Introducing: Procurement Ops Digest, A Newsletter for Procurement Teams

December 5, 2023
November 15, 2023
min read
Introducing: Procurement Ops Digest, A Newsletter for Procurement Teams

Greetings, procurement professionals! And welcome to the first issue of Procurement Ops Digest, the latest newsletter presented by Tonkean

The procurement function within organizations has evolved so much over the past several years. It’s become more strategic, more aligned with organizations’ larger business goals, and therefore more important than ever. Where the dominant conversation was once perhaps mostly about which supplier had the best prices at a given time, now the top-of-mind subjects run the gamut. You’re more likely to be looking for ideas about maximizing your tech stack, ensuring SOX compliance and audit readiness, the impact of global events on the supply chain, and the pros and cons of generative AI. That’s why we believe a newsletter like this one is needed.

This newsletter is a spinoff of our inaugural newsletter, Ops Digest—a newsletter by ops, for ops. We found ourselves focusing a great deal on a couple of key areas in that newsletter, in particular legal and procurement. There’s good reason for that: Tonkean has increased its focus on those two verticals, and as such, the topics we’re interested in for this newsletter have leaned that same way. 

But increased focus in one area means less focus in others, especially general areas of business operations. Our solution? MORE NEWSLETTERS.

We want to be sure we’re giving readers content that they’re most interested in. That’s why Ops Digest will live on, and will maintain a more general focus on business operations. Meanwhile, Procurement Ops Digest gives us a chance to go deeper on topics like procurement orchestration, curbing rogue and maverick spending, PO management, invoice processing, predictive procurement, and more.

(We’ve also created a sister newsletter focused on legal, called—you guessed it—Legal Ops Digest.)

You can sign up for any and all of our newsletters, and more, right here

In this newsletter, our goal is to give procurement folks something they can use in each issue. We’ll share news, podcasts, and ideas, and we’ll be exploring what practitioners in the field are working on and how they’re innovating.  

But first: The latest news from around the industry. 

Latest in Procurement

  • The value of the $7.2 billion global procurement software market could nearly double by 2030, says RationalStat report  | Yahoo!
  • The business case for embracing a diverse supplier base to improve business performance | SCMR
  • How procurement teams are an important part of a business strategy to transition from a linear to a circular economy | ProcurementMag
  • Thoughts on using process mining to gain a sustainability advantage | ProcurementMag
  • Tonkean releases a new whitepaper about process orchestration for procurement leaders | Tonkean

If you have some insightful news or knowledge about the world of procurement to share, let us know

Procurement in the Field

The below is excerpted, summarized, and partially paraphrased portions from our new whitepaper: Procurement Orchestration 101: A Primer for Procurement Leaders on Process Orchestration

Process orchestration is a hot topic in procurement these days. We believe that’s because there are more technological tools available now than ever, and procurement teams have a broader and deeper mandate within their organizations than ever, but there’s a persistent gap between the potential therein and the execution. Process orchestration closes that gap. This primer gives you everything you need to know about this powerful concept. Download it now to get all the details!

Modern procurement teams are being asked to do more than ever before. Although the typical employee might think that procurement’s role is just about finding the best prices and negotiating deals, the remit of the typical procurement department today is really all about making the business go. It includes mitigating risk, managing spend, increasing organizational resiliency, maintaining diverse supplier relations, sourcing, negotiating, and leveraging innovative technology to reduce costs—all while simultaneously encouraging innovation!—systematically and at scale.

With more influence and a much broader, complicated array of expectations comes far greater responsibility. This, modern procurement teams gladly accept. The problem is, modern procurement teams also remain thoroughly under-resourced. The refrain, much to their chagrin, continues to be: Do more with less. 

Meanwhile, old challenges abound. Procurement processes remain inherently complex and require cross-functional collaboration, and they’re often difficult to manage. Technology tools are available and powerful, but they’re not always particularly customizable nor easy to manage. And getting people to actually use them—and adopt your processes altogether—remains a challenge. 

Most requesters simply don’t do the things procurement teams need them to be able to do. And that creates loads of problems, like rogue and maverick spending, increased risk, and overall inefficiency. 

Procurement needs a way of leveraging and optimizing their people, processes and technology more effectively and efficiently—such that they can begin to drive their organizations forward as trusted advisors and business partners. 

Process orchestration—or, procurement orchestration—offers a way to do precisely that. 

That’s what this whitepaper is all about: how procurement leaders can begin to use process orchestration to solve those problems and capitalize on those benefits. 

It includes:

  • A thorough definition of process orchestration (and procurement orchestration, and intake orchestration) and why it’s becoming a major, important trend in procurement
  • An explanation of the problem of low process adoption in procurement
  • The key benefits of procurement orchestration
  • How implementing procurement orchestration lays the groundwork for bring in even more innovative technology to procurement, like generative AI
  • How to get started with procurement orchestration, both in terms of a mentality shift and practically
  • An explanation of the component parts of a great process orchestration platform 

Download the full whitepaper, Procurement Orchestration 101: A Primer for Procurement Leaders on Process Orchestration, here!

And to learn more about what process orchestration can do for your procurement team, download our updated Procurement Handbook!

Tell us about clever solutions and success stories you want your procurement peers to know about for future newsletters!

Modern Business Operations

On this episode of Modern Business Operations, host Sagi Eliyahu is joined by Amanda Prochaska, Founder and Chief Wonder Officer at Wonder Services, to talk about successfully navigating the changes happening in procurement services today. 

Sagi and Amanda discuss:

  • The dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of supply chains.
  • Shifting from a focus on cost savings to a more strategic and externally focused approach.
  • The evolution of procurement from a cost-saving center to a strategic and innovative function.
  • The mismatch between existing knowledge and new demands causing burnout.
  • The potential of technology as both a solution and a challenge in procurement transformations.
  • The importance of starting projects with clear success metrics.
  • Treating everyone as a person, regardless of their rank or title.

Subscribe to the Modern Business Operations podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Maestro's Minutes

Here’s everything we did in this month’s Tonkean release notes

Solution Studio

  • In the module builder, in addition to dynamically setting the updater to the relevant user, you can assign Tonkean as the updater. This option is designed for workflows in which the relevant field or owner is automatically updated as part of the business logic, rather than being manually updated by a specific person. 
  • In addition to manually adding dropdown field options, you can now bring in options from a connected data source through a matched entity. This improvement makes it possible to unify a source-of-truth integration with a question field to automatically provide the right options.
  • We added the following formulas: Convert Inner Items to Array, Convert Object to Keyed Array, and Filter Array Of Objects With Empty Field

Custom Item Interfaces:

  • Line Item - You can now add date validation to the Line Item widget, requiring requesters to complete date fields, such as "Due Date."
  • File Upload - You can now specify a minimum number of files required to be uploaded. This is helpful if your process requires a specific set of documents at a particular step. 

Data Sources: Users can now integrate the Clearlaw data source with their Tonkean solution. We also enhanced Monday (the Location field type has been added) and NetSuite (you can now attach .MSG files in your connected NetSuite data source action).

Bug fixes

  • Some users weren't able to create a new no-code data source entity that shared a name with a previously created entity.
  • In the Timeline widget, Tonkean was listed as the status updater, regardless of who updated the status.
  • Data source actions were creating matched entities with the name of the action that created them.

Dive deep into the ways you can streamline your procurement processes with no-code automation and an AI-powered intake experience with ProcurementWorks! Get started here.

Tonkean was included in the 2023 ProcureTech100, a list of pioneering digital procurement solutions

Tonkean was named one of the Top 50 Procurement Providers to Watch by Spend Matters

Read Supply Chain Digital’s feature about how Tonkean understands that compliance requires high adoption, and adoption requires a great experience

Thanks for checking out Procurement Ops Digest! To learn more about who Tonkean is or what we do, we have a few different kinds of trials that you can sign up for. They walk users through our most salient solutions, including Legal intake, Purchasing Approval, Invoice Intake, and Email inbox automation. Sign up for one here!

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