The most important word in business (and procurement) is…

(Daniel Ball, our guest author, is a founder and director at Wax Digital).

If you asked a company board what they thought the most important word in business was you’d get a wide range of answers; profit, growth, sustainability, innovation, to name a few. Perhaps the most important words of all however are those that make all of these things possible.

And from my own experiences I think one of the top contenders has to be integration. Without the desire and ability to integrate processes, people, teams and technology your business and indeed its procurement, is only ever going to be able to deliver performance to a certain level.

As the founder of a leading eProcurement vendor, I have seen many instances where integration has been critical to the success of the procurement function in meeting its aims and objectives. While integration may not be your ultimate end goal it is often the vital link in the chain between success and failure.

That’s why, in our upcoming webinar with Spend Matters on November 5, we’ll be discussing the Three Foundations for Best Practice Procurement, with integration at the core. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on how well you have tackled the procurement integration challenge so far, while also gaining advice on what your next steps should be. The event will give you plenty of food for thought on how integration can strengthen your procurement model. By attending you can find out more about:

  • Foundation 1 – Does your procurement software really provide an integrated process? As one of the first eProcurement providers to offer a ‘source to pay’ model, we’ve helped many of your peers realise the benefits of using integrated software that manages the whole procurement process. Consumer-style online purchasing is now the norm and users of procurement software are increasingly demanding a similar experience for workplace transactions. We’ll discuss how this can be achieved through a single, automated process from sourcing suppliers and managing contracts, to purchasing, payment and analytics, bringing new levels of visibility and procurement control.
  • Foundation 2 – Do your procurement systems effectively integrate with other business systems? A fully integrated source to pay model may deliver strong benefits for procurement but its additional value comes from its ability to integrate with other systems across the business. Its commonplace, for example, for finance to own the accounts payable part of the procurement process, but also for these systems to not be integrated effectively - if at all. So amongst other things we’ll be discussing the importance of key integrations such as ERP, but also the merits and pitfalls of different software systems strategies from ‘best of breed’ to ‘intelligent hybrid’. While no two procurement integration needs are the same, procurement systems often need to integrate with an array of other business systems and data sources to give a holistic picture of performance to the organisation but also help the procurement team drive its own performance.
  • Foundation 3 – Is the procurement function as integrated within the business as well as it could be? Software and systems integration is vital, but best practice procurement also relies on better human connections across the organisation too. Procurement transformation - to become a much more consultative and strategic function supporting the business’ decisions - is a common goal. But it relies on optimising a number of key relationships, primarily those between procurement, the supplier community and the business users. We’ll be delving into best practice around this and what it takes for procurement to move from being an administrator and gatekeeper to a fully-fledged partner to the business and its other stakeholders.

So which of these do you think is your key integration challenge? Or perhaps it’s the combination of all three? The forthcoming webinar will talk you through each of these areas and show you how to make integration the driving force behind best practice procurement.

We hope you can join us; make space in your calendar for 2.30pm UK time, for 40 minutes on November 5th. Register here for free.


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