A Webinar with GEP – Transforming Direct Procurement

The argument has long raged between the importance of direct and indirect procurement to the business: whether one is strategically more ‘valuable’ than the other remains a subjective point of view. But it normally comes down on the side of ‘Direct’ because traditionally, in the large manufacturing firms, it is that which creates the profit margins, which create the capital for indirect to exist in the first place. (That’s not to say that indirect doesn’t have the same procurement goals and challenges as direct procurement.) At the end of the day, they are circular processes in that they interdepend regardless of the weight we apply to each. So it’s fair to say they are both crucial to the business.

What is different is the approaches and tools they require to operate efficiently and successfully, which is why this webinar will look at the current state of direct procurement and discuss the new opportunities afforded it by digital transformation.

Direct procurement is seen very much as the ‘bread winner’ of a firm – in fact benchmark metrics tell us that spend influence is nearly 100% for direct procurement (source: Spend Matters). So given this influence, and owing to the complex and high-risk environment in which they operate, direct procurement teams have traditionally been slow to adopt digital transformation. But we believe this is about to change.

Given the uncertainties over what Brexit will really mean for business (both in the UK and elsewhere), the potential for supply chain instability, and contemporary trends in the market such as shortening business cycles, consumer expectations, economic challenges and the ever-growing volumes of data, digital transformation is something direct procurement will have to embrace.

In this webinar with GEP and Spend Matters titled ‘How new tech can catalyse breakthrough performance and results,’ we aim to help procurers confront and tackle the changes and challenges that direct procurement is facing, and will offer advice on how to handle them through the new opportunities that digital transformation can offer.

We will be discussing the potential impacts, individually and collectively, of new and emerging technologies; the capabilities being created by AI, machine learning, robotics and automation; how a digitally transformed direct procurement will work differently with other enterprise functions. As we said, approaches to direct procurement will be different from those of indirect, and we will attempt to help organisations understand what that different approach will look like through harnessing new technology.

We will examine the multi-faceted and complex processes that procurers of direct must juggle, from BOM management (with all the components that contains – quantities, raw materials, specifications etc.), to demand calculation, and from market pattern prediction to visibility of inventory and order fulfilment, and how that can be balanced. And of course the discussion will turn to costs, savings, risk, and technology. We will discuss the fundamentals of a direct approach, including touching on the importance of collaborative relationships between suppliers, procurement and key stakeholders, and how a unified, streamlined approach can greatly improve your entire source-to-pay process.

Expert advice will come from Warren Hallworth and Anand Ganguli of GEP. Warren’s wealth of experience in procurement comes latterly from services and outsourcing; he has worked in solutioning, through implementation, leading delivery teams and more recently focusing on business development across Europe. Anand is a leader of GEP's technology services organisation, managing large-scale implementations of SMART by GEP and overseeing multiple accounts and delivery teams. He focuses on business and technical solution design, me governance, risk management and change management.

They will be joined by Spend Matters GM, Jenny Draper, whose experience in international procurement covers that of practitioner, business owner and source-to-pay technology advocate having run her own S2P consultancy.

During the webinar GEP will also be showing some of what its SMART unified procurement platform can do to help drive greater efficiency and performance in this landscape by streamlining and automating source-to-pay processes, both in upstream sourcing and downstream procurement operations.

So join us on October 10, at 3pm for an hour of frank discussion, including time for audience Q&A, industry references and advice from experts, to find out how SMART can help shape and refine your direct processes and generate value for the business.

Register here.

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