Feedback: Géraldine Mirre, Project Manager and Representative of Logistic and Purchasing Director of Malakoff Médéric, talks about the Synertrade Accelerate solution. She also mentions the situation before and after the implementation of the tool.
Malakoff Médéric is a social protection group present in two areas: pension management, life and health insurance. With a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, the company wants to be efficient in all its businesses, including Procurement.
- What setup did the Malakoff Médéric Purchasing Department have before the implementation of Accelerate?
Before using the Accelerate platform, we used a "manual" method. Tenders were free and varied widely, which was one of the big things we wanted to improve on.
We had no real way of tracking purchasing activities: without being able to see the numbers, we struggled to develop any procurement strategies because we didn’t have real-time visibility over what was happening with regard to spends. Finally, our subscribers felt that purchasing was too time-consuming.
And so, these areas are what we wanted to improve on.
- Tell us more about the challenges faced and the key success factors of this project?
The main obstacle of the project was to get users to join: first, the purchasing department itself and then our internal users. However, a key factor to our success derives from the strong support we got from general management, who helped immensely with the project.
Another key success factor is the fact that it was purely a procurement project. Since it was a SaaS platform, we had the possibility to process this project only through purchases.
Additional key factors included the fact that the entire purchasing department, as well as buyers and assistants, were involved in the project.
Finally, another crucial element: the fact that everything is centralized on a single platform in a logical and obvious fashion.
- What were the tangible benefits of the tool’s implementation?
The first benefit we noticed was the reporting function. It was effective from the moment it was implemented, and it was subsequently improved upon thereafter. With this reporting function, we have gained a visibility that few purchasing departments - which are not usually so well-equipped - have. I'm talking about visibility over both our total spends, as well as what we do and the actions that we take at the purchasing level.
Moreover, the Reporting function has the benefit of being instantaneous! This means you can immediately see what is happening in real time.
The Accelerate platform also allowed us to increase our productivity; less time is wasted when sending RFX or managing suppliers.
And above all, what I would consider to be the most important factor: this tool has also given value to buyers from other management teams. The benefit to the purchasing department is immeasurable.
Another benefit, which we discovered later on: at Malakoff Médéric we undergo a lot of auditing, and so we have to pay close attention to regulations. The SynerTrade Accelerate platform has passed all the audits and has provided all the information that we required. This tool has helped us to raise our standards.
- How do you see the future of your collaboration with SynerTrade?
Well, to begin with, our initial project – the procurement tool upgrade – is still ongoing.
Internally, operational excellence was the leading goal and we used it to conduct workshops with buyers and assistants. We have tracked the bottlenecks in processes, potential irritants and expectations, and thanks to this project we were able to go back to SynerTrade and ask for exactly what we wanted. This greatly facilitated the progress of the project because we came with real expectations and used this to open the discussion with SynerTrade.
We made a lot of improvements. Firstly, undoubtedly, a better user experience. As people already benefited from the tool, we received positive feedback on the ergonomics and user experience.
Then, we decided to set up interfaces, which are currently being finalized. These interfaces are going to give us a slight advantage in terms of risk. Then we improved all the modules, in relation to our processes and our expectations, while maintaining SynerTrade standards.
We are currently finalizing the proposed upgrade: all we have to finalize are the reports and the interfaces. But we are already thinking about the next projects to be carried out, notably the electronic signature that we were unable to do before. We would also like to develop the SRM [Supplier Relationship Management] part as we did for the other modules. Finally, we have several ideas on the eProcurement side of things, and the best way to improve our agility and our flexibility within the business generally.