Navigating a complex IT supply chainTo be confident that you?re getting the best price for IT products it requires you to consider several elements at any one time. Alongside supply chain factors, such as overseas delivery charges, geopolitical issues, like Brexit, are unknown variants that make exchange rates, and therefore import prices, difficult to predict. With prices jumping up and down on a daily basis, it can be near impossible to keep track of the best price. You could easily while away several hours scouring the internet, requesting several quotes before analysing the data, only for things to change the next day. Buyers need to be wary of these changes and the potential impact on prices, from both positive and negative perspectives.
Watch out for the small purchasesAs manually benchmarking technology prices is so time consuming, it usually only happens with high-value or bulk orders ? where inflated margins could result in thousands of pounds? worth of additional cost. It?s easy to see why teams may invest more time on these larger purchases ? the consequences appear much greater, and the procurement teams face more intense scrutiny accordingly. Yet it is actually often on the smaller items where the biggest margins are charged. These are the numerous “everyday” purchases that you may often find yourself popping down to your local shop for ? a USB stick, laptop stands or a new keyboard. Although little purchases, they all add up and can, in some cases, total around 25?per cent?of an annual IT budget.
BenchmarkingOrganisations can, however, deploy a benchmarking tool that automates a large part of the procurement process. A benchmarking tool will remove the guesswork and provide full visibility over trade prices. This allows businesses to negotiate with confidence and speed up the IT procurement process. This transparency also means that organisations can access up-to-date, validated information that will highlight the exact margins that suppliers are charging. With this information at your fingertips you can monitor existing contracts (or re-negotiate new ones) and prevent suppliers from taking advantage of an opaque supply chain in order to boost their margins. If businesses are to keep unnecessary expenditure to a minimum, it?s crucial each?take an intelligent approach to technology procurement. By combining benchmarking tools with a more in-depth knowledge of the IT supply chain, buyers can make more informed procurement choices and stretch IT budgets further. Al Nagar is head of benchmarking at KnowledgeBus.
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