Procurement's Dual Front: Battling Inflation and Navigating Supply Gaps
Inflation has reached a 50-year high, causing concerns about its impact on businesses. Despite the post-pandemic recovery, supply chain challenges and bottlenecks have led to unprecedented inflation levels.
Inflation is hitting a 50-year high
If you are feeling worried about inflation rates and how they will likely affect your business, it’s not surprising. With Covid restrictions lifted in a post-pandemic climate, many of us thought that the greatest of our financial worries were being left behind. Yet, this year’s bottlenecks coupled with an ongoing supply chain crisis have resulted in unprecedented levels of inflation. The adverse geopolitical situation in Ukraine has further compounded this issue contributing, both directly and indirectly, to the exponential increase in oil and gas prices. It’s clear, then: the decade of ultra-low inflation is over and has been replaced by eye-watering price growth.
Will inflation affect your company?
Whilst the impact of inflation is inevitably most acutely felt by the most vulnerable in society, it seems, however large your business is, few companies are in a position of great financial stability. As Fratzscher puts it “many companies will go bankrupt” because “recession is unavoidable, we are already in a downturn” (Eyk, 2022). Recovery, too, is predicted to be a slow affair, with lasting impacts into 2023 and ’24 (Eyk, 2022). Seeing as procurement teams control a vast amount of company spend, a large task falls to them in order to increase financial security by keeping costs down.
Cost Saving: The Solution
What can be done?
What solutions can be found for large corporations in this economic climate? Seeing as **companies spend more than 70% of their revenue on procurement** (Nome, 2022), this seems like a good place to start. Wax Digital’s recent survey certainly supports this - they found that participants who used online procurement options rather than relying on their old manual processes saved a whopping 380% on supplier costs (Ismail, 2020). If your company is on a quest to become more financially secure, cost savings will prove crucial. An added benefit: unlike income capital, taxes don’t apply to cost savings!
Steps to Effective Cost Saving
Step Number 1: Centralise your Data
Centralising your data allows your company to gain full visibility of spending. You can even increase this transparency by categorising data by cost category or business process.
The advantages of centralising your data are plenty…
1. It ensures that everyone in your organisation is given the correct level of accountability, regarding their spending.
2. It increases the accuracy and effective analysis of your spending.
3. It allows your company to create a complete picture of your data. This means that you will be able to access crucial information at the click of a button! You would be able to see whether sales and inventory square up or whether it would be beneficial to change suppliers in a mere few seconds.
Step Number 2: Differentiate Between your Types of Spending
Differentiating between your strategic, non-strategic, and Maverick buying is crucial for optimising cost savings at your company. In doing so, better decisions can be made to maximise increasingly scarce resources. All in all: it allows you to do more with less! Yet, there are also added benefits - differentiating between different types of spending allows your company to show how costs align with strategy. [Maverick buying] (https://www.lhotse.de/en/blog/5-types-of-maverick-spend) will also be reduced as a result which will increase your overall contract coverage and help to bring down costs.
Read on to find out how Lhotse can reduce your indirect spending and help your organisation to eliminate Maverick buying entirely…
Step Number 3: Re-evaluate your Suppliers
Evaluating your suppliers can come in many forms… This can simply relate to negotiating better terms with your existing suppliers so that you reduce delivery time, and costs or improve your existing payment plans - all of which financially benefit your company!
Alternatively, if you find that your existing suppliers cannot provide competitive offers you should find new suppliers or bundle up spending by determining which suppliers offer the same product. Bundling up spend is a strategy that reduces the number of suppliers a company interacts with in order to merge requisitions into fewer contracts, reducing costs. This approach reduces your company’s number of suppliers which enhances your ability to reduce prices through negotiation.
Step Number 4: Automate your Processes
Automation can come in the form of stand-alone software or ‘add-ons’ like Lhotse which easily integrate into your existing systems. Using AI or machine learning to automate your processes stops your employees from having to perform repetitive manual tasks.
Taking away the pressure of unnecessary manual tasks from your employees frees up their time. This means that they can focus their attention on strategic activities, such as analysing data and generating insights – creating more value for your company!
The age-old phrase ‘time is money’ has never been more relevant than in the procurement industry. Automation can save up to 75% in the purchase order requisition, submittal, and approval processes.
Get involved and don’t miss out…
These cost-saving strategies are already being implemented by many organisations. In fact, a recent DC velocity survey suggested that as many as 50% of companies are now actively looking for new suppliers, with 44% renegotiating contracts with existing ones (Staff, 2022). But there is much more to be done, especially when it comes to innovation and digitalisation in the procurement field.
If you have read up until this point, we wish to leave you with a final procurement tool that will streamline your entire cost-saving process for you…
Introducing Lhotse: Intake Forms & Workflows for Your Organization
Lhotse is a solution that offers a unique approach to procurement transformation. Lhotse's solution is designed for easy integration into existing system landscapes (maximum of 10 days) and requires no extensive onboarding period. Unlike traditional implementations, Lhotse's intuitive interface empowers organizations to manage their procurement workflows without the need for extensive external consultancy.
Lhotse's streamlined intake forms and efficient workflows pave the way for procurement managers to orchestrate their processes with agility and precision. With Lhotse, organizations can usher in a new era of procurement excellence, where every aspect of the journey is optimized, synchronized, and tailored to their unique needs.