Mobile Procurement and the Line Manager

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Ivy Montgomery of Vroozi. Back in January, Jason Busch challenged Vroozi to come up with fifty real-life use cases for mobile procurement. This is an ongoing series.

With the capability to be constantly connected to the world and on top of the latest news, it’s no wonder so many people have become addicted to checking their smartphones. Since you’ve already got your smartphone on your person anyway, why not use it to improve your business procurement operations?

Bob is a man who believes he cannot live without his smartphone. He’s a diehard Boston Red Sox baseball fan and knows well that Major League baseball operates around the clock. His phone buzzes throughout each day and night as Bob follows the team and league via ESPN News, Yahoo sports notifications, and Twitter alerts. Still, it’s not enough to ease his mind, and Bob can be seen more often with a phone in his hand than without.

Outside of being a full-time Red Sox fan, Bob also works at a manufacturing plant. As the line manager, Bob works long hours and often finds himself having to pop in to oversee operations in the evening or during an overnight shift. It may seem like the baseball world never comes to a halt, but Bob must guarantee that his company’s operations never do.

Between both of Bob’s full-time endeavors, he’s a pretty busy man. He can’t recall how many times someone at the plant alerted him to supplies running low while he was occupied with reading sports news on his smartphone. However, he can definitely remember the moment he realized that he could conduct his supply chain needs on that same device.

Using mobile procurement, Bob can place orders for any of his manufacturing needs with a few simple swipes of his finger. Using this platform, Bob can even search for the best options when placing his orders and re-orders based on item quantity and delivery time, all from pre-approved vendors. Like his manufacturing plant, his mobile procurement platform is in operation 24/7.

With mobile procurement, Bob can track all of his shipments for both direct and indirect purchases from right in the application. Whenever a shipping company alerts the platform that there will be a potential shipping delay of more than three hours, Bob receives a notification on his smartphone.

This information helps to keep Bob up-to-date on plant operations, even when he’s taking in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. In this instance, when Bob felt his phone vibrating in his pocket, his mind jumped to wonder what important tidbit of information he’d be receiving that the other fans around him still did not know about. Instead, he received an important notification detailing a shipping delay.

Clicking on the alert, Bob reviewed the details and simply placed a smaller order for the same items from a local vendor that could complete the delivery right away. That way, his team would receive enough supplies to keep them working while the larger shipment was held up, ensuring that there would never be a delay the plant’s operations.

In just a few clicks, mobile procurement had allowed Bob to remain at the game with his buddies. He didn’t have to rush out early to go solve a crisis or feel anxious about a delivery that was out of his control.

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