: Tell us about GEP’s
Procurement Consulting Practice.
Lynch: GEP is the recognized global
leader in procurement and supply chain
transformation solutions. We have a
large, blue-chip client base of Fortune
500 and Global 2000 companies
in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The companies—typically market
leaders—rely on us to help them create
and capture more value from their
operations, to take-out cost and boost
profitability. We help them operate
more efficiently and effectively. We
help them achieve maximum value
from mergers & acquisitions and
post-merger integration. We boost
business agility and competitiveness.
But digital transformation is where
we really shine. We’ve developed
an outstanding reputation based on
scores of successful global deployments in every sector and every
region of the planet.
: What challenges
are your clients facing in this space?
Lynch: Natural disaster, climate
change and political instability are
creating awareness and desire for
quicker reactions, more agility, and a
stronger focus on risk assessment and
management within procurement and
supply chain functions. Procurement
teams are also encountering increased
complexity in customer and supplier
networks. This is challenging them
to adapt to emerging business models
and forge closer collaborative relation-
ships with suppliers. Intense market
competition is spiking M&A and
private equity activity. At the same
time the pressure to achieve P&L
savings and results demonstrable to
“the Street” has not let up. Within
their organizations, our clients are
challenged by capability and capacity
shortages, especially in somewhat
specialized areas such as M&A and
post-merger integration. Category
expertise is another challenge.
: How has digital-
ization impacted your client services?
Lynch: GEP is recognized widely as
the industry’s digital transformation
leader. At this very moment, we are
helping a score of clients leverage any
number of the massive opportunities
digital technologies can deliver. We’ve
developed a cloud-native, unified
source-to-pay software platform,
SMART by GEP, that incorporates
next-gen value creation levers—
including robotics, AI and IoT—
across the full source-to-pay lifecycle.
Procurement benchmarks are actively
being recalibrated to incorporate the
impacts, current and potential, of
these innovations. We’re embedding
them into all our core processes,
methodologies and tools.
: Tell us about the
SMART by GEP software platform.
Lynch: SMART by GEP is a cloud-native, source-to-pay procurement
software platform. It is comprehensive
and complete, delivering state-of-the-art functionality in a unified platform
that includes spend analysis, sourcing,
contract and supplier management,
purchase-to-pay, savings tracking
and project management. Users love
its attractive, intuitive design—it
requires little or no training—so
adoption rates are among the highest
in any B2B software category. Despite
being packed with innovative features
and functionality—for instance, it’s
the first procurement platform native
to mobile and touch technologies—
it is easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy and
begins delivering value very quickly.
: What’s next for
Lynch: A deep understanding of
digital technology, its transformative
impact, and how this can best be
leveraged to help organizations
both deliver on their commitments,
and evolve to meet changing roles,
is fundamental to consulting work
today. With the mandate shifting from
cost reduction to value creation, we
think that tech fluency is the key to
delivering real, true and lasting value
to global procurement organizations.
A lot of them are feeling like they’ve
entered uncharted territory, and they
have in some senses. And our mission
must be to help them succeed here.
Darren Lynch is a Vice President for Consulting at GEP in Europe and a member of
GEP’s Consulting Services Leadership in the region. Lynch has 21 years of experience in
procurement, supply chain and operational excellence on a global basis. His focus is on
operational effectiveness and efficiency, helping clients with their operating model, structure,
value chain, supply chain, strategic cost management and process excellence.
Q&A with GEP’s Darren Lynch