reports. KPIs essentially give you the keys to unlock the door to more efficiency and productivity with contracts and spend under management—you must pay attention to these procurement indicators. KPIs include metrics such as:
- Compliance rate
- Spend under management
- Spend with preferred suppliers
- Procurement ROI and benefits
- Spend under contract
- PO versus non-PO Spend
- Off-contract spend
There are other KPIs that can help with contracts and procurement; these are just a few of many metrics that can be measured. You can continue to track KPIs and make changes, even from home and during the pandemic. If you need to update your team quickly on an issue, software like Slack is a great choice to use if everyone’s on the go.
Contracts and Procurement: Streamlining the Process
One of the other advantages of eSourcing is the ability to be able to use a procurement gateway to find suppliers. Using this process, you would find a gateway that you think may be a good fit, advertise your need for a product or service, and then several suppliers would respond (unless you were using a different method of eTendering).
From there, you would vet the suppliers until you found the one that best met your needs, followed by the contract phase. One of the issues with the COVID-19 pandemic is that depending on your industry; many goods are needed much more quickly than usual, so using a cloud-based contract and procurement process is more streamlined and much faster. It also can build your database of contracts that can be shared across the enterprise and trustworthy, strategic suppliers, so you can continue to use them in the future.
To learn more about how to improve your contracts and procurement process, contact EC Sourcing Group today by dialing 973-936-9672. We want to change the way you think about procurement.