Europe, Middle East and Africa were the first to adopt the digital platform. © Getty Images
Europe, Middle East and Africa were the first to adopt the digital platform. © Getty Images

How JLL transformed procurement across 80 countries

Commercial real estate firm JLL has standardised and streamlined its procurement function to increase performance and reduce costs.

As part of a digital transformation which began in 2015, JLL was able to improve how the business operates regionally and within different business units by consolidating data and communications in areas such as sourcing, contract management and savings.

JLL is a Fortune 500 company which has an annual turnover of $16.3bn and operates across 80 different countries in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. Due to the company’s international platform one priority of the digital transformation was to utilise technology to bring some “consistency and standardisation in the way the procurement function was working across the business”.

David McBride, transformation and strategy director at JLL’s Supply Chain Management and Procurement Team across EMEA, told SM that the digital transformation of technology work platforms and systems was enabled “through utilising technology across all of our sourcing and procurement community across the world, whether that be project spend or other areas internally”. 

This improved spend management and procurement using a digital platform "that could be rolled out globally, allowing us [JLL] to tap into consistent data about global supply markets, while at the same time taking account of regional variations”.

The firm goes through specific procedures to assess where to invest, using a methodology based on evaluating “cost, quality, risk, time, and capability”. 

McBride said: “We will look to establish a business case to evaluate where the value sits, in terms of what we're able to offer versus potentially by outsourcing something out will we end up over and above what we can deliver ourselves. 

“Some of these things you'd need a whole army of people to achieve the output that these organisations are able to do in a very smart way using algorithms.”

JLL’s digital transformation roadmap has four workstreams: people, technology, category management, and ethics and sustainability. Corporate social responsibility is an area that the firm intends to transform next using digital platforms, said McBride.

He added: “There are platforms out there that specifically look at that area [CSR], and more and more it's becoming a topic in a lot of the C-suite's agenda. It's something that we see come up a lot when we're pitching new business to clients, and there's also an expectation on procurement within JLL to be very shrewd with that agenda. 

“Yes, we can handle it and fire out questionnaires, but when there are organisations out there that are able to do this and benchmark us against others, it becomes much more powerful than the one lens that we have.”

JLL opted to use software firm Jaggaer for providing and integrating its digital platform.

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