National Security Institute | Replacing Paper with an E-Sourcing Tool

“Tradogram really is an amazing app for managing approval workflows, spend management, and helping to manage the strategic sourcing process. It’s a really complete and easy solution for our whole set of procurement activities.”

Ghazanfar Imran
National Security Institute

Industry: Education
Employees: 200+
Location: Abu Dhabi, U.A.E

Security and emergency responders work around the clock to keep cities safe, and the national teams throughout the United Arab Emirates are no exception.

In 2006 during a federal level adjustment to what is now known as the Private Security Company Organization Department, the National Security Institute was founded as the primary distributor of training and education services for security and response teams throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Ghazanfar Imran, Director of Finance at the National Security Institute, discovered Tradogram as a potential solution during the sourcing process for a system that could provide effective tools for negotiating with multiple suppliers, while creating and managing RFQs sent to those parties.

Challenges faced in a traditional education procurement process:

Managing procurement via paper trails is notably slower than using software to expedite the process, and this particular bottleneck was causing delays at the National Security Institute. Ghazanfar explains:

“We were doing all of our procurement manually without any sort of management system. It was a tedious and time consuming process of having to print out many papers. In several cases, goods and services were delayed because of forgotten documentation, or required actions within the process not being taken. Delayed completion of POs and manual approvals for documentation were our two major issues in the manual paper based procurement cycle.”

Removing the need to rely on outdated purchasing processes, in addition to maintaining updated supplier profiles, hosting sourcing events, and improving the accuracy and availability of spending records were all identified by Ghazanfar as areas for improvement within the NSI’s procurement process.

Ghazanfar Imran

Ghazanfar Imran

Director of Finance at the National Security Institute

Objectives of a new procurement system:

With a diverse service offering ranging from basic security training, emergency response preparedness, and natural disaster awareness and safety offered on a national level, procurement at the NSI is more complicated than that of most businesses.

The requirements for a new procurement system implemented by the NSI were extensive. The system needed to be able to store information for a large database of suppliers, sort goods and services by category, host sourcing events between multiple parties, and most importantly, digitize the transfer of financial records to eliminate paper trails.

In order to gauge Tradogram’s capacity to meet these requirements, the following solutions were evaluated extensively through live demonstrations, a premium trail of the software, and compared through a cost benefit analysis to other options available on the market:

Purchase-to-Pay Tools

Including approval routing, requisition and purchase order creation forms, and automated 3-way match documentation for invoices and deliveries

Strategic Sourcing Tools

Allowing sourcing events and negotiations to be held with multiple suppliers through the system, with archived communication and offer histories

Supplier Management Tools

Profiles for tracking price histories, stored financial information for automating taxes, external files, and details for multiple points of contact.

Ghazanfar celebrates during a birthday party – and after implementing Tradogram!

The following challenges were identified as objectives for improving NSI’s operations, and traceable KPIs were established to determine whether Tradogram was successful as a solution:

  • Reduce purchasing process time by structuring approvals on the system.
  • Improve document sharing and communication to eliminate process delays.
  • Ensure supplier information profiles contain accurate pricing to reduce costs.

Resulting benefits from implementing Tradogram’s e-procurement system:

After implementing Tradogram, Ghazanfar reported the following “before and after” findings from a mix of statistics provided by the system, as well as observable changes to employee workflows:

  Before Implementing Tradogram After Implementing Tradogram

Purchase Order Processing Time

(Including Creation, Approval, and Forwarding to Supplier)

2-3 Business Days

2-8 Hours

Communication with Team and Suppliers

Delays caused from missing documentation and manual approval processes. All communications streamlined and documented on-system. Nearly instant approval process.
Effectiveness of Supplier Pricing and Profile Data

No strategy or system in place for maintaining supplier pricing records and contact info.

Supplier profiles maintained with latest pricing adjustments.

Estimated cost reduction of 1-5% by adjusting purchases based on data.

The National Security Institute’s Main Branch Office

 

Closing remarks from Ghazanfar:

Processing anywhere between 50 to 100 purchase orders a month to keep pace with diverse program requirements throughout the United Arab Emirates, the National Security Institute has many expectations to adhere to in delivering and maintaining its educational programs.

After implementing Tradogram, the NSI was able to effectively eliminate internal bottlenecks caused by manual approval processes, while also increasing efficiency in negotiations across its supplier database.

With access to regularly updated supplier information, Ghazanfar estimates that expenditures have been reduced by 1-5%, based on the data collected through Tradogram over more than a year of usage.

Ghazanfar also had this to share about their experience with Tradogram:

“Tradogram really is an amazing app for managing approval workflows, spend management, and helping to manage the strategic sourcing process.

It’s a really complete and easy solution for our whole set of procurement activities. I have to mention how excellent the process of moving through requisitions to POs and approvals is, as well as how helpful the Tradogram dashboard screens are. Tradogram really made our life very simple and error free in terms of the whole procurement cycle.

Being able to avoid the printing of papers, managing supplier sourcing and negotiation, automated approval mechanisms and reduced time taken to close the procurement cycle are among the best benefits of the solution. Time is money, and being able to close purchase orders quickly has helped us save both for the organization.”