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Below are answers to frequently asked questions providing more insights into the supply chain industry, key terms and relative business processes.   Click here to request an answer to a new question not covered below.
What is the best way to manage supplier risk?

First, one must be aware of the various supplier risks and be able to evaluate and predict their effect on your organization's supply chain process. Some common risk include: supply continuity disruption, IC/IP being revealed/stolen, input price volatility, quality of supply being diminished or not meeting safety protocols, and the unexpected public relations nightmare that can arise as a result of a connection with a supplier in crisis. There are several metrics and resources (i.e., financial, operations, commercial, business reports, and intelligence,) which can be used to better assess your supplier's health. Having an ongoing supplier scorecard assists in monitoring any significant changes in your supplier's health. Once these risks are assessed, you can then prioritize them based on your organization's specific supply chain objectives, establish a contingency plan for at-risk suppliers, as well as collaborate with the supplier to mitigate the risks.

What are Web 2.0 tools and what particular functions can they serve in the procurement space?

Web 2.0 tool are a set of various web technologies that empower users to share knowledge and content with ease, as well as to connect with one another. You may be familiar with Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, and wikis. These tools can work very well for be valuable instruments for a PMO (Program/Project Management Offices), Supply Chain Processes management, PLM, Procurement Transformation, Management of IC, managing communication with suppliers...the list is endless.

What differentiates "advanced analytics" from what are considered "typical" analytics?

When the layperson thinks about analytics, they visualize a data-cruncher generating reports on how stacks of data have affected the business process. In general, "typical" analytics reports only focus on what has happened (and/or what is currently happening) in a business process as part of their value chain. In "advanced analytics", however, this data is used to decipher not only what factors are affecting the business processes, but how these factors can be quantified to help improve future business processes and make educated predictive propositions. Today's growing businesses are investing more in ways to better manage their future processes while learning from their past initiatives. Advance analytics marries these two concepts objectives together to produce an optimal end result. It can be used to deliver optimization, predictive modeling, and forecasting solutions.

What is eSourcing?

Strategic eSourcing is a systematic approach that defines a company's supply base and the most appropriate relationships with its suppliers by using Internet technology to help determine what they are buying, from whom they are buying it and the commercial terms. This defined process, aided by online tools, enables buyers and suppliers to connect and contract quickly and thereby improving the company's strategic competitive position. eSourcing significantly reduces the strategic sourcing cycle time, rids purchasing organizations of paper-based, labor-intensive processes, and complements Internet-based catalog or transactional procurement solutions.

Why is eSourcing beneficial?

Although eSourcing has obvious and tangible benefits for purchasing organizations, it also provides value to both buyers AND suppliers

Buyer benefits include:

  • Faster sourcing process and faster results - cycle time reductions of up to 70%
  • Elimination of multiple face-to-face meetings, travel time, and geographical barriers
  • More transparent, uniform and predictable pricing
  • Improved enforcement of corporate purchasing policies - ability to better control maverick buying
  • Increased process transparency
  • Better supplier measurement

Supplier benefits are:

  • More efficient and objective sourcing process - more level playing field
  • Easier to respond - negotiations and travel are eliminated
  • Lower selling/customer acquisition costs
  • Improved convenience for buyers, leading to more transactions
  • Improved market intelligence

What is the difference between transactional procurement and eSourcing?

Transactional procurement is not a part of eSourcing. Instead, it is the tactical, day-to-day organizational transactions, from purchase order to delivery. Yet, the savings realized in eSourcing activities are far greater than in transactional procurement activities. According to CAPS Research, eSourcing yields savings of five to fifteen times more than automating transactional procurement; its value is measurable. The true benefit of automating transactional procurement is the time saved from repetitive administrative tasks thereby freeing time to focus on strategic eSourcing!

What is A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions' experience in strategic sourcing?

A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions draws on the significant experience of its eSourcing Managers, procurement professionals who understand the strategic sourcing challenges that customers face. We also draw upon the expertise of the strategic sourcing practice of A.T. Kearney who has helped clients save more than $12 billion annually on the purchase of $100 billion in external goods and services since 1995.

What are Siemens' PLM solutions?

Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions represent a unified approach to extended enterprise collaboration that enables all participants in your product lifecycle to work in concert as you bring products to market and support your customer base. Product lifecycle management enables you to marshal the skills, expertise, knowledge, and experience of your entire extended enterprise and apply them to every major stage in your product lifecycle to achieve competitive excellence.

What is Teamcenter®?

Teamcenter® is Siemens' PLM digital enterprise backbone, with solutions targeted at product lifecycle domain issues and industry-focused business challenges where quick implementation and a rapid return on investment are essential. The industry and business process domain solutions benefit from the integration of the Teamcenter® proven portfolio technologies, including the market's leading open collaboration platform. With focused solutions throughout the product lifecycle, Teamcenter®'s PLM digital enterprise backbone brings together the collective knowledge and insight of the enterprise so clients can make smarter product-related decisions that lead to better, and more cost-effective, products.

What is Product Lifecycle Sourcing?

A new eSourcing solution developed jointly by UGS Siemens and A.T. Kearney to provide purchasing professionals input to design data earlier in the product development process. The solution integrates A.T. Kearney & Analytic Procurement Solutions' eSourcing suite of technologies into UGS Siemens PLM Solutions' flagship product lifecycle management solution, Teamcenter®. It bridges the link between the engineering and procurement functions which would result in significant cost savings. The negotiation process between engineering, procurement and suppliers is enhanced by this solution. Additionally, intellectual assets in the design process are visible to the entire enterprise and cross-organizational workflows increase the efficiency and effectiveness of global teams.

Who do I contact if I am having a technical problem using your technology?

If you are experiencing difficulty logging into one of our eSourcing events, please call the eBreviate Help Desk, which operates for 24 hours per day, 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. Global toll free and direct dial numbers are available on the ATKPAS login portal page.

Who do I contact to find out more information on your solutions?

If you are interested in learning more about our solutions, please call us at (877)5-ATKPAS or email atkpas_sales@atkearney.com. Visit our Contact Us page.

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