Innovations in Outsourcing: GEP

Posted: 08/29/2019 - 23:11
Innovations in Outsourcing: GEP

This October, the Future of Sourcing Awards will celebrate organizations and individuals that have shown innovation, leadership and transformation in categories that are critical to the sourcing industry. Interviews with the finalists provide helpful insight about their projects, the problem they sought to solve and the impact to their organizations. Below, read how GEP helped their client, a telecommunications major, optimize their procurement operations and streamline their ongoing technology transformation initiative.

Can you outline why your team embarked on this project and the problem that needed to be solved?

The client, a telecommunications major, was looking to optimize their procurement operations and streamline their ongoing technology transformation initiative. Owing to GEP’s depth of offerings and expertise in procurement and supply chain, and top-of-the chart analyst ratings, the client chose GEP as their procurement services partner to address the following challenges: 
  • High turnaround time when creating/renewing contracts  
  • High volumes of manual, repetitive, time-consuming activities 
  • Limited or no automation for creating purchase requests, purchase order amendments and processing goods receipts 
  • Nearly 90 days for supplier enablement and onboarding 
  • Inadequate user training and guidelines to use the new procurement software being deployed resulted in low adoption.  

How were things done originally and what was the inspiration to innovate the process?

Originally, the client adopted manual, inhouse processes to manage procure-to-pay operations including PO management, goods receipt processing, and creation of purchase requests, along with processes such as supplier enablement. These processes were tactical in nature and not optimized for performance — resulting in high turnaround time and consuming significant manhours of the client's procurement team. In addition, the inability to forecast volume often led to unexpected surge in workload for the team. Also, the client had migrated from a legacy procurement system to a new procurement software platform, and end users had not taken to the system, affecting adoption rates. 

What KPIs did you use to measure success for this project? (For example: performance, customer satisfaction, revenue, sales or relevant financial gains?)

Outcomes are measured based on the SLAs defined in the contract and feedback from the client. The primary SLAs included:
  • Contracts upload to be achieved within four business hours 
  • Supplier enablement turnaround time to be 30 business days 
  • Purchase requisition creation, amendments and goods receipt processing to happen within 1 business day 
  • Invoice exception management to happen within four business days 

How do you plan to ensure that the new model remains relevant and adapts to the future needs of the market?

The procurement processes deployed for the client have been designed by GEP based on best practices developed by working with market leaders across numerous industries. For this project, GEP also deployed new technologies and tools: 
  • GEP created five BOTs that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to deliver higher efficiencies for the client 
  • Power BI Dashboards were introduced by GEP to help the client enhance data transparency and analytics capabilities 
  • Contract management software would be leveraged to elevate global contract visibility and improve overall contract utilization 
Overall, the scalability and flexibility of GEP's offering, proven by the client's current ability to process unforecasted volumes of tasks, coupled with GEP's constantly expanding knowledge of working with several different procurement technologies ensures that this model remains relevant for the client even in future.  

What advice do you have for those who may want to implement this innovative approach in their own organizations?

Enterprises looking to deploy a similar model should ensure the following: 
  • Partner with a procurement services provider capable of delivering 360-degree solutions – consulting, technology and managed services 
  • Focus on outsourcing every high volume, manual, repetitive and time-consuming activity – this will allow your procurement team to focus on strategic activities 
  • Ensure maximum automation for every possible step of the process – this ensures improved turnaround times and higher efficiencies  
  • Focus on improving relationships with suppliers by streamlining the onboarding and payment processes 
  • Ensure adequate user training and guidelines whenever deploying new procurement software 
  • Adopt robust change management processes to drive greater adoption of new processes and technology 

I'm sure your company has many different processes and projects they are outsourcing. Why did you choose to submit this specific project?

This particular project has every element to make it a strong nomination for the awards. The following points will summarize it: 
This project was with a large multinational client 
-It demonstrates how GEP delivered client delight 
-It highlights GEP’s impact in the form of significant and tangible results 
-It validates our strength and capabilities in procurement outsourcing and technology 
-It reaffirms GEP’s focus on constant innovation 
-It reinforces GEP’s position as a market-leader in the procurement and supply chain domain 



About The Author

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The 2023 Future of Sourcing Awards recognizes organizations and individuals that show innovation, leadership and transformation in categories that are critical to the sourcing industry. The Awards will take place on October 18, 2023, the capstone evening at the SIG Global Executive Summit. Attendees will enjoy dinner, networking and an awards ceremony that brings together some of the brightest minds to create a truly remarkable experience.