Ultimately, the role of procurement and supply chain management will help businesses maximize profits. This is done by balancing cost reduction, supplier quality, assurance of supply and increasingly unlocking supplier innovation.

The Role of Procurement and Supply Chain in Manufacturing Companies
The Role of Procurement and Supply Chain in Manufacturing Companies

Sundar Kamak | Ivalua

Please tell us a bit about Ivalua and your role in the advanced manufacturing industry?

Our vision has always been to have a single, truly integrated platform to digitize all procurement and supply chain processes – and bring all spend under management. We are unique in our ability to truly address all categories of spend, including strong direct materials. This requires platform flexibility to meet unique or evolving requirements and includes lessons from our manufacturing clients into a pre-packaged solution to deliver tailored best practices out of the box. We are honored to work with a number of leading global manufacturers such as Flex, Borg Warner, Arcelor Mittal, Honeywell and Meritor, who trust Ivalua as mission critical software.


What is the role of procurement and supply chain in manufacturing companies?

Ultimately, the role of procurement and supply chain management will help businesses maximize profits. This is done by balancing cost reduction, supplier quality, assurance of supply and increasingly unlocking supplier innovation. Success means building a competitive advantage. Failure means losing ground.

As the manufacturing and supply chain environment grows more complex, procurement and supply chain management functions are also growing more strategic in manufacturing companies that need to find new ways to optimize the supply chain.

It’s critical that various gatekeepers and key stakeholder find new ways to drive supplier collaboration, strategic cost savings and margins, better manage spend and build partnerships with suppliers for competitive differentiation. Procurement also helps manage compliance and reduce overall supply chain risk.


How does procurement help manufacturing companies stay ahead of competition and gain a competitive advantage?

Procurement helps organizations become “the customer of choice” to suppliers, which helps manufacturers drive innovation and bring products to market faster— and with higher margins. For example, a manufacturing and automotive customer that has a comprehensive procurement process in place to collaborate deeply with their suppliers will bring new innovations to market faster following NPI best practices. When this is a repeatable process, procurement makes a big impact driving business growth with an eye toward managing compliance and reducing overall supply chain risk.


How can Procurement help Manufacturers innovate faster with evolving customer demands, regulatory and compliance requirements?

Procurement helps manufacturers better manage their supplier engagement across product lifecycles due to fast evolving customer demands. Manufacturing companies need a new approach in how they collaborate internally as well as externally with suppliers and partners in an everchanging regulatory environment to innovate faster. 

Technology is critical to making this type of collaboration efficient and scalable while working with an increasing number of suppliers and producing additional lines of products. This is especially critical for businesses that manufacture complex products that require regular collaboration with multiple suppliers around the world.


How does effective Vendor Management play a critical role in fostering Supplier Collaboration and innovation?

Vendor Management is at the core of how companies drive visibility into all aspects of vendor and supplier relationships. It begins with accurate information about suppliers, and visibility of the information to internal stakeholders, which should be utilized in both strategic sourcing and operational processes.

The ease of doing business will also drive supplier innovation. For example, manufacturing companies need easy and streamlined access to working capital that can be facilitated by nimble startups. Supplier development with clear partnership goals and performance metrics will result in improved collaboration and innovation. 


What are the benefits of procurement software and solutions in driving supply chain innovation?

At its core, procurement drives efficiency and automation to create the capacity to innovate and be more strategic. The best technology also allows you to bring your best ideas to life. For example, we worked with automotive component manufacturer Meritor to configure a unique approach to new product introductions that allowed them to scale collaboration and ultimately bring more innovative products to market faster. This helped improve margins and revenue, resulted in faster time to market, helped to mitigate risk and improve performance, and helped ensure a consistent product.




About Sundar Kamak
Sundar is a 20+ year Direct Materials and Supply Chain Management veteran with practitioner with Solutions/Customer Marketing, Product Management & Engineering experience interacting with customers globally. Prior to joining IVALUA, he held various Solution Management and Product Strategy positions at SAP Ariba and BirchStreet Systems. Earlier, Sundar spent a number of years with Covisint, an eBusiness automotive marketplace in their Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Solution group where he led large Strategic Sourcing and eBusiness Transformation initiatives for Automotive OEM’s. Sundar also worked in Manufacturing and Supply Chain in a variety of roles for Aerospace and Automotive companies. Sundar holds a Master’s Degree in both Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI


The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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