bp "pushes boundaries" of procurement with Fairmarkit
bp wanted to free up procurement resources to concentrate on value-added procurement activity as well as ensure they were managing their spend and budgets efficiently. To do this, the company wanted to both automate as much of their process as possible and monitor procurement data in real
time to identify efficiencies.
Procurement at bp is an incredibly large operation. The company’s supply chain spans the globe, incorporating functions as varied as drilling for oil, to constructing wind turbines, to operating retail storefronts. In this environment, the procurement team needs to manage spend ranging from billion-dollar specialist equipment to the receipt rolls in cash registers.
“Sourcing and contract negotiations can be quite a manual process,” says Nicholas Wright, Director, Digital and Innovation at bp who is responsible for the way in which bp approaches the market in the digital and innovation space. “It requires careful attention at every step of the process—from capturing and sending the requirements out to suppliers to have them bid on particular requirements or scope, to the selection of a final vendor and the activities required to on-board them. It's an incredibly time- and resource-intensive process.”
bp not only wanted to free up resources to concentrate on value-added procurement activity, they also wanted to ensure they were making the best use of the digital tools avalaible within the marketplace. To do this, bp wanted to be able to both automate as much of the process as possible, as well as monitor and analyze their procurement data at a granular level.
Wright says Fairmarkit is delivering “a great outcome.” He says the platform automates what used to be a manual process to help bp do things faster, with less people. But for Wright, Fairmarkit’s proposition has served another benefit. “It has pushed the boundaries,” he says. “At bp, it was one of our first significant digital platforms, and it is disrupting the way that we work within procurement; it’s actually made people stand up and realize that we can do things differently. As a team and a company, we’re inspired to go out and look for the next Fairmarkit, whatever that may be, and be more aware and open to disrupting other manual processes.”
By working with Fairmarkit to automate processes, bp’s procurement team was able to deliver the same scope automatically that was previously done manually.
“We can now do more with less,” says Wright. “Automation and the capture of data makes our platform infinitely smarter than any one person. We are now using real time data to make accurate decisions—more than one single brain can comprehend.” bp procurement team members are also using data collected from previous transactions to make smarter decisions.
“For instance, if we’re paying for a certain products and services, we can now see how much other organizations pay for those products and services and evaluate whether we’re getting a competitive price,” says Wright. “To be able to do that in real time—on every single transaction—is a level of
transparency that is extremely value-additive. We’re using price history to inform the future.”