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Sourcing Strategies for Sustained Success

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Sep 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM


sourcing_strategies_for_successThis post originally appeared in March of 2015 after Innovation '15, our annual user conference and procurement best practices pow wow. 

Now, as we inch closer toward our Innovation '16 gathering, attendees can get a taste of what they have to look forward to. {HINT: It's not too late to register!)

Without further ado!

We just wrapped up Innovation 2015, our annual sourcing best practices conference. There were a ton of terrific business leaders in attendance, including executives from top companies such as Rite Aid, Wegmans, The Container Store and Meijer, along with industry thought leaders from The Nielson Group, Spend Matters, The Ferrari Consulting & Research Group and Lunney Advisory Group

A lot of insights were uncovered and shared at Innovation. For all the details, the conference recap is a must-read! In the meantime, here are some highlights from the conference focused on the right strategies for success.

The global supply chain is being impacted by a variety of factors, and it’s up to procurement leaders to not only ensure their organizations are aware of these forces, but also leverage them to create positive business outcomes.  Which trends should procurement and sourcing executives pay attention to?

  • Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever, demanding quality, responsibly-sourced products and niche options, which is forcing organizations to change how they manufacture, source, market and sell goods and services, since catering to these demands require extensive visibility into the supply network.
  • Procurement teams are using technology to create more business value and find new ways to innovate, but the talent gap is still very present -- the skills necessary for success in today’s market are evolving, leaving many CPOs and CFOs afraid that their teams will experience setbacks that could impact long-term success.

  • The intersection of technology innovation and the supply chain – specifically mobile, big data, cloud, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things, is creating new opportunities for procurement organizations to create real, lasting business value – while also raising expectations from the boardroom.

  • And to top it all off, there’s still an unprecedented amount of risk in today’s global supply chain.  While disruptions are unpredictable and it’s impossible to mitigate risk completely, the impact of supply disruptions are directly hurting companies’ bottom lines worse than ever before.

So, how should retailers, grocers and restaurants respond to today’s ever-changing environment? Here are a few crucial strategies:

  1. Stay connected with the most profitable retail locations and categories, and prioritize your sourcing decisions accordingly. Downsizing can help manage profits in a rising-cost environment, but those decisions must be based on data, consumer demand and category sentiment and profitability – and can’t be made in a vacuum.

  2. Invest in consumers by sourcing to meet their preferences. Develop diversified supplier relationship and leverage technology to gain visibility into all aspects of your network and ensure responsible sourcing. E-sourcing can give you unprecedented visibility into what products, prices, contract terms are available to you, connecting you with suppliers that can ultimately contribute to the niche and quality products consumers are demanding.

  3. Win business and sales through precision and context-based marketing. Do you know who your most valuable customers are, and how and when to reach them most effectively? Innovations in customer intelligence, big data, mobile and predictive analytics enable retailers and chains to be more precise – and effective – with their sales and marketing programs.

  4. Set-up your team for long-term success by assessing the skills and resources you have at your disposal right now and how they need to be improved to meet future business goals. Successful procurement transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but having a holistic approach that aligns with organizational goals, addresses both stakeholder and customer needs, and is defined by a clear roadmap with executive level support will help bridge gaps in talent for long term growth and success.

Successful procurement teams will monitor consumer and market trends and learn to adapt with their environment to reap the benefits of the dynamic world we live in and stimulate long-term organizational growth.

For a full download on the best practices, stories and strategies shared at Innovation, check out the conference wrap-up: Sourcing Innovation Insights.

And if you attended, continue the conversation and networking on LinkedIn.

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Five Quotes to Inspire Procurement Success

Leveraging Sourcing & Procurement's Forward Thinkers

Topics: e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Strategy, Innovation Conference