On Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, Causeway Technologies invited Tradex community members to the Dorchester Hotel in London for an afternoon of dialogue and networking with like-minded industry professionals.
The purpose of this Tradex Strategic Customer Forum was to bring together selected individuals across the industry to discuss their experiences and best practices around their use of Tradex. We at Causeway held the event in the manner of a round-table dialogue to allow those involved to learn about what their peers and partners are doing, and for us to identify how our key customers are looking for us to take the product further.
In attendance were representatives from different types of organisations across the supply chain including; main contractors, building and facility services, house builders and suppliers:
For our forum, we invited three panellists who are extensively involved with Tradex to share their experiences in implementing the Tradex platform and the way it has benefitted their business since.
Session 1: Accreditation and on-boarding – best practices and tips for successful on-boarding
Hosted by Amy Paxford from Carillion
Carillion has been using Causeway’s accreditation platform since 2010 when they adopted it for their worldwide business functions. As of today, Carillion receives 75-80% of their invoices electronically, and has 20,000 suppliers registered with Tradex, 8,000 of which are fully approved and ready for immediate partnerships. Paxford, who is in charge of electronic invoicing for Carillion’s core UK business, says that Carillion has 3 core finance systems and many different business units, from construction to services and facilities management with global operations.
The approach to initial communications that Carillion took was to send email invites informing vendors that Carillion was moving all of their invoicing onto the Tradex platform, and including step-by-step instructions along with details regarding Tradex. The email contained help guidance with a questionnaire as well as a dedicated phone number and email address that suppliers could contact in order to complete to on-boarding process.
One of the main challenges Carillion faced for the on-boarding process was managing the diversity of their vendors, which ranged from large corporations to sole proprietorships that were used to traditional methods of business, such as paper and regular mail. In order to reach all of these audiences, Carillion needed multiple touchpoints on top of email communication.
Carillion created a process wherein they had dedicated staff that vendors could personally drop in to speak to and be walked through the on-boarding process. This initiative was highly successful and Carillion was able to gain a large amount of additional approved suppliers onto the Tradex platform. Once suppliers were on-boarded, notice of their approval was electronically sent across the company to show that they are ready to be engaged with.
Session 2: Catalogue purchasing – how the implementation of e-Catalogues can improve supply chain management
Hosted by Matt Renwick from BAM Nuttall Ltd
In order to raise requisitions and purchase orders and assess costs quickly, BAM Nuttall developed an in-house system in order to make their processes electronic. Seeing the benefits of tying their system in with Tradex, BAM Nuttall opted to partner with Causeway and integrate their system with the e-Catalogues and supplier management functions in Tradex.
In 2015, BAM Nuttall approached Causeway with a proposal and have been working on a joint system that links the Tradex catalogue with their in house purchasing system. This system is innovative, simple, lean, and paperless, prevents lost tickets, saves time, improves accuracy, and allows automated clearing of invoices on standard, pre-approved invoices. In this process, BAM Nuttall has found that standardising invoice templates across their entire business to be extremely cost and time-effective, and would like to work with Causeway in an effort to standardise vendor templates across the field of civil engineering.
The e-Procurement process that BAM Nuttall and Causeway are developing and marketing is broken down into a 3-step process:
- Step 1 – What is e-Procurement? e-Procurement refers to an innovative advancement in construction technology allows companies to order goods online electronically
The software is a collaborative effort and funded by BAM Nuttall, Causeway, Keyline / Travis Perkins, and Burdens / Wolseley to improve the process of materials ordering in conjunction with the introduction of e-catalogues.
- Step 2 – The development of a delivery ticket app to allow for the electronic recording of deliveries using a mobile app
The delivery ticket app will be accessed from mobile phones, iPads, and BIM iPads as well as be able to work offline.
The app will provide the ability to take photos of delivered goods, which will be useful for documenting potential damage for easier tracking of the procurement process.
- Step 3 – Automation of routine invoice clearance with three way matching
In order to further streamline processes, BAM Nuttall is working on developing a standardised template system wherein if a new electronic invoice matches up to an order and delivery ticket, the fully integrated system will be able to look at all elements and check if the PO delivery and full goods have been received. If the entire order is matched, then payment is sent to the vendor automatically when due for payment.
Session 3: Spend analysis – controlling vs. monitoring spend
Hosted by Rob Ramsay from SPIE
SPIE have a longstanding global manufacturing client wherein they offer outsourced facilities management and procurement services. The client was going through a global implementation of SAP Ariba that enforced a change of processes and identified ways to centralise services and save costs through identifying common suppliers. Working with Causeway, SPIE was able to build this integrated functionality with a catalogue of 25,000 price-checked items and deliver an entire integrated procurement chain on time and budget.
The integrated platform with Tradex is able to handle complex e-procurement business processes, such as:
- Sending quotes to customers
- Receiving multiple order types
- Validating orders
- Manually fixing any order errors
- Processing orders to suppliers
- Sending order acknowledgements back to customer
- Processing orders, GRNs and invoices
- Providing a product catalogue with over 300 suppliers
- Operating in conjunction with SAP Ariba
- Following business rules to validate against catalogue/quote
- Automating cost coding
- Allowing multiple locations per product
- Providing purchase orders inbox
- Automatically calculating sell price
- Generating POs
SPIE chose to partner with Causeway to build this integration platform in Tradex because they had seen the proven functionalities of the Tradex EDI platform, and that most engaged vendors were already on the Tradex platform. Their main purpose for working with Causeway was to reduce costs and accredit the supply chain for their client. Since the go-live date of November 1st, 2016, nearly 8,000 orders have been sent to close to 600 suppliers representing a spend of £4,300,000. With the success of their partnership with Causeway, SPIE plans to roll out their platform to more suppliers and contractors.
Following the guided sessions, we allowed for open forum discussions on the benefits of being a part of the Tradex community, shared ideas about how Tradex provides opportunities for business growth, challenges and successes in the on-boarding of partners onto the platform, details regarding e-Catalogues, and the best ways to utilise spend analysis for business growth.
Causeway team members in attendance then asked for suggestions on holding further forums, and for input on how the product development team at Causeway can continuously work to better improve the Tradex platform for future release.