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Jack Mulloy, CEO at BuyerQuest, is an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in the enterprise procurement space. He’s regarded as a procurement visionary, pioneering several major procurement technologies, including the ‘one-stop-shop eProcurement Marketplace’ experience. He founded BuyerQuest in 2010, having previously started and run Nitor Partners, a consulting firm focused on eProcurement transformations. His ambition: to create a user-friendly procurement platform that users want to adopt.
In this interview, Jack shares his views on the key trends impacting the procurement landscape. He explains why procurement professionals should think more like the sales and marketing organization, and why he’s excited that BuyerQuest has joined forces with Tradeshift.
What major challenges are procurement organizations currently facing?
There are two major sets of challenges procurement teams are working through. The first is changing the perception of procurement. It’s fair to say other departments view procurement as a tactical blocker that set all those annoying rules and processes which make it harder to do your job. But procurement teams are business enablers and strategic departments that add value to every corner of the business, and part of their challenge is showing that to the rest of the business.
The second challenge is procurement technology fatigue. Over the past two decades, companies invested heavily in enterprise procurement and procure-to-pay (P2P) technology with little success. Many have found their systems don’t work as expected, internal adoption rates are low, and overall ROI is poor. These teams have done great work to patch up these solutions and drive some value, but the reality is these solutions are holding them back. They need to be bold, start from scratch, and leave behind old tech that doesn’t work. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a must.
What happens if procurement teams can’t overcome these challenges?
They’ll remain a non-strategic partner. Most CPOs would admit that they don’t sit at the same table as the other C-levels yet. If they want to, they need to be more strategic and look at themselves and the organization differently. To be a more strategic partner for the business, they need to use technology to drive value for the organization.
The outcomes for CPOs are huge if they can make this shift successfully. It’ll mean they can do the basics like ensure spending is under control and within policy. They can also ensure the company is making the most of the deals and offers it has painstakingly negotiated. And with all that data flowing through the solution, CPOs can better understand what’s happening, allowing them to provide insights that’ll secure their seat at the top table.
What was behind your decision to partner with Tradeshift?
We’ve known Tradeshift for many years and they’re at the cutting edge of P2P, from e-invoicing to platform solutions, to FinTech. Tradeshift is liberating for enterprises because it allows them to take control of their vendor relationship. They can work with and hold vendors accountable to drive value. And that’s where we love to be: it lets us drive adoption and drive value for enterprises and vendors alike.
What’s something that excites you the most about our partnership and where do you see it headed?
The FinTech aspect of the partnership is exciting to me. There’s a ton of value in enabling supply chain finance (SCF) solutions within large enterprises. The challenge is that organizations need the right building blocks in order for SCF and FinTech to be successful. And those building blocks include P2P. So what excites me is that we can work together to help enterprises transform their P2P processes and start using things like SCF to drive value. It’s a great marriage and there are lots of lightbulb moments we’re seeing with customers around what they can accomplish through our partnership.
Get in touch to find out more about how Tradeshift and BuyerQuest can help your procurement team become best-in-class.
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