Author Archives: Jonathan Messinger



Digital Transformation Drives Top Procurement Operations, And Can Help Late Adopters, Report Finds

World-class procurement organizations have achieved enormous advantages through automation and the adoption of technology solutions, according to a new report on digital transformation from the Hackett Group.

The 2018 benchmarking report found that top performers, thanks to their digital transformations, have 21% lower labor costs and 29% fewer full-time equivalent staff than more typical organizations. For this reason, the authors of the report proclaim that procurement is now at an inflection point: While technology has always been effective at helping procurement increase efficiency, “world-class organizations can continue to reduce costs by embracing digital technology, while the peer group can leverage the same technology to catch up faster at less cost.”

Find out how the top performers do it and how late adopters can catch up.

Year-end ‘Dash for Cash’ — 7 Steps to Free Up Funds Without Resorting to Tricks

It’s the end of the year, time for New Year’s Resolutions, a little vacation time and Christmas Party hijinks. But the Hackett Group, a business consultant and digital transformation specialist, is cautioning against year-end fiscal shenanigans, where money is shuffled around to make it appear that the company has hit the finish line in full stride. A new paper from the group lamenting the yearly “dash for cash” argues that you can look for sustainable, healthy ways of freeing up cash at the end of the year without pulling any three-card-monty tricks. According to the paper on working capital, many companies think it’s too late at the end of a quarter or year to free up significant cash. But it suggests 7 steps you can still use.

Focus on Supply Risk Management Can Aid Supplier Relationships, State of Flux Reports

supplier management

Positioning supplier relationship management (SRM) programs as a way to ensure broader supply risk management is an untapped opportunity for businesses looking to address sustainability challenges, according to a recent State of Flux report.

As we’ve reported on the “Sustainable SRM: Nurturing Growth in a New Climate” report from State of Flux, sustainability is becoming a greater consideration when it comes to supplier relationships, due to increasing demand from consumers for ethical products and pressure from governments and investors to consider environmental factors in production. The report highlights a number of challenges facing organizations as they integrate sustainability into their procurement goals, including buy-in up and down the organization, proper segmentation of suppliers and others.

While setting up a proper governance structure, getting buy-in throughout the entire organization and deepening relationships with suppliers takes time, companies can also assess their level of SRM, determine how they manage risk, evaluate their staff’s skills and resources, and ensure their technology is working for them.

Once You’re in the Cloud, Managing Cloud Costs Can Be a Challenge, Report Says

A couple of years ago, organizations raced to catch up and understand cloud computing and formulate strategies for adopting cloud services. Now, according to a new report, the problem isn’t so much cloud adoption, it’s managing the cloud. Organizations that made the switch are finding new problems they didn’t foresee, leading to cost overruns and exposing disconnects between levels of management. According to “The State of Cloud Readiness 2018,” a new report put out by managed services provider Softchoice, while cloud adoption has risen since 2016, organizations aren’t seeing the results they’d envisioned.

Sustainable SRM Is Focus of 10th Annual State of Flux Report on Supplier Relationships

gig economy

Many businesses have come around to the idea that sustainability is not just a hashtag or a marketing ploy but something that can help a company advance its business goals. But as organizations dive into all the ways they can save energy and use friendlier materials, they soon realize there are only so many they control. Truly leveraging sustainability requires close collaboration all the way down the supply chain to find mutual incentives for all, according to the latest report by State of Flux, a global procurement and supply chain consultancy.

Procurement and Spend Analytics to Drive Value: Public Spend Forum Webinar

Governments at every level constantly collect enormous troves of data, but how to use it, and specifically how to ensure that data is feeding the correct metrics to measure your procurement performance, has been an ongoing struggle for the public sector. We’ve heard this time and again from readers and members over at Public Spend Forum, so we’re hosting a free webinar titled Procurement and Spend Analytics – Key to Driving Value” on Thursday, May 12, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. Professor Joseph Sandor from the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University will kick it off with an introduction to spend visibility, and then our sponsor BravoSolution will present a case study in which one of its public sector clients greatly improved its performance by improving its analytics.

A New Study Argues that Public Procurement Can Alleviate Poverty

While we’ve spend a lot of time looking at how public procurement can achieve a wide variety of social outcomes—everything from greener practices to small business development—one that I hadn’t yet seen is the argument that public buying could help lower poverty numbers. But a new study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation argues just that. What’s of particular interest to me is that the study doesn’t just raise questions about how public procurement can tackle poverty, but in particular social mobility.

Five Procurement Productivity Improvements the Public Sector Can Make Right Now

Use automated spend analysis to eliminate data wrangling and free up time for opportunity discovery. Top-performing procurement organizations spend much less of their time collecting, cleaning, and compiling spend data compared to the time spent analyzing it and using it to drive value. Do you have spend at line item level by supplier, cost center, commodity, and contract? Can you predict spend? Are you using spend data to push spend visibility to stakeholders? Are you also using it to drive master data management activities? Hopefully, the answer to these questions is ‘yes’.

Professional Services Council on Government Shutdown: “Truthfully, it’s discouraging.”

The government shutdown could have lasting effects on federal procurement and the federal supply chain. While the legislative branch duked it out on Monday, we got Alan Chvotkin, Executive Vice President and Counsel for the Professional Services Council—the trade association representing government professional and technical services—on the phone to talk about how its members were reacting what advice he could give them, and what the long-term ramifications may be.