DuPont’s Craig Reed on Using SharePoint, Being at Home with Data: GPTS 2016

Craig Reed DuPont

DuPont’s Craig Reed, a supply chain and procurement executive running direct spend across all of DuPont, gave a nuanced, engaging and insider talk this morning at #ProcureTech2016. Craig also shared an important secret, which I’ll let you in on here.

To wit, besides ERP/MRP, supply chain planning, collaborative logistics optimization, P2P, e-sourcing and many other systems of record and systems of stakeholder and supplier engagement, DuPont leverages Microsoft SharePoint as a key piece of technology infrastructure that weaves together knowledge across the organization as well.

Craig notes that SharePoint “is our knowledge management hub.” For DuPont, Craig observes that SharePoint:

  • Supports sourcing and logistics efforts (and much more)
  • Enables the management of supply chain and procurement content including category and supply market information. As an example, Craig notes SharePoint provides “information for procurement, information for internal clients and information for suppliers — e.g. a 360 degree Survey DuPont Supplier Survey”
  • Empowers procurement without requiring IT. Specifically, “The beauty of SharePoint is that it does not require IT. As a business user you can go in and get work done. The speed of business requires the person who owns the organization to manage the information.”

Beyond SharePoint: DuPont on Data

For DuPont, SharePoint is not a system of record but a system of knowledge. Data is equally as important — if not more so. It’s at the intersection of system of record and system of engagement where DuPont can effectively drive procurement and supply chain strategy.

Related to this, Craig challenged the audience to answer the question, “How do we better leverage the ‘I’ in IT?” At DuPont, a “heavily Six Sigma culture,” in Craig’s words, this means tackling questions that dig deeper than simply the types of dashboards that supply chain and procurement analytics can provide alone. Being at home with data is key.

Here, Craig suggests we must ask (to start):

  • Is the data information?
  • Is it allowing us to drive the right decisions?
  • Is it helping us deliver the overall value?

Craig notes that these are the types of questions that we need to get at to “answer what matters most from a sourcing and logistics perspective.” In other words, data is cheap. Good data is anything but, and knowing what is good data in the first place — including what drives a virtuous cycle of creating and maintaining it — is as important as having access to it to make decisions in the first place.

Take currency risk in contracts, for example. Here, Craig observes, “We partner with risk and treasury to measure risk in currency.”

This requires ready access to not only global spend data but also insight into accurate contract information as well as real-time currency, PO, inventory, forecast and related datasets. All of these sources of master data become critical to take action effectively (and fairly with suppliers), especially given the wild fluctuations in currency and the appreciation of the dollar in the past year.

First Voice

  1. Bill Kohnen:

    Really like the concept of “system of knowledge not system or record” – that is something the provides real value to purchasing professionals and organizations.

    Also interesting and something for the purchasing solution providers to take note of.

    1. An old off the shelf solution meets a need for knowledge.
    2. A key point about share point is no IT help or support needed.
    3. Knowledge is more important than the latest transactional “me to” P2P” capability.
    4. I think most companies still use share point or a shared drive as their knowledge database.
    5. The comment about data leads into some fundamental long standing purchasing challenges such as: getting at spend data in an efficient manner, using data for effective supplier management, and simply having a place to document and disseminate information.

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