All in all, Lora’s write-up is astute, accurate and a good interpretation of what transpired at the event. Personally -- and I’m not alone here -- I have a lot of respect for Lora given her integrated knowledge of supply chain and Spend Management. She really comes at Spend Management from a great vantage point. But I disagree with one point in her analysis.
To wit, I would challenge Lora’s argument that sourcing and procurement "products should be purchased tactically on a two-year to three-year service-based offering."
Why do I disagree? Because so much of the value of Spend Management is tied to integrating technology, process, and knowledge together. And given the significant time and dollars required to unite these areas, I don't believe that baby-steps are the right approach for organizations that want to drive the best possible results. According to separate research studies from Aberdeen Group and Hackett Group, top performing Spend Management organizations that make the right set of investments outperform their peers.
Given this, the notion of tactical 2-3 year service-based investments seems too conservative to me. For some, service-based investments might make sense. But for organization that are serious about returns, Spend Management investments should always be made as part of a longer term vision and investment strategy. In my book, whether they’re service-based or not is a secondary consideration, compared with how they fit into a game plan for the long-term.