How does the GDPR Affect Procurement?

How does the GDPR Affect Procurement?

01/02/2018 Brenton Walton, Head of Business Development & Marketing, SynerTrade

By Brenton Walton, Head of Business Development & Marketing, SynerTrade

Look out ahead! The new EU regulation, called the General Data Protection Regulation, becomes enforced on May 25th, 2018 in Europe for all companies headquartered in Europe, but also includes any business worldwide that collects, processes, and stores personal data collected from Europe regardless of company location. Put simply, the goal of this regulation is to make it easier for consumers to have control over how their data is collected, used, shared, and stored.

The new data protection law is built and designed with requirements for marketers to attain consent to use emails from existing and prospective customers. Even HR professionals will have to comply with any request of a former employee to be deleted from files within 30 days. As this will immediately take effect on May 25th, 2018 there will be no grace period or transition. If your organization is not compliant the companies will be looking at fines of up to €20m or 4% of global annual revenue, whichever is higher. For everyone in procurement it is essential to know if one of your suppliers or any third-party you work with is found to be non-compliant to the GDPR requirements, as you will be held liable.

This regulation is in fact great news for consumers alike who have seen their spam emails grow by the click. But how does this affect your Procurement department, or you as a Procurement professional?

Instead of seeing this as another task, it should be seen as a chance to simplify how procurement professionals work, digitize and update your current process. Here are some general steps you can take now:

1. Begin with collecting your data – Look at how your organization currently collects and stores personal information, and who in your organization has access? Are there any limitations, restrictions, or access controls to be able to view companywide personal data?

2. Digitize it! - This regulation also includes any data stored in filing cabinets. So, this is a perfect time to start uploading all your data. Everything from your supplier information to contact information to contracts. This is good news for your procurement organization as each department’s work to comply with regulations, this is a perfect time to have control and visibility of the documents you require to effectively make purchasing decisions and manage supplier relations.  

3. Cleanse your data – This is the most opportune time to get rid of all the bad data. The best solution is having one centralized database, with rules in place to follow compliance.  

4. Analyze your existing contracts - to ensure they are GDPR compliant. For those that are not, this gives you a new opportunity enter new negotiations for terms and conditions, and see where your team can drive opportune savings.

5. Improve and update your outdated legacy system – Procurement professionals are relied on day and night for delivering proficiencies and costs savings, but this is an opportunity to re-evaluate systems in place, map and identify where improvements can be made – such as in Supplier Relationship Management, or Contract Management – and look to technology to work for you.

6. Plan Now – According to the regulation, if you end up in violation you will only have 72 hours to become compliant. Make the appropriate steps now and start by informing your team about the new regulation to not face high penalties.

7. Use your data to your advantage – Now that you have cleansed all your data, put more parameters and clearance on who can see what information, you can conduct in-depth analysis of your new-found data, and take it back to your suppliers for better purchasing decisions.


“This an opportune time for those that have been flooding the spam box, and have never used their procurement principals to marketing. Take a step back and consider new technologies to gain more clarity on your data.” Says Sébastien Dumas, VP Marketing & Business Development of SynerTrade. “As someone in marketing, take this time to modernize your functionality to improve operations and once again make Procurement stand out in your organization, and earn a seat at the table.”


How SynerTrade can Directly help you


We are already there! With a number of European clients for the past 17 years, ever since the beginning we have focused on compliance and regulation. As a homegrown single-source, complete source-to-pay solution, SynerTrade stands out as a global leader in flexible digital solutions. SynerTrade supports procurement teams to directly cleanse their data, and manage the entire procurement function from sourcing, supplier relations, collaboration, and controlling. The focus is on the fact that SynerTrade is stable, in the world of companies being acquired left and right, this is what SynerTrade does best, and has been doing since inception. As a European based company, there is no need to look at companies with little to no presence in Europe, and are trying to figure out new regulations, SynerTrade has been compliant and will make the transition effortless.


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Brenton Walton, Head of Business Development & Marketing, SynerTrade

Brenton Walton, Head of Business Development & Marketing, SynerTrade

Brenton Walton, Head of Business Development & Marketing, SynerTrade