What is Procurement Technology? FMC Technologies’ Top-Down/Bottoms-Up Approach

FMC’s procurement leadership team sees one reason behind their successful technology rollout as the combination of their solution approach (i.e., locking down the structure) and their localized bottoms-up approach to content. In other words, ensuring that each region’s reporting and tracking needs are addressed. Moreover, the highly configured and customized deployment approaches recognize the unique aspects of FMC Technologies’ business, including the difficulty of introducing new suppliers (i.e., they rarely switch suppliers).

Other deployment nuances – compared to different industries – include a lack of requirements needed for live information, and the need to tightly monitor their low volume and high-mix environment. Contributing to the success of the rollout is FMC Technologies’ incorporation of related MDM (master data management), initiatives including having insight into all specific parts numbers involved and access to already clean data.

The growth direction at FMC Technologies is likely to continue to expand outside traditional spend analytics and SPM. Torres sees several areas where the combination of spend analysis and supplier performance management tools leading the procurement technology charge can deliver new value to the team. These include better serving:

  • Operations
  • Value chain
  • Engineering

These areas represent an exciting expansion for the charter of spend analysis, and the fact that procurement leadership considers existing business reporting solutions inadequate shows that the ERP players need to step up their game or risk being displaced by specialized solution that are used to make sense of fairly unstructured sets of data.

This post is based on research, analysis and commentary contained in the following Spend Matters Perspective and case study: Where Spend Analysis Meets the Supply Chain: Putting Big Data in a Procurement Context (a free download in the Spend Matters Research Library). Authored by Spend Matters Principal Analyst, Thomas Kase, the paper explores FMC Technologies’ experience applying a spend analysis framework to supplier performance management. 

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