When Børge and I founded Ignite Procurement in 2017, we were frustrated that companies relied on manual work and hunch when working with their suppliers.
We couldn’t understand why companies weren’t investing more in supplier management and the procurement function, given its tremendous potential. We set out to help companies take control over their purchasing and become more insights driven.
Most procurement teams we worked with were occupied with ensuring quality and timely delivery of their purchasing. But we believed that companies should focus more on cost too, and successfully helped companies save hundreds of millions of kroners.
The truth is that the “traditional way” of working with suppliers, where cost, quality, and delivery are the only criteria, is not good enough anymore.
Demands — from government regulations to consumer expectations — have completely changed.
Companies that stick to tradition will miss out on huge opportunities that lie in sustainable purchasing. The future winners need to rethink their approach to purchasing and supplier management.
To better reflect the brave new world, we wanted to re-ignite our brand to show our commitment to all companies seeking to prosper in the future. Here’s how we’re doing it:
Your suppliers, your responsibility
Tomorrow’s winners will take their ethical obligations to their purchasing seriously.
Regulations across Europe demand companies take responsibility for where they spend their money and their suppliers’ behavior. Now, every company needs to ensure that their suppliers are adhering to basic human rights, such as labor rights.
Companies need to step up their game.
But many companies are still primarily concerned about their own production and workforce, which won’t suffice in the future. The future winners know their suppliers — and use their purchasing power to drive positive impact in their value chain.
Unlock the potential with your suppliers
For most companies, procurement has been seriously deprioritized as a function, and only a few of them have unlocked the opportunities that lie in working with their suppliers in a better way.
In times when companies are looking to reduce their GHG emissions footprint or costs, procurement is arguably the most important lever any business has to reach its goals.
Driving cost savings through procurement should be a priority for any business looking to thrive in the future.
But reducing GHG emissions should too. After all, more than 70% of GHG emissions occur in the supply chain on average (CDP). That means any company serious about their emissions reduction targets needs to take a hard look at how to unlock the potential of sustainable procurement.
Procurement teams cannot win alone
As companies start transitioning to
sustainable procurement, they need to balance ethical and environmental aspects with the traditional economical aspects — cost, quality, and delivery — of purchasing.
Doing this makes purchasing more complex. To truly encapsulate all these perspectives, companies need to take a more collaborative and inclusive approach to procurement, where key stakeholders across the company are closely involved.
Ever since I started working in procurement more than 10 years ago, I’ve been excited about the opportunities that lie in purchasing.
But there’s something unique about these times, and I can’t help but think that this is a pivotal moment, not only for us at Ignite, but for all companies working with procurement.
At Ignite, we want to cheer on those who invest to take supplier management to the next level. We’re determined to create the tools that companies thriving in the new world can’t live without.
And to make the world a better place — one responsible purchasing decision at a time.