Driving Manufacturing Improvement by Transforming Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Experiences

About the Client 

Unlocking Business Potential via Technology 

How can you drive transformative change today? If you ask this management consulting firm, it's through technology. But it's more than just plugging in new technologies and expecting them to work. It's about leveraging technology within a strategic framework to drive the business outcomes you're looking for. And that's what sets this firm apart. 

The Situation

Missing a Vital Role in Ongoing Engagements 

2021 was the year of supply chain transformations, even more so for those in the manufacturing sector. As companies sought to drive improvements across the value chain, demand for consulting services to help organizations achieve those ends increased. The same happened to this management consulting firm. 

Manufacturing clients clamoring to improve operations were seeking its help — mainly concerning devising new procurement strategies to better navigate supply chain disruptions and further market uncertainties. Because these types of projects are its bread and butter, the firm undertook two engagements. 

But once the initiatives were underway, it realized it had a team gap. With multiple ongoing engagements, the firm needed a Director with deep procure-to-pay (P2P) experience to lead, manage, and execute two procurement strategy initiatives concurrently. 

Knowing how crucial it was to get the support needed for its team, the firm needed to find someone with the bandwidth to take these projects on and the ability to integrate seamlessly into the current process. 

The ideal person would also need to have strong knowledge and experience with end-to-end purchasing and be comfortable leading a team of consultants already engaged in the work. 

The Solution

Finding an Independent Procurement Expert

Time was of the essence for finding a director level procurement expert. So the firm conducted market research to see if it could find an on-demand solution to quickly source and onboard an expert to the teams. 

After reviewing several on-demand talent acquisition platforms, the firm decided to move forward with Graphite. The ability to use Graphite to find an expert within 24-48 hours, along with the high caliber of the expert pool, was eye-opening to the firm. To explore the platform further, it requested a demo with a Graphite Account Executive (AE) to learn more. 

The AE explained the process of working with experts on Graphite — showing the firm the platform's video and messaging features, how to track hours, and, most importantly, monitoring and paying the experts via the platform. A closer look at the expert pool and the vetting process was also shown. 

Pleased that it would have a dedicated person to its account, the firm moved forward with scheduling a scoping call with the AE to define the nature of the role along with the requirements they were looking for. It was crucial for the firm that the selected expert have: 

  1. Prior consulting experience 
  2. Purchasing experience (specifically in P2P)
  3. Strong PowerPoint and presentation skills

Because the firm wanted to make sure the selected expert could work on the team, it wanted to start the engagement as a 6-8 week assessment which would then turn into a longer-term 6-12 month engagement based on performance. 

Understanding the firm's criteria, the AE used their knowledge of the platform, along with Graphite AI technology, to source 15 candidates quickly. Using the firm's requirements, the AE narrowed the list to five experts for the firm to review.

Of the five profiles provided, one particular profile stood out among the others for the firm: an independent expert with prior experience as a Head of Global Supply Chain at companies like Dish Network, Stanley Black & Decker, and Danaher. Excited at having found its match, the firm moved forward with interviewing the expert on Graphite. 

The expert's passion for helping companies reach their goals was palpable during the interviews. Not only did the expert have prior experience implementing a center-led procurement organization, but had a strong background with procure-to-pay projects. After meeting with other team members, the firm decided to move forward with the expert.  

The Results

Driving Long-Term Manufacturing Improvements 

The AE set a meeting with Graphite, a Customer Success Manager, the firm, and the selected expert. Together they discussed the measurement of success and what they would be looking for the expert to accomplish before moving forward with the longer 6-12 month engagement. 

Once the parameters for success were established, the firm introduced the expert to the teams they would be managing. From there, the expert later engaged each team member to better understand the work that had been done to date. With that context provided, the expert moved forward with conducting a curated state and spend analysis. 

When the current state and spend analysis was completed, the expert worked with their team to develop a future state vision and improvement opportunity identification. This was followed by a business case and scenarios development exercise, which was then used to develop a strategic roadmap. 

After completing the steps outlined above, the expert pulled it together in a PowerPoint and presented it to key stakeholders. The firm’s manufacturing clients were pleased, and in turn, the firm decided to extend the length of the engagement from 6-8 weeks to 6-12 months. 

By extending the engagement, the expert could put into motion the improvements identified, such as cash flow optimization, purchasing optimization, implementation of a new purchasing system, and contract terms renegotiation. Likewise, the expert was also able to revamp the entire procure-to-pay experience for the two manufacturing end clients.