Our clients value the visibility and accuracy of supplier data which Canopy creates, to the benefit of all teams across a company
We all know that we live in an information (technology) age. We also know that we live in a highly uncertain world. Over the past seven years, we've seen severe supply shocks such as Brexit, Covid, and the war in Ukraine. So it's vital that you have the right data on your suppliers, to minimise risks and make your supply chains more robust. But even when you have all the information you've asked for, it may not be visible to you. Many companies don't optimise the reliability and shareability of their supplier data due to system and process constraints in supplier management. In this blog, we're going to look at how one of our clients, Unispace, is taking steps to change that.
Unispace has a global outlook
Unispace is a global leader in workplace strategy, design, project management, and construction. Operating in 18 countries, the company provides clients across industries with global experience and a local footprint. Unispace creates people-centric spaces that spark brilliance, deepen connections, foster a sense of belonging, and propel success. By virtue of its geographic reach, Unispace has complex supply chains, especially set against the backdrop of current global disruptions.
Anna Williams was appointed the new Global Procurement Director at Unispace in 2022. One of her first decisions was to implement Canopy to provide supply chain visibility. This is a critical factor when trying to mitigate global supply disruptions. Anna was concerned about the accuracy of supplier data at Unispace. Not only did this open the company up to risk, but it also made it difficult to manage those complex supply chains.
Automation of processes to capture data accurately
As Anna puts it: “I need to know whom to call if there’s a problem or if I want to buy something, and I need to be able to search my database of suppliers quickly and have good categorisation. And importantly, in an increasingly legislative and disrupted world, I need to know if the supplier has met our required levels of compliance in each of the 18 countries we operate in and how much risk they will expose us to.”
But like most organisations, Unispace relied on manual, time-consuming supplier management processes. They were onboarding via paper-based new supplier forms and hand-typing banking details, all of which slowed trade and exposed them to inaccurate data. Anna was also concerned that the lack of a central system for commercial teams to source suppliers meant they missed revenue opportunities. “We have access to a third-party risk platform, our ERP system, and many spreadsheets. But the data they hold may not be consistent, so we jump between systems."
Ultimately, manual processes were hindering the procurement team's ability to do their jobs. “We had highly skilled members of staff spending precious time doing admin jobs. And commercial teams maintained their own supplier databases. By not having a single system that allowed us to have supply chain data visible, there’s been a burden of admin falling across the entire business.”
All the supplier data you need in one place
As Anna says, "Canopy is transforming the way we operate as a business." At the heart of Canopy is the Vendor Master Record, which brings all your business stakeholders together around a single trusted supplier dashboard. APIs and data exchange capabilities pull information from third-party sources and internal business systems. The platform then stores, accesses, and queries all data from one secure location. Whether it's contracts, insurances, banking information, ESG & Diversity, or Governance & Performance ratings, everything is in one place.
Canopy’s automations and the ability to push data collection to the supplier means all teams are using the same data. This reduces the burden of admin across the entire business. Anna says, “Canopy gives me a single master record for each supplier containing all their information, and that immediately resolves the visibility issue. It also makes our cross-system data accessible and valuable to us as an organisation because we can now see all the information in one place and give everyone access to it.”
Benefiting Procurement and other teams
With Canopy in place, procurement teams are better able to manage supply chain risk. And Unispace will be able to reduce the time lost to basic admin tasks significantly. “Too often, procurement does not have access to the right platform to get the information we need. That’s what I’ve done with Canopy. It allows me to take stock of each supplier relationship. It’s great to have the spend level at my fingertips, so I can take a view on category diversification and build better supply chains.”
Anna adds: “Canopy benefits the interaction with finance and ERP the most. But sales teams also benefit; they have data at their fingertips, enabling them to respond to clients faster and more accurately.” Canopy is now being rolled out to all Unispace’s markets. Anna estimates that over 70% of staff will eventually have access to the platform. Once complete, Unispace employees can see all the information about every supplier through one master record, giving them complete visibility.
The overall reliability, visibility, and shareability of supplier data is imperative for businesses operating in today’s turbulent world, so they can resist shocks as they come along. With Unispace, we're providing that across the company.
Anna and Canopy CEO Nick Verkroost are interviewed by host James Meads on The Procuretech Podcast: Digital Procurement, Unwrapped, out now (Series 4, Episode 11). You can find it wherever you normally get your podcasts, or by visiting >> https://procurementsoftware.site/podcast
To find out more about how the Canopy supplier management platform could help your business achieve visibility across global supply chains, contact one of the 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.