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Boer & Croon has redesigned the entire procurement process at a nationally operating retailer.


Finance & Technology

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ASSIGNMENT

The assignment was to map out the processes and automate them wherever possible. The company, which has around 150 shops nationwide, asked Boer & Croon to deliver an up-to-date dashboard with a clear layout. The original assignment was gradually expanded as it went on. Daan Pickkers - Young Executive at Boer & Croon - was responsible for this project and worked on it for six months.

You cannot say on the first day how things should be done. There first has to be trust on the work floor.

APPROACH

"As soon as the assignment starts, you are in effect jumping on a moving train. Processes are running according to the usual routine and, in the beginning, the trick is to assess this objectively and independently as an external advisor. And to experience first-hand where efficiency can be improved. The organisation also had a very clear idea of what the dashboard should look like.”

BALANCING ACT

"You cannot say on the first day how things should be done. There first has to be trust on the work floor. That requires patience, balancing on a tightrope, in order to ultimately get people on board where solutions are concerned. Through our analysis of all procurement processes and the trust that was gained, I was able to convince the people at the company that we had to set things up differently."

ISSUES

The aim was to review all working agreements and to programme a dashboard in Excel to monitor all orders. In order to achieve this, I set to work collecting all the information that was needed. The procurement process affects almost all departments, such as stock management, financial administration and logistics. And it turns out that there are lots of issues." For a sales brochure, for example, stocks were not properly monitored and sales forecasts were overestimated. You find all this out when you are busy collecting information. This also gave the management the insight that there were still a lot of issues concerning consumer campaigns that had to be addressed. As a result, my project to deliver one dashboard was expanded to two dashboards; one to monitor orders and another to check stock levels. And we have also designed a predictive tool to better align procurement and sales.

FRESH PERSPECTIVES

"When the assignment became bigger, we analysed the problem with several managers within Boer & Croon and discussed potential solutions. Every resource is really put to use then. That gives fresh perspectives, new knowledge, and confidence as well." “That's a huge benefit to the client too, that the project is being addressed with all the knowledge and experience that is on hand at Boer & Croon. This internal collaboration means that, as a lone individual on the client's work floor, I know I am supported and inspired by my colleagues at Boer & Croon.”

RESULT

"The retail business has switched over from manually entering details to an automated process. The manual process was not transparent, it was inefficient and prone to errors. The automated dashboards also meant 2 to 3 days less work for some people in the organisation. In my view, this is necessary as there is then more time to work on the orders, the products and on maintaining customer satisfaction." “After writing up the new processes and delivering the dashboards, the job still wasn't finished. I stayed in the department for another four weeks to help the users with the new work method. That time was also used to make the processes more user-friendly. We now have a well-functioning automated procurement structure with transparent dashboard reports that has been fully accepted.”