Developing these specific solutions has allowed our Procurement Plus team to reach a mature stage in advancing our data strategy and deliver valuable use cases that showcase the return on investment to leadership. This demonstration has enabled us to begin the next phase of execution on our data and analytics journey.
Data Strategy. Our approach now consists of two layers: the first is the normalized movement of data to enable a simplified user experience and the second is the positioning of data in a shared location so that it can be consolidated and consumed. With this central storage in place, procurement data can be analyzed effectively cross-process. This ability allows us to gain new insights and be able to answer future, unanticipated questions based upon new business disruptions.
This new data-centric environment also allows us to accelerate development of more advanced solutions supporting the connected buying experience for our people, comprehensive frictionless third-party risk management, and intelligent procurement.
Connected experience. To reduce friction for our people, we are developing a “connected experience” for buying that is underpinned by a fully digitized process enabled by data and analytics. We recognized the need to give Accenture people a more effective response to “how do I buy something?” and be navigated through the procurement process.
Our connected experience capability consists of several key components. We are developing a “front door” via ServiceNow to provide users with a single and connected entry for all their procurement needs. Sourcing will be automated and handled through a dashboard giving users updates and reminders from all procurement systems all in one place.
The workflow data architecture will then connect all sourcing activities with the correct buying channel. This architecture will essentially bring our sourcing activities from the front door together with the buying into one central data lake that is curated and integrated. This visibility will confirm, for example, what we bought from a supplier and whether we paid them according to the terms agreed upon during our sourcing and contracting process. These and many other insights will enable us to measure process effectiveness through the total life cycle of procurement.
Third-party risk management. The data journey and the connected experience will support third-party risk management. By capturing the data in a curated fashion, from the time we make a request to buy through our sourcing and contracting activities and the buying process, we can measure the relative risk of any given supplier compared to others, both from a compliance and performance perspective, according to the criteria we set forth on what defines risk. Bringing together more data elements enables us to establish a risk score and gain a full view of each supplier.