Aylık arşivler: Ocak 2017

Indirect Spend Categories to Make Cost Reduction

Over the past five years, purchasing/supply groups in well-managed companies have made significant progress in reducing the price of inputs. Since specific direct materials are often associated with distinct Strategic Business Units (SBUs), managing this spend is usually accomplished through center-led commodity groups, with sourcing decisions and administration occurring at the SBU. Though most companies are generally satisfied with the efforts they have made in strategically sourcing their direct goods and services, most companies are still attempting to gain comparable control and results with their indirect spend.

Indirect spend is receiving increased attention from the senior management of large corporations. On average, indirect spend equals about 50 percent of a company’s purchases. Unfortunately, a significant amount of indirect spend is not purchased using the organization’s purchasing/supply function or purchasing processes. Senior management has realized that reducing or eliminating indirect spend offers an opportunity to favourably affect a company’s cost structure. Examples of indirect spend include: professional services, utilities, company travel, office products, and waste Management, facility management e.t.c However, spend that is indirect for one company may be direct for another. Furthermore, segmenting direct and indirect spend can be very difficult, particularly for service companies.

With increased outsourcing of non-core capabilities, the growth of the service sector, and increasing cost pressure, the importance of managing indirect spend is increasing.  A recent survey conducted by The Aberdeen Group recently reported that about 70 percent of procurement executives cite indirect spend as a top focus for controlling and reducing cost. Procurement executives know that indirect category management now presents a significant opportunity for cost management, gross profit and margin growth. More procurement groups now seek to drive a larger volume of contracts through their organizations. They want to manage and negotiate better rates and achieve tighter compliance with both financial and regulatory controls. And they believe that more attention to indirect spend and the multitude of suppliers in those categories can yield savings without distracting management attention from compliance or strategy.

Some of the top 5 Categories where companies can successfully achieve significant savings in indirect spend include:

Marketing Services

Marketing spend is defined as `external expenditures on services related to marketing’. Marketing spend categories usually include printing services compatible to goods,  agency/creative services, and other non-creative services,  Buying Marketing Services is often regarded as one of the highest budget areas within an organisation, hence the role for Procurement has increased considerably in recent years focusing on improving quality, delivery times and innovation.


Waste Management

Waste management is the “generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes”. There are various types of solid waste including municipal (residential, institutional, commercial), agricultural, and special (health care, household hazardous wastes, sewage sludge). The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics.


Professional Services

Organisations often employ professional services for assistance with strategy, management, and other functional services such as legal, Human Resources etc.  Procurement can demonstrate value by providing insight to spend, supplier sourcing, realising savings and organising efficient, economical purchasing processes.


Office Supplies

Office Supplies can be defined as all items which have the objective of retaining or restoring a piece of equipment or system, to a state in which it can perform its required function. These are items which are used in production but do not become part of the end product and include hand tools, spare parts, lubricants and cleaning supplies e.t.c. They are goods acquired for the purpose of current operation; items that are consumable, sometimes perishable or short lived, and are subject to material change. They could also be items of a durable nature such as wastebaskets, small tools, bookends, file cabinets, chairs, calculators.


Facilities Management

Procurement is often involved with many of the services bought in, to support the building and people within an organisation – often referred as Facilities management (FM). FM is a significant area of spend for most organisations, traditionally defined as soft (people focused) and hard (engineering focused). Approaches for managing FM may be centralised or decentralised, either through several direct contractors or via an integrated FM supplier which provides all services.

What Procurement Professionals want in 2017

The New Year is here already, after the holiday season filled with lots of giving and sharing with employees, colleagues, friends and loved ones, it’s now time to implement new spending strategies to help you make the most of your 2017 budget. If your company is planning to up the ante on event spending next year, they need to be aware what procurement professionals are looking out for and be better prepared on how make the most out of its 2017 procurement teams.

It’s no longer news that procurement teams fuel the profitability and growth of some the world’s most successful companies, from aligning procurement’s deliverables with top business goals to understanding exactly what needs to change in procurement to drive financial results, there are several habits that organisations can establish to encourage effective procurement practices that result in value generation for the company as a whole.

Some of the Industry trends that procurement professionals tend to be leaning toward in the New Year include:

  1. The power of relationships

The ability to build strong relationships with suppliers, clients and stakeholders can contribute to success within service delivery, recruitment and the list goes on.

Too often we see organisations fail to manage their contracts and suppliers. An effective supplier management framework that appropriately aligns risk, effort and reward is a key enabler of ongoing sustainable value creation. The framework needs to include segmentation (i.e., strategic, operational and tactical), performance management framework(s) and a clear articulation of organisational accountability and responsibility. Procurement professionals should be looking to do more in this regard in order to provide a more personal and tailored approach towards procurement in 2017

  1. Online Platforms

A growing amount of procurement professionals are tapping into online platforms to help build these global relationships. Procurement professionals can leverage what’s happening in retail-related user experience to build commercial business cases to invest internally in great systems.  Systems that will improve productivity and allow organisations to capture data and move from spend analysis to predictive procurement. Platforms that are cost effective and allows for easier data capture at point of purchase for procurement professionals. These niche platforms offer similar functions to a social network but also much more

So what are these online platforms? They aren’t just the usual culprits of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Now there’s a new wave of social media which is tailored to professionals in specific industries – the niche online business network. As for the procurement industry, some of these platforms include; Procurious, Salesforce, Amazon, SAP e.t.c. Procurement professionals should seek to delve deeper into these platforms to see how best they can further build upon existing successes recorded.

  1. Global networking

It’s no secret the logistics, procurement and supply chain profession is global in nature and these niche networks allow procurers, buyers and suppliers to network with people from all corners of the globe.  The online space is no doubt a key channel for establishing business relationships with professionals from some of the world’s largest economies. With functions such as networking capabilities, industry specific news and discussion forums, these platforms create focused global communities. They provide opportunities for members to converse, network and share knowledge with like-minded peers across the globe.

  1. Tailored learning

Niche online networks are also hubs of knowledge which can be useful when fostering relationships with several stakeholders. For example, if procurement professionals want to do business in new locations or with a new supplier, they’ll need to understand their background, the market they play in and local industry issues. Sites and platforms should foster discussions groups which can help one learn about another culture or industry’s way of doing business before entering the market.


The value that the an efficient and effective procurement department brings to an organisation are huge not just in cost savings but also in terms of long term profitability of the business and also in promoting  sustainability business practises and majority of businesses are beginning to establish and encourage habits that can drive these benefits. While the outcome of alignment and transformation projects are different for every organisation, the end result creates a clear path for procurement to drive financial results, earn more internal budget and resources, and demonstrate to key stakeholders the immense value and critical nature of their program. Procurement professionals are constantly challenged to provide the latest innovations that are truly integrated, mobile and social-enabled in order to deliver productivity gains and raise employee engagement and compliance while leading to better supplier management and auditing.