The IBM transformation story
Global procurement is a complicated process. It involves buying, selling and partnering with businesses; internal and external transactions; and even market forecasting. In addition, procurement influences speed-to-market, revenue and helps deliver innovation from the supply base.
As a business grows, procurement becomes essential to scaling its operations. This becomes possible by automating data collection and intelligence functions, as well as eliminating manual tasks which are prone to error. This effectively upskills the organization, enabling it to take on higher value work by augmenting the experience of domain experts with enterprise insights in the context of whatever variable presents itself at the moment.
With operations in over 170 countries and over 13,000 suppliers, procurement has always been the life blood of IBM. However, long-entrenched processes and siloed data across this heavily matrixed organization were leading to frustrations with the procurement process. IBM needed an updated approach to their procurement capabilities. Questions were surfacing like:
“Do I have competitive pricing on this deal?”
“What is the target price for an in-flight deal?”
“How am I managing my non-core transactions?”
IBM procurement teams were able to answer these questions, but only in manual and time-consuming ways. Instead of acting on analytical insights, buyers were forced to create the insights themselves. Additionally, historical analysis was neither repeatable nor scalable so buyers created them on their laptops. The issue is that the spreadsheets they used often contained data from untrusted or unvalidated sources, causing inconsistency in results.