Sourcing and Procurement
e-Sourcing Platforms for S&P process: ARIBA & Xfer
e-Sourcing platforms not only facilitate real-time and effective negotiations between the buyer and its competent suppliers but also guarantee transparency. This is where the buyer can easily compare supplier quotations for the best possible price for the highest possible quantity and quality of goods and services under prevailing circumstances.
This platform has multiple modules and an associated interface for the buyer, the supplier and the requester. An e-Sourcing platform provides a more effective system for every purchase. The more items that you use it for, the easier it gets because everything is already set up and can be quickly modified. User-friendly interfaces for your suppliers make it easy for them to adopt the system and submit their bids. This makes them prefer working with your organization.
Adoption of the new system by buyers is one of the challenges associated with the organization-wide transformation of S&P processes. The key is to manage this change effectively. Let us look at how we were able to do this successfully for one of our mining clients.
Delivering Change Management for a Mining Industry Leader
The client is an industry leader in increasing value and improving lives through sustainable and responsible mining. The company had to implement e-Sourcing platforms in all its divisions, including South America, for processes related to contract management, e-bids, RFXs, and communication between the supply base and stakeholders.
Legacy e-Sourcing platforms were already implemented and being used in all the sites of the company globally. The sites in Latin America were reluctant to accept the new technology. In order to align the sites with corporate goals and SOPs, the company still wanted to standardize the sourcing and procurement tools.
The Infosys BPM team had to deploy and implement the new e-Sourcing system with stakeholders and the client's supplier base in the South American region. When new e-tools were deployed, the company’s employees and suppliers were reluctant to break away from the traditional processes and adopt new ways of communication, sourcing, and procurement.
The local supplier base used to deliver their proposals in hardcopy. The S&P cycle was neither productive nor time effective. Since the client’s site was in a remote location, it was impractical to deliver proposals in hardcopy.
We conducted knowledge development sessions, and resolved these challenges by –
- Reaching out to the stakeholders and vendors to explain the benefits of the new e-tools
- Emphasizing on time-effectiveness in communication, information security and ease of sharing information for RFX
- Proposing and conducting a pilot program for stakeholders and suppliers/li>
The team faced challenges pertaining to the language, as the training material was in English and most of the local suppliers in South America were not comfortable with it. Ultimately, the Infosys BPM team proactively translated the material for the suppliers in order to support them and ensure the implementation of the e-tools.
How We Brought About Change Management
Since the training material was in English, most of the stakeholders and suppliers were not comfortable with it. To support the transition and implementation of the e-tools, the Infosys BPM team proactively translated the material into Spanish.
User Interface Training
Infosys BPM assisted the stakeholders and suppliers to access the e-platforms, create their profiles, and learn to use its features.
Regular training sessions for stakeholders and suppliers were held till all issues were resolved and everyone was brought up to speed with the new features.
Despite the geographical time differences, the Infosys BPM team was readily available to assist during the entire transition process.
What Was The Value Delivered Through The e-Sourcing Platform Initiative?
- As a result of the change management conducted by Infosys BPM, the vendors and stakeholders began to use the new e-Sourcing tools. Information such as RFIs, RFPs, and RFQs continued to flow 40% faster.
- The vendors started to share information & proposals and connected through the new tools instead of the traditional process.
- The team was able to deliver 14% savings from the initial spend for the pilot program.
Over time, the vendors became more comfortable using the new e-platforms over traditional hard copies and emails to provide quotations.
- Suppliers were more confident that their proposals will gain visibility
- They were enthusiastic given the added transparency of the bidding process
- The level of participation of suppliers improved
- Over 100 suppliers came on board using the new e-Sourcing tools for S&P processes
The implementation of the e-Sourcing platform was then successful, as the emphasis was not on imposing a new tool.
The team became proactive about communicating the benefits of the process through Ariba & Xfer to stakeholders and suppliers. Vendors received timely support on the new platform. A combination of extensive experience and technological know-how ensured the implemenation of the new sourcing process delivered value consistently.