Amidst pricing volatility, margin pressures, and an increasingly complex global business environment, procurement departments around the globe are embracing change.
Among the top priorities for chief procurement officers (CPOs) are identifying cost savings and managing supply risk, according to an Ardent Partners survey. And digital transformation—in order to deliver real-time capabilities that can handle highly dynamic market challenges—isn’t far behind.
Procurement teams also play an important role in achieving related yet even broader goals across their companies, including new efficiencies, lower costs, and stronger risk management and compliance practices. That’s especially true at banks, where risk management and shifting regulatory requirements are the norm.
KeyBank, one of the largest bank-based financial services companies in the U.S., had previously embraced digital transformation with the Workday enterprise cloud platform, including Workday financial management and human resources applications, which helped to modernize and simplify a complex ecosystem of processes and operations.
“That opened the door for us in procurement to rethink the status quo,” said Jacob Loos, KeyBank senior vice president and procurement solutions manager, in a recent Workday webinar. “We had to make a decision—do we make the switch to Workday like the rest of the bank, or do we stick with our legacy systems?”
The answer was clear soon enough: it was time to evolve KeyBank’s procurement technology across the board, from sourcing to payments to contract compliance. Successfully moving away from a legacy system at that scale, however, would require a commitment to proactive change management.
Seizing the Opportunity
KeyBank’s procurement department handles activities that range from managing and negotiating high-risk, large-spend deals, to providing KeyBank teams with self-service options including vendor catalogs, meeting and event coordination, corporate travel, and expense management. Most of the bank’s third-party purchasing happens through a centralized procurement process, spanning bid analysis to payments.
For that reason, it made sense to utilize Workday Strategic Sourcing to support the source-to-pay business process. That didn’t mean saying goodbye to specialized tools that deliver clear value to KeyBank’s procurement activities. In fact, the bank utilizes more than half-a-dozen tools, some integrated with Workday Strategic Sourcing and others standalone, to support market analysis, document signature, risk management, and data analytics.
That said, the decision to move on from its legacy procurement system in early 2022 involved large-scope change, Loos noted, encompassing requirements identification and identification of buying channels, contracts, receiving, invoicing, requisitions, purchase orders, payments, and reporting.
The sheer size of the undertaking was daunting, but the array of benefits made possible from operating on the unified Workday platform made the major shift more than worthwhile, according to Loos. For the procurement team, moving off their legacy system resulted in benefits that include:
Real-time contract reporting that connects directly into agreements to make updates, tag stakeholders, and enter status notes—no spreadsheets necessary.
A “Team Chat” function that permits tagged stakeholders to review requests and quickly take action in one place with no need for overlapping email threads. “A colleague can log in to the tool and chat with my team, so we have a live, active record of all the communication going back and forth on our contracts,” Loos said.
Access to automated emails that KeyBank uses to notify approvers of a contract in queue for review and/or renewal, and seamless DocuSign integration for signature.
“Workday Strategic Sourcing has also leveled up procurement management through visibility into and collaboration on the organization’s pipeline of projects,” said Ryan Pytel, vice president and procurement category manager at KeyBank. Because the platform enables easy status logging and categorizing of projects in motion, Pytel has a clearer sense of the team’s current and future workload.
Meanwhile, Pytel’s team can provide seamless coverage when someone is out on personal leave. “Now somebody is able to pick up a project and continue it, leave notes and documentation, attach different bids, etcetera. The platform really gives that seamless transition from one hand to another,” Pytel added.
Knowledge sharing and project preparation have also transformed. Previously, pulling together a new request for proposal (RFP) meant a search in shared folder drives for examples of past similar RFPs. Today, searching isn’t necessary.
“In Workday Strategic Sourcing, all that information is there; it’s all linked together through a chain. You can see the project that led to the contract, which is tied to the savings booked,” Pytel said. “It really gives great efficiency to my team, as well as to me from a leadership perspective.”