4 Ways Cloud-Based Sourcing Tools Will Enhance Business Outcomes in 2017

A changing wave of procurement and e-sourcing is here. As we look to the new year, the relationship between data, trends, and supplier relationships will continue to shift sourcing from what has historically been considered a function of business to a business outcome. As we’ve seen with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, collectively sharing data within procurement can not only enhance overall business performance but make true impact on a business’s bottom line.

So, what’s the key to long-term sourcing success? Opportunity-based roadmap and pipeline management that operates in the cloud. And as the boom of technology that enables just this continues, additional enterprises will adjust their sourcing approach to one that is solely focused on this type of cloud-based collaboration.

2017 is poised to be the breakthrough year for sourcing – one that is powered by enterprise-level collaboration that provides a real-time stakeholder lens. With technology created for this very function, teams will be able to effectively demonstrate quantifiable business impact that enables informed project investment decisions. Enterprises that welcome this new paradigm will undoubtedly enjoy a range of benefits.

Below, I share four sourcing capabilities that will enhance business outcomes: 

  1. Minimized business risk.  Technology that can identify compliance red flags while understanding supplier data and contractual terms will lower a business’s vulnerability and help to remove risk from mission-critical priorities like rapid innovation. With the ability to forecast business outcomes ahead of investing in a product, prioritizing spend and minimizing poor supplier performance is a new reality. Intuitive platforms with data at the forefront mitigate the negative effects of disruption, whether from uninformed decision making or a supplier relationship turned sour. With this type of technology at their disposal, teams can address and resolve organizational issues on the spot.
  2. KPIs founded on performance.  Structuring e-sourcing processes with a foundation of stakeholder and supplier collaboration directly enhances overall performance. If effectively measuring the contributed key performance indicators (KPIs) from each team member, organizations can be certain those sourcing activities are backed by reliable judgement. Sourcing managers can set both achievable and actionable goals, which will then simplify intake from the line of business while lowering the bidding cycle and contract-renewal time. It is when stakeholders have this 360 view and appropriate tools to track, collaborate and monitor on pipeline sourcing events, that business impact is increased.
  3. Accelerated organization goals.  No longer can leaders afford to downplay the importance of strategic sourcing. Top-of-the-line teams are eliminating antiquated complications associated with sourcing by streamlining the total process. This enables teams with simplified strategic sourcing that supports enterprise goals. Heightened visibility and project management allows stakeholders to look beyond just cost savings and work to address larger issues like the proper allocation of resources or selecting suppliers based on ROI. With sourcing methodology embedded company-wide, organizations set and measured more intently in order to stay ahead of the curve. 
  4. Simplified contract management.  Historically, procurement and sourcing have lacked visibility into supplier contracts and any risks associated with those. With cloud-based contracts, document management is easier (and more streamlined) than ever before. With total transparency into data, legal departments can easily adjust to compliance, governmental standards and specific reporting requirements. And, stakeholders can immediately access the bidding history or any supplier service agreements, which minimizes risk exposure and simplifies both audit and financial review processes.

In simple terms: organizations that adopt a cloud-based, mobile sourcing software will be set up to be ahead of the curve and able to stay scalable and nimble. Cross-department teams equipped with an unparalleled view into and grasp on cost allocation, critical decisions, and operational efficiencies will have a true competitive edge because impact of investments will improve communications, speed innovation and deliver greater business impact. 

2017 is the year to advance souring into a full collaboratively dynamic process – the technology exists and organizations able to take hold of the opportunity can expect to see a measurable impact. 

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