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Back-to-school list: the 5 essentials tools for every CPO
Opinion | 09/04/2017

Back-to-school list: the 5 essentials tools for every CPO

As soon as the summer is over, we must be prepared for a smooth return to work or school, full of exciting and challenging purchasing projects. Like good students that do their schoolbag, CPO’s have to get the right tools to have a very good year. Let’s see with Sébastien Dumas, VP of Marketing & Business Development at SynerTrade, the 5 must-have back-to-work tools for Purchasing Departments to get the best mention this year!


1. An agenda: the perfect planning tool

The well-known agenda is perfect for the students to plan the activities of the year. For Buyers, this useful tool become the "Procurement Planning". This is the preferred tool of any purchasing manager seeking to anticipate activity. It allows you to predict your purchasing strategies for the current and upcoming years, according to the rules set by your management. This allows you to predetermine your tasks, initiatives and action plans, write down your spending targets by entity and per purchase family, or savings.

By doing this, the work is steady, you can integrate last-minute tasks and have real-time tracking of your goals. Even the rush of reporting is avoided. In any Purchasing Department, planning is the right way to an “honorable mention” at the end of every year.


2. A good student always has the right tools: a well-stocked pencil case

In the pencil case of each student, we can find the right tool for each task. It is the same for the Purchasing Department: along with the best procurement strategies and excellent planning, it is also necessary to be able to rely on the right tools on a daily basis to manage various actions, monitor performance and share with other employees or managers as the activity demands.

"Digital Procurement" platforms, such as SynerTrade's Accelerate solution, concentrate many applications, designed as productivity tools for purchasers to save time at all stages of the procurement process. These tools enable them to concentrate on everything that adds value to their business, without burdening themselves with time-consuming tasks and without wasting information. With platforms like SynerTrade Accelerate, flexibility is in the spotlight: each Procurement Department can tap into applications to create their own Digital Procurement system, according to their needs and the specificities of the activity.

For example:

- App Tender, buyers can manage online consultations very simply;
- App Auction allows you to negotiate easily and quickly, with the necessary transparency, with all its suppliers, anywhere in the world;
- App Webshop allows company employees to make purchase requests without prior training (a good tool to eliminate the order out of contract);
- App Supplier Assessment enables collaborative risk assessment of supplier risk.


3. Building your "Knowledge Library"

With its pencil case, the student is not ready yet: he still misses the knowledge and the information that he can find in the books. It is the same for you: you have the strategy, the tools and your customized system but you have to find the right information to be the best. Having the best information possible has become a key issue for companies to maintain innovation and performance at their best. This requires reliable and easily accessible sources, recognized business intelligence partners that will enable you to enhance your knowledge of your supplier portfolio. Our solution integrates the data from recognized figures of the analysis and the supervision of companies.

Bureau Van DIjk or Dun & Bradstreet, for example, offer you the possibility to enrich your supplier database and deliver crucial information about the financial situation of your trading partners. Others, such as EcoVadis, help you assess the compliance of your supplier panel with your CSR approach. Their databases connected to your eProcurement solution allow an analysis as sophisticated as it is reliable, bringing you increased security against the supplier risk and the ability to always comply with legal constraints (fight against corruption, anti-corruption law, Supplier dependency ratio or settlement period).


4. The ruler, the indispensable measuring tool

The ruler is very used by the students, it can measure and draw straight lines. You too have to use such a tool able to measure the results of all your work and evaluate its impact in terms of overall performance on the Purchasing Department or the entire company, you can rely on decision-making reporting tools that collect and process the available and increasing data. Whether this data is internal, comes from your information system or partner databases, a good Purchasing Intelligence tool must allow the Purchasing Department to obtain a precise multicriteria measure to be able to make the right decisions. The scope of analysis for this type of solution is very broad and covers positions such as:

- Spend (Spend Analysis);
- Purchasing performance (Tracking savings);
- Supplier performance;
- Supplier risk.

In short, this decision-making tool makes it possible to rebalance a strategy, or to reinforce it according to the needs of the Purchasing Department. It also allows you to decide the implementation of new action plans, as in your "Procurement Planning" tool! We have then come full circle!


5. Bonus: have good friends to work with

A student, even real good, cant’ succeed on his own. He has to know how to exchange with the others: to do a presentation together, to help each other or, to ask some information. As well, the Purchasing Department cannot succeed alone.

We continually draw attention to the collaborative dimension of the success of any purchasing strategy. Thanks to the "digital procurement" tool the Purchasing Department can contribute to overall performance and interact with other departments. It can also involve the internal teams in the company, such as the administrative, financial, legal and production teams, to better the chances of success. Communication is facilitated and the impact of the Purchasing Department's actions can be easily identified on other services or activities of the company.

Outside, the supplier becomes a partner. The relationship is personalized, exchanges are defined to find the conditions for genuine cooperation. With the internet and simple interfaces, accessible to any user, the productivity gain is there, without sacrificing the human dimension, but instead placing it center stage and capitalizing on its value.


With these 5 essential tools, you can have a serene and productive return and, if not already done, engage in a more transversal and collaborative way of working, while involving your internal and external partners in the Global digitization of your company. In the meantime, I wish you, on behalf of the entire SynerTrade team, a good back-to-work season!





About the author
Sébastien Dumas, VP Marketing & Business Development at SynerTrade

Sébastien Dumas, VP Marketing & Business Development at SynerTrade