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Marketing procurement trends – 2018 and beyond

Over the past few years we’ve seen major changes in marketing procurement. Clients want more transparency and flexibility and we’re seeing a move away from the focus being on short term savings to longer term value objectives being the key drivers.

 

So, as a technology company that enables clients and suppliers to work more collaboratively, what do we see as the big issues facing marketing procurement in 2018 and beyond.

Cloud-based technology

Cloud-based technology solutions will continue to transform how you source, manage and collaborate with suppliers.

Its impact on supply chain management will not just be limited to simply allowing you to use technology other than email, cloud-based solutions will enable suppliers to integrate their technologies with your own.

Cloud-based platforms remove traditional geographic boundaries and in turn create standardized processes leading to faster, more informed insight and enhanced productivity internally and with your suppliers.

2018 is without doubt a year of significant change in our industry as existing providers merge and we see software as a service (SaaS) applications such as sourceit continue to grow in popularity to become embedded into go to applications for distributors.

The increased use of SaaS based applications such as sourceit allow you to do everything from automated supplier selection based on your quote specification, to tracking spend and monitoring supplier and client compliance.

Cloud-based applications simplify the implementation process as you don’t need to involve your own IT teams, all data his held offsite, there is no limit to storage and you can access and retrieve data anywhere and from any device; and applications like sourceit are simple to manage, because the software is updated centrally and in real time, ensuring everyone has the most up-to-date information.

Integrated supply chains

Best in class suppliers and distributors have been working together to build integrated solutions that enable them to automate functions wherever possible. This method of digital disruption has allowed suppliers to become more efficient and productive reducing costs through automation rather than margin.

Think about the benefits your supplier can achieve when job data from applications such as sourceit can be sent directly into their own MIS system, allowing them to automatically create job bags, manage artwork and milestones, the productivity gains and cost savings are enormous.

The future is being built around flexible technology solutions that not only allow but encourage integration of one application to many others in order to support a client’s business objectives.  This is achieved through the new standard of Open RESTful APIs that the technology industry has widely adopted.

It’s worth noting that according to IRMS360, suppliers that integrate with clients outperform their non-integrated counterparts by 20%, so it’s worth the effort and investment.

If your existing technology platform either can’t or won’t integrate with other technologies, then you should question why as it could have serious implications on limiting your future business growth potential.

 Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Sustainability is about much more than global warming, but it means different things to different people and organizations.

For us at sourceit, it’s about providing the right tools to enable our clients involved in marketing procurement to play the role they are required to support their clients CSR (corporate social responsibility) credentials.

Sourceit provides a supplier environmental rating feature for those that want to measure sustainability across the supply chain, while social responsibility is managed within the supplier classification feature that is included as standard within sourceit.

So, when your client wants you to source products or services that incorporate critical social, economic and environmental factors, applications such as sourceit allow you to consider these issues alongside price and quality when selecting suppliers.

It delivers a powerful message to your end client that enables you to align your business with their CSR objectives

Collaboration

Collaboration between suppliers and buyers has always been the baseline, but over the last few years its transformed to include customers and their marketing procurement teams.

Technology has been the enabler, and eProcurement systems that allow clients, suppliers and distributors to share and manage valuable data online has streamlined the process.

We often hear suppliers fear that technology strips away the personal relationships they have created with buyers, however the introduction of technology ensures the future relationship between the supplier and organization will be deeper leading to longer lasting and more profitable outcomes for all stakeholders.

The emphasis on collaboration between organization and supplier demonstrates that the future focus is on the collective resources that can be delivered to the end customer.

Online applications

SaaS based applications like sourceit have changed the way distributors source and manage marketing services and how they share data with suppliers.

Put simply, applications such as sourceit enable you to standardize, automate and simplify the way you source, manage and buy marketing services on behalf of your customers.

The future demands further innovation and enhancements to the relationships between suppliers, distributors and customers through improved agility and transparency in the procurement process.

An agile and inclusive supply chain will fare better at responding quickly to shifting customer demands, reducing lead times and ultimately helping both parties remain competitive.

The strong emphasis on collaboration demonstrates that the role of those sourcing marketing services has developed well beyond being nothing more than an initiative focused on cutting costs. It is increasingly becoming a competitive and strategic resource, and a crucial driver of business value where technology has been the positive enabler of change.

Privacy

Privacy has consumed much of our time recently and rightly so.

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and the pending GDPR in Europe has ensured that we are all more aware of our obligations relating to privacy.

SaaS based applications and their ability to digitize data has enabled us to create, manage and store more information than ever before on individuals, and it’s not just your end customers, it relates to your suppliers as well.  Names, email, addresses, phone numbers, credit card details and other information all retained to enable you to interact better with and pay your suppliers on time.

So, while technology has enabled you to digitize your supply chain, it now needs to allow you to delete, anonymize, and report on individual’s data you hold, and if you can’t, the fines can be very high.

 

Finally, for a business to be relevant in the future requires an acceptance to change. Our economies are being reshaped every day and your ability to adapt and change to the shifts in your market will determine the future performance of your business.

If you’d like to understand more about how sourceit can help your business take advantage of innovative cloud-based technologies, drop me line at alan.paul@sourceithq.com and arrange a demo.

 

About Sourceithq Pty Ltd

Sourceit is a fast-growing provider of an affordable request for quote (RFQ) and job management software delivered via cloud-based Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) platform. Sourceit empowers buyers by simplifying the sourcing and procurement process by providing a simple yet powerful solution to help buyers identify the best quote from their preferred suppliers.

Sourceit offers three different products for buyers:

  • Market – a specialized procurement and job management application for marketing service providers
  • Catalog – an inventory management and on-demand product/service ordering application
  • RFQ – a simple request for quote software for general products and services