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  • Writer's pictureJordi Vandenhouwe

Unpacking procurement compliance: a comprehensive guide

What is Procurement Compliance?

Procurement compliance is a critical part of modern business, especially when it comes to legal matters. Let's break it down into simple terms:

  1. Legal Compliance: At the heart of procurement compliance is following the law. When a business buys goods or services, it must adhere to various legal standards. These might include regulations on fair competition, anti-corruption measures, environmental laws, and more. It's like driving a car - you must obey the traffic laws to avoid accidents and fines.

  2. Tender Compliance: This part ensures that when a company asks suppliers to bid for a contract, everything is done according to legal requirements. All participants must be treated equally, and the rules must be clear and transparent. Think of it as hosting a fair race, where everyone knows the rules and starts at the same line.

  3. Contracts and Agreements: Procurement compliance involves creating legal contracts that adhere to the law. This helps to prevent misunderstandings, breaches of contract, and potential legal disputes down the line. It's like writing down the rules of a game, so everyone knows what's expected.

  4. Risk Management: Following the legal guidelines in procurement helps to protect the company from risks, such as fines, legal actions, and damage to reputation. It's like building a fence around your house; it helps keep unwanted problems out.

  5. Adding Value Through Legal Integrity: By adhering to the legal aspects of procurement, a company demonstrates integrity and ethical behaviour. This not only ensures smooth operations but also builds trust with suppliers, customers, and stakeholders. It's like being a trustworthy friend; people value and respect it.

  6. Other Considerations: While legal compliance is key, procurement also involves other important aspects like cost savings, supplier management, and aligning with business strategies. However, all these functions must be performed within the legal framework, ensuring that the company's operations remain within the boundaries of the law.

In summary, procurement compliance, especially legal compliance, is a vital aspect of doing business. It ensures that all purchasing activities are conducted according to the laws and regulations. It's not just a matter of ticking boxes; it's about acting responsibly, ethically, and wisely to build a successful and reputable business.

Key Metrics for Procurement Compliance

Procurement compliance is monitored through various metrics to ensure that the organization is adhering to established regulations, laws, and guidelines. Here are four key metrics that are often utilized to gauge the effectiveness of procurement compliance:

  1. Compliance Rate: This metric measures the percentage of purchases made in accordance with predefined rules and policies, including legal regulations, internal policies, or contract terms. A high compliance rate indicates that procurement processes are aligned with legal and organizational requirements. Conversely, a low compliance rate may signify potential risks and non-compliance issues.

  2. Savings Realization Rate: The savings realization rate compares the savings that were projected at the outset of a procurement activity with the actual savings achieved. This can reflect the effectiveness of procurement in negotiating contracts, leveraging volume discounts, and adhering to budget constraints, all while complying with legal requirements.

  3. Contract Utilization Rate: This metric indicates the extent to which contracted goods and services are actually utilized. Monitoring contract utilization ensures that the organization is not only securing contracts according to compliance standards but also using them efficiently. Non-utilization or under-utilization of contracts may point to compliance issues or inefficiencies in the procurement process.

  4. Supplier Compliance Rate: Monitoring supplier compliance ensures that vendors are adhering to the terms, conditions, and legal requirements stipulated in their contracts. This includes compliance with regulations related to quality standards, delivery timelines, environmental guidelines, and more. A high supplier compliance rate reflects a robust supplier management process that aligns with legal compliance and risk management.

These metrics collectively provide a comprehensive view of the organization's procurement compliance status. Regular monitoring and analysis of these metrics enable organisations to identify areas for improvement, mitigate potential risks, and ensure that procurement activities are conducted in alignment with legal and organisational objectives.

Role of Technology in Supporting Procurement Compliance

In the digital age, enhancing procurement performance calls for transitioning compliance metrics and ordering procedures to the cloud. Technology offers several benefits in streamlining the procurement process:

  1. Performance Tracking: Digitizing the procurement process simplifies compliance. It helps procurement teams quickly assess supplier performance and discover any issues with lead times, quality control, billing, etc.

  2. Approval Routing: Electronic procurement solutions aid in workflow standardisation and reduce the risk of deviations from the standard procedure.

  3. Centralized Contract Repository: Keeping all contracts in a centralised database enables quick access for all key decision-makers to any vendor's terms, conditions, and purchase history.

  4. Real-Time Spending Visibility: Real-time visibility ensures that any spend outside of contracted or preferred suppliers is quickly identified, allowing approvers to mitigate the problem before it escalates.

How to get started?

It might not be easy to get started with all of this. Valcori gives you a head start in this field from multiple perspectives:

  • Use Valcori for your tender processes to keep an audit trail of all your supplier interactions and enforce legal compliance by your suppliers

  • Have a look at our confidentiality template that can be directly integrated in your next tender


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