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Improving Compliance – The complexity of a much needed process

by | March 14, 2018

Compliance is a wonderful word that scares the living daylights out of most people and improving compliance is something that not everyone relishes.

Compliance from a Procurement and e-Procurement standpoint can mean many things to many people. Simply put, it means having the right strategies, systems and processes in place, followed by activity to ensure everyone follows the rules. Rules do not have to be onerous, in fact rules are there to ensure we simply do what is right. Of course, there will be some who strive to improve compliance across processes that are inefficient and ineffective, but who knows the difference? We live in a World of choice, where not everyone has all the tools or understanding or money available to introduce the right systems and processes, let alone strive to improve compliance and this can lead to some interesting debate. We can all take incremental steps to improve compliance in our Contracts or Supplier dealings and that’s fine even if there is no overall big picture plan. Many companies have so much to do just to keep up with the paperwork that developing future plans to substantially improve the business never happen. Even if they decide to roll out a particular programme of improvement, it is highly likely that it will either be rushed, not fully implemented or staff not properly trained. In these instances, improving compliance is just another topic that the Board thinks is a great idea but everyone knows it’s not going to work. Logically therefore, every facet of Procurement and e-Procurement should have a timeline for development and implementation. P2P is only a transaction engine, e-Sourcing, Contract Management, Contract Authoring and Spend Analysis tools and activities are often ignored and yet they provide a huge amount of compliance capability that massively improve businesses. How Buyers treat Suppliers, how Performance is measured and managed are all elements that need to sit under the umbrella of improving compliance. How many times do we step into a Procurement Department and for whatever reason, there are no Category Plans and everyone is flying by the seat of their pants! Being able to quickly assimilate a Procurement (and yes, Supply Chain) environment can quickly open-up areas of improvement which then develop into compliance surety. Getting your CIPS qualification really is only the start of a wonderful journey into procurement, with or without compliance improvement. If you’d like to discuss your Compliance challenges or indeed any other facet of procurement transformation do not hesitate to get in touch with us.