Modernizing Fashion Retail with Digital Procurement

Struggling with a legacy Source-to-Contract solution, The Client’s users had low adoption rates due to critical deficiencies in the application and deployed design.                        

In an effort to seek out a new Source-to-Contract solution, The Client’s needs were met with a new market-leading source-to-pay solution implemented by Optis.

Learn more about the keys to success and the results of this project:

A Blueprint for Procurement Transformation with Global Media and Digital Marketing Firm

The Client is a multinational media and digital marketing communications company that sought to centralize procurement and finance functions. Utilizing Optis Consulting’s Launch, The Client successfully adopted a market-leading Source-to-Pay solution to include:

Overall, Optis Consulting was able to reduce the total cost of ownership, define governance models, accelerate integrations, and provide effective change management. Learn more about the keys to success and the results of this project:

Transforming a Global Manufacturer’s 14 Key Supply Chain Functions for Efficiency and Savings

The total project implementation took just 20 weeks from kick-off to sustainment and laid the foundation to replace legacy systems over two decades old. With such deeply-rooted processes and technologies, the stakes were high for such a transformational improvement that would impact critical business operations.

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Unifying Procurement at High-Growth Hospital & Health Care Client

The Client is a rapidly-growing hospital & health care organization, acquiring several companies across the US. With the Frame approach, Optis Consulting’s Launch helped The Client with establishing centralized visibility into individual locations and developing a system of managing contracts and procurement processes.

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Oil & Natural Gas Producer Moves to Digital Spend Management In Under 4 Months

With the Frame approach, Optis Consulting’s Launch supported The Client to adopt a market-leading Source-to-Pay solution to address spend management challenges, including:

By adopting best practices, moving quickly, and keeping it simple, Optis Consulting was able to implement a market-leading SaaS source-to-pay solution in under four months.

Tire Distributor & Retailer Brings Transparency and Automation to Expenses Management

Expenses management was a highly-manual and paper-based process, lacking spend control and adequate reporting. By adopting an expenses management solution, The Client was able to accelerate the expense review and approval process while ensuring employee purchases were reportable and compliant with policies. Highlights from this project include:

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How a $20b Global Financial Institution Charted the Course of Their Source-to-Pay Transformation

Part 1

Establish the Vision and Unbiased Case for Transformation

At the early stages of our Focus phase, Optis shared an unbiased and realistic view of value levers while defining the purpose-built vision for the future, spanning the organization, people, process, and technology.

Through this exercise, we also uncovered the benefits and costs that often go unnoticed through implementation that pop up near go-live and tarnish the perception of the outcomes and people involved in the program.

Part 2

Connecting the Organization, Process, and Technology

To achieve the transformational outcomes and to unlock organizational efficiency, we charted a plan that moved the organization, process, and technology in lockstep:

Pillars of the Transformation

  1. Enhance Operational Capabilities
    Uncover efficiencies and release capacity to keep on track
  2. Transform the Business Model
    Build new services and upgrade existing services for business partners and suppliers
  3. Enhance Employee Experience
    Through employee engagement, development, and opportunities

With the fit for purpose vision in focus, Optis defined source-to-pay internal services to bring clarity and structure to procurement’s role in the organization. This allowed the performance and operations management framework to fall into place around the focused capabilities of the new spend management operating model.

This approach also created a connection from the vision and operating model to prioritize requirements, enabling the source-to-pay platform selection process.

Part 3

Laser-Focused Platform Selection Process

With alignment on the value proposition of full suite source-to-pay and the understanding of the most critical and unique requirements, The client leaned on the unbiased and unparalleled expertise of Optis to quickly establish a shortlist of viable S2P platforms and engage them in a focused, fair, and streamlined selection process.

User journeys and S2P personas were used from the Optis Accelerator Toolkit, providing an elevated starting point for solution demonstrations and format for comparison and evaluation.

When evaluating costs, solution total cost models from the Optis Accelerator Toolkit were used to break down software, services (internal and external), support, and other cost escalations that could be expected. This approach demystified the always-changing software landscape to create an even evaluation while avoiding the client having to pay for shelfware or excessive licenses/entitlements.

With the capabilities and limitations understood, the evaluation process moved beyond features and functionality towards partner fit and strategic roadmap considerations. For the client, it was also important to see beyond today’s needs and requirements. The client was looking for investment, innovation, and commitment to be a real partner in the transformation journey.

Client stakeholders understood the impact of making the wrong decision and the potential to lose momentum as decisions spun. Commitment was tested, resistance was dealt with, consensus was formed, and contracts were signed.

Part 4

Preparing for Launch

After contract execution for the selected software solution, Optis utilized a month of ramp-up to conduct mobilization and project start, allowing the internal project team to onboard and engage early with the impacted business stakeholders rather than recklessly diving into system implementation work. Tailored change impact and readiness assessments were completed to identify complexities and surface pockets of support and resistance across a 20k+ global user base.

In parallel, activities on the traditional project critical path (including requirements gathering and integration design) were pulled ahead to alleviate project risk.

When the implementation went underway, the integrated client and Optis team were equipped with a shared understanding of the mandate, the plan, and the challenges that built momentum and movement.


Reflection

The Focus phase led to the Launch phase, implementing new capabilities and organizational change across the source-to-pay spectrum:

Sourcing & Contracting
Supplier discovery, RFx, and complete contract lifecycle

Buying & Invoicing
Portal for buying and connecting with approved suppliers

Supplier Information
Digital forms to manage qualification and information

Expense Management
Expense report submission, approvals, and audit

Third-Party Risk Management
Intake, triage, assessment, and ongoing monitoring

Post-implementation, the client has shifted to Perform mode, with a mandate to push adoption, implement new enhancements, and fully realize the benefits of the source-to-pay platform. While possible to move directly to Launch and Perform, in hindsight it is clear to see the initial Focus phase led to a more successful and predictable implementation with a lower solution total cost of ownership (TCO).

Leveraging Source-to-Pay Technology to Manage Contracting Spend in Oil & Gas

With the Frame approach, Optis Consulting’s Launch supported the client in implementing a market-leading Source-to-Pay solution to support its business case focusing on:

Learn more about the keys to success and results of this project:

How a Global Retailer Transformed Procurement with Cloud Source-to-Pay

The Client

One of the world’s top apparel brands recognized as an innovative design hub with a focus their clients’ experience. With an employee count of over 15,000 and annual revenues exceeding $4b, this retailer boasts over 400 stores in 20 countries. 

The Opportunity and Business Case for Source-to-Pay 

The client has a strong corporate culture rooted in accountability, autonomy, and entrepreneurialism. The procurement process supported this culture by granting broad authority to front-line retail staff to purchase goods and services for their stores from suppliers in their local communities. Centralized corporate functions were granted similar autonomy, procuring goods and services from suppliers they knew and trusted with little support from procurement. However, with growing pressure on the brick-and-mortar retail industry, the company was faced with a difficult challenge: to reduce costs and risk in procurement and finance operations while preserving its localized, entrepreneurial culture.

By moving to a digitized buying process using a broad selection of in-platform catalogs and simple, automated approval workflows, the client could ensure front-line staff were buying from the right suppliers at the right price while still maintaining the flexibility and speed their culture demanded. In finance, there was a clear priority to move from their current OCR scanning solution to truly digital, touchless invoicing with automation and improved international compliance. Lastly, with competitive forces applying pressure to the maturing apparel market, the client identified an opportunity to go digital and streamline their strategic sourcing and contracting processes to better serve their business partners.

The client partnered with Optis Consulting in a two-phase project to address these top areas of opportunity. During the Focus phase, Optis worked with the client to understand their current maturity level, identify areas of greatest opportunity, develop the transformation strategy, and define the high-level future state procurement process. This culminated in an Optis-supported software RFP. As part of the engagement, Optis helped to uncover critical software requirements, supported the development of the RFP, and helped the client navigate the execution of the RFP.

After a thorough evaluation process with several source-to-pay market leaders, the client selected a best-in-class technology solution to provide the enabling platform for procure-to-pay and strategic procurement.

The Launch phase included transformation of key business processes, deployment of the selected software, as well as Optis-led project and change management. In addition to deploying the solution, Optis worked with the client to develop the business objectives and KPIs that defined program success, laying the groundwork for ongoing improvement efforts.


Phase 1: Focus
STRATEGY & SELECTION

The first phase had two primary goals:

In initial interviews with key stakeholders, it became apparent that maintaining the culture of autonomy was paramount. It was also made clear that while procurement, finance, and executives valued efficiency and savings, front-line staff (and particularly those in stores), valued speed above all else. Their world was dynamic and fast-paced, and the software needed to help them navigate that world, not put up roadblocks. Additionally, there was little desire to use policy to mandate that frontline staff use the platform or buy from specific, approved suppliers. Instead, leadership wanted the platform and the implementation to support the autonomy frontline staff had to choose who they wanted to do business with – especially at the store level. These initial findings wove their way into the high-level future state and software requirements. A polished user experience, a simplified buying experience, and a high degree of automation on the invoice side were key. The solution had to be so easy that people would use it voluntarily. Ultimately, these considerations were critical in the future state design and software selection and became key principles of the resulting deployment.

Phase 2: Launch
BUILD THE CHANGE

The project was led by Optis Consulting and the client’s procurement department with core team members from finance and technology teams, as well as the solution’s professional services team.

The project scope included integrating the solution to Oracle EBS for all master and transactional data, SailPoint for role management, and ActiveDirectory for SSO. This level of collaboration across organizations and amongst departments led to the development of a complete platform configured to meet the unique needs of all the business units. User experience and supporting the client’s entrepreneurial culture were both critical factors throughout this deployment.

As a result, the frontline users’ experience was emphasized throughout software selection, design, platform configuration, and in balancing integration requirements. Optis used an agile, iterative design-build approach that allowed users to see the impacts of design decisions during the build and course-correct as necessary. This maximized engagement ensured alignment with user preferences and, ultimately, improved user adoption. The project was guided by a well-informed, active, and engaged steering committee. Cross-functional senior leadership provided influence, strategic guidance, and made decisions quickly.

Reflection

The client went live with the solution’s procure-to-pay (P2P), sourcing, contract management, and spend analysis modules on-time and on-budget. The P2P module was deployed to all North American corporate offices and distribution centres for select commodities and departments with a plan for further enablement.

Later that same year, the client deployed P2P to all North American retail operations. Sourcing and contract management were deployed to the client’s centralized global procurement department and, after an initial pilot period, will be used for all sourcing projects moving forward. The client team is also leveraging spend analysis to support reporting of program KPIs.

Areas of Focus

STRATEGY & SELECTION
During the Focus stage, the client ensured that there was not only executive buy-in, but also alignment on the strategic direction their implementation was taking them. This phase also ensured the right software was selected to meet the needs of their stakeholders.

PROCUREMENT EXPERIENCE
The strategy, solution design, and rollout were able to enhance purchase controls while also allowing frontline staff to retain their autonomy in deciding who to buy from. This was achieved by selecting an easy-to-use solution, integrating a broad array of catalogs, and simplifying approval workflows.

AP AUTOMATION
A major objective of this project was to achieve touchless invoicing. In order to do this, the project needed to implement the tools for truly digital invoicing, as well as increase use of purchase orders and receipts. The combination of these allowed for high-rate three-way matching, significantly reducing effort in the invoicing process.