Empower Procurement with Chatter, the Collaboration Network from Salesforce
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Are you or members of your procurement team bombarded by hundreds of emails per day? Most people say they can’t keep up with more than 50 daily emails. Strategies like making quick decisions to respond, not respond, or just file an email are helpful but cannot eliminate the noise completely or make it a productive work environment.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to cut through the noise and put your supplier information to more productive use, as Jon Bovit suggests? The good news is that there are solutions currently in the market specifically developed for procurement teams, that will help you, your team and your stakeholders save time and effort and be more productive when managing suppliers.
Let’s look at an example encountered by a global oil and gas firm where engineers at an Australian refinery were struggling to resolve performance issues with newly installed equipment. They were emailing leadership and local procurement colleagues at the site and also contacting leadership at the company‘s London headquarters. The issue in question was not life-threatening so global alerts were never published. The problem escalated months later when a sister refinery outside of Seattle unaware of the issues occurring with the equipment in Australian, placed orders for the same equipment. Shortly after it was installed, Seattle began experiencing similar issues. These issues delayed overhaul projects (“turnarounds“ in oil and gas parlance) costing the company millions of dollars in lost sales.
In order to drive productivity, procurement needs to adopt a “pull” communication model to not only better manage the sheer volume of communications, but also to tap into institutional knowledge that may be integral to the effectiveness of future procurement decisions across the organization. Chatter helps connect, engage, and motivate employees to work efficiently regardless of their role or location. It enables collaboration with suppliers on quality issues, contracts, and innovation projects— all from within the platform. You can even integrate data from 3rd party systems to maximize efficiency and eliminate errors.
In the example we shared earlier, the engineers in Australia could have logged the issue in LUPR (Supplier Management Platform built on Salesforce) from a mobile device and then collaborated with the supplier via the community to get resolution. They could have logged comments about the poor performance of the equipment that would have been visible to anyone in the company interested in that category of equipment. Colleagues unknown to them in Seattle would have received notifications in their Chatter stream so they could make the decision to dig in and learn more if the information was relevant to their work. For important issues or projects, a Chatter group can be easily created to enable various functional participants at the company and at the supplier to collaborate on an effective and speedy solution.
Sean Harley, LUPR CEO and Co-founder, says “Our customers use supplier information and Chatter to create a collaborative supplier risk mitigation capability. This allows them to combine external risk data feeds, survey results, dynamic scoring rules, financial risk assessments and threaded discussions with colleagues into a rich and highly collaborative information stream. It’s what’s needed to take Supplier management to the next level!”
LUPR, supplier relationship management software built on the Salesforce platform, employs Chatter as a pull communication tool to ease the exchange of critical information.