Bringing new meaning to the term ‘360’


KPMG’s global procurement team manages relationships with suppliers who are both providers and customers.
The arms of professional services organisation KPMG stretch far and wide, with operations in 147 countries and territories, and more than 219,000 people working in member firms around the world. In 2019 its global procurement team decided to take supplier relationship management (SRM) to the next level.
“We knew clients and suppliers, who overlap, would have an increased focus on technology. To improve efficiency and drive continued innovation, the organisation needed more strategic, collaborative and constant connections with key suppliers, in particular our technology suppliers. It meant working differently - looking beyond the now or individual projects to prepare for a new reality,” says Bobby Dhanoa, Global CPO, KPMG International.

Catalysts for change

Dhanoa has sought to capitalise on two significant accelerators of transformation. The first was to strengthen KPMG’s global relationship with Microsoft through a five-year enterprise agreement. The second was the global health crisis.
“When you put in place a deal that’s at the heart of a US$5 billion multi-year investment, you have to consider how you can maximise that deal, and in this case the technology, from a risk, relationship and innovation point of view. That contract showed us we could do things differently and with that experience, alongside the energy and passion of the procurement team, technology leaders and SRM professionals, we developed the courage to transform at speed.”
When the KPMG Microsoft deal was sealed ahead of schedule in 2019, member firms began to adopt new tools, such as Microsoft Teams. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the usage of those technologies really took off and by July the organisation had used Microsoft Teams to make 28 million calls, with 1.4 million occurring on one day alone.

2020 SRM report | Supplier management at speed  

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“The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital agenda and been a catalyst for change,” says Dhanoa. “The organisation has had to adapt rapidly and that’s driven a huge amount of innovation. Transformation projects that would typically take months or years are now taking weeks and we’ve evolved internally to help clients, people, member firms and stakeholders through this crisis. Many clients need solutions that require innovation at a speed that’s never been seen before. The Microsoft deal was game-changing, it helped demonstrate the critical role procurement plays in helping our business transform to meet new demands.”


Relationship management

To gain and share more insight into supplier relationship development, Dhanoa hosted an event in Canada and invited companies to speak about their SRM journey, and State of Flux
to share its expertise. “One thing every procurement leader is focusing on is finding the talent and capabilities a modern procurement function needs. Through this event we have created a forum where procurement leaders can network, engage, course correct and learn from others who are at different stages of their transformation journey.”
For Dhanoa and her team, relationship management skills are essential because every time they encounter a supplier or potential supplier they are also interacting with a customer or potential customer. For them to understand all those touch points they need to work closely with internal stakeholders.
“Procurement at KPMG is only as strong as the relationships and connection points we have in the business.” On top of this already added dimension, many of procurement’s internal customers are consultants who are highly skilled influencers. “I tell anyone joining my team ‘you’ll become the best leader you’ll ever be: you have to sell a vision, challenge the status quo and get people to follow you.’”
She adds that the year 2020 is an opportunity procurement will never get again in this lifetime. “Use it,” she advises. “Demonstrate how intelligent procurement can help drive business transformation.