When COVID hit in 2020, the landscape of the retail industry was forced to change rapidly. The traditional model for procurement, where individual functions operated independently, went from merely wasteful to unsustainable.
“We joined [Coupa] two years ago in the middle of the pandemic, and the whole idea was to build the procurement function from the ground up,” said Jaime Robles (pictured), vice president of procurement and sourcing at Casey’s General Stores Inc. “Now users can see how much they spend in different categories, with different suppliers, with preferred vendors, what type of contracts we have, spend versus budget.”
Casey’s is the fourth-largest convenience store retailer, fifth-largest pizza company, and a fuel retailer with over 2,500 locations in the Midwest. They were just beginning to digitize their procurement function in early 2020, but the pressure of the pandemic accelerated their plans to build a “procurement tech house” powered by Coupa Software Inc.
Robles spoke with industry analyst Lisa Martin during the Coupa Inspire event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Casey’s worked with Coupa to building a technology hub with S2P at its core and interconnecting ecosystem platforms to bring the best aspects from each area. (* Disclosure below.)
Disruptions caused a swift procurement function overhaul
Casey’s procurement and point-of-service interactions went from 85% manual to 65% digital within a year, according to Robles. In addition to the supply side of the business, the company added an app for customer transactions and delivery, a must-have during the pandemic.
“We are hitting best-in-class levels in terms of transactional, operational, tactical, savings, visibility, spend, transparency, risk management. Now we’re going to take it to the next level of the maturity — ESG, supplier diversity and risk management,” Robles said.
One advantage of digitizing procurement is making your business future-proof. A flexible, scalable platform provides room for growth and change in the industry and protects against potential disruption.
“Companies keep evolving. You buy businesses, you sell businesses, you acquire, you expand, you grow … so by the time you’re done, [the technology is] not obsolete again. Technology is going to keep evolving with your model, and that is the key part in all this,” Robles concluded.
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Coupa Inspire event.
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Coupa Inspire event. Neither Coupa Software Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)