Before you can get started on any project, you need to believe that the information that’s being used to build it on is accurate. In a heavily manual or disjointed organisation, metrics that accurately measure performance are hard to come by. If the business and the team lose faith in the project because of a lack of visibility and control of the data, the resulting inertia will scuttle the project before it’s even begun.
Get Ready to Meet Disruption
And in a world that’s been so heavily disrupted in the months since March, it’s more important than ever that we have control of our systems and can effectively manage our cash. Prior to Covid-19, we were already living at a time when the longevity of an S&P 500 company had gone from 67 years to just 15. Today, being able to keep up with change is business critical. For example, who would have thought almond milk or soya milk would have been a fridge staple 10 years or even 5 years ago. What do you do if you’re a dairy farmer or an ice cream producer? Every business can be disrupted, particularly now, and those working across Procure to Pay and the corresponding supply chains need to be ready to meet it.
Don’t Just Focus on Cost Reduction
But how? Perhaps it’s easier to start with how not to, and that’s by not focusing purely on cost reduction. We can become partners to the business and collaborate to the extent that our suppliers gave us their smartest idea and not our competitors for example. Great in theory of course, but it must work both ways – suppliers need to be incentivised. To make that work, organisations must put the effort in with their internal stakeholders. And that’s the bit where the tech can come in. Build the governance and process into your systems so that change can be done at scale. Keep metrics simple and tie them to your business outcomes, so that the success is measurable and tangible.
As we’ve seen, business can be disrupted by something that swipes us out of the blue. It’s our job to make sure that we can balance the complexities of a flexible supply chain that has the capacity to be both extremely local and global at the same time. Couple that with end to end visibility across the P2P cycle and the business will be protected as much as possible and in a good place to build for the future. Technology is part of the answer, but as ever, having an eco-system of the right people with an open and collaborative mindset will be imperative.