Search Results for: Procurement

Centralized vs. Decentralized Procurement: No Debate Necessary

Earlier this year, my colleague, Peter Smith, penned a very thoughtful paper exploring the age-old concept of centralization and decentralization with a modern twist and set of observations and recommendations: Centralise or Devolve Procurement? Why not Both? How Technology is Enabling New Operating Models. In the coming weeks on Spend Matters, we’ll take a look at some of the highlights and observations that Peter makes in his work, starting first today with what he aims to achieve with his effort. We’ll also include additional observations and commentary as we explore some of the elements of his analysis in detail.

2013: The Year of Source-To-Pay Adoption for SMB Procurement

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 – […]

Procurement Information Architecture Part 3: Analytics

In this second installment, we will discuss the value of breaking the analytics technology stack into different building blocks so that procurement and IT can be better satisfied in their individual goals. Although spend analysis is not even 10% of the overall supply analytics footprint, it is a good illustration of this concept. Here’s my ‘dummies guide to procurement analytics architecture’ in three layers.

New Year's Resolution #1: Don’t Indulge “Smoking Something” Statements

Earlier in my career, I once did a double take at a manager who exclaimed that a colleague "must be smoking something" based on some outlandishly bad comment they made in a meeting. Now there are obviously varying degrees of "bad." But a rhetorical point that is inanely stupid, especially coming from a position that shows a complete lack of market/customer understanding or is just plain misinformed, is a waste of everyone's time. It's a waste of air. And the utterer is either stupid or smoking something. Because I tend to believe the glass is half-full in most circumstances, I […]

Spend Matters: A Purchasing and Procurement Holiday

We'll be keeping up with our sourcing and procurement coverage on our main sites throughout much of this week and the following. Even though we'll have a somewhat reduced schedule relative to our regular content onslaught, do check back for daily updates, analysis and news. Behind the scenes over the next few weeks, Spend Matters will undergo the biggest transformation it has seen in over eight years since we started to publish. We have some big news to report in the New Year as well. Here's a quick synopsis of what's to come: During the second week of January, we'll […]

Exploring E2open — Digging Into the (Next Likely) Public Procurement/Supply Chain Vendor (Part 3) [Plus+]

When companies build the business case for E2open MTCM solutions (there really aren’t direct competitors across the board, although there are substitutes), the tangible benefits they can quantify include the ability to deliver increased profitability through frequent pricing reviews of components across tiers and suppliers, using current BOMs to negotiate. Additionally, this type of solution can enable visibility into effective out-of-cycle dates compared with limited insight from purchasing and PLM systems and reverse logistics pricing support for returns disposition.

From CPO to CRO (Chief Relationship Officer)?

It’s always a pleasure to connect with former Purchasing Editor Paul Teague, who is now the North America Editor for Procurement Leaders. I had the fortunate opportunity to catch up with Paul a few weeks back at the Procurement Leaders Forum in Chicago. He recently penned a blog post over on the Procurement Leaders site that caught my eye. He titled it “Not just a CPO, but a CRO.” What’s CRO, you ask? That would be Chief Relationship Officer. Paul notes that for most supply management executives today, while “procurement is a big part of the responsibility … CPOs themselves […]

Procurement Leaders in Chicago: Exploring Procurement's Role in a New World

I’ve been enjoying the cold weather in Chicago for a few days, attending strategy meetings at Spend Matters HQ. Today I am at the annual Procurement Leaders Forum, held at the Palmer House Hilton.  In the UK, the event has been around for 9 years, and they continue to grow their reputation and brand here in the US as well. The main part of the event took place today, with a decent turnout in attendees. What’s most notable is the senior crowd – chiefly with senior procurement role team members (CPO, VP, etc.) from companies across all verticals: practitioner speakers […]

Ask the Expert: Top 10 Benchmarks in Procurement [Plus+]

Our next Ask the Expert webinar for Spend Matters Plus/PRO members is this Thursday, July 25, from 10-10:30am Central and features Pierre Mitchell on the Top Ten Benchmarks in Procurement. What's the good, bad, and ugly around procurement benchmarking? What metrics should you consider, and what are the pros and cons of each? If you can only pick 1-2 benchmarks to consider, what should they be? What are the top industry trends? Spend Matters PRO/Plus members, click on through to register.

Extending Procurement Information Architecture to Provider Ecosystems (Part 1)

In our previous series on procurement services provision and information architectures (here,here, here, here, here, here and here) we discussed the importance of thoughtfully designing various architecture elements such as MDM, analytics, workflow, portal infrastructure, etc. to re-frame overall information capabilities beyond the traditional provider-led “module-menu” approach.

Private Equity and Procurement: Building a Savings Network and Results [PRO]

Continuing with our analysis of private equity and procurement based on Jeff Gallant’s observations at the SIG event, one underplayed aspect of the network or portfolio effect of driving procurement and operational savings is the, well, network itself! Jeff suggests that the value of the “social network” – i.e., getting different portfolio company procurement leaders together – can be significant.

Private Equity and Procurement: Context and Introduction [PRO]

At Sourcing Interest Group’s Spring Summit, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe’s (WCAS) Jeff Gallant gave a fact-packed, fast-paced hour-long introduction to the world of private equity and procurement in a talk titled Procurement as critical resource: creating value through private equity portfolio management. I came away from the presentation with a strong appreciation for the opportunities of a relatively new position that is emerging for former CPOs and procurement leaders: serving as operating partners within the private equity world. However, the lessons that Jeff shared are not just relevant to those transitioning into the world of leveraged buyouts – they are applicable to all of us that serve as service providers to our businesses.

CEB Procurement Transformation Leadership Metrics (Part 2)

Continuing with lessons from CEB’s Ben Federlein on procurement transformation success – comparing top and bottom performers – let’s turn our attention to the types of investments that have maximum impact on a procurement organization’s ability to find new sources of value and drive transformation towards higher-value opportunities (and what areas don’t).  Beginning with those that don’t, while reverse auctions, eRFX, P-card, and outsources procurement can certainly create efficiencies and savings, they are not associated with driving transformation of procurement’s project portfolio (they came in at 0% in the CEB study). In contrast, areas such as SRM skills, internal relationship […]

Supply Leadership at ISM

The US Spend Matters team has descended on the 98th annual ISM conference in Dallas.  Having been to many ISM conferences, I have to say that there is a definite buzz here and if I had to sum up the experience so far, it’d be “leadership”: Tom Derry, the new CEO of ISM is definitely re-invigorating the organization with its broader focus on the supply chain and a renewed push to elevate the function.  The content of the sessions have been strong and the providers in the exhibit hall have generally been encouraged by the level of activity and engagement […]

When AP Meets Common Sense: Discounting and Payment Terms (Part 1) [PRO]

When I first came across “payment terms” outside of a classroom setting it was in Japan in the ‘90s. I must admit, from my vantage point in domestic (domestic Japanese, that is) sales engineering activities, I found it rather confusing. As I recall (translated of course), the terms given to us, a Tier 1 supplier to a leading Japanese manufacturer, went along these lines: “50% of the amount owed will be paid in cash two months after the end of the month following the month the invoice is presented and the balance will be paid 3 months after that.” Try telling that to a typical payables clerk in the US to have them explain to suppliers.

How to Buy Procurement Research & Advisory Services: Part 2 – Buying Strategies [Plus+]

Perform spend analysis, including de-duplication and parent-child relationships. You may already be a customer – at least at the parent level. For example, many companies are shocked when they realize that all of the role-based programs offered by Corporate Executive Board (CEB) that have different names might be five-figure programs that hit different budgets, but when they are aggregated to the CEB parent level, there can by a large six-figure figure which has room for serious negotiation.

Procuring the Perfect Chicago Wedding Venue

This post is part of an ongoing series about "procuring" a wedding, Spend Matters-style. See the first part here, and thank you so much for all of your advice and congratulations so far! First lesson has officially been learned: talk to references. When Thomas or Jason speak to a procurement software vendor, they’re sure to talk to at least three references to see how the solution stacks up in practice. Turns out the same goes for finding a wedding venue. In getting started, we came up with a pretty basic list of priorities for a venue: Must have: BYOB Choose […]