SIG The Sourcing Industry Landscape

Innovations in Digitization w/ IBM and Microsoft

Welcome to a special edition of the Sourcing Industry Landscape podcast, hosted by Dawn Tiura.

This episode highlights team finalists for Sourcing Industry Group’s (SIG) Future of Sourcing Awards in the Innovations in Digitization category.

The teams nominated for the Innovations in Digitization category have demonstrated excellence in their field and represent the best example of innovation, transformation and/or leadership in digitization.

About the Teams:

  • IBM – IBM suffered to capture value from procurement data. With various structures of spreadsheets from suppliers, customized part numbers, ambiguous descriptions and lot priced packages, the procurement organization faced an uphill battle when trying to derive value from spend. Procurement launched an initiative to develop insights from historical spend and market intelligence. From dashboards to visualize the data, to chatbots which allow the user to negotiate insights through natural language, the flexibility of the tools adapt to the category to provide optimal impact to drive invoices against contracts, find anomalies and over charges, fluctuations in discount percentages, and leverage historical trends in spend against market values to achieve year-one cost take out in excess of $50M over the past year.
  • Microsoft – Microsoft’s global purchase order (PO) platform, MyOrder, supports nearly 350,000 POs and $26B in spend annually. The tool was designed to drive policy and review compliance, but not designed for ease of use. Users were burdened by financial coding and compliance elements, while also confused by a complex interface and submission process. Procurement led cross-functional collaboration across global teams to redefine reviewer roles, establish consistent SLAs, and streamline compliance checks to help decrease turnaround time. You’ll learn how their work simplified experience, eliminated unnecessary clicks, a reduction in time to create and increased user satisfaction.
  • Microsoft – Microsoft’s Product Catalog facilitates purchases of pre-approved goods for employee use. The tool was functional, but not user-friendly. Users struggled to find the products they needed, were forced to navigate multiple sites and were required to complete a multi-page form for every purchase. Microsoft implemented a completely new Catalog experience in which satisfaction increased, transaction time was reduced and the company realized $2M in annual savings while enabling easy and compliant buying.

About this Series:

Over the coming weeks, listeners will be introduced to the teams and individuals whose work has had significant impacts on the industry, the organizations for which they work and their colleagues. The Future of Sourcing Awards will take place at SIG’s Fall Global Executive Summit on October 17 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Links and Resources:

About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.