With the right ProcureTech, Procurement can move from admin to strategy and develop stronger supplier relationships rather than ticking boxes
The global disruptions of the last few years have shown that complex supply chains can be vulnerable to inflation, geopolitical, and trade risks. It's made those supply chains both more difficult to understand and less resilient. So if there's one thing that Procurement needs, it's a clear and complete view of their supply chain. For that, you need your supplier data in a format that is relevant to the needs of your procurement team. You need it to be correct, comprehensive, and shareable across teams, not just viewed through the eyes of your finance function. And if you get that right, you can ensure that Procurement adds value to your company. In this blog, we look at how Canopy can do just that.
How to make yourselves ever more useful
Too often, Procurement is tied up with doing things that don't add value. Bogged down with admin, it can be difficult to take a strategic view of supply chains. Chasing round for data can stand in the way of developing stronger supplier relationships. And this means that Procurement is too often overlooked as a critical business function. Here we look at five ways that Canopy boosts the abilities of procurement teams to enhance their own abilities and status.
1. Accurate data aids decision making
Many companies use a combination of large unwieldy spreadsheets and the ERP as their main data sources for supplier information. But for procurement teams, detailed answers on practical questions such as insurances, qualifications, risk, and compliance can be hard to come by in complex spreadsheets. And as for the ERP, the fields to capture and share this data simply do not exist. What's more, many companies rely on manual processes to get data between systems. This means there may be shortcuts, so there's scope for multiple mistakes when onboarding a supplier. With Canopy, the front page of the platform has all the information on suppliers in one place (the vendor master record). And with a clear view of each supplier, you can make all the informed decisions you need to make.
2. Automation drives efficiency
So what about those manual processes to enter supplier data into an ERP? There are several downsides. In a typical ERP, there may be 35 fields of data to add to a supplier record to onboard a new supplier to the system. It could easily take an administrator 30 minutes per supplier to add this data. What if you have 10,000 suppliers? The sheer scale of necessary resources acts as a disincentive to onboard new suppliers, which may mean you're not getting the best value in competitive fields. Trying to build automations directly into the ERP takes time, costs a lot of money, and is very inflexible when you need to make changes quickly. In contrast, building automation workflows is easy with Canopy, as we use API or batch processing to feed information through from Canopy to the ERP. You can then get people to do the job they were hired for, rather than them having to focus on data entry.
3. ERP becomes more functional with procuretech
There are further downsides to using manual processes for supplier data. Companies usually have inadequate resources available to go back and re-check information over time, so data may not be current and therefore may not be reliable. This means you could easily be dealing with a non-compliant supplier. Canopy can send a trigger to the ERP which puts a non-compliant supplier 'on hold' for POs or payment. Effectively, Canopy provides an intelligence layer for ERP, which ties in Finance and Procurement functions. And it can even cope with two (or more) post-merger legacy ERP systems, as the API can push and pull data to and from multiple ERPs simultaneously.
4. Risk profiles are clearer
Beyond compliance risks at the level of individual supplier, what about risks across your supply chain as a whole? ERP doesn’t necessarily help with understanding suppliers' attributes, as its main aim isn't to provide comprehensive supplier management. It certainly won't make it easy to keep sight of concentration or category risks. With more visibility, you can more easily identify where the problems may lie. For instance, Canopy allows suppliers to add additional information about their geography and business function using tag words. Not only does this give you a more accurate risk profile, it can help you home in what they can supply.
5. ESG targets are easier to track
In this world of ESG investment, CEOs have set a range of ambitious targets to operate more ethically, from curbing carbon emissions to achieving diversity. Research has shown that up to two-thirds of the average company's ESG footprint lies with its suppliers. So it's up to Procurement to help CEOs meet the targets. For this to be more than a tick-box exercise, you need to be able to demonstrate the business is hitting the targets that it’s set out to do. Canopy can help you see where you are against those targets, as you can gather that data at the onboarding stage. Take diversity targets: your company may have committed to a certain proportion of suppliers being (say) female-owned. You can capture that data and run reports to track where you stand across the supply chain. That will help you deliver on all the dimensions of your ESG targets.
To find out more about how the Canopy supplier management platform can add value to your Procurement team, contact one of our team today.
Post by Nick Verkroost
Nick is an experienced business leader and the CEO for Canopy (OCG Software), the rules-based Supplier Management platform. Nick's focus is on commercial and operational excellence and ensuring our clients maximise the opportunities that Canopy offers.