Suez: The digital transformation of procurement
Feedback: Isabelle Quettier, Chief Procurement Officer at Suez, looks at how procurement is being digitalised at Suez. And she discusses the advantages that SynerTrade solutions bring.
The Suez group is a key player in energy transformation in cities. As a participant in ‘smart city’ projects, the group’s digitization is imperative. This of course requires digital transformation within the procurement department, which is spread over many countries…
In just a few words, what are the main challenges for Procurement at Suez?
Suez’s procurement department is tasked with assisting in the transformation of the work we do, especially regarding digitization. We have to be able to offer market solutions to aid digitization processes and help develop what we offer our clients.
Is Suez going through digital transformation? To what extent?
Suez is firstly undergoing digital transformation in terms of what we do. We are a major player in what is known as the ‘smart city’, which relates to optimising water waste management. We have a monitoring centre that takes care of water management, managing, for example, storm water in the event of bad weather, and then diverting networks to prevent disruptions and ensure that everyone gets running drinking water, whatever the weather.
The same goes for waste management, where we have, for instance, ‘intelligent’ containers. Instead of collecting waste regularly, they tell us when they have reached full capacity.
This means containers can be collected at the right time, when they are full. Overall, this improves efficiency by 30 to 40% and also makes it possible to reduce the use of lorries, and all of the emissions that come with them, in urban areas.
How is digital transformation manifesting itself in procurement?
Digital transformation in procurement is happening in two ways:
With the objects that we buy (for example smart solutions; applications that we will roll out on the ground, such as operator tablets for network readings).
Also in the partnerships that we may establish with big suppliers to respond to the integrated smart city solutions (waste and water management solutions with big players in the IT and digital world).
But the structure of our procurement is also seeing digital transformation. Increasingly integrated, we are digitizing internal processes with solutions that track spends and understand our needs and spending: integrated Procurement suites that manage spends but also save all the group’s contracts and make them available to our teams, and all the SRM too.
What is special about Suez is that we have a lot of employees on the ground. Digitization is important because we are not able to interact with everyone individually.
This means it is really important to be able to share catalogues and contracts and gather feedback on delivered products and services. It enables us to provide our users with a great service.
What benefits/improvements do you get from introducing SynerTrade solutions?
For me, the biggest benefit is in understanding our procurement and our challenges. Today 85% of our spend is collected through our Procurement suite, this spending is carried out in all the ERPs that could likely exist.
It is also something that made it possible for me, as Chief Procurement Officer, to cover every continent. We are present in 70 countries and thanks to these solutions we gather all the data in quite a simple way.
This whole management component, which simply didn’t exist before, allows a procurement department in any one group to do its work, to identify what the challenges are and what categories need to be worked on, and to make catalogues and contracts available to users.