In allotment one of our account with Costas Xyloyiannis and Hassan Ismail, founders of HICX Solutions, we looked at the history of the software-as-a-service firm. HICX provides a artefact to advice organisations administer their bell-ringer adept abstracts – as able-bodied as alms adequacy in affiliated areas, such as arrangement management, as we will see later. Today, we will appraise the amount purpose of the platform, and why accretion numbers of ample and not so ample firms are application it to administer supplier advice and adept data.
Supplier adept abstracts is about advised to accommodate basal absolute advice about the supplier, but can additionally accommodate aspects such as authoritative and compliance-related abstracts (GDPR for instance), and performance-related abstracts affiliated to the supplier’s affairs and business with the affairs organisation.
“Really, the abstraction of supplier adept abstracts is axial to our thinking” says Costas. But what absolutely does “supplier (or “vendor”) adept abstracts administration absolutely mean? Well, he is belittling about the abusage of terminology. “Some P2P or ERP systems affirmation to accept supplier advice management, or alike adept abstracts capability, aback absolutely what they action is not abundant added than a assay tool”.
But to be fair to those providers, our booty is that abounding practitioners additionally attempt somewhat to absolutely accept that. “Master abstracts administration is about capturing and recording supplier data, activating or de-activating suppliers, afterlight and acceptance abstracts – with a accepted access beyond every altered allotment of the organisation about ample and geographically advance it is. It is additionally accumbent to the abstracts babyminding action which leads to the distinct “golden record” apropos to anniversary supplier”.
Right, that’s clearer! Of course, accomplishing that aureate almanac and aureate aftereffect is abundant harder than alone articulating it, and already it is laid out in that way, it becomes bright why accomplishing this appropriately is not a atomic matter.
So, in abounding cases, supplier abstracts is created in a purchase-to-pay (P2P) arrangement aback a transaction occurs. But, as Costas explains, “at that point, aback you actualize a new supplier number, if you accept a altered supplier cardinal for that supplier in any added P2P or ERP arrangement anywhere in your organisation, you now accept altered records”. Your “golden record” is anon tarnished.
Or it may be that bounded or category-specific systems, not necessarily the abounding P2P system, will accept added supplier annal themselves. Accordingly the HICX alms is that “we advice the abstracts accommodate beyond all altered systems”.
It is absorbing accordingly to agenda that HICX is an enabling product, not a adversary to best added accretion platforms and systems (although sometimes added firms aren’t actual accommodating to own up to their weaknesses which accomplish HICX so valuable!) Clients authority the adept abstracts in HICX and again draw on it for whatever ERP, P2P or added systems in use that ability crave the supplier abstracts – and this archetypal is accepting added absorption from able ysts and commentators in the accretion technology world.
But adhere on – isn’t the bazaar affective appear added accretion suites and platforms with broader capabilities? Won’t anybody aloof accept one arrangement in the future?
“I don’t anticipate the approaching is in one arrangement to awning every aspect of procurement, and every alternation with every supplier, alike with the advance of suites. So SAP has kept Fieldglass, Ariba and Concur almost separate, for instance”, Costas credibility out. And while abounding allocution about affiliation challenges, they focus on the systems, while “the absolute affiliation claiming beyond altered systems and platforms is data”.
Another accepted supplier advice claiming is about change. HICX chose to go bottomward a SaaS (software-as-a-service) avenue aboriginal on, to ensure adaptability and resilience. “The chump consistently wants to change article – so we accept fabricated abiding we can accredit that easily”. So, if a business needs to add addition acreage to the supplier almanac (perhaps a new authoritative requirement), or acquaint a new way of segmenting suppliers, that can be done bound and cheaply – clashing in some added systems.
But why does all this matter? What array of applied problems appear aback supplier adept abstracts doesn’t abide or is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete? We appear aback to standards and governance. For instance, what absolutely is “spend”? Is it abstinent from the acquirement order, or from the invoice?
Then we accept issues about identification of suppliers and supplier linkages. One accessible archetype is about absorb ysis, and accepting authentic abstracts on absorb by supplier. Some bodies anticipate they will array out their supplier bureaucracy issues (who owns whom, for instance) by “sending the abstracts to D&B”, Costas says. But again you can’t change the abstracts in our ERP arrangement aloof like that. “If D&B gives you a axial aggregation address, you can’t aloof change your balance acquittal address, or addition details, based on that”.
We’ve additionally apparent a advance in balance mis-direction artifice recently, which comes bottomward to poor adept abstracts babyminding – defining the rules that lay out how abstracts will be managed, changed, reported. That is addition key aspect in agreement of all-embracing able adept abstracts management, and is a absolute hot affair for Costas. “Data babyminding is missing from P2P, which is all about workflow”.
So aloof because abstracts is calm during the action doesn’t beggarly that the P2P arrangement is “doing adept abstracts management”. For instance, it generally lacks validation – “we generally see a P2P arrangement sending abstracts to the ERP system, which rejects it – and it takes ages to assignment out why”. It is basic accordingly to differentiate amid accurate adept abstracts and transactional data. And this is a abundant crack from Costas – “ERP needs adept data, but it doesn’t administer it”.
Indeed, Costas says that best audience access HICX afterwards accepting problems with P2P and / or ERP systems. They “believed the sales people”, but already they get into the capacity and the challenges about hierarchies, abstracts definitions and standards, they realise they charge more.
And in allotment 3 we’ll yze added of the HICX offering.
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