[NOTE: Leading French retail group Monoprix deployed the Determine Cloud Platform earlier this year, in part to manage e-catalogs. As a major force in city-center shopping, with locations in over 250 cities in France through its six branded stores, Monoprix’s supplier catalog management requirements are vast, as you might imagine. Because of Determine’s deep expertise and experience in the retail industry vertical, they chose our modular, integrated Procurement solution for its flexibility, simplicity and ease of use.]
Intuitive user interface, detailed product sheets, user reviews, search functions: these ecommerce standards are now commonly applied to the realm of supplier catalogs, and in the process improving the user experience of internal customers.
Even so, catalog management remains the responsibility of company that ultimately uses them. The many steps in that process, from loading multi-structured product sheets to statistics and control, validation and operational monitoring, can be further streamlined and made more reliable.
One year after deploying the modular Procurement Solution integrated into the Determine Cloud Platform, Malika Burguiere, E-Procurement Functional Manager at Monoprix, gives her feedback and advice on the proper management of electronic supplier catalogs. What follows is a conversation she had with Xavier Pierre-Bez, Director, Value Engineering and Alliances – EMEA at Determine, during the 2017 Salon Solutions.
How was the transition to an e-Purchasing tool organized at Monoprix?
Launching a dynamic purchasing “tool” was the first step when we decided to digitize our Procurement process. Having the support of management and all stakeholders in the project was paramount. After reviewing options in the market, we chose SAP. But in 2016, we found that 7000 invoices still remained without purchase orders, and 50% of purchases were made out of catalog.
We therefore wanted a unique tool for:
- Better managing spend commitments
- Reconciling in real time the incurred spend and spend realized
- Optimizing the non-commercial purchasing process of the group
- Controlling the scope of spend at around 500 million Euros per year
- Maximizing the number of orders placed on the procurement platform
- Limiting out-of-catalog purchases
One of the most important conditions in the choice of the new tool was its ability to provide business continuity during the transition from the old to the new platform.
Why did you ultimately choose Determine?
There is no perfect epurchasing tool, of course, but Determine was the only one able to meet our specifications. Its speed of implementation and ability to interface with SAP allowed us to make a smooth transition between our two platforms and to share information.
In addition, it is a simple tool to configure, which allows us to be truly autonomous when we want to change the number of users, approval workflows, families of purchases, etc. The hosted or punch-out catalogs included are very easy to administer, whether multi-vendor or not.
Tell us more about the project framework?
The Procurement Solution on the Determine Cloud Platform was deployed on July 1, 2016. We now have a total of 1,422 users, and not all of them are in purchasing.
In this respect, Determine’s user interface, based on design concepts of the largest e-commerce sites, was an important feature that encouraged teams to shop on the platform and reduce out-of-catalog purchases.
Keywords chosen from the catalogs were adapted to the language fields to facilitate the search of items in the search window.
Being able to choose from a wide range of purchase categories is also important so that all purchase families are covered — from simple office supplies to fixtures, furniture, equipment and services — to avoid out-of-catalog purchases.
Today, our tool has 123 multi-vendor integrated catalogs and 3 punch-outs. The annual volume of purchases represent a total volume of 74,600 orders. Determine is able to handle such large purchase volumes and we are now working to reduce the out-of-catalog spend, which still accounts for 50% of purchases.
Who handles the management of supplier catalogs?
In the case of a hosted catalog, we have our hands on the loaded items and rates. We simply upload an Excel document directly to the platform. This allows us to manage all catalog changes in case the supplier is not available to take care of it.
What about managing punchout catalogs?
Punch-outs are very useful for any catalog with more than 100 items. Indeed, the workload is transferred to the catalog provider, assuming it has its own website. In this case, it is necessary to have a relationship of trust with the supplier because we no longer have any control over the tariffs. If it is updated, we are not informed unless we perform a preliminary analysis.
The search engine on the Cloud Determine Platform is not usable on a punch-out catalog, but it has other advantages, including the reliability of the information and the low maintenance it requires.
To learn more about managing supplier catalogs on the Determine Cloud Platform, schedule a personalized demonstration.
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