Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

SSON’s Top 10 Optimization Tips and Procurement Best Practice Case Studies

September 4, 2012

LONDON, September 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

SSON recently interviewed John Dickens, Shared Services Centre Manager at NEC Europe
about how the business optimized its back office function across Europe with cost
efficiency measures.

In the interview, John Dickens reflects on the impact of the economic climate on P2P:
“In these austere times, many people are going back to the wheel. In P2P, it’s always
perceived that something can be gleaned out of this process, be it at the buying end or in
the processing end. Everything just needs to be faster, leaner and better.”

He explains: “The pace of change in which suppliers are coming forward with bigger and
better and more functional products has been quite amazing. Nowadays it’s a question of
why haven’t you caught up and what’s the next wave?”

Dickens outlines the main challenges: “The ability to react to this fast-moving
landscape is difficult. These are expensive operations and it’s very difficult to decide
whether to go with one product or another. Certainly the delivery of a return before the
next wonder product is the biggest fear for most of us in this arena. But most business
cases these days generally look for some kind of return within 12 to 18 months.” And in
terms of performance metrics: “The stakeholders of the business are now much more aware”.

In the interview, Dickens also shares insight on the pan-European automated solutions
project which NEC Europe is rolling out. He says the greatest challenge is acceptance:
“Being a shared service in itself creates its own stigmas from the point of view of the
companies that we support and the countries that we support.” He explains how NEC overcame
this hurdle: “To actually gain acceptance, we thought we’d try and use the automation of a
particular area of the P2P space which was probably the least emotional. It was the one
that people didn’t really enjoy doing. We used that as a spearhead to actually do our
subsequent projects.”

In addition to this podcast, SSON has also released two new best practice articles on
creating a better operating environment. Firstly, the article titled “Top Ten Tips for
Optimizing Your P2P Function”
[http://www.purchasetopayevent.com/redForms.aspx?id=802110&sform_id=812042 ], SSON network
members give their thoughts on what steps can be taken to drive your P2P function through
to operational excellence. In “Automation – What Holds Back E-Procurement Success?
[http://www.purchasetopayevent.com/redForms.aspx?id=802110&sform_id=812044 ]” article,
SSON profiles UNICCO Service Company, one of North America’s largest facilities
outsourcing companies with over US$650 million in annual sales, 1,000 customers and 20,000
employees, which turned disappointment with an earlier e-procurement program into success
the second time around.

The interview and articles are available to download free from our online library at


The content series has been released ahead of 8th Annual SSON Purchase To Pay Summit
2012, due to take place 30th October – th1 November 2012 in London, UK. John Dickens will
be speaking about ‘Completing The P2P Circle By Attacking Tail End (T&E) Issues – NEC’s
Cost-Efficiency Story’ at the Summit.

About the 8th Annual SSON Purchase to Pay Summit 2012

The SSON’s Purchase To Pay Summit 2012, held in London on the 31st October – 1st
November 2012 will address the challenges related to financial and procurement visibility,
efficiency, cost savings and control .

Other topics discussed at the event include:

– Emerging technology hold for P2P & developing a roadmap towards 100% process
automation (NEC Europe, BBC and Henkel);

– The Challenges of reviewing existing P2P processes (Metropolitan Police Service,
Procter & Gamble and Kelda Group);

– How to operate End-To-End (E2E) by streamlining processes & cost cutting initiatives
from the end-user

To access the full programme and speaker line-up or to find out more about SSON’s
Purchase to Pay Summit 2012, please visit http://www.purchasetopayevent.com/news,
email enquire@iqpc.co.uk or call +44-(0)207-036-1300.

Media contact: Joanna Checinska, Marketing Manager, +44-(0)20-7368-9421,

Press are invited to attend this important industry forum, if you would like to a
complimentary press pass please email Joanna Checinska at Joanna.Checinska@iqpc.co.uk

SOURCE Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON)

Source: PR Newswire