According to Forbes, top global companies are relying on their procurement leaders more and more to seek out innovative ways of doing business with suppliers. It’s no longer simply about cutting costs – procurement is more involved in mitigating supply chain risk and making strategic decisions in collaboration with top management. With better information and processes to tracking every company contract, procurement leaders can unlock...Continue reading >>
As procurement professionals, we have come to take certain ideas for granted. Savings is still our primary performance metric given the ever-increasing challenges of today's market environment. However, savings can no longer be the exclusive North Star to our voyage. We need to become more strategic by increasing our ability to create shareholder value and contribute to corporate competitive advantage. Collaboration with suppliers, at least in certain categories, requires that we take a multi-dimensional look at each commercial opportunity and play a long-term, relationship-oriented game.
In a March 10 Supply Management article addressing accusations of bullying against buyers in supermarket retail, we read about the negative consequences of overly aggressive savings-driven tactics by procurement organizations. Two very critical and equally illuminating ideas...Continue reading >>
I know we don't have to preach to the choir. You already know that there are some expenses that are hard to justify – not because they aren't necessary, but because it's hard to prove that they are worth it. It can be difficult to show where the costs are going to impact the bottom line and why your CFO should consider them necessary.
Our procurement customers and prospects are all aware of just how practical spend analysis is for them, but sometimes find it difficult to explain exactly why. In a helpful paper, Spend Matters suggests 10 ways to justify...Continue reading >>
Gartner's 2015 predictions for the procurement technology market, "Predicts 2015: A Maturing Procurement Technology Market Creates New Opportunities for Value Creation" is a good read if you can get your hands on it. With all of the technology that has been deployed over the past 15 years, companies still need to find ways to keep ahead of it. I am actually taken back by the need for enterprises to approach both technology and processes (AGAIN), specifically when it comes to procurement and contract lifecycle management.
Gartner discusses how this market is poised for change. Why many large enterprise buyers have multiple ERP systems because of mergers, acquisitions and/or a two-tier ERP strategy. How organizations are growing increasingly frustrated by...Continue reading >>
As both procurement experts and suppliers understand, sourcing a product is more involved than simple physical acquisition. Considering the plethora of product recalls that seem to be constantly in the news, it’s clear that making sure products meet certain standards can be challenging if the right monitoring systems aren’t put in place.
Let's face it, defects are not always physical or tangible: more and more, especially as markets become increasingly globalized, companies are building labor standards, fair trade requirements, and environmental policies into their supplier contracts. This makes it all the more important...Continue reading >>
In viewing the release of our newest sourcing platform during a demo, I tried to discern all the pieces that I saw as unique or compelling. Looking past core features in the sourcing platform, such as RFx, auction and award management capabilities, I saw aspects of the new platform that are clearly distinguishable. Things like a slick and simple UI, collaborative reporting, in-app messaging and other social media, including capabilities for networking, made me think of the evolution of technology and the parallels to how sourcing and procurement platforms have dramatically changed over the past 15 years.
Being smack in the middle of Gen X, I can clearly remember when I got into the workforce after graduate school, where mobile phones were dumb, having a laptop meant lugging around 10 lbs. of silicon and plastic, and collaboration was a face-to-face activity on a white board...Continue reading >>
There is a reason that contracts are full of legal language. They are, after all, legal documents. But the fact that contracts are legal documents is all the more reason to make sure that language is precise. When contract language is imprecise, or worse, incomplete, the door opens to ambiguity and misinterpretation that could lead to disputes.
I've seen a lot of contracts, and know nothing is worse than foggy language. Believe it or not, good contract management often has to start with actually cutting words from your contracts...Continue reading >>
In March of 2014, Matthew Eatough, CEO of Proxima Group, wrote an article for Harvard Business Review discussing what he called 'corporate virtualization'. The concept is based on research that found that, on average, "69.9% of corporate revenue is directed toward externalized, supplier-driven costs." The fact that such a large percentage of corporate revenue is spent with external business partners is surprising enough, but the study also uncovered that the percentage increased by 4% from 2011 to 2014, marking a clear trend towards more reliance on suppliers rather than less.
These findings should have completely rocked the world of procurement, and opened the eyes of C-level executives hesitant to embrace the full value proposition of a strategic procurement function. And yet, they changed little for the vast majority of organizations. But why?Continue reading >>
If you're reading this, you already know the importance of contracts to any organization. Just about every business transaction involves contracts, so it's important to make the most of them. Here are three reminders of how to use CLM to help you work smarter, make deals faster, and be better informed to make intelligent business decisions and ensure compliance.Continue reading >>
I had the opportunity to read “Strategic Sourcing: Lessons Learned” recently published by the Aberdeen Group. You can download it for free at the following link: http://www.aberdeen.com/research/9814/RR-strategic-sourcing-lessons.aspx/content.aspx
It is interesting that many companies are holding onto old technologies when the proliferation of new technology to support their sourcing environments is abundant. Given the numbers from the Aberdeen survey...Continue reading >>