Procurement… shopping for the best product, at the cheapest price! Easy right?
Having to liaise with various suppliers, integrate into different procurement processes, understand the IT market and different manufacturer, distribution and reseller channels can result in a costly, inconsistent and in some cases negative impact on your business and its resources. So why give yourself the strain and expense, when you’re also trying to meet your organisation’s goals and targets?
But purchasing and procurement is the same thing? What’s all the fuss?
Again not quite. Procurement involves the process of selecting vendors, establishing payment terms, strategic vetting, negotiation of contract, procuring all goods, services and work that is vital to an organisation. Essentially, the umbrella in which purchasing can be found.
At Stephens IT, our procurement services are not only designed to offer cost effective and smart solutions, but also to simplify the process. We pride ourselves on having and developing strategic partnerships with key manufacturers, distribution and reseller channels as well as an effective supplier management system, which combined allows for a fast paced, flexible and efficient procurement function.
1. Cost saving and smart solutions
Organisations have been known to spend more than two thirds of their revenue on procurement – a rather big portion when you think about it.
With modern technology, workforces need to be flexible and able to adapt to business demands wherever and whenever, therefore having correct and reliable infrastructure is key to success. Unfortunately, this can come at a cost. IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2019, an increase on $3.7 trillion in 2018. By employing Stephens IT to plan, build and deploy your IT infrastructure, we can aid the selection and procuring of devices, accessories and other solutions that best meet the demands of your business, all for competitive pricing.
Our new OPEX model solutions include a number of leasing programmes which offer an alternative and more manageable payment option than typical CAPEX models. When utilised in conjunction with our system lifecycle service, this can offer increased practicality and longevity. For example you can spread the cost of kit across a contract term, refresh the kit at the end of that period with the latest technology (pre-built and configured according to your set up) and have your old kit securely disposed of to WEEE disposal standards, if required. This allows you to budget clearly, reduce costs, reduce any equipment downtime and ensure your workforce is always operational.
2. Managing the supply chain
Behind every strong procurement team there is also a strong supplier management system. Our industry standard supplier management process categorises suppliers, partners and vendors according to their market presence, their impact on our business and most importantly their impact on our customers. This in turn allows us to drive purchasing power, streamline accounting accuracy, increase credit limits and payment terms and ensure products and services are specific to our service portfolio.
It has been reported that contract corruption adds up to 25% of the cost of procurement contracts in developing countries and can add up to 10% of business costs globally, therefore a proper contract management section is a vital for any procurement team to minimise extra costs.
3. Building supplier relationships
Building effective and long-lasting relationships is also key in procurement, but good relationships take time, so it’s important to get them right and manage them effectively. In doing so, this will give you above standard contractual obligations. Getting relationships right will aid growth, innovation, and ability to expand any service portfolio. At Stephens IT we have extremely strong and long-lasting relationships with our supplier base, and we’ve also developed some interesting and exciting new partnerships which allow us to offer solutions to our customers that they may not be able to achieve elsewhere.
Trends of purchasing, stock and cost validation, invoice reconciliation and delivery tracking are now of course BAU, and ensuring access to all major distribution portals is also essential. We can facilitate this demand through the use of our partnerships, log ins and experience of e-commerce portals. That said, the importance of negotiating has changed over the years, shifting focus from predominantly price-oriented to economical, sustainable, relational and reputation aspects. As a robust and reliable Managed Service Provider, we pride ourselves on finding the cheapest rate possible all while ensuring service standards are not compromised.
While procurement has changed significantly in a relatively short space of time, its functions will globally continue to deal with change (including the expansion of digital technologies) and the pace will continue to quicken in the next three to five years, which is mirrored in what we are seeing across our customer base. Technology is now part of everyday life and extremely easy to adopt into business practices, from hardware to Cloud based solutions. Whatever IT solution it may be, here at Stephens IT we are very much ready to support it, no matter how big or small.
If you have any questions and or queries relating to Procurement, or want to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us for some impartial advice.