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IT FOCUS AREA: Sourcing
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Strategic Sourcing Tools: What You Should Know

AUTHOR: Susan Stuefen
Collaboration & Optimization Tools

Many organizations are looking to cut costs while increasing agility and flexibility. Strategic sourcing is one way to help organizations achieve these goals because it improves processes, and increases visibility and communication.

To implement a successful strategic sourcing strategy, it is important to use collaboration and optimization tools.

Collaboration Tools

Exciting new collaborative technology solutions like Salesforce.com Chatter, Jive Software, Yammer, Socialtext and Tibco’s Tibbr help deliver on critical business processes through decisive collaboration, enterprise-wide communication and knowledge sharing.

Collaboration tools provide transparency within and across the supply chain. Shared information means better collaboration with all stakeholders, suppliers, distribution channels, and logistics companies. Accurate, timely information also promotes efficient and effective communication that provides value and reduces supply chain operational costs. Examples of real-time communication include product availability concerns, changes in demand forecast, product quality issues, and expedited orders and deliveries. As a result, strategic sourcing combined with the technology communication tools of today, enable flexibility, agility, and quicker decision making in the supply chain from any device (tablet, smartphone, personal computer) at any location and at any point in time.

Optimization Tools

In order to achieve optimal business benefits from sourcing strategies, use optimization tools wherever possible. Many companies are utilizing applications that enable:

  • Spend analytics
  • E-sourcing (request for information, request for quotation, request for proposals, reverse auction, decision automation)
  • Contract management (repository, authoring, compliance, scorecards)
  • Demand forecasting
  • E-procurement (requisitioning, purchase order generation, order status tracking, electronic invoicing, asset management)
  • Workflow management
  • Collaboration
  • Mobile access
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