Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Liz Herbert, a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research serving Sourcing & Vendor Management professionals. It's no secret that Microsoft solutions are a core platform for information workers and the foundation for the connected enterprise around the globe. But the dizzying array of products and services – from enterprise applications to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to application development – makes navigating complex and fragmented Microsoft landscape nearly impossible. So how can you sift through Microsoft's deep product sheet and identify your organizational needs? In a new Forrester report, "Navigating The Microsoft Services Landscape," my colleagues and […]
"Individual stones can change hands up to a dozen times over a matter of weeks in polishing houses that grab from piles of legal and illegal stones like mix-'n'-match candy bins." Rough Cut -- In Antwerp, Belgium, which for 500 years served as the world's diamond headquarters, old money, rigorous documentation, and high security epitomized the business. But nearly 6,000 miles away in Surat, I discovered legitimate merchandise mingling openly with undocumented diamonds in a trading free-for-all. Indeed, so-called conflict diamonds -- illicitly mined stones that fund conflicts in the world's war zones -- are for sale by everyone from […]
Contrary to what systems-driven IT leaders have you believe, the missing link between finance and procurement is not a better transactional procurement system – it’s a common language, understanding and framework to implement and manage savings and overall purchasing performance. Yes, P2P tools matter. But they matter far less in the scheme of bottom-line impact compared to this larger opportunity. While the gap between finance and procurement coordination and agreement around savings, budgeting and planning in far too many organizations is significant, it is not insurmountable.
In preparing procurement and IT sourcing organizations for a new type of category management focused on more effectively enabling and managing a prime supplier tasked with overseeing and tapping the collective capabilities of a number of providers, Spend Matters believes that the right set of enabling tools are essential. Our recommendations in this regard include: Embracing a vendor management system (VMS) for all IT services supplier on-boarding and off-boarding and having your "prime" IT suppliers use it for the vendors they're managing, indirectly or directly (even if they're not a formal managed services provider with a staffing heritage with experience […]
Companies prioritize what State of Flux defines as supplier relationship management (SRM) for a number of different reasons. Moreover, the SRM priorities of leaders and followers in the area, as measured by the State of Flux's annual survey, can differ slightly as well. The top focus of organizations participating in SRM activities is "collaborating with suppliers to jointly deliver value (cost reduction, risk reduction, innovation, etc.) that is beyond contractual obligations" [emphasis added]. In the 2012 survey, 57% of leaders cite this as their top SRM priority and 55% of followers do as well. Next on the list is "defining […]
Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) could potentially have the most to gain from better procurement, yet they tend to lag far behind larger organizations in general sophistication (e.g., adopting basic strategic sourcing, category management, or compliance processes and policies) as well as technology adoption across source-to-pay (S2P) procurement technology. While inconsistency of process knowledge and excellence in SMB procurement is an important broader topic for discussion – for example, why many smaller businesses may be quite good at buying one or two strategic commodities such as stainless steel, copper, resin or contingent labor but sacrifice tremendous value overall – […]