Author Archives: Guest Contributor

We Have Decided to Implement an ERP System– Now What?

- April 24, 2014 2:54 PM | Categories: ERP, Guest Post

Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can be a daunting task for many organizations due to the time and effort required, not to mention the financial commitment. In an effort to mitigate the risks, understand the complexities, and identify change management issues, organizations should commit six to eight weeks prior to blueprinting to conduct a mobilization assessment. The assessment will give the organizations an opportunity to identify and mitigate potential risks before the project is formally begun. The purpose of the mobilization effort is to thoroughly assess your core end-to-end business processes (examples provided below) using four key evaluation criteria: opportunity, risk, complexity, and change management.

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Questions to Consider Before You Sign an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement

For some companies, an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) is ideal. It allows them to pay a single fee up-front to get as many licenses as they need for certain Oracle products over a set period of time. Under the right circumstances, signing a multi-year ULA with Oracle may grant the business the flexibility they need to support growth. However, there are risks to consider. Not every client needs or will benefit from a ULA. In many cases, a ULA is a fast path to overspending. As companies consider whether to pursue a ULA with Oracle, or ponder renewing their existing ULA agreement, they should take the following questions into account.

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Consider Business Culture When Selecting Suppliers

- April 22, 2014 2:34 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supplier Management, supplier networks

How do you source culture? I am of course referring to culture as an achievement or an advancement of human civilization, and not bacteria growing in a petri dish. Culture is what defines groups of people for what they have been and what they are now. Cultures have been the reason civilizations either thrived or rotted away. The same goes for companies. Whole teams are dedicated within the HR functions of companies to develop, nurture, and sustain a culture that is unique to the company. And all for very good reasons.

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El Niño Weather Event May Lead to Global Food Supply Disruption

- April 21, 2014 2:38 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Industry News, Price Forecast

Over the past few months, there has been increasing evidence that an El Niño weather event will be forming this year. El Niño, which is also known as ENSO oscillation, is a phase of a naturally occurring climate pattern seen in the Central Pacific. The phenomenon causes extreme weather such as floods, droughts, and changes in wind patterns in many regions of the world. This change in weather can have a detrimental effect on some of the main commodities and could cause disruption to the global food supply.

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Mobile Procurement Use Cases: The Multi-Task Hero

- April 18, 2014 2:12 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Purchasing and Sourcing

Meet Anna, the executive administrator for an entire West Coast sales team. Like all modern professionals in her field, Anna is insanely busy with work, responding to company emails at all hours of the day and constantly monitoring the activity (and requests) of her organization. She is ever conscious of prices, budgets, and the need to keep spend in line with expectations. But with three children and an active social life, she sometimes finds it difficult to strike an ideal work-life balance. Sound familiar?

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Zycus Exclusive Report Highlights Procurement Technology Adoption Trends and Best Practices

We recently published “Pulse of Procurement 2014,” an extensive survey of over 300 global procurement leaders to benchmark technology adoption strategies and highlight measurable business results achieved by top performing organizations. The study, conducted in Dec. 2013 and Jan. 2014, canvassed global organizations that consisted primarily of large enterprises, with 80 percent that reported revenues in excess of $500 million annually. Three-fourths were headquartered in North America. The vital signs – or key findings of the study – point toward continued healthy returns for procurement organizations investing in innovative and integrated procurement-focused solutions. Here are a few of the leading indicators.

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Cloud Price War Erupts – How will Amazon, Microsoft, and Google Protect their Margins?

Last month, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google did something rare in the world of IT. They slashed their prices—and not just by a little. Microsoft cut its Azure prices by 27 to 65 percent. Amazon announced a broad price decrease on parts of its Amazon Web Services offering by 36 to 65 percent. Google made the most aggressive price cuts of all, with a 32 to 85 percent decrease for its Google Cloud Platform. These price cuts are game-changers for many companies who have been debating whether to continue investing in their own computing infrastructure capabilities, or to outsource to the cloud.

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Trucking Rates Expected to Stay Steady in 2014 and Accelerate in 2015

IHS anticipates that 2014 will see weak prices for trucking, with the truckload sector experiencing flat prices and the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector experiencing only mild gains. The second half of the year is expected to be stronger than the first, but this improvement may be delayed, resulting in a weaker 2014 than forecasted before. This is particularly true in the truckload sector, where rates have had little growth recently.

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Arabica Coffee Prices On the Rise Following Three-Year Decline

- April 14, 2014 2:32 PM | Categories: Commodities, Guest Post, Price Forecast

In November we wrote about the falling prices of coffee. Now, only five months later, things have certainly changed. After nearly three years of falling prices, Arabica coffee prices on the ICE took a turn in the opposite direction towards the end of last year and have now shot up over 35 percent since the beginning of 2014.

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How Organizations Extend Lean to Their Supply Chains

- April 12, 2014 12:11 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supply Chain Management

APQC recently conducted in-depth interviews of organizations that have embraced lean concepts throughout the enterprise, including in their supply chain functions. We focused on winners of the Shingo Prize, which recognizes organizations for operational excellence. Two of the organizations APQC interviewed, Lycoming Engines and US Synthetic, adopted lean processes internally but have extended these programs to their suppliers so that they can provide the best value to their customers.

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It’s Time for a “Smartphone” Approach to Spend Management

- April 11, 2014 11:36 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Spend Management, Technology

Up until now, our thinking about spend management, and expense management as a subset of that, has been informed by the tools that we’ve had at our disposal, just like our thinking about communication was informed by the tools we had before smartphones. It used to be that we just thought of the phone as a way to talk to people who were not with us physically. If you wanted to text them, you could do that with a pager; if you wanted to email them, you could do that with your computer.

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Does Procurement Truly Appreciate the Value of P2P?

Are people in your business actually buying against the contracts you spent so much time negotiating? When Xoomworks' Simon Hurst poses this question to procurement practitioners at conferences, the answer he gets often is that there is another team taking care of it. Achieving this is partly down to having a solid and well-implemented Purchase to Pay (P2P) system, or even better a fully integrated Source to Pay (S2P) system with contract management. Having the ability to turn your sourcing event into an awarded contract and catalogue that can then be purchased against is immensely powerful and also allows you to track spend against your contracts—in other words, compliance.

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