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Supply chain analytics, it's a set of tools that can help you build a better, faster, more efficient supply chain, but just like power tools can be dangerous in the hands of children, a poorly equipped supply chain analytics team can do more harm than good.

So what's needed to build a world-class supply chain analytics team?

First, you have to understand the fundamentals of supply chain management. And specifically how your supply chain works. I mean, you can't make a basketball team better if you don't know anything about the game or your players, the same holds in supply chain. This doesn't mean you need to know everything about supply chain, but top supply chain executives will expect you to speak their language.
Second, analytics helps you organize and understand data. And typically statistics are what we use to decode large data pools. So a level of comfort with statistics is required. And don't worry, you don't always need to know how to calculate the numbers, but you need to be able to discuss and question the results. Nonetheless, the more advanced your company analytics are, the stronger your statistics skills will need to be.
Third, analytics tools need data to operate. So you'll need people that can find an access to data, clean and organize the data, and also people that are smart enough to understand the limitations of the available data. If you think about it, managing data requires an interesting combination of technical skills combined with the previously mentioned supply chain and statistics skills.
Fourth, understanding supply chain statistics and data on paper is nice, but in a world of complex global supply chains with terabytes of data, having the skills to operate analytics tools is required. On the low end that may include spreadsheet skills, but SQL, R or Python coding skills provide the team more options and understanding the possibilities associated with things like machine learning and IoT devices will help you access advanced analytics.
Finally, the further we venture into supply chain analytics, the more people get intimidated, which is why we also need people that can explain the findings and beliefs of the analytics team to regular non analytics people.

Humans like pictures and stories, so having skills in data visualization and being able to tell interesting stories about the analytics will help an analytics team communicate their findings to top executives, managers, employees, and customers.


Discover how digital procurement transforms businesses. Optimize sourcing, savings, and efficiency with modern procurement technology.
World Commerce & Contracting (WCC) data shows that organizations can lose up to 9.2% of their annual revenue due to poor procurement processes. As SaaS supply chains become more complex and regulatory requirements more stringent, companies need robust SaaS procurement practices.

This is where digital procurement solutions step in. They are in sync with modern business goals and the tech-driven procurement landscape.

#, What is digital procurement?

Research by The Hackett Group shows that digital tools can help procurement organizations reduce costs by up to 45%. 
Procurement, the backbone of business operations, involves intricate processes from sourcing to invoicing. Digital procurement involves the use of a centralized platform that streamlines processes, curbs redundancies, and automates tasks. Powered by AI, such solutions enhance sourcing suggestions and transactional efficiency.

#. Importance of a digital procurement strategy:

1. Enhanced agility and resilien

Procurement software offers real-time data analytics and predictive insights. Thus, it becomes easy to proactively identify potential disruptions and swiftly pivot sourcing and procurement approaches. So the company can safeguard itself against unexpected disruptions and foster sustainable growth.

2. Cost optimization and savings

You can reduce administrative costs and increase strategic sourcing opportunities by automating routine tasks, negotiations, and supplier performance evaluations. Data-driven insights allow procurement teams to negotiate better terms with suppliers, while finance teams can allocate resources more effectively.

3. Integrated analytics platforms

Integrated analytics platforms combine procurement data with financial and operational data, giving users an overview of how procurement impacts the bottom line. These insights guide strategic decisions that align procurement activities with overall business goals.

4. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

AI-driven demand forecasting enables better inventory management and cost optimization. Machine learning algorithms analyze historical data to identify patterns in supplier performance, helping to make reliable, informed decisions about supplier relationships.

5. Risk reduction and compliance

A digital procurement strategy provides better visibility into supplier compliance, traceability, and adherence to ethical practices. Identifying potential risks early on makes it easy to take proactive measures to reduce disruptions and damage to reputation.

6. Supplier collaboration portals

Collaboration portals enable suppliers to share forecasts, product updates, and innovation ideas directly with procurement leaders. Jointly developed strategies through collaboration platforms strengthen supplier relationships and drive long-term value.

7. Robotic process automation (RPA)

RPA automates repetitive tasks like invoice processing and order validation, freeing up finance leaders to focus on strategic initiatives and negotiations. Thus, you can reduce errors and save on costs.

#. Benefits of digital procurement platforms

#. Here are the benefits of digital procurement platforms:

1. Enhanced procurement efficiency

Digital procurement platforms automate workflows, thus speeding up processes and eliminating manual effort. Tasks like purchase requisitions and approvals are managed seamlessly, reducing delays, and driving efficiency.

2. Improved accuracy

Automated data entry and validation processes reduce human errors and enable invoice matching with purchase orders, optimizing financial accuracy.

3. Increased transparency

Real-time spend insights enable precise control over budgets and expenditures. Supplier information is centralized, promoting efficient collaboration.

4. Cost savings and ROI

Digital procurement platforms identify cost-saving opportunities, analyze spending patterns, and negotiate favorable terms. Operational efficiencies increase, resource allocation improves, and substantial cost savings accumulate.

5. Streamlined compliance

Digital procurement platforms ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards. Documentation and reporting functionalities facilitate audits and compliance assessments.

6. Real-time collaboration

Cross-functional collaboration is promoted, enabling seamless communication among departments. Real-time supplier communication leads to increased order accuracy and reduced lead times.

7. Faster decision cycles

Automated workflows expedite decision-making and speed up procurement cycles. Mobile compatibility offers on-the-go access, ensuring efficiency even when working remotely.

8. Scalability and integration

Digital procurement platforms scale operations as businesses grow. Integration with existing systems like ERP and finance ensures data consistency and operational continuity.

#. Implementing a digital procurement strategy

To create digital procurementcreate digital procurement solutions, follow these steps:

1. Examine the present situation

Understand the potential vulnerabilities within your operations and your standing within the market. Anticipate forthcoming requirements and pinpoint significant areas for enhancement.

To identify risks, consider factors such as market maturity, market capability, political opportunities, and stakeholder management.

2. Decide what is most important

Record the factors influencing the situation and establish the connection between the procurement strategy and the overarching corporate objectives.

3. Develop supplier confidence

Building team credibility and trust will help you deal with high-volume or last-minute demands and successfully implement a procurement strategy. Ensure you are fair to your suppliers and pay them on time.

4. Create measurable goals

Your goals should be both specific and measurable.

Introduce a uniform method to monitor essential metrics tied to your procurement strategy. This will help you gauge your advancements over a span of time.

5. Properly evaluate market conditions

Undertake a competitive analysis to collect insights about your competitors, including their strengths and weaknesses, to pinpoint opportunities for enhancement.

If conducting a competitive analysis is challenging due to time or resource constraints, start by gaining a broad perspective on how fellow companies integrate digital procurement strategies.

6. Prepare a marketing strategy

Outline your market approach by selecting the optimal tender process, pinpointing the most suitable pricing mechanism and settling on the appropriate contract type tailored to the project at hand.

Tailor the contract selection to align with the delivery model, work characteristics, risk assessment, and projected delivery timeline. This ensures the achievement of top-notch, cost-efficient results.

7. Create a digital procurement strategy

The next step involves executing a strategy based on the insights of the previous phases. Present the present circumstances, outline strategic goals, and formulate a practical roadmap for attaining these aims.

When crafting your procurement strategy, ensure that your objectives adhere to the SMART framework Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

8. Use SaaS procurement software

SaaS procurement software reduces the need for manual data entry, simplifies administrative duties, and enhances workforce efficiency.

Additionally, automation renders the procurement process less time-intensive, reduces error susceptibility, and amplifies cost efficiency.

9. Monitor and enhance the strategy

Success depends on having the right people on board who understand their roles.

While following your plan, remember that you can make changes any time as long as they match your goals. It's important to track your progress so you can solve any problems before they become big issues.

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