Pon is an international trade and service organisation with various A-brands in its portfolio such as Volkswagen, Gazelle, Continental, MAN and Caterpillar.
Martijn ten Kroode has been working since 2011 as Procurement Manager at Pon’s Automobielhandel in Leusden, The Netherlands, one of the business units of Pon. “At Pon’s Automobielhandel, I am responsible for all procurement besides the cars,” Martijn says. “This includes procuring support services, parts and accessories to ultimately be able to sell cars. For example we spend a great deal of money on media and advertising agencies, IT services and hiring in external staff. In addition, I also coordinate the Pon Procurement Board – a consultative body in which we meet with the various procurement managers of other Pon companies. From this board, we carry out Pon-wide projects with which we bundle our procurement needs and in that way, as a result of the larger volume, increase our purchasing power.”
Procurement Department Pon’s Automobielhandel
The procurement department of Pon’s Automobielhandel comprises two people: Martijn himself as procurement manager and one contract manager. “Across Pon, we have entrusted a large portion of the purchasing activities to an external supplier. This supplier is an integral part (so to speak) of our procurement organisation. We enter into framework agreements with our suppliers across Pon and in that way we ensure that clear agreements are reached. In this way, all Pon-companies have the opportunity to make use of these contracts. Ordering products and services under those framework agreements is done in a decentralised way within the company. Therefore, there is not separate ordering department. This method of working connects well with the decentralised business model that Pon uses,” Martijn explains.
Reason to use VendorLink
Making purchases from various suppliers transparent was, for Pon, the initial reason for using VendorLink. Initially, Martijn wanted to map out the spending of his own department Pon’s Automobielhandel, but also to check whether the suppliers with whom a great deal of money is spent are brought under an effective contract.
Additionally, VendorLink was also the solution for bundling the numerous administrations. “Precisely because we have such a decentrally managed company, there was not a single that could be used across Pon. We had a need for a single system in which information from various administrative systems couild be brought together and, in that way, to provide insight,” Martijn explains.
Before Pon started with VendorLink, the company made use of another, comparable system. “Due to what we felt were the superior functionalities and better price-quality ration, we eventually switched to VendorLink – a choice that we have been happy with to this day.”
What is Vendor Rating?
To be able to monitor suppliers’ compliance with the agreements made in an agreement more effectively, procurement departments use vendor rating. Vendor rating is the process in which organisations assess the performance of their suppliers, such as:
Based on the vendor rating results, supplier performance can be adjusted in good time and you can, for example, decide to enter into a contract with a different supplier.
Functionalities in VendorLink
Within VendorLink, Pon uses the modules Contract Management, Spend Management and Vendor Rating. “We are implementing Spend Management Pon-wide,” says Martijn. “Every Pon company itself can then indicate whether they would also like to make use of Contract Management or Vendor Rating. Whether they have a need for these functionalities depends entirely on the type of Pon company. At Pon’s Automobielhandel, we use two functionalities.”
Six years ago, Pon’s Automobielhandel started using Vendor Rating in VendorLink. “This is different than with most companies, which often first start with gaining insight into the spend of contracts,” explains Martijn. “For us, it was very interesting to gain insight into the performance of suppliers and, based on this, to be able to reach better contract agreements with (new) suppliers. Additionally, our OEMs and factories also require a specific system for assessing suppliers and that we act on that. That is therefore one of the reasons why we started first at that time with vendor rating.”
Implementation of VendorLink
The implementation of a software solution is an intensive process. “Particularly in an organisation like Pon that deals with so many administrations,” Martijn says. “Many people from every Pon company were involved in the VendorLink implementation. A number of IT managers, a controller that can validate data, you name it. Moreover, the implementation of new software is an activitiy that is carried out in addition to the normal activities. It was therefore a major challenge to maintain the pace of the implementation process and to keep our people – who themselves of course already have full schedules – involved in the process.”
Collaboration with VendorLink
Martijn is enthusiastic about the collaboration with VendorLink. “The collaboration with VendorLink is going incredibly well and I am therefore very satisfied. Projects are well-managed and the people that work there are very dedicated. They are always ready to help, are easy to reach by telephone and are very involved in the project.”
Now that Pon also wants to connect its bicycle group to VendorLink, Martijn is again seeing how involved VendorLink is. “VendorLink is actively thinking along with us on connecting this new group to our software. We have prepared a wishlist and, for example, we have indicated that we would like specific and deeper insight on product level. VendorLink is now working very hard on setting that up, and we at Pon are therefore very pleased with the tool and the insight that we now have.”