Challenge

The food and beverage sector, as a whole, has experienced significant cost deflation over the past decade. While revenues have ticked upward, profitability has been harder and harder to achieve. In this environment, companies have had no choice but to become much more agile and efficient.

A multi-national food and beverage company had gone to great lengths to squeeze costs from its operations. But, like many of its peers, it had not turned its attention to procurement. That changed when the company recognized the tremendous potential to transform its indirect procurement function into an intelligent operation by combining applied intelligence, data and human ingenuity to drive breakthrough business outcomes.

Strategy and Solution

Smart decisions and new levels of intelligence enabled by SynOps for Procurement 

A team of procurement, robotic process automation (RPA) and cloud-based Ariba experts deployed, consolidated and streamlined new procurement systems across 14 countries. In tandem, processes were standardized and automated for key elements of the client’s indirect procurement operations–including order processing, spot/tactical buying, catalog activation, invoicing, master data management and reporting.

Automating purchase flows and catalog management, standardization of buyer channels, and leveraging Ariba’s guided buying capabilities were critical components of the shift to intelligent procurement operations. As was the centralization of purchasing policies, which made it easier for users to comply with those policies and warranties—accelerating the buying process and helping improve the user experience.

Transformation

Shaving millions from its indirect procurement costs means the company can use these savings to re-invest in growth initiatives, including product development, technology enhancements and analytics.

Leveraging the SynOps operating engine has improved the user experience along with achieving greater efficiency, productivity and delivering business value. In the past, buyers would simply requisition items and wait for them to arrive; now, they can actually manage the transaction from end-to-end with intuitive and easy-to-use customer interfaces and reports. Beyond this process transparency, the new solution provides visibility into global spending. That means the company’s procurement leaders can make better decisions aimed at controlling costs.

$30M

Highly automated processes have generated nearly $30 million in savings.

15%

Which translates into an average savings rate of 15 percent per year.

5%

Due to the centralization of buying channels, an additional 5 percent of savings are expected.

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