Managing supplier relationships, obligations and risks in the source-to-contract and the procure-to-pay processes is a significant challenge for procurement organizations.
The source-to-contract process begins with the analysis of required products or services and development of a sourcing strategy to acquire those products or services. RFx creation, supplier selection, proposal or bid analysis and multi-round negotiations culminate with a contract being awarded to a supplier.
Procure-to-Pay involves obtaining and managing the materials being sourced based on the negotiated contracts. It begins at the time of order and continues through fulfillment and payment.
Sourcing Challenges and the Role of Contracts
Both source-to-contract and procure-to-pay present opportunities to manage supplier relationships, risks and the overall purchasing efficiency. But in many organizations, the processes are fragmented and inefficient, and inadequate technology is often the cause. Legacy ERP solutions offer limited visibility into the procurement lifecycle. As a result, collaboration between internal and external stakeholders and suppliers suffers. Compliance issues abound. Both contract creation and post-contract execution are inefficient. This means longer cycle times and increased costs.
The common thread among all aspects of supplier relationships is contracts. Building sourcing into a contracting platform, rather than a traditional ERP platform, improves procurement lifecycle efficiency and visibility. Contracting software is uniquely capable of linking the contract management lifecycle to the procure-to-pay process. This ensures compliance, minimizes risk and provides a holistic view of supplier relationships.
The ICM Sourcing App – An Easy to Use Contracting and Sourcing Solution
Icertis, the leading enterprise contract management provider, has recently introduced the ICM Sourcing App on the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform. Key elements in the sourcing app include:
- Fast deployment that leads to increased adoption. The Icertis sourcing app is easy to use, easy to deploy and runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Daimler, the auto industry giant is among the first to go live with the Icertis Sourcing App, and it was able to deploy it significantly faster than past ERP-based software installations. For Daimler, the ICM platform and Icertis Sourcing App are the key elements of digital transformation. They will ensure flexible and agile contracting and sourcing for its passenger car, commercial vehicle and financial services operations worldwide.
- Automate the RFx process with built-in collaboration tools. Use a built-in rules engine to dynamically associate key information with RFx events that can be shared with suppliers. Configure different workflow approvals to different types of sourcing events to review RFx requirements or awarding decisions
- Identify qualified suppliers with side-by-side, Excel-based bid analysis. Unite stakeholders with built-in team management capabilities. Score bids across RFx rounds with both qualitative and quantitative criterias and award right set of suppliers either from within the app or directly from the excel file
- Negotiate effective pricing and short-list best suppliers with multi-round events. Rounds can proceed sequentially or in parallel. Users can initiate the awarding process based on specific rounds.
- Integrated contract management increases control and reduces non-compliance risk. Increase visibility into supplier risk and ensure source-to-contract compliance. Use built-in performance dashboards for insights into RFx cycle time, supplier risk, and contractual obligations. Daimler chose the Icertis Sourcing App for its ability to address every phase of the contracting and sourcing process, and its seamless integration with other systems that support the full procurement lifecycle.
- Increase supplier collaboration with an easy-to-use supplier portal. Suppliers more easily participate in the RFx bidding process with an integrated supplier portal. Onboarding is simple, and suppliers can self-register and submit bids and proposals in an Excel file.