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By Glen Duff, Director Strategy & Partnerships

In this series of procurement data discussions, each month we visit a new procurement dashboard. These dashboards are part of a full suite of 12 configurable reports available to Queensland councils under Local Buy’s procurement technology and data program. 

In this extended article, we’ll not only share our thoughts about how councils can use the Suppliers Detail dashboard to deliver on day-to-day priorities, but we’ll also provide added insights on how other supplier datasets i.e., performance reporting, can complement this dashboard to enable more informed and strategic decision making.

All modern procurement functions serve a crucial service, weaving together the concepts of supply chain efficiency, cost management, and strategic partnerships. The analysis of supplier data is no longer an optional enhancement, but a necessity for councils to achieve resilient supply chains and improved local procurement outcomes.

As the name suggests, the Suppliers Detail report provides an overview of supplier details vital for councils in analysing their supply chains, spend profiles and opportunities. 

Before we get started, let’s talk compliance. Compliance to the Local Government Regulation 2012 is critical, with The Regulation detailing councils’ requirements under the default contracting procedures. Many councils use the Suppliers Detail dashboard to support compliance audits, highlighting any potential non-compliance arising from smaller accumulative or larger spends under each supplier, or under groupings of suppliers providing the same or similar goods or services.

To deliver compliance, councils also use the Suppliers Detail report to help ensure council officers are engaging suppliers via Local Buy Arrangements, where possible. Engaging suppliers via Local Buy Arrangements is better for both buyers and suppliers, while also supporting councils’ compliance to The Regulation, for any value of spend.

Now let’s start at a strategic level, where supplier data at both the procurement and contract performance level enables Queensland councils to deliver:

  1. Enhanced Decision Making: Supplier data analysis offers procurement professionals a panoramic view of their supply chain. By delving into data points such as supplier spend trends, locations, service categories, performance, and quality metrics, decision-makers can make informed choices regarding supplier selection, negotiation strategies and risk mitigation measures.
  2. Cost Optimisation: In the quest for cost efficiency, supplier data serves as a treasure trove of insights. Through granular analysis, councils can identify cost-saving opportunities, negotiate favourable terms, and rationalise suppliers where possible to maximise value for every dollar spent.
  3. Risk Mitigation: While councils often think locally, the global supply chain, as shown in recent years, is rife with risks ranging from supply chain disruptions to compliance violations. Supplier data analysis enables council to assess local supplier categories, capabilities and stability to anticipate potential disruptions and implement proactive measures to safeguard continuity and resilience.
  4. Performance Evaluation: Evaluating supplier performance should not be a post-mortem exercise but a proactive endeavour aimed at fostering collaboration and accountability. By scrutinising data pertaining to delivery times, product quality, and service levels, councils can identify top-performing suppliers, nurture fruitful partnerships, and address underperforming suppliers.
  5. Strategic Insights: Beyond operational optimisation, supplier data analysis unveils strategic imperatives for long-term growth and competitiveness. By discerning market trends, identifying emerging suppliers, and anticipating supply chain shifts, councils can pivot their procurement strategies to align with evolving market dynamics and seize opportunities for innovation and differentiation.

Operationally, the data provided under this report can enable:

  1. Optimised Supplier Selection: Armed with comprehensive supplier data, procurement professionals can adopt a more discerning approach to supplier selection, prioritising factors such as local spend, local industry and supplier resilience, reliability, quality, and cost-effectiveness. By leveraging data-driven insights, councils can cultivate a supply chain that aligns with their strategic objectives and operational requirements.
  2. Negotiation Empowerment: Effective negotiation hinges on access to accurate and up-to-date information. Supplier data analysis empowers procurement teams with the intelligence to negotiate favourable terms, secure competitive pricing, and forge mutually beneficial agreements that drive value creation for both parties.
  3. Continuous Improvement: The journey towards procurement excellence is an iterative process, characterised by continuous improvement and refinement. By harnessing supplier data analytics, councils can establish performance benchmarks, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and implement targeted interventions to optimise processes, mitigate risks, and enhance overall procurement efficiency.
  4. Innovation and Collaboration: Supplier data analysis fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration within the procurement ecosystem. By sharing insights and best practices with key stakeholders, including suppliers and internal teams, councils can foster collaborative partnerships, drive process innovation, and unlock new avenues for value creation across the supply chain.

Local Buy’s procurement technology and data program will provide councils’ procurement spend profile overlayed with supplier detail. This service is delivered using a raw data report from councils’ finance system, which is then processed by our service provider into professional procurement reports. The hard work is done for council.

Key components of the Supplier Detail report include:

Suppliers: Including the number of suppliers, transactions, purchase orders and % of total spend provides meaningful insights. Procurement teams can focus their efforts and resources towards the most significant areas of opportunity in their supply chain. 

Supplier Analysis: Whether you are looking at all suppliers, suppliers which provide goods and services under a category or subcategory, or suppliers used by a specific business unit, the Supplier Analysis report provides insights to make informed decisions. Under this report, fields include Supplier Name, % of Total Spend, Number of Transactions, Average Amount per Transaction, Number of PO’s and Number of Business Units engaging with this Supplier. This data, filterable by many other datasets, enables council to identify suppliers (or categories of suppliers) of high value and high risk, better understanding where to focus resources.  This report also enables a supplier analysis on any particular supplier. 

Some analysis fields include (not conclusive):

Suppliers: By analysing supplier spend and then filtering by category and subcategory, procurement teams can identify areas where they are overspending or where they could negotiate better prices. This granular level of insight enables them to target specific categories or sub categories for cost reduction initiatives, leading to overall savings.

Location: By analysing supplier location, councils can identify opportunities to support local businesses and contribute to local economic development. This can enhance councils’ reputation and strengthen its ties to the community. Councils can also identify which categories and subcategories of supply are provided by local suppliers, supporting informed strategies that can focus on supplier attraction and retention.

Spend Trends: Understanding historical spending patterns with each supplier enables council to anticipate future spending needs and make informed decisions about supplier allocation. The quarterly breakdown delivers this data at a more granular level.

By leveraging these reports, provided under Local Buy’s procurement technology and data program, councils can optimise spending, improve supplier performance, and contribute to the overall financial health of the council.

Here are some additional tips I’d like share in using procurement reports effectively:

  • Do not be afraid of data. It is easy to read these reports and quickly identify opportunities to council. Start off exploring what you can learn.
  • Use a variety of reports to get a complete picture of your procurement performance. Don't rely on just one type of report.
  • Share your reports with the appropriate stakeholders. Make sure that the people who need to see the reports have access to them. Collective thinking can deliver great data results.
  • Use your reports to take action. Don't just generate reports and then file them away. Use the information in the reports to make improvements to your procurement processes.

These insights are just some of the data points available within the Supplier Detail dashboard. For Local Buy’s member councils, this dashboard serves as a powerful tool for procurement and other council stakeholders to support more informed decision making.


If you would like to know more, please get in contact with Glen Duff, Director Strategy & Partnerships, Local Buy via gduff@localbuy.net.au.

 

 

Procurement Data Talks (May 2024)