Our unique expertise is the result of considerable experience and continuous work with thought leadership in our areas of expertise.
We follow trends and market developments in order to be able to innovate our own processes and to enable our clients´ innovation.
Innovation and digitalization inspire and engage us – to contribute to making our clients the most successful among its peers tomorrow. We ensure the balance, in the organizations as well as in the ecosystems of our clients, between stability in daily operations and agility to be competitive tomorrow.
Creativity and innovation are important cornerstones in our corporate values and are key in how we collaborate with our clients. We try to contribute to innovation by continuously sharing our knowledge and experiences.
Strategy for Innovation
Innovation has increasingly become a more central part of strategies in areas such as sourcing and supply chain. Studies indicate that partner strategies are of great importance for turnover and profit, where the most successful companies have a clear and implemented partner strategy. An important prerequisite is how information technology is used as an enabler. To optimise your value chains require both knowledge and tools, such as IT support adequately suited for your business needs.
In the strategy phase we assist with helping our clients in choosing who will deliver services and in what way. Through optimising the use of the in-house organization in combination with services from external suppliers the competitive advantage can be secured.
Innovation has become increasingly central in sourcing strategies. How should one consider cloud services? How fast will they be of benefit for us? What kind of service development can we expect from our suppliers? What technical opportunities will follow the increasingly faster development? All this must be considered with a time frame of typically seven to eight years. In a future procurement situation innovation is a natural and important parameter in today’s changing world.
The purpose is to clarify how the company can obtain the best services and develop the company through innovative solutions by cooperating with its ecosystem of suppliers. One important part is to evaluate the company´s own capabilities to run the services in-house and which parts to outsource to partners.
A good sourcing strategy is:
- Derived from the business plan.
- In sync with business processes and e.g. IT strategy.
- Makes use of the market´s and supplier´s capabilities today and tomorrow.
- Owned by the management team that constantly reviews it.
Organization and Governance
Organization and Governance refer to the organization, structure, capability and process that enable sound decisions and activities which will achieve the objectives and expected benefits.
In the ecosystem of suppliers and partners, SPN works with a comprehensive framework to secure a retained organization with roles and processes for a high degree of stability and innovation (increased digitalization, etc.). A modern organization needs to be able to balance stability and innovation in an increasingly growing development pace. Stability and availability even become a hygiene factor to be able to act with flexibility and agility, and still deliver high quality.
A sound organization and governance is characterized by:
- Competencies and roles are in place when moving from a supplying to a buying organization.
- The organization is relevant and correctly sized.
- Processes and interfaces are well established and communicated.
- A clear connection between the business needs, expressed in the agreement with the supplier, and the supplier’s delivery organization, as well as established follow-up mechanisms.
- Identified KPIs and metrics.
As a first step we go through the client´s current organization; size, structure, staffing, etc. The analysis clarifies the currently active processes for managing supply and demand.
As advisors we normally make sure that innovation is covered somehow in the contracts we are involved with. And what can seem more relevant than e.g. the main IT supplier also being the client’s innovation partner? But it is not evident how the ecosystem of suppliers should be designed to support innovation in the best way or what type of supplier is best suited to be an innovation partner.
The usual scenario is that we bring up the innovation issue in the procurement phase and that the suppliers describe their planned approach. A common solution is that we in that way bring the horses to the water, through agreeing on a typical annual innovation meeting. But why do the horses drink so little of this water – and so rarely?
It is often a combination of the client not being represented at the right level and the supplier considering this as a sales meeting. Innovation isn’t just something you do on rare occasions. It must flow through everything, big and small, and be taken seriously by all parties. Then, even the more strategic innovation meetings can make a difference.
In general we work with three kinds of procurement models:
- The common model is a traditional RFI/RFP process (Request for information / Request for Proposal) where an RFI or RFP are issued to the market and a limited number of bidders are invited to participate. They are applied both in the private and public sectors.
- The ACD (Accelerated Competitive Dialogue) is a formal procurement process that involves three to four suppliers that are invited to focused workshops aiming at providing the suppliers with all facts about the client, his intentions, requirements, etc. In these workshops there is also a possibility to deliver different proposals and to discuss alternative solutions. In the public procurement process the “Competitive Dialogue” is close to the ACD process.
- The Sole Source process is a model used in relationships where deep trust exists between the parties (supplier and buyer). This is a prerequisite to start this process. The model only allows one supplier to take part in it, whilst maintaining a competitive climate ensuring the buyer gets a fair deal at the end. This could be a very time saving model when the above requirements are in place.
The workshop based process aims to get access to the suppliers’ best advice from their best resources. It means that the clients get a modern solution instead of a solution based on a requirement specification built on obsolete knowledge and an as-is situation that often is inferior.
The global business landscape is continuously being developed, clients are becoming increasingly demanding and product life-cycles are shortening. In this global and complex environment companies must navigate and strengthen their competitiveness. There is not only a focus on cost and quality but also on issues such as environment, sustainability and ethics. To be able to succeed you should think outside the box and look at how you can optimise your value chain and better cooperate with suppliers, partners and clients.
Logistics specialists have been focusing on controlling and making process flows more efficient in product-oriented businesses for some time. Initially the focus was more internal, looking at internal processes and flows. Lately the focus has changed towards optimising flows to and from suppliers and partners. More and more companies integrate with clients and suppliers to minimise time and cost, increasing net results and still keeping the service quality at the same level.
Studies indicate that partner strategies are of great importance for turnover and profit, where the most successful companies have a clear and implemented partner strategy. An important prerequisite is how information technology is used as an enabler. Optimising your value chains require both knowledge and tools, such as IT support adequately suited for your business needs.
To understand the value chain as a whole; existing lead times, how they can be reduced – and why, how to ensure the right goods are at the right place when the client wants it there are some of the issues internal experts or external advisors such as us can contribute with.
An efficient sourcing is an enabler for being competitive, which can be achieved by focusing on core competencies while increasing the degree of outsourcing and partners in the value chain – sometimes called ”extended enterprise”.
For a business to create competitive advantages, it needs an effective strategy with a broad collaboration in the value chain at different levels regarding planning, processes, information and data. You need to establish and integrate processes, technology, information and IT infrastructure to drive efficiency, optimise processes and costs but also to secure quality. From an integrated perspective, the strategies need to consider the whole value chain, ”end-to-end”, from supplier to client, including sub-suppliers and partners.