Having worked in FMCG for over 7 years, I know the importance of a bulletproof supply chain. From direct materials feeding the ever-turning mixers, dividers, and provers before risen product enters the ovens; To the indirect requirements of the Engineering Manager where planned maintenance is carefully choreographed to minimise the downtime of a production line.
Having the materials arrive just in time ensures that costs are kept low, making that work takes effort on both sides. We as consumers however do not have to worry about any of that when we pick up a sliced loaf or a packet of biscuits at our local store.
This is happening every day, none of this is magic; It takes planning, trust, and good management. Nothing that appears simple is ever so, within procurement; It is a complex juggling act between Category Management and SRM that the Category Manager must perform to ensure that they are meeting commercial and CSR obligations to their business.
I had a discussion with the Head of Procurement a few weeks ago and we spoke about the challenges he faced throughout the pandemic. Top of his agenda was supply chain, specifically the ways in which his procurement team are working with suppliers to ensure that they could fulfil the orders for their Customers. Suppliers to his business ranged from global enterprises to the niche SME that is as integral to the final product as anyone else. We read that retailers are going into administration; we grumble that the produce aisle at our supermarket is decimated because of Brexit; we however seem to forget those SMEs who are being impacted by the pandemic.
How can we as Procurement Professionals help them? In the same way that they help you, OTIF – On time in full. This acronym is usually reserved for receiving goods and services. In this instance let us flip that to supplier payments. Rosslyn can surface those key small suppliers for your business and highlight how you are paying them. Are you paying them on time? Great! Could you go further and ask for a discounted payment term to pay them sooner? Or to get them through a hard patch, pay them earlier?
It might seem a small concession for you, but it could mean the world to them.
Paul Lawrence, Senior Customer Success Manager – Rosslyn Data Technologies
With a background in Computer Science and Indirect Procurement, Paul is well placed to support Rosslyn’s Clients within the Customer Success Team. Today, Paul is leaning on his experience working with global brands in FMCG, Pharma, and Manufacturing to deliver best practice insight and value for our clients through business intelligence and advanced Procurement analytics. Paul is also a Director & Board Member at Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust.