ISM Dispatch: Conferences to Come, Metrics & Measurement, and Finance Alignment

- May 8, 2014 10:20 AM
Categories: Commentary, Conferences | Tags:

As part of its focus on expanding outward beyond the traditional realm of procurement, ISM is planning a number of upcoming events. There will be one in July focused on measurement, metrics, and performance management. The Spend Matters team is looking forward to getting involved with the topic (and the conference), considering the importance of effective budgeting, planning, and management. All too often, the primary failure point to align procurement and finance together centers on developing and implementing a set of trusted and shared metrics to shape, measure, and even forecast future performance and activities.

I’m hoping that the event proves a useful venue to highlight some of the findings from a recent snap poll that we conducted in April and May with ISM members and our readers. The poll had to do with taking a new view of procurement and supply chain centered as much on following the money as following the goods or services. The idea of this survey, which we’ve got a decent sample size of well over 100 participants, is to understand perceptions (within procurement) of often finance-centered topics: recent inflationary trends, the increasing cost of finance capital for suppliers, etc.

When we talk of bridging the worlds of finance and procurement, all too often we approach the topic narrowly, as if linking accounts payable more closely to transactional purchasing should be a primary focus of the effort. It should not – rather, it should be an outgrowth of alignment that centers on metric and measurement first. As ISM ventures into new territory by investing in developing events, research, and educational content on the topic, we’re hoping that an increasing subset of its members will begin to partner with finance organizations in starting a new dialogue, one that for the first time is focused on a shared language and shared definitions of savings, performance, and related areas.

Does this mean burying PPV for good? Let us hope!

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