DSM’s approach to developing a holistic digital platform strategy

Alex Johnston

Nutrition, health and sustainable living company DSM has developed a platform to centralise the user experience that is already delivering value, led by a comprehensive change management approach


DSM developed an ambitious strategy to improve its service for stakeholders, revamping its system strategy around four focus areas;

  1. Stakeholder satisfaction: Thousands of employees at DSM purchase indirect goods and services, and feedback from corporate users, procurement and finance highlighted that the processes and systems for indirect procurement needed improvement. Suppliers felt the same way because of payment delays.
  2. Savings: Significant savings opportunities lay in revamping DSM’s processes and technologies – not just efficiency savings by improving purchasing processes but also by increasing spend under management, reducing maverick buying and deepening strategic sourcing capabilities.
  3. Financial controls: More than 50% of spending on purchase orders at DSM was linked to a contract. DSM wanted to ensure that not only was the external spending on indirect goods and services carried out in compliance with procurement policies but that its processes could be validated by DSM’s internal controls framework.
  4. Transaction efficiency: The purchase-to-pay process was cumbersome and addressing errors was both time-consuming and inefficient. Procurement professionals spent around 10% of their time addressing operational issues.

DSM realised it required a more user-friendly integrated systems architecture, sitting above a set of efficient and streamlined processes. Without this transition, indirect procurement would not be able to shift to a more self-service model, a proposal that lay at the centre of enabling greater scale and opening up the function to focus on more value-adding tasks.

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