There are lots of options out there for software to facilitate and digitise our P2P processes, perform e-sourcing or manage our contracts more effectively.
However, the surprising omission up until recently was having something that gets us out of our inboxes. Procurement still relies heavily on email, and the volume we receive means that important stuff can easily be missed.
Storing Excel and Word documents, as well as project updates and meeting minutes on Sharepoint was able to do that to a certain extent. But let's be honest, Sharepoint's interface is pretty clunky. It's also difficult to find stuff on there unless you've got an experienced administrator.
The solution? One answer is to have a cloud-based SaaS app which shares project updates, stakeholder and supplier communication and delivery objectives all in one space.
That's what Richard Sains, my guest today, has developed. He's one of the growing contingent of former procurement professionals turned procuretech entrepreneurs!
! Note - my audio is a bit sketchy on this one due to me recording this outside of my usual podcasting space.
Improving our Productivity for Day-to-Day Communuication and Project Management: Richard Sains from Acada
Rich explains what ultimately drove him to make the switch from being a category manager to a SaaS entrepreneur.
We discuss the biggest changes over the last 5 or so years in terms of developments in the procuretech space, and how the continuing trend seems to be the faster, leaner, more agile tools that are “best-in-breed” modular, niche solutions.
With this comes some unique challenges in terms of integrating all of these together to get them to communicate, but technology is evolving to deal with this.
Swapping things out and replacing them one-by-one makes it easier to upgrade on a modular basis rather than a major IT project each time there is an upgrade.
I ask Rich what he sees as the most common forms of waste or inefficiency in procurement teams and to what extent he sees automation or technology as the solution to combat some of these challenges?
Some inefficiencies of existing working practices will have been laid bare as a result of Covid-19 and the immediate shift in many cases to remote work. What therefore are the biggest challenges to larger organisations if we assume remote work in some form is here to stay?
Should technology be seen as a facilitator or productivity enabler? Or will it completely replace some manual tasks in their entirety and eliminate some operational or tactical procurement roles?
Rich in his own words describes Acada as an innovative system for procurement people to manage their workload and give visibility to their leaders and stakeholders. He expands on what he means by this here.
There are overlaps and similarities to some of the other tools out there, a couple of them have even been on the show. I’m thinking specifically Tarmo from ProcurementFlow (Episode 2) and Pierre from Per Angusta (Episode 13). Rich explains any specific inefficiencies or value adds that he feels Acada solves, that other SaaS tools in the procurement tech space can’t do.
Acada is a pretty new tool compared to some of the other solutions out there, so what are their next steps in terms of growth or development?
Rich walks through the business case of if I was a CFO, how would he convince me to buy Acada as a tool?