The new financial year is approaching, which is a time to reflect on the expenditure of the previous. If you’re one of the many that has looked back at some of the expenditure of the current financial year and thought a change is needed, then 2022 is the perfect time to start.
Make sure you read, review and negotiate your supplier contracts to avoid bear traps and risk of non delivery.
Beyond procuring simple IT needs, an organisation IT transformation is a much larger procurement task – one which often requires the acquisition of multiple new suppliers and also presents additional challenges such as integration and implementation across an entire workforce. This article explores what IT transformation means, how it is beneficial to organisations and the challenges associated with it.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) is a common process used by businesses to find the best suppliers for their requirement. By considering multiple suppliers, businesses can understand the current market, make comparisons and minimise risk. There are many reasons why renewing contracts with the same suppliers over time seems advantageous. However, by doing so, businesses can miss opportunities for better value contracts, be unaware of market insights and miss out on the top suppliers in their industry.
Software and business operations have become inseparable in the digital era, with sophisticated and well-integrated software able to set your business apart from competitors. With IT software playing such a pivotal role in business efficiency, it is imperative that organisations look at software acquisition in a strategic way from the outset.
Why you need to understand the true cost of invoicing and how reducing your number of suppliers means a reduction in invoicing costs.
Cash is indeed King as the saying goes. Learn some methods to ensure that payments aren’t going out of the bank faster than they are going in.
For one reason or another 2021 has thrown businesses across the globe into the midst of digital transformation. From the ongoing rise of technological capabilities to the need for remote working solutions, alongside the increasing pressure from governments to align organisational activities with more eco-friendly processes. Digital transformation is no longer a ‘plus’ embraced by the forward-thinking, but a necessity for every business looking to adapt to the new era. Nonetheless, as is often the case, many SMEs are yet to implement some of the new-age digital solutions, perhaps lacking the budget or expertise to get started. As such, our team have put together the top five digital transformation trends for businesses that we believe are fundamental to business development over the coming years.
If you’ve read our recent posts, you’ll know that we’ve previously written about the benefits of spend analytics and the use of data in organisations, with the inclusion of decision making. So, when you have both the data and an implemented spend analytics process in place – how can you use this to maximise benefits? The first step is to see extensive data as an opportunity. Often business owners are simply unaware of how the vast amounts of data they already have can assist them in cost saving exercises. There are many instances where data has proven helpful to prevent decisions from being made based on cost alone. For example, a simple decision to switch to a cheaper provider may seem a good choice, however, data may show a return on investment that is far greater than the cost saving of switching.
Explore the different types of technology suppliers available, their pros and cons, and the scenarios in which each supplier-type might be appropriate for your business
In today’s tech-led market, there is a software solution for almost every business activity, from lead acquisition to SME accounting. Supplier spend management is no exception, with a variety of business intelligence (BI) tools available for businesses looking to monitor and fine tune their supply chain. Nonetheless, even here in 2021, we find that many organisations are still using simple data tools such as Microsoft Excel to manage supplier spend.
Things you need to know about IT Hardware Procurement Processes to save money, make sure your getting good value and make sure the lights don't turn off.
In a recent release the IDC, a global market intelligence firm, has predicted that worldwide Digital Transformation technology investment is set to reach at least $7.4 trillion over the next four years alone. Alongside this, it is expected that technology transformation will account for the majority of IT spending. Businesses are expected to no longer prioritise maintaining existing technology but rather look to transformation as technologies continue to evolve.
Spend analytics refers to the practice of collecting and analysing the historical purchasing data of an organisation. The process is used to shed light on the business’ buying patterns and to review the relative value of spend across different suppliers or services. Spend analytics can help businesses with cost reductions, risk management and future planning. Read on to find out what we think are the top 7 benefits ofSpend Analytics.
Spend analytics are a key way for businesses to recognise their existing spend behaviours, decrease costs, increase efficiency and improve supplier relationships. However, those analytics are only as good as the spend data that they represent. This is why business owners must ensure the correct gathering, cleansing and storage of data to inform accurate analysis. So, what does this look like and how simple of a task is it? Let’s look first at Data Cleansing.
If you’re here, you’re likely wondering what the difference is between ‘supply chain diversity’ and ‘supplier diversity’ – two terms that we often seen used interchangeably, despite meaning two rather separate things! Nonetheless, both are important aspects of building a risk-savvy and forward-thinking supply chain that can support the growth of your business.
The recent Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) and Insulate Britain protests have had everyone talking about climate and sustainability. It’s a huge topic with varying opinions, but it isn’t something that’s going away any time soon. Consumers are now adopting more sustainable lifestyles, purchasing goods from companies that prioritise sustainability and, in some cases, even paying more for goods that have prioritised sustainability. In fact, statistics from Deloitte reveal that over a third of consumers chose brands that use environmentally sustainable practices in order to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. With figures like that, it’s no wonder that boards are putting sustainability at the heart of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) with directives to ensure a more sustainable supply chain.
Procurement is the process of purchasing external goods and services for an organisation, that facilitates its ability to operate in an efficient and profitable manner. At its core, the process looks to increase savings and drive down costs, all in all enhancing a company’s profitability. Because of this, procurement is principally associated with cash savings – i.e., savings obtained through supplier acquisition or the renegotiation of existing contracts. However, whilst this is a core aspect of successful procurement, there are a number of other ways in which a procurement strategy can drive up your bottom line. Read on for our handy guide on procurement savings, exploring supplier management, total cost management and purchase demand management as well as cost avoidance.
Hybrid working is now becoming commonplace within many organisations. Following the national lockdown, many were forced into this, but many also found that remote working had a plethora of benefits, namely cost saving but also, surprisingly, productivity. Employing remote working within your business comes with advantages like this as well as the ability to widen your talent pool, but it does also come with its disadvantages to.
Practical steps to reduce technology spend within your organisation.
Over the last decade, supply chain management has become increasingly complex. With globalisation, businesses have seen chains become increasingly interlinked between contributing parties, and social concerns (such as the environment) have also placed additional pressure on organisations to adapt their chain and offer consumers greater visibility over their activities. Alongside this, macro factors such as lockdown, driver shortages and the recent fuel crisis have placed a spotlight on supply chains and the vital importance of agility. Unsurprisingly, many organisations are now turning to AI solutions to optimise their supply chain and mitigate the risks of an increasingly volatile business environment.
We have delivered a number of Contracts Transformation projects for our clients, showcasing the tangible benefits that can be achieved from this process including cost savings, improved efficiency and risk mitigation. See our graphic below for an overview of how we approach contracts transformation projects.
These days it’s not enough for procurement teams to provide cost savings. Business leaders are increasingly demanding that procurement teams provide more value in addition to cost savings, which is why many of them have a multitude of performance measurement tools, otherwise known as key performance indicators (KPI).
Spend Analytics is where commercial experts review your spend data and provide recommendations on where you can make better decisions. This deep dive analysis will identify areas where savings can be made, whether by a more effective negotiation, market changes since you bought or by identifying different ways of doing things with different providers (or internally with different technology!).
If you’ve been keeping up with our recent posts on IT procurement, it will be no surprise to you that IT procurement is a long process, often involving various key stakeholders and requiring comprehensive knowledge of different IT systems and their compatibility. New IT products and services can also come with a hefty price tag and as such, acquisition should be approach strategically. So, what comprises a successful IT procurement strategy? This blog will explore the six key components of an IT procurement strategy.
In the wake of Covid-19, businesses are more aware than ever of the need to ensure their supply chains are responsive and agile. Even as many return to ‘business as normal’, companies are rapidly digitising processes to safeguard their continued operation. Moreover, even with Covid aside, the rapid pace at which new digital solutions are being introduced means that the traditional procurement process is quickly evolving, opening the door to enhanced saving opportunities, improved organisational efficiency and supply chain transparency. So, is your procurement strategy is future proof?
Requests for proposals (RFPs) are used by procurement teams to acquire supplier proposals for a project. The RFP defines the scope of the project including budget, timeframe, and objectives and allows organisations to vet multiple vendors against each other. The competitive nature of RFPs – particularly as more organisations explore collaborative bidding processes - helps to ensure that you are procuring suppliers that are both qualified and charging appropriately for their services. As a fundamental part of the procurement process, it’s important that RFPs set the standard for the type of supplier required for the project.But how can organisations ensure that they consistently write RFPs that bring in the right suppliers? Follow our five steps below.
If you’ve been keeping up with our recent posts on IT procurement, it will be no surprise to you that IT procurement is a long process, often involving various key stakeholders and requiring comprehensive knowledge of different IT systems and their compatibility. New IT products and services can also come with a hefty price tag and as such, acquisition should be approach strategically. So, what comprises a successful IT procurement strategy? This blog will explore the six key components of an IT procurement strategy.
When it comes to supplier procurement, the true value of an acquisition is almost entirely dependent on an organisation’s ability to successfully manage and monitor a supplier’s performance. Nonetheless, as consultants in contract management, we find this area of procurement is still overlooked way too frequently by organisations. So, without further ado, how should you undertake a supplier performance review, and what the main benefits?
The growth in cloud and infrastructure technologies has given companies the ability to store, analyse and make decisions using advanced tools and drawing from huge data lakes. As emerging businesses enter their respective marketplaces, they are no longer needing to be digitally transformed as they are already digitally enabled. This gives them the edge in building scalable business systems, processes and infrastructure to support their operations.
In an era whereby remote working has become the norm and cloud-based storage solutions are rapidly replacing legacy frameworks, the importance of cyber security is becoming prevalent across organisations worldwide. This is further exacerbated by increasingly stringent rules and regulations regarding customer privacy and the obligations that businesses hold towards consumers to protect their data accordingly. Enter the need for businesses to procure new IT security solutions. But what constitutes as a good security procurement strategy and how can organisations weigh up the ROI of different cyber security solutions?
For an RFP to be effective and to support eventual implementation and management of the goods or service you are looking to procure; it is essential to have your business stakeholders bought into the process and the value you are looking to deliver.
Whether you are on the customer or supplier side, contract price types can often be misunderstood and not used to their full potential. It is important to understand the context of the engagement you are looking to contract, and the most appropriate price type to manage risk and incentivise performance.
Business intelligence software is a combination of data analytics tools, such as spend analytics software, designed to analyse data related to your organisation. Designed to assist business owners in accurate decision making through clear and concise analysis, the need for business intelligence software has never been so high. There are non-technological benefits to business intelligence software such as improved organisational culture. However today we will be focusing on the technological side of the software, and how it can help an organisation. Read on as we take you through our top benefits for business intelligence software.
Open Book Contracting is a commercial and procurement model which advocates transparency between clients and contractors. It is driven by the open and timely sharing of information to ensure that operational, commercial and programme decisions are taken in the best interests of both parties to enable delivery of both parties’ obligations to meet the desired outcomes of the contract. It enables the appropriate transfer of risk and can be used to financially (or otherwise) incentivise suppliers around key business drivers and TCO reduction targets.
When it comes to procurement, businesses typically focus on the more strategic aspects of cost reduction such as strategic sourcing and contract negotiations. Whilst these areas of procurement certainly offer attractive savings, focussing solely on these activities can cause businesses to lose sight over seemingly less-significant, indirect costs. Tail spend – often referred to as maverick expenditure – refers to the cumulative spend of smaller, one-off and often lower value purchases. General estimations indicate that most organisational tail spend accounts for 80% of all transactions, but only 20% of total spend volume.
Negotiation is undoubtedly one of the most important skills for business leaders and procurement is no exception - allowing professionals to establish favourable contract terms and build long-term relationships with suppliers. Nonetheless, the core techniques and considerations that underpin negotiation are often overlooked, resulting in low-quality negotiations that don’t secure the best deals from vendors. This article aims to support procurement professionals and business leaders to master core negotiation skills.
Covid-19 has impacted the construction industry in a huge way. We have worked on a number of construction projects and have first-hand experience of the impact that new ways of working are having on the industry.
Understanding your organisational spend is pivotal to driving company profitability. Spend analytics is the process of analysing supplier spend in order to decrease costs, improve efficiency and to improve supplier relationships. Within the process organisational spend data is collected, cleansed, and categorised – ready for analysis. This is increasingly done through sophisticated spend analytics software – which automates the entire process. Alternatively, spend analysis projects can be mapped through a spend cube.
In today’s digitally connected world keeping contracts in the filing cabinet is archaic, and businesses are understanding why Sharepoint and File Drives are also not the optimum solution to storing you contracts properly
Contracts can be complex. Here are 6 key things you should be reviewing.
Many businesses rely on winning new contracts in order to expand their client-base and scale their organisation. The process of amalgamating case studies and applications to attain a new contract is called bid management. Whilst larger companies may employ an entire team for bid management, for SMEs bid management is largely managed by key stakeholders such as managers or directors (amongst their other roles and responsibilities), as and when new opportunities arise. Whilst the latter does come with its benefits– namely a reduced turnaround time (with fewer people involved in the process)– with no dedicated bid management team, SMEs typically lack a comprehensive bid management strategy. Enter the role of commercial management.
Submitting bids to requests for proposals (RFPs) can be daunting, not least because of the concealed nature of pricing up bids. A crucial aspect of your proposal, the cost-estimate, allows the buyer to assess the viability of your proposal from a financial perspective and as such, putting forward a clear, competitive quote is essential. Nonetheless, organisations must also ensure that the estimate adequately covers the work due to be carried out, to avoid cutting themselves short. Developing a bid pricing strategy can be an easy way to take the stress out of submitting RFPs, through creating a rationalised and structuredprocess to draw up bid costs. Below we explore the most common bid pricing strategies.
RFPs can be exciting for businesses – especially younger SMEs looking to scale their operations. And rightly so - they’re a valuable opportunity to secure new clients. Nonetheless, not every RFP is right for your business and all too often we see businesses clamouring to prepare bids for contracts that fall outside of their usual target client or business offering. Whilst you may be keen to lap up every opportunity, knowing when to say “no” or question a project’s contract is a valuable skill for business owners – and one which may save you from costly dilemmas further down the line…
With technology constantly changing the game field, businesses are increasingly turning away from traditional solutions in favour of new innovations. As such, the procurement process is rapidly changing, and the conventional RFP process is now being overthrown by many businesses in favour of a collaborative bidding process – often referred to as ‘request for solutions’ (RFS). But what does this mean for suppliers? And what are the pros and cons of a collaborative approach to tenders? Read on to find out.

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