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Resources  /  Blog  /  5 Ways to Alleviate Stress With Sourcing Enablement
Sourcing Education

5 Ways to Alleviate Stress With Sourcing Enablement

December 15, 2020

Let’s talk about stress at work. It’s rarely sought after, and work-related stress can be especially problematic. When you work eight hours a day at a job (and sometimes more), there’s no escaping it. Everyone feels pressure at work (and that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing), but when little pain points become constant more serious stress results. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) tracks the issue of stress in the workplace. The WHO has some very interesting things to say about it, including:

      • Work-related stress can be caused by poor work organization (the way we design jobs and work systems and the way we manage them)
      • Stress can also result from a lack of control over work processes
      • Work-related stress can damage an employee’s health and also their business performance

Every employer should be looking at that last point. The stress caused by their job can not only impact an employee’s health, but it can also affect their performance at work. It’s not smart to ignore “stressed out” staff when faced with the potential for them to be taking sick time to recover or the prospect that they could be making costly mistakes.  

Procurement is high on the list of occupations that can cause stress—resulting in unhappy employees and costly mistakes. Any sourcing professional will tell you about the constant pressures that come with the job, namely the need to save money while meeting objectives. And time. There’s always a rush to get things done. With sourcing, there are additional factors that can introduce stress. The 2019 Deloitte Global CPO survey lists some of these challenges. Here are several of the largest:

      • Vague procurement specifications and requirements
      • No previous supplier evaluation before doing business and high expectations beyond suppliers’ skills in procurement deals
      • Not sure about which supplier to develop or to replace
      • No supplier enablement strategy
      • Lack of transparency
      • Accidental orders

Put all of these factors together with the constant pressure of keeping costs down and meeting aggressive timelines, and it’s no wonder procurement can be such a stressful occupation. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Put a strategy of sourcing enablement in place, and there are five big wins in terms of alleviating some of the pressure.

Arkestro’s Predictive Procurement Orchestration platform is the key to alleviating stress for procurement professionals. Here are five ways in which it does so.

Transparency

The inability to share information between the procurement function and other business units or individuals who are stakeholders inevitably causes friction, errors—and stress. Adopting a centralized procurement system where the sourcing team and business stakeholders have access will go a long way toward eliminating this problem. When everyone can see what’s going on instead of one group controlling the information, there is transparency. 

Strategically Manage Suppliers

Suppliers can be one of the most significant sources of concern for procurement professionals. The key to minimizing this anxiety is to strategically manage your suppliers. This strategy will make it far easier to evaluate your suppliers. Also, when we strategically manage suppliers, the question of which ones to develop and which ones to replace is easily answered—this is a key advantage of strategic supplier management. When you create close, strategic relationships with suppliers, you are more likely to have options should you run into a situation involving an aggressive timeline.

Automate Menial and Repetitive Tasks

Every sourcing office has its share of repetitive tasks. The thing is, no one needs to be doing this “busy” work when resources are already strained to meet deadlines. That’s just added annoyance. And when we force someone to do the same task repeatedly, mistakes happen. That’s a lot more stress. The good news is that advanced software that employs artificial intelligence and machine learning can take over these repetitive tasks: no more “busy” work, no more mistakes, and a lot less exasperation.  

Centralize Communication 

We could avoid so much stress within the entire procurement cycle through communication. A lack of communication or miscommunication can lead to everything from an order being accidentally placed, to missing requirements, to duplication of effort, to a whole lot of unnecessary frustration. The worst part of this issue is that very often, the parties involved are communicating. The problem lies in the fact they are all using different channels. When communication is centralized on a single platform that everyone has access to, a great deal of frustration, the opportunity for error and stress go away.

Run Faster Bidding Cycles 

Finally, time and money are never going to go away as a source of pressure. But they don’t need to become a source of stress. By adopting sourcing enablement, procurement departments will have the tools and processes required to run faster bidding cycles. They have the data, requirements, and supplier information needed to come to an award decision faster. This capability goes a long way toward preventing time and cost saving pressure from escalating to the point that it becomes stress.

All well and good, but how do you reach the point of sourcing enablement? The easy answer has been “with software.” However, as the WHO pointed out in its analysis of workplace stress, poorly designed work systems can cause stress rather than alleviate it. So it’s not just software; it’s finding the right software. 

The solution? Try Arkestro. This is sourcing software that is designed by procurement professionals for procurement professionals with easy integration and no upfront costs. Request a demo and find out just how efficient and stress-free your sourcing team can be.

Request a demo today