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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Well, it all depends on the contexts, am I referring to collaboration in social relationships or in professional relationships, at home, with friends or at work?

Are you experiencing some warning signs that suggest a need for more collaboration, such as miscommunication, confusion or lack of innovation?

Should that be the situation, it is worth revisiting some of the numerous benefits of increased collaboration, which include problem-solving abilities, productivity enhancements, and developmental opportunities.

I fairly certain you have experienced these cautionary indications in different contexts, whether personal or professional, and noticed how working together can address the potential negative outcomes.

Is it any different when dealing with Procurement? Absolutely not, the impact remains the same, particularly when considering collaboration between buyers and suppliers.

Before we move on let us define Procurement Collaboration in relation to SAP Business Network.
It's the process of working cooperatively within the SAP Business Network platform to manage and optimize procurement activities. It involves collaboration between buyers, suppliers, and other partners in the network to improve purchase order management, invoice processing, and more.The goal is to increase transparency, improve decision-making, enhance supplier relationships, and streamline procurement processes, which contributes to overall business efficiency and savings, for both parties.

If we take the perspective of the buying organisation the structured Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process is essential for several reasons, at it provides:

Efficiency: P2P streamlines and automates the purchasing process, making it more efficient, reducing time and cost.

Control: It provides better control over the purchasing function by providing visibility into every step of the process from requisition to payment.

Compliance: P2P ensures regulatory and policy compliance by enforcing purchasing policies and approval hierarchies

Being able to link this internal process to a network that collaborates with the supplier only makes it even more powerful, not only for the buyer, but also helps suppliers become more efficient, effective, and competitive in their dealings.

How SAP Business Network supports the P2P process for the buyer.

So there are plenty business reasons for implementing a network that supports procurement collaboration, but there is also a contemporary momentum that speaks for this, which you can read about in this article, where it is stated among other things that
The disruption of recent years, coupled with today's economic and political volatility, has exposed the fragility and fragmentation of global supply chains.In addition, businesses are increasingly reliant on a global economy that has been transformed into a networked economy. To address changing market dynamics, develop resilience against global disruptions, and maintain the flexibility needed to transform business models, your business needs to collaborate more closely with your trading partners.”

The present makes it even more relevant to embrace the networked economy, an economic environment that relies on digital technology, internet-based platforms, and computer networks to facilitate and streamline business operations, communication, and collaboration.

My daughter is a good example, she is generation Z, a generation term for people who were born between 1995 and 2012. The characteristic of Generation Z is, that they have grown up with the Internet and have become young in line with the spread of social media. At the age of her late 20's, my daughter has managed to establish her own business, almost only thanks to a smart phone, a few social media apps and off course hard work. That is pretty impressive and for me a best-in-class example of how collaboration and the networked economy goes hand in hand, her success is based on collaboration in a digital environment.
In a networked economy, businesses, individuals, and devices are interconnected, allowing for increased efficiency, access to a larger market and resources, and innovation and it can include e-commerce, online services, social networks, remote work, digital finance, and more.

So collaboration is important, if you and your procurement department has potential for more collaboration with suppliers  is not something I can answer, but if you are in doubt, here are 3 compelling KPIs that you can ask yourself, if they apply to your company and your procurement department.

  1. By using SAP Business Network for procurement, companies can potentially reduce their supplier lead time by up to 20-30%. This can be attributed to improved real-time communication, data exchange with suppliers, and better supply chain visibility (however, actual savings can vary based on different factors like the existing lead times, efficiency of suppliers, and the nature of goods or services procured.)

  2. The use of SAP Business Network for procurement can help to increase compliance rates by up to 30-50%. This is achieved by enforcing company policies and regulatory requirements throughout the procurement process, while also providing capabilities for tracking and auditing these compliance activities (however, the specific increase can vary greatly depending on the existing compliance processes and controls of each company).

  3. Companies that implement SAP Business Network for procurement have the potential to reduce their procurement cost per invoice by up to 60%. This is due to automation and streamlining of the invoice processing which reduces manual intervention, administrative efforts and the chances of errors. (please note, actual savings would depend on the individual company's initial invoice processing costs and how well they leverage the SAP Business Network's capabilities).

I believe there's always room for increased collaboration, wouldn't you agree?

The SBN Buyer Portal