Go Deep or Go Home: A personal essay on my favorite SolutionMap persona

Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch

I make no apologies for my choice of favorite Spend Matters SolutionMap persona: Deep.

Although my colleagues might need to defend their selection as we begin a series of personal essays on personas (Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator, CIO Friendly as well as Optimizer for sourcing providers and Global for CWS vendors) my confidence is brimming because even though I know that my views represent a dying breed — those who pursue wisdom for the sake of learning and continuous improvement — the results of my favorite persona speak for themselves.

I am Deep. Without hesitation.

deep Persona
My organization: Highly sophisticated, rigorous, somewhat complex, risk-tolerant, happy to push limits of tech to create more value
We Need: The most comprehensive, tailorable solution for the job; Best-in-class functionality, breadth, depth and ability to support our sophistication

I admit that Deep is going the way of the compact disc (don’t get me started on the quality of typical streaming audio these days). After all, in a world where we are content to argue in less than 150 characters, it’s no surprise that other personas are winning the lazy and instant gratification-driven procurement masses — or those that continue to believe “they are special” and technologies should be molded around their oddly shaped processes, IT requirements and the bodies buried in the procurement system’s attic.

But my question for you is: At what cost?

The truly best procurement technology is amazing in what it can do. There are companies that have designed entire supply chains using sourcing — yes, sourcing! — technologies, driving competition while optimizing for cost, inventory and risk at each tier as part of complex projects that extend beyond individual events.

Other procurement teams have redefined the meaning of contracts by putting agreements at the very center of negotiations and relationships to establish obligations and metrics, channeling specific outcomes through best-in-class contract lifecycle management (CLM). And there are organizations that are using supplier management solutions not only for checking the box on regulatory compliance through canned templates, but to serve as the basis for their entire global master data management (MDM) strategy across tens of thousands of suppliers.

If you are going digital, you need to be comfortable with digital. Deep is about transformation, or enabling the potential for transformation, by using technology for competitive advantage, not parity or a Band-Aid.

Granted, you may never go Deep. That’s OK. But if you open yourself up to the possibility of learning what the best procurement technology is capable of doing, I can guarantee that you’ll change how you look at the function forever, getting inspired once again.

And perhaps you may change as well.

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