WTE Done Right: 5 Procurement Mistakes to Avoid

November 29th, 2021

A procurement plan is the process of identifying and aggregating the input materials and coordinating timelines to get the right amount of input materials at the right time. This process plays a pivotal role in the balance sheet as well as overall supply chain operations.

When it comes to a WTE project, the only input cost that the owners have control over are their procurement plans. And what we’ve seen too often are supply chains that are mainly focused on achieving full capacity as fast as possible as opposed to doing it intelligently and cost-effectively.

Having a streamlined Waste-to-Energy supply chain starts with the right technology that captures relevant data and metrics around procurement planning and digitizes your supply chain.

It is with a digitally optimized procurement plan that operations can actually get to full capacity faster, save on resources, remain resilient against catastrophe, and free up employees’ time to focus on tasks that require their expertise.

An optimized procurement plan will help you avoid the following mistakes that can hold organizations back from achieving strategic objectives and gaining a competitive advantage in this emerging market.

Mistake 1: Inefficient Processes

Spending days calling and following up with feedstock suppliers, trying to track down where supplier contracts are filed, missing a key delivery because of weather conditions on a less than optimal route- does this sound like you?

Your WTE supply chain should be as streamlined as possible. In other words, your supply operations shouldn’t be a time-consuming and costly process. This is a very real input cost and it can’t be known, benchmarked, or managed without the right technology.

To create efficiency and an optimized procurement process, you need a single source of truth that keeps track of vendors, steps, and deliverables needed to best support your projects.

This is the only way to identify supply inefficiencies and increase supply visibility, which can then be used as a foundation for an optimized procurement plan.

The resulting improvement will allow you to have more time to analyze WTE market trends and establish baseline expectations to start forecasting future needs. It will also eliminate:

  • Paper-based workflows
  • Disjointed feedstock procurement processes
  • Unnecessary steps in procurement planning that add little or no value for the business or end-user.

Mistake 2: Siloed Operations

Siloed supply chain operations are especially common for Waste-to-Energy procurement where there can be duplicate efforts from multiple parties working on different parts of a project without knowing about each other.

This can be avoided by implementing supply chain technology that unifies all your planning and procurement processes so everyone is informed the moment a change occurs in any part of the supply process. This assigns roles, expectations, and transparent data on the status of a project.

Supply chain technology allows tracking, auditing, and real-time data analytics to identify and remediate mistakes before they cause unavoidable wasted resources.

Mistake 3: Manual Inventory Management

After you’ve worked hard to find feedstock, the worst thing you can do is mismanage it. Improper management of waste inventory can lead to loss, degraded product quality, and costly downtime for your machinery.

For example, mismanaged inventory can lead to gaps in supply where anaerobic digesters will have to be shut down, cause emission issues, or create a surplus of input material that goes unused.

The safest way to avoid this is with the right technology that can keep track of who your suppliers are, the quality of their supply, and pick updates with locations. Having this information readily available empowers you to be proactive, instead of reactive, in procurement planning.

Mistake 4: Improper Relationship Management

All too often, WTE providers underestimate supplier risk. This can lead to supply shortages, missed cost savings opportunities, and supply chain inefficiencies.

The more you know about your vendor’s supply capabilities, the better off you’ll be when it comes time for contract negotiations or identifying alternate supply options should a partner become unreliable in terms of quality, price, or availability.

One of the key elements of an optimized procurement plan is vendor relationship management. You need to know who your supply partners are and how they’re performing.

Supply chain technology can ensure your operations managers properly screen suppliers and avoid spending too much time maintaining relationships that might not even be valuable for the business.

Mistake 5: Lack of Goal Setting

The last mistake on the list is often something that occurs at the very early stage of building a supply chain, and if done poorly, continues to impact it long after. That’s a failure to set smart, clear goals for everyone involved in your supply chain.

Even if teams are working on a single platform, following a streamlined process, and spending time working on relationships that matter, without SMART goals procurement plans can still fall flat. When everyone is doing things their own way, organizational infrastructure becomes disjointed and processes become inefficient. This eats away at any of the time or cost savings you might’ve gained through the adoption of the tool.

Instead, when onboarding a new tool or making a digital transformation, everyone should be on the same page with goals and expectations. Communication is key for any change management project, and digitizing your supply chain is no different. But with a digital process there is now data for benchmarking and monthly audits.

Unsure of how to quantify your objectives? Supply chain technology can help with that too. With metrics and reporting, you can create benchmarks that will give you a clear picture of where and how to improve procurement planning.

If you don’t have reliable, real-time data, you can’t identify inefficient processes, remove siloes, improve inventory and vendor management, or set quantifiable goals.
How EnMass Energy Can Help You Avoid These Mistakes
Digitizing your supply chain in a single unified platform can help you to get to full capacity faster, improve your margins, and achieve a greater competitive advantage.

An optimized procurement plan will help you avoid the following mistakes that can hold your organization back from achieving its strategic objectives and gaining a competitive advantage in this emerging market.  

EnMass Energy supply chain management software is a supply chain planning and procurement platform that’s designed to address all of these challenges.

It eliminates supply data duplication across disparate systems, reduces manual entry, creates supply logistics plans based on your business goals and KPIs (key performance indicators), making the end-to-end supply process more efficient for everyone involved in it.

Ready to see our technology for yourself? Schedule a free demo today!

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