Leading the Charge in eProcurement: How Ricoh is Crafting Custom Solutions for Top Brands

Leading the Charge in eProcurement: How Ricoh is Crafting Custom Solutions for Top Brands

Like me, you may have noticed that procurement and supply chain management are growing in importance. At the end of 2023, 83% of surveyed Chief Procurement Officers said they consider digitisation and integrated eProcurement to be absolutely vital to their organisations’ success and future-readiness.

In my role as Ricoh UK’s eCommerce Customer Success Manager, it’s becoming clear to me that, as 2024 unfolds, companies are increasingly recognising the need to overhaul and modernise their eProcurement strategies. With global markets constantly shifting, the ability to adapt quickly and efficiently is no longer just a nice to have. It's a necessity. 

“There is a growing need for companies to improve their procurement strategy. Ricoh, with its global reach, can help companies with their efficiency challenges. Our eProcurement solutions can help with stock management, visibility, digitisation and automation.” - Glenn Griggs, CEO of Ricoh UK

My team and I are working with leading brands to help reshape how they manage their supply chains. Here are some of the trends we’ve observed.

Bespoke Brands, Custom Solutions

By working with trusted eProcurement partners to develop bespoke procurement strategies, brands are not just solving their immediate, day-to-day challenges. They’re positioning themselves for long-term, sustainable, scalable success. 

For example, I’m pleased to share that the Ricoh eShop recently partnered with a high-end British clothing retailer and a luxury cosmetics company to trial and develop custom eProcurement solutions that solve economies of scale and efficiency challenges. 

By developing bespoke eProcurement solutions, our clients were able to have more streamlined stock management systems and gain a significant edge in their respective markets.

Procurement Agility

Another trend I’ve noticed is that, in today's fast-paced market, agility is the key to staying ahead. That’s why, as best practice, brands are leveraging eProcurement solutions that are designed to be as flexible as the businesses they support. 

This approach allows organisations to respond swiftly to market changes, ensuring that their procurement strategy is not a process set in stone, but a dynamic tool for achieving ever-changing business objectives. Customisable eProcurement platforms empower companies to implement a ‘Just-In-Time’ (JIT) inventory management approach, adapting to the market's ebb and flow with precision and ease.

Leveraging a ‘Just in Time’ Approach

So what is JIT, and how will it benefit your organisation? 

JIT inventory management is a streamlined approach where goods are ordered and received only as required, minimising holding costs and maximising inventory turnover. This method demands sophisticated software to monitor processes from supplier to delivery, enhancing efficiency and reducing errors. The benefit of JIT is that it significantly curtails inventory waste by eliminating overproduction, thus avoiding stock accumulation. 

Additionally, JIT lowers warehousing costs, since companies order in direct response to customer demand, often eliminating the need for large storage spaces. The JIT model gives manufacturers greater control over production, enabling rapid adaptation to market changes with minimal inventory. JIT also encourages local sourcing, reducing transportation time and costs while boosting local employment. 

By requiring smaller capital investments in inventory, JIT improves organisational return on investment, leveraging a "right first time" philosophy to minimise inspection and rework costs, thus enhancing profitability.

Leveraging a ‘Just in Time’ Approach

Enhanced Tracking, Visibility, and Control

I was shocked to discover that, according to a recent Deloitte survey, only 13% of respondents had a fully mapped supply chain network. Worse: a staggering 71% reported ‘little to no visibility’ around their procurement processes. A lack of visibility can result in sub-optimal procurement strategies, leading to losses of efficiency and profit. So, how can organisations employ best practice to mitigate these risks? 

The beauty of custom eProcurement solutions lies in their ability to provide enhanced tracking, visibility, and control over processes. This comprehensive oversight is crucial for organisations to maintain efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Now, companies can gain a detailed understanding of their supply chain. This allows them to identify potential savings, and make informed decisions that drive their business forward. 

Visibility is also a crucial element for ensuring future-readiness and risk mitigation. In fact, 57% of organisations reported easier and more effective decision-making based on risk insights gathered from an eProcurement partner’s risk management and mitigation technologies.

Digitisation and Automation: The Future of eProcurement

Forward-thinking brands are leading the charge. They're working with eProcurement providers and digital integrators to develop and leverage technologies that automate procurement processes. This integration is more than just a technological upgrade. It's a strategic move to streamline operations, reduce manual errors, and increase overall productivity. By embracing digital transformation in procurement, businesses can unlock new levels of efficiency and create a more resilient supply chain.

Your Partner for eProcurement Success

Understanding and implementing an effective, best-practice eProcurement strategy is crucial for businesses looking to thrive in the modern marketplace. So what would my advice be if you’re looking to set up your organisation for eProcurement success? 

Leverage a trusted digital integrator with the proven expertise and solutions to take your procurement to the next level. 

Ricoh can deliver a bespoke eProcurement solution, and is the ideal partner for brands aiming to refine their procurement processes. To delve deeper into how the Ricoh eShop can transform your procurement strategy, explore our comprehensive guide to simplifying procurement, explore our buy online page, or contact us to learn more about how eProcurement can benefit your organisation.

Hannah Colgan

Hannah Colgan


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