I’m thrilled to share that Accenture has been named as the #1 Overall Leader in the HFS Top 10 Source-to-Pay Service Providers Report, 2020. We were rated #1 on both Ability to Execute and Innovation spectrums. This is the second year that HFS has taken a fresh approach to market analysis, ranking providers in a top ten list against criteria that include execution, innovation and voice of the customer to make it easy for procurement buyers to compare service providers.

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Accenture is the overall leader in HFS Top 10 Source-to-Pay Service Providers Report, 2020

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The elevation of procurement

If you follow HFS, you know that procurement as an “ecosystem builder for the enterprise” is an important theme for them. It acknowledges procurement’s strategic role in the enterprise—one that leaves the tired, old-school notion of procurement as the “cost and purchasing police” in the dust.

I couldn’t agree more. Of course, procurement is expected to always manage costs and compliance and protect reputational risk. But as a strategic partner to the business, it also creates an ecosystem of market insights, enterprise intelligence, key capabilities and meaningful relationships like no other function can.

We are an ecosystem builder

This report really resonates with me. It’s a spot-on view of modern procurement function and perfectly descripts our approach as a source-to-pay procurement service provider. We connect clients to an ecosystem of ready resources they don’t have to build themselves.

For a sense of what I mean, consider some of our strengths cited in the report.

  • Unmatched scope and scale. HFS calls out the scope and scale of our source-to-pay operations, noting a strong foundation in strategy, operations and technology expertise. Clients become part of an ecosystem of top companies across industries and geographies. This creates a powerful network effect. Clients tap into our spend management data, pricing benchmarks, tools and intelligence—all of which is more extensive than they could ever develop on their own. It’s how they make more informed decisions and get more influence over spend.
  • Multiclient procurement infrastructure. I was pleased to see the report’s discussion of SynOps, a platform that accelerates the journey to digital, data-driven, intelligent operations. Not only does it connect clients to an ecosystem of insights from millions of transactions, SynOps is a powerful collaboration platform that they can plug into for value at speed. When everyone sees the same information, organizations experience breakthroughs in how they deliver insights, create value and orchestrate work across humans and machines.
  • Automation, analytics and AI. As HFS notes, we’ve invested extensively in the “Triple-A Trifecta” of automation, analytics and AI. What results is a data-powered ecosystem that provides actionable insights at the sub-category level that go beyond one company’s historical purchasing trends. Our investments are also a starting point for future co-innovation. From embedded RPA and intelligent automation in SynOps to real-time market intelligence across categories to our AI-powered Supplier Recommendation Agent, this trifecta is foundational to our solutions.

It matters now more than ever

This ecosystem building approach is so important for procurement in the wake of the pandemic. As HFS reports, more than 60% of procurement leaders acknowledge that COVID-19 has had a more significant impact on them and their organization than Great Recession did in 2008.

This doesn’t surprise me. Cost pressures are intense. Many of our clients are looking to renegotiate and restructure contracts to align costs with reductions in usage with so many employees working remotely. They are also pivoting fast to find alternative suppliers as the outbreak continues to paralyze supply chains. And they are having to navigate uncharted and unpredictable shifts in volume.

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of procurement leaders acknowledge that COVID-19 has had a more significant impact on them and their organization than Great Recession did in 2008.

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While procurement organizations are reeling from the domino effect of the pandemic, our clients are finding resilience in our approach. They benefit from a “what you need when you need it” relationship grounded in having the right resources—and the flexibility to deliver them in the right way. We connect our clients to an ecosystem of resources and essentially become an extension of their organization. Our strengths become theirs. Because after all, collaboration is the way forward.

Insight you can use

As I’ve said before, reports like this are good for buyers because they offer a detailed view of the provider landscape using relevant criteria. So wherever you are in your procurement journey, this is a useful read. Please don’t hesitate to email me or connect with me on LinkedIn with your thoughts and questions.  

Kristin Ruehle

Managing Director, Procurement Business Process Services Global Business Lead

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