Supply Chain Technology and Visibility

In a recent report by The Aberdeen Group titled “Best-In-Class CSCO’s Target Procurement and Supply-Chain Functions For Improvement,” by Bryan Ball, VP and Group Director Supply Chain and Global Supply Management, it looks at how and why supply chain leaders look for ways to improve their competitive advantage.

supplychainSupply chain leaders are challenged with an increased demand in speed and accuracy. Sourcing, procurement and supplier management is a requirement to succeed. Now, companies must raise the bar and look beyond standard “source-to-pay” or “procure-to-pay” functionality, and examine spend analysis, strategic sourcing and supplier engagement activities. As BirchStreet customers already understand, cloud based P2P solutions tackle these challenges and more.

Businesses turn to S2P or P2P automated solutions for many reasons. On the supply side, buyers are seeing an increase in supply chain costs, from materials to transportation costs. Finding low price yet quality suppliers are in demand as buyers try to keep their costs low. Complexity within the supply chain is another pressure felt by companies, especially as businesses find lower cost suppliers in different countries and must support the global logistics. The right eProcurement system can alleviate these obstacles.

Aberdeen reports that 63% of Best-In-Class companies are focused on improving their supply chain visibility vs. only 42% of All Other companies. Visibility is necessary for companies to understand the true cost of their goods. “Better connectivity and tighter collaboration with suppliers certainly enable better material flow from suppliers because of the visibility it creates. Our research also indicates that the lack of visibility results in a 15%-20% increase in inventory to buffer the unknown.”

Analytics can drastically help improve supply chain operations. For example, Aberdeen reports that Best-In-Class companies’ purchasing transactions against contract are 85% compared to only 30% for All Others, nearly a three to one advantage. Another interesting characteristic of Best-In-Class companies is that these companies are twice as likely to implement the technology to support functional improvements. BirchStreet’s procure-to-pay cloud platform offers its customers a customized marketplace, which includes a supplier portal, where all catalogs and spend is tracked.

To learn more about supplier chain and procure-to-pay automation, please contact BirchStreet at

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