The Need for Speed in Sourcing

Alan Holland

April 6, 2022

In a market where inflation is accelerating; sourcing teams are wondering what their best strategy may be. Whatever the most appropriate bidding mechanism or market strategy is, there is one factor that is common in all such situations: the need for speed to execute swiftly. Those businesses that react first and execute quickly are most likely to win a share of capacity at reasonable rates. In some categories, just winning capacity at any rate is the main goal so speed is essential. Manually driven sourcing processes require too much back and forth communications, too much data checking and corrections to be executed swiftly.

Strategic Sourcing has endured poor systems for managing bid events for too long. Processes become mired in data wrangling activities that act as a brake on progress with sourcing managers frustrated and bogged down in tactical activities, that are essential to achieve some level of success, but reduce the potential for better outcomes. Foresight and vision for building a better future for Strategic Sourcing is needed.

Autopilot with Automated Data Correction for sourcing events allows for faster, more efficient and creative bidding mechanisms that unlock win-win outcomes for buyers and suppliers and permit excellent mechanisms to be designed once and repeated many times. When rounds of bidding commence in a sourcing event; there is always time pressure to coordinate communications, ensure data is correct, diagnose and identify problems with bid data, issue reports, evaluate scenarios, publish feedback, restrict scenarios and potentially repeat again in the next round of bidding. If software can lighten the load during the stress of managing such processes then it's a welcome blessing for sourcing managers. The first version of Autopilot released into Production for Keelvar's Sourcing Optimization customers automatically manages:

  • round opening,
  • management of stages to include incremental changes in bidding mechanism,
  • bidder feedback,
  • data cleansing,
  • outlier detection via statistical inference (soft release), bid reporting,
  • round closure,
  • scenario evaluation and
  • termination criteria monitoring and event closure.

But it would be a mistake to look only at the immediate tactical benefits. Automation of operational activities can drive much greater strategic advantages because it unlocks time to focus on strategic priorities that get overlooked when firefighting essential operational activities. Speed of execution allows organizations to drive higher standards of sourcing optimization with more crafted negotiations.

Interested in sourcing automation? Then take a look at our bots offering.

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