Author: Andy Curley, P2P/SCM Practice Lead at Namos Solutions
Levelling Up Blog Series Overview
It is inevitable that amidst the heat and noise of an Oracle Cloud implementation certain nice to haves can end up falling out of scope. Whether through time, budget, or simply capacity for your team to adopt substantial changes, anyone has gone live will be familiar with those difficult considerations of which modules to take, and which to leave on the table.
Alas, the rub – those optional modules, those nice to haves, can often provide some of the most transformational changes and drive the greatest improvements or efficiencies.
This series of blog posts will discuss some of those modules sometimes not taken as part of an initial implementation, and offer some considerations on how best to retrofit that functionality onto a live Oracle Cloud instance.
This first few blogs in this series will consider the Advanced Procurement modules. Virtually every Oracle Cloud ERP implementation will include the Procurement basics for raising orders, receiving goods, and paying suppliers – every organisation buys stuff! However, leveraging the Supplier Portal, Supplier Qualification Management, Procurement Contracts and Sourcing can help your organisation deliver procurement savings which far outweigh the costs of implementing those modules.
Overview of Oracle Sourcing
Oracle Fusion Sourcing is a cloud-based application solution that helps organisations drive strategic business cost savings initiatives, through streamlined supplier sourcing processes that utilise smarter online negotiation & collaboration functionality.
It provides a complete suite of tools for creating & managing negotiations, analysing & scoring supplier bid responses, which is done through team evaluation based upon predefined criteria, and performing negotiation awards.
This, combined with integrated collaboration with suppliers, utilises Oracle Supplier Portal.
Oracle Sourcing adds value to organisations in a number of ways, including:
- Simplified Sourcing Processes for everyone: Oracle Sourcing provides simplified step by step guidance through the negotiation process. Negotiation timelines from Negotiation Creation to Bid award, can be greatly reduced and negotiated savings can be realised quicker.
- Improved Online Collaboration: To achieve the best results in negotiations, organisations need specialised procurement professionals and business SME’s to collaborate in negotiations. Sourcing provides the functionality for this collaboration to enable effective evaluation and scoring of Supplier Negotiation Bid Responses. This ensures full objective transparency in bid review & scoring of a supplier’s bid response.
- Complete Negotiation Activity Visibility: Oracle Sourcing provides complete negotiation activity visibility utilising the Negotiation landing page with key activities and metrics. Procurement professionals can quickly view the current status of a negotiation, with the ability to drill down into recent sourcing activities, whilst remaining informed of the latest actions. The negotiation monitor can be used to accurately assess the competitive landscape and potential savings, whilst allowing the procurement professional to view how a negotiation is progressing. It also enables them to take any appropriate actions such as extending or pausing an auction.
- Negotiation Submission & Negotiation Award Approvals: Oracle Sourcing utilises standard Oracle Approvals to control Negotiation related Approvals. Negotiation Submission approval & Negotiation Award Approval are undertaken by authorised personnel.
- Easy Negotiation Analysis: Oracle Sourcing provides Procurement professionals with the ability to quickly compare supplier bids side-by-side, and based upon factors such as quality, price and value, which enables objective negotiation awards to be undertaken. Graphical Award analysis tools support these objective negotiation award decisions and, following approval, these decisions can be published to an Abstract, providing market place negotiation transparency.
- Market place negotiation transparency: Negotiations Abstracts can be published to an external website where authorised suppliers can view, acknowledge negotiation participation & monitor the activity and status of a negotiation.
- Supplier Intuitive User Interface: Suppliers can quickly engage and benefit from the Intuitive User Interface which Oracle Sourcing provides, thus reducing training and support timelines. Suppliers can respond efficiently to invited negotiations, view sourcing activity across negotiations, and quickly respond to any negotiation activities that require actioning. Online messages for suppliers and internal stakeholders ensure that everyone has the negotiation visibility they need and has the collaborative tools to progress negotiations.
Integrated with Advanced Procurement Modules:
Oracle Sourcing is fully integrated within the Procurement applications suite of Oracle Fusion. Below are the integration touch points:
- Sourcing integration with SQM: Category managers can use supplier qualification status in the negotiations drafting step to filter out suppliers which have active qualifications. This can save category managers time who will not need to request status of suppliers outside of the system or scram through files for each individual supplier. Oracle Fusion SQM question and qualification library is available in the Requirements section of the negotiation, allowing users to create requirements in one click instead of writing the entire requirement.
- Sourcing integration with Oracle Purchasing & Self Service Procurement: Sourcing is fully integrated with Purchasing, which allows for seamless execution of agreements negotiated in Sourcing negotiations. This enables the employee to raise self-service requisitions, which automatically default the preferred supplier and associated negotiated price.
- Sourcing integration with Oracle Procurement Contracts: Sourcing is fully integrated with Procurement Contracts, which enables the Procurement Professional to drive compliance with built-in tracking of contract deliverables. They are able to do this whilst leveraging contract functionality within Sourcing. This integration allows for the ability to negotiate contract terms with suppliers, whilst comparing updated terms with the original terms. Within Procurement Contracts, any contracts associated to Bid responses can be successfully accessed, allowing users to view source negotiation and awards.
- Sourcing integration with Project Management Project Plans: You can associate a negotiation created in Oracle Sourcing with the project plan created in Oracle Project Management. This allows the user to associate a project task to a specific event in the negotiation life cycle. Ultimately, when the negotiation event occurs, it automatically completes the project task.
Overall, Oracle Fusion Cloud Sourcing is a valuable tool for organisations that want to leverage negotiation best practices, and drive strategic savings initiatives for their Strategic Procurement practices and goals. Collaborative negotiations, which combine specialised procurement professional skillsets with other organisation’s subject matter experts, enable a holistic and objective approach, to Sourcing Negotiations and Negotiation Awards. Enabling Sourcing ensures that organisations present full transparency in negotiations. This results in improved supplier management practices, reduced risk, reduced supplier non award contestation, improved compliance, and it helps make better objective sourcing decisions.
Here are some specific examples of how organisations can use Sourcing to add value:
- Oracle Fusion Sourcing offers Local Authorities a versatile solution to streamline and enhance their procurement processes. From sourcing goods and services for public projects to managing construction and infrastructure endeavours, the platform facilitates efficient negotiations and competitive bidding. The platform’s compliance features ensure adherence to regulations, while reporting tools provide insights for informed decision-making.
- For fashion retailers, Oracle Fusion Sourcing facilitates the sourcing of exclusive and trendy apparel. Retailers can create Request for Proposal (RFP) events, inviting bids from top-tier fashion designers and manufacturers. The platform’s collaboration features allow for seamless communication on design concepts, quality standards, and production timelines. By leveraging real-time analytics, retailers can make data-driven decisions on selecting suppliers that align with their brand aesthetic while optimising costs for the latest fashion collections.
- Energy firms can benefit from Oracle Fusion Sourcing in procuring equipment, machinery, and services required for exploration and production activities. Conducting auctions for drilling services, negotiating contracts with equipment suppliers, and monitoring the performance of service providers become streamlined processes. This ensures the efficient execution of projects while keeping costs in check.
No matter what industry you’re in, Sourcing can help you to improve your Sourcing Negotiations & supplier management practices and add value to your organisation.
If implementing Sourcing post go-live, there are a number of additional considerations for how best to deploy this functionality cognisant of the configurations already in place:
- Supplier Portal – Are you already using supplier portal or would you like it to be implemented along with Sourcing? Or do you want to use Sourcing without supplier portal?
- Supplier Onboarding process – Are your suppliers being onboarded in your existing Fusion environment using registration flow, or do you manually create suppliers in Fusion after gathering information through emails? If its manual supplier creation, would you be willing to switch to registration flow supported by Fusion along with Oracle Sourcing, with access via the Supplier Portal?
- Supplier Master – How is your supplier master divided? i.e. Do you have single supplier with general name and country bifurcations are maintained at address/site level or supplier itself is bifurcated at country level e.g. XYZ UK, XYZ Middle East, XYZ Americas.
- Collaborative Negotiation – Online collaboration makes it easy for experts in specific areas to lend their expertise to the sourcing process. Oracle Sourcing automates combining different scores from team members and brings additional transparency to the team scoring process for better results. Is this a requirement for your business?
- Negotiation Styles and Types – What type of negotiations does your business undertake? RFI, RFQ, Auctions or Seller Auctions? If all of these, are there any specifics relating to departments of your organisation in terms of requirements? E.g. ITT(RFQ) for IT Equipment may have different negotiation template/questionnaire/scoring requirements than an ITT(RFQ) for a cleaning contract.
- Abstract Publishing – Do you wish your negotiations to be made public and as such, publish to an external website for all suppliers to view?
Namos Solutions have extensive experience of implementing the Advanced Procurement suite, both during an initial implementation and after go-live to level up an existing solution, so we are happy to help you work through all these considerations no matter where you are on your Oracle journey.
Get in touch with Namos and we’d be happy to discuss Levelling Up your Oracle Cloud Deployment – Contact Us