Photo - SAP's Head of Regional Procurement (Asia-Pacific and Japan), Global Procurement Organisation, Erich Winsloe (centre) with Audience Marketing Manager Chaming Teow (left) and Country Marketing Head Yew Mei San.
Malaysian chief procurement officers have noted a rapid strategic transformation of their roles within their organisations driven in part by a globalised economy and a virtual enterprise.
During a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, enterprise solutions provider SAP's head of regional procurement (Asia-Pacific and Japan), global procurement organisation, Erich Winsloe said that procurement was now a strategic function, one that is more deeply aligned to the business.
"Increasing profits these days is about shifting from revenue growth to procurement savings," said Winsloe, adding that procurement's 'true role' is to be a partner to suppliers.
"Procurement is increasingly assuming a strategic role in managing today's virtual enterprise, leveraging technology to simplify complex business models and managing operations in a dynamic way to be a step ahead of the competition," he said.
"Procurement is fast evolving from service to function as an enabler for supplier innovations as opposed to its traditional role of merely just driving savings via cost reductions," said Winsloe.
These developments, from a rapidly changing global landscape encompassing the emergence of millennials in business operations, could cause incidents that can have significant impact on global supply chains, he said.
Winsloe also said that the trends of cloud, mobile, social and big data also results in disruptive technologies that, among others, changes business models and enables faster innovation cycles.
He outlined some of SAP's 'best practices' in the procurement space including its New Catalogue, which resembles an 'Amazon-like' shopping experience for users, as well as its mobile applications for a 'Simplified Shopping' experience.
A new way of operating
SAP Malaysia managing director Bernard Chiang (pic) later told Computerworld Malaysia that, with the automation of core processes - sourcing, procurement, and payables - procurement will finally be freed from the basic blocking and tackling of negotiating agreements, managing suppliers, and executing orders to spend more time working with suppliers, developing supply, capturing innovation, and driving year-long roadmaps to create value.
"Procurement today contributes to the corporate agenda and fuels a new way of operating and delivering their organisations to levels of excellence they never imagined were possible," said Chiang.
He said that sourcing and procurement software from SAP can transform businesses through better collaboration with suppliers, and "also enables excellent sourcing and procurement processes while delivering smoother operations with improved spend insights coupled with higher compliance."
"SAP solutions connect processes for a variety of industry value chains by integrating horizontal lines of business with industry-specific solutions on premise, in the cloud, and through mobile devices," Chiang said.
He also cited the case of how SAP and Ariba successfully implemented a procurement transformation business plan for Malaysia's Sunway Group. As a result, the Sunway Group today continues to enjoy improved transparency and has realised exponential savings and sustainable competitive advantage through this metric-driven approach. Its 13,000 employees are also able to leverage on-demand applications and standardisation of its procurement practices.
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