Purchasing Intelligence: how to build a pertinent dashboard ?
Opinion

Purchasing Intelligence: how to build a pertinent dashboard ?

10/18/2016 Sébastien Dumas - Head of Pre-sales at SynerTrade
Procurement, especially in the industrial sector, can represent up to 70% of a business’ overall revenue. Through managing supplier relationships and analysing spend, the procurement department has a significant impact on the business’ global performance. But this can only happen by taking on a 360° vision of the purchasing activities: to monitor the spend, the CPOs have to institute relevant KPIs. Using feedback from his clients (procurement departments of large accounts), Sébastien Dumas, Head of Pre-sales at SynerTrade, reveals in five best practices, how to build an efficient dashboard to lead procurement pertinently.
 
 
 

Adapt the dashboard to the reality of the business

There is no standard dashboard, because there is no standard business! The procurement department must think about favouring data and criteria to be measured according to the different aspects of what it does. An industrial or a tertiary business has different expectations when it comes to procurement, for instance. Reporting should also be adapted to the type of procurement or procurement families: direct and indirect procurement are not to be envisaged in the same way, nor using the same criteria. The dashboard should also be built according to the type of suppliers: managing the procurement relationship is different depending on whether it is a question of a strategic supplier or a more occasional supplier with small order quantities.
 

Design a dashboard pragmatically

The volume of data to take into account as well as the human and technical resources available do not means everything is possible. CPOs must stay pragmatic so the dashboard is simple to retrieve information from and to follow internally (for the finance and general management for example), while staying pertinent and intelligible.
 
The first rule will be to clearly define the data to be analysed and the efforts associated with that, and to master the source of this data. It is easy to see the importance of SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) in this type of approach, because it means data can be collected internally and externally, in a collaborative way, which makes it easy to get.
 

Highlight coherent inter-departmental data

Data coherence is a major factor when building a high-quality dashboard: you must be sure of mutual understanding between different departments and you must evaluate the effort required to gather and clean the data to ensure indicators are tracked efficiently. SynerTrade solutions are, for example, designed for this: gathering data with ease, cleaning it and enriching it with other reliable sources, to give ever more depth and precision.
 

Record overall performance while indicating risks per supplier

More than simply a visualisation tool, the dashboard must help with decision-making and action. It must make it possible to identify procurement’s overall performance, but also the risks in the supplier relationship and/or of process malfunction. It must also help identify the relevant suppliers and carry out corrective action with the greatest anticipation.
 

Be adaptable and easy to understand!

A dashboard is constructed at the pace at which the procurement department transforms, itself adapting to the business’ objectives and changes. This capacity to evolve must be envisaged from the moment the tool is implemented. Likewise, the reports must be able to be used by workers in different roles: a category manager for example will not have the same reading priorities as a buyer. Suppliers may also be the recipients of a reporting grid, so they get data useful to improving performance and can benchmark themselves against other suppliers and innovate. This is why it is necessary to make sure the tool can adapt to multiple visions and uses and become a vector of adhesion for users as well as an efficient way of bringing added value at multiple levels, internally and externally.
 
 
Concentrating on these best practices makes it possible to get the full value from implementing eProcurement solutions. From 360 ° vision of each supplier to analysing spends, Purchasing Intelligence and Spend Analysis solutions now make it possible to gather exhaustive and qualitative data, for better visibility and better performance in procurement and finance departments alike.
 
 
Sébastien Dumas - Managing Director at SynerTrade
 
Sébastien Dumas -  Head of Pre-sales at SynerTrade

Sébastien Dumas - Head of Pre-sales at SynerTrade

Sébastien Dumas - Head of Pre-sales at SynerTrade

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