Marie Challut, Supplier Relationship Centre Manager at Somfy, looks back on the introduction of Synertrade’s eProcurement software in Somfy’s procurement department. She also offers a few pieces of advice for successfully introducing your own eProcurement solution.
Somfy is an international group with a presence in almost 60 countries. With 8,000 employees and turnover of 1.131 M€ in 2016, Somfy is the world leader in automated opening and closing systems for houses and commercial buildings. Collaborating and sharing information with its procurement community is essential.
Why did Somfy decide to introduce a digital procurement solution?
Somfy decided to introduce a digital procurement solution to collaborate better with suppliers. We were looking for ways to collaborate better with the procurement community because at Somfy our buyers are based across different business sites. So we were looking for an eProcurement solution to share the information buyers needed and the information in the supplier database.
What specific functionalities did you implement?
We introduced the RFX modules, which means managing supplier consultations and the supplier database. Our objective here was to pool all the information that buyers need on a day-to-day basis so they can better manage supplier performance and the supplier relationship.
We also introduced the Spend Analysis module which helped us to centralize information like supplier turnover, productivity, reports on supplier performance, service level, rate of non-compliance, and so on.
We also installed the Performance Manager module to capitalize on all the information around consultations published on the platform.
What benefits did you obtain from rolling out these solutions?
The benefits that Somfy obtained from rolling out the eProcurement solution were first and foremost collaborating better with our suppliers and sharing information better with the procurement community. We got centralized performance indicators as well as the opportunity to manage supplier development. We can see who consults whom and why, and we can look at the history to capitalize on all the prices and data exchanged with suppliers.
What advice would you give a company that wants to introduce a digital procurement solution?
My advice is to know what you want! A digital solution does no more than respond to a business need. So first off you have to work on the processes, costing grids, on what you would like to manage in the supplier relationship, what the different stages are and how a supplier is going to be selected. Everything around how you would like to manage the supplier relationship.
Once you have worked on this process you can put together a project team that works with SynerTrade so that the solution meets your needs.
You also have to work with suppliers early on so that suppliers embrace the solution. In a spirit of collaboration and sharing information, this digital Procurement solution has to meet a need in a way that is win-win. You have to bear in mind that sharing information, structuring it and managing the supplier relationship using a tool all requires a change in habits, so you have to work the project around change and support the users.