JD Henderson, Managing Director of X/procure®, a Primedia Unlimited company, discusses
Markets are stagnant or declining with many companies looking at ways to sustainably save money and increase efficiency. One way to achieve this is to partner with an electronic procurement provider that is specialised and has a proven track record.
Any business solution, whether for procurement purposes or otherwise, has to be customer centric and seen to be a holistic business tool rather than simply just an ordering system. A business’s key focus areas must always be to make a customer’s life easier. This means that the focus should be on actual product replenishment, analysis of a customer’s order history and making sure the messaging and products on offer are seasonal and relevant.
Its small details like ordering stock ahead of public holidays and enabling predictive ordering to ensure that shelves aren’t empty that many businesses dismiss or simply don’t think of. But with the correct electronic procurement system these issues are avoided with a simple reminder message that pops up on the customer’s screen.
Hosting a procurement solution on a web based platform is ideal for customers and businesses because it becomes device agnostic. Creating apps on iStore or Window Stores becomes costly and time consuming so hosting a solution online is a win for everyone.
There has been a massive increase in utilisation on our system over the past few months. In fact 95% of clients now use it on a daily basis. In the pharmaceutical industry around R10 billion in orders are usually processed throughout the year but for the past two years that number has been exceeded because the business has diversified into other industries.
A procurement system should also offer customers predictive ordering, it certainly helps with forward planning and is an offer that can be developed in-house. A tailored algorithm allows a user to see when a client has utilised a certain amount of product and when it may need to be re-ordered.
Over the next few years systems on offer will only improve. As an industry we’re going to rely more and more on systems such as these to assist with daily tasks and procedures to enable better decision making at the point of purchase. Automation is definitely going to be key over the next few years.
Globally South Africa is on par with many offerings and in some instances are pushing ahead, particularly when compared to Europe, Australia and America because of the dynamism of, for instance our pharmaceutical industry compared to theirs. The States don’t have the benefit of ordering portals that comply with legislations of their pharmaceutical Industries like we do.
In closing, keep the TIPS model in mind – Technology, Innovation, People and Systems – this provides a great model to follow and sets businesses apart from competitors. Simplicity, efficiency and getting great results for clients will ensure that a business remains at the forefront of its industry and grows even more in the years to come.
Connect with X/procure® on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or www.xprocure.com. Call them on 011 562 6500.