Divided they fall - master data, category strategies and e-procurement tools
Do you face or hear about the situation of procurement with all its might of ERP, e-procurement and other infrastructure element engines not able to crank up enough power to generate delightful performance? Well you are not alone. The good news is that there is enough help, sound approaches and good people available to help you manage such a situation better.
The classic scenario looks like this at the headline level. Most of the purchasing functions fail miserably in tightly uniting three important resources together - standardized and e-commerce centric master data, robust category strategies created based on such data, other external & internal analysis and their flawless execution through ERP/e-procurement tools (e.g. Ariba, Emptoris). Their stakeholders and bosses complain like this. "We have invested heavily into Ariba but aren't getting results; the adoption of these tools is not increasing; I am still not able to know how much is the spend that I incur on third parties" etc.
At a deep dive level, you find that the devil is in the details. Master data is often not "master" or related to sound underpinning standards but remains a "vulnerable deputy" whose form and shape can be freely altered by anyone inside ERPs. Category strategies are cosmetic exercises then, as poor quality data generates poor reports not amenable to generate even good tactics, leave aside the question of any strategy. Last but not the least, e-procurement tools are easily not used or less used to convert robust category strategies and good quality master data at day to day supply planning to fulfilment and performance measurement levels.
So reflect and contribute. You may agree or agree to disagree. Itching to communicate? Over to you.