BravoSolution’s Business Center 2.0 – A Complete Category Solution for Transportation, MRO, Temporary Labour, GPO Category Management, and Retail: Part I

Two years ago, we reviewed BravoSolution‘s Business Center Category Sourcing Solution that took e-Sourcing to a new level for nine common categories that provided the average Supply Management organization with a considerable sourcing challenge. In order to maximize savings in each of these categories, the organization needed to construct category-specific RFQs/RFBs for the category, collect extensive amounts of detailed data, build a tailored model, and/or analyze the impact of each possible sourcing decision. And if the RFXs were designed wrong, the data was incomplete, or the model missed key trade offs, the solutions were sub-optimal at best, and not even as good as the current supply management situation in the worst case.

That’s why BravoSolution built a solution that, capturing the years of experience and knowledge built-up by their global sourcing and solutions teams (who work out of offices in ten different countries on four different continents), that would allow a buyer to:

  • define an event of the supported type with the click of a mouse,
  • dynamically determine appropriate, and minimal, data requirements,
  • send the appropriate RFXs to the chosen suppliers with just a few clicks of the mouse,
  • push the data into the optimization engine,
  • add or remove (default and pre-defined) constraints with a few mouse clicks, and
  • select the award scenario and generate a contract template with a click of the mouse.

It was a great leap forward in e-Sourcing technology for the average buyer who was not an expert in e-Sourcing, and definitely not an expert in the chosen categories. But it had limits — specifically, out-of-the-box, it was limited to the categories that it supported or to categories for which repeatable methodologies could be identified and for which appropriate workflows could be implemented (as long as the buying organization was willing to work with the BravoSolution team to build a new category solution).

Knowing this, and knowing that certain industries had needs that were different than other industries, BravoSolution decided that what was needed was an equally simple solution that could be applied company wide (to all significant categories) for buyers in industries that needed extra support (either due to the complex nature of the problems, the time intensiveness of the categories, or the average level of e-Sourcing sophistication of the buyer in an industry where the average organization is arriving late to the advanced sourcing party). This is because BravoSolution realized that the reality of the situation is that if e-Sourcing is easy to use for some categories, but hard to use for other categories, the organization will continually favour the easy categories in their sourcing efforts, to the detriment of the organization’s cost savings or value generation goals. If a sourcing event is appropriately designed and effectively executed, and the organization has Procurement policies and systems in place to insure that the identified and negotiated savings are appropriately captured, most of the savings are going to be identified in the first event and the incremental return on subsequent events, especially in an economy where costs are going up and the supplier has more bargaining power, will be minimal. Meanwhile, more and more dollars will flow down the drain as savings-rich categories get continually ignored.

But if the sourcing team is presented with a solution where every souring event is as easy as every other sourcing event, intelligence is built in for all of the common categories, and existing data (such as supplier locations, contract transportation pricing, production constraints, etc.) can be re-used and propagated from one event to the next, then every category is going to be given equal consideration for the strategic sourcing treatment. And BravoSolution’s new and improved business center solution makes this a reality for the Transportation (3PL), MRO, Temporary Labour, GPO Category Management, and Retail industries.

In the remainder of this series, we will discuss BravoSolution‘s new business center solution, built on collaborative sourcing capabilities (that were covered in these posts on Collaborative Sourcing, High Definition Sourcing, and Category Excellence) for MRO, GPO Category Management, and Retail. Stay tuned. (We’ll be back at the same KaT time on the same KaT channel.)