Lucent and Spend Matters Ponder the Future

In a recent blog entry, I argued that future Spend Management solutions would have the potential to transform internal service delivery models themselves. In this world, companies could use platforms to "enable the creation of virtual shared services teams between organizations based on processes, skills and availability. A castings category manager from a non-competitive automotive company could identify and work with her counterpart from an industrial manufacturer to share or barter processes, information, and even available capacity and on-the-ground global resources … Consider this an On-Demand "skills punch-out" and shared services business process network if you will, made possible by entirely by On-Demand capabilities."

Given my entry, it was enjoyable to see Lucent's CPO, Joe Carson, echo a similar vision for the future of Spend Management technology and process in a recent op/ed in Purchasing. In his column, Carson writes that a next generation, "adaptive procurement model would require a skill-based network of people linked with the tools they need and a global understanding of the expertise throughout that network. For a company's own branded products, its connections with key suppliers would be beyond "partnerships" to being "virtually merged," enabling both to more naturally leverage the expertise of the other with the ultimate goals of serving the customer better and exceeding both sets of investors' expectations." Hmmm ... Joe's views sound remarkable similar to mine. Perhaps in the near future, we'll be able to look at Lucent as a test-case for the future of next generation "adaptive" Spend Management processes and technology. As an aside, Lucent is a great example of a company tht has analyzed its spend down to the Nth degree, opting to invest in strategic opportunties and categories and outsource what is non-core.

Jason Busch

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