Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

Straight from the Horse's Mouth: Contracting with Management Consultants

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Bob Derocher and Ryan Reeser, at Archstone Consulting. "Straight from the horse's mouth" is said to be the notion in the horse racing world that a tip is so legitimate that it originates from one-step closer than the inner circle of trainers and owners, i.e., directly from the horse. In the business of contracting with management consultants, I am that horse. And I have some tips for you. Tip # 1 - Remove "time & material" from your vocabulary. Without extremely diligent oversight on project status, consumed hours, and completed milestones, you are […]

Afternoon Coffee: Royal Caribbean’s Supply Chain, “All Natural” Food Sourcing, New Job for 2013?

Finance cruising into the supply chain! Royal Caribbean CFO Tries Navigating the Supply Chain -- Royal Caribbean Cruises is turning to CFO Brian Rice to cut costs from its supply chain as the cruise industry battles a poor operating environment -- even though by his own admission the 20-plus-year company vet has no expertise in that part of its business. "I'm still in the learning stages of the supply chain," says Rice, who was put in charge of that function in September on top of his other CFO duties. "They're helping me more than I'm helping them [right now]." Quoth […]

Prime Contractors – Sensible Procurement Tool or Soft Option?

Once upon a time in procurement, when we wanted to buy something – goods or services – we identified someone who could sell it to us. In some cases, a supplier might offer more than one product, or even quite different products, but generally they sold us what they produced. The exception was “agents.” Particularly when buying from foreign suppliers, agents would act as an intermediary. As well as dealing with the primary producer of the material or product, they might also arrange transport and handle import and insurance requirements as part of their value-added contribution. Early in my career, buying ingredients and raw materials for the food industry, I would use agents for products ranging from milk powder to colors and flavors.

Category Management Strategies for Relocation Services

The supply management landscape and opportunity for relocation services is changing dramatically. But these shifts have also come with increased questions from both HR and procurement. For example, we all want to strike the correct balance between getting employee mobility services (also known as relocation services) suppliers motivated to provide the most competitive pricing as well as to offer strict and productive service level agreements. But this is easier said than done, especially on an ongoing, sustainable basis while keeping internal employee satisfaction high across a high-stress period in their professional (and personal) lives. One method you can use focuses […]

Accounts Payable Looks Inward: Developing Alternatives to Outsourcing

If looked at by the typical scope and structure of most new transactions, Procurement BPO has largely remade itself in recent years, with a significant focus on bringing in targeted expertise and category knowledge rather than a broader organizational hand-washing (AKA: outsourcing) initiative. And many companies are beginning to focus on developing internal competencies for emerging procurement and sourcing areas, often in a shared services type environment for purchasing process and beyond. For example, companies are in-sourcing more than they're outsourcing supplier risk management, vendor management, supplier diversity, commodity management and source-to-pay systems deployment and management. Accounts payable, which should […]

Curing a Supplier Diversity Headache

Just about everyone in a US-based sourcing and procurement organization knows something about supplier diversity. We're even seeing an increased global focus, such as that on indigenous aboriginal-owned suppliers and content in Australia and Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa. Yet few involved in the function know the nuances of how to impact diversity spending in practice, let alone where to get started. One of the largest challenges facing diversity programs is need for greater visibility into spending activity. Everyone needs it. Diversity-focused spend analysis and vendor classification work is absolutely necessary for accurate reports that will stand […]