The procurement process for modern shipping companies has become increasingly complex. The ability to access the right parts in the right areas using a qualified and trusted partner or supplier has been challenged by recent supply chain headwinds and macroeconomic market trends.
Sophisticated and digitalised e-procurement platforms are now stepping in to streamline the procurement process, enabling procurement departments to access a network of global suppliers that can improve the security of regional supply chains drive efficiencies and keep costs down.
Procurement departments now rely heavily on data to inform its decision making. However, utilising that data effectively and ensuring it is of high quality remains one of the sectors key challenges.
“Procurement specialists rely on data to pick suppliers that can provide parts and services that meet specific needs or help balance the books. Being able to compare local suppliers depending on where your vessel is at any time using the sheer amount of data that is now available is an invaluable resource that more procurement departments should look to take advantage of,” said Carsten Schmidt, Vice-President of Sales at Procureship, a leading e-procurement platform based in Athens, Greece.
However, with so much data flying around in an industry that continues to harness the power of cloud-based platforms, the risk of poor-quality and inaccurate data being accessed is heightened.
“Unreliable and inconsistent data from suppliers can lead to inefficiencies and poor decision making for procurement departments. Poor-quality data can often result in procurement managers overspending on parts, purchasing too many or not enough of a certain type of product, or buying parts that are not fit for purpose. High-quality data from suppliers offer a better return on investment for ship owners and managers in the long run,” he added.
“Clean data is an incredibly valuable asset. Errors in data traditionally come from legacy systems or manual entries so identifying the source of the data is the first step in cleaning it up. Ship owners and managers need to identify what data is important to them when it comes to their metrics and KPIs and focus on that data to ensure it is fit for purpose.” Carsten noted.
With information driving procurement decisions across the shipping industry, Procureship’s platform amalgamates and simplifies clean and high-quality data from its suppliers using a sophisticated set of algorithms and machine learning to present a recommendation engine that takes into account each buyer and their requirements.
This ‘next-level’ approach to procurement enhances the visibility and transparency of the entire process, reduces rogue spending and enables procurement departments to have a greater amount of control over the entire purchasing process. Importantly, this approach puts data at the forefront of operations and decision making.
There is also a growing need for procurement departments to be able to understand how to utilise this data to improve their overall business. Collected data can be analysed in order to gain insight into market trends and patterns, and further the decision-making process of procurement.
“Data needs to be understood properly if it is to be used effectively. The algorithms that Procureship uses mean our buyers have a greater understanding of what that data means and how it can support their needs. This means providing real-time data insights and reporting features that enable buyers to make more informed and data-driven decisions for their future purchasing needs,” he noted.