The Best Practice Category

Foundational Procurement KPIs Every CPO, Supply Manager and Buyer Needs To Know [Plus+]

This research brief is intended as an aspirational piece for more transactional-focused procurement team members who are aiming to add value to procurement and the business beyond mere efficiency improvements and price reduction efforts. It is not a compendium of financial metrics to convince your CFO about the value of procurement – you have to develop your business case tied to your needs and strategy for that. (Though, do reach out to us because we’ve done quite a bit of research in this area as well if you’re interested.) Rather, it is our hope that this series will leave you with a laundry list of prioritized ideas and open your mind to the qualitative side of the business – and the ways in which you can begin to measure procurement contribution and key performance indicators (KPIs) to quantify the return of the various activities you’re up to.

In the first installment of our introduction to KPIs and related considerations, we will examine why KPIs matter and how to use them and discuss basic procurement metrics, the role of innovation in setting measurement variables and how certain KPI approaches can mislead.

Tidbits and Lessons Learned from the 50 to Watch and 50 to Know Lists for 2018

Spend Matters has released the 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2018, and there are plenty of interesting tidbits to draw from this year’s lists. From Accenture to Zycus, the 50/50 lists represent the procurement providers and solutions procurement organizations should be aware of, whether they’re making a tech selection or simply want to understand the playing field. The Watch and Know lists should be looked at separately, and there’s much debate that goes into each list. While the Know list features the rock-solid major industry players, the Watch list tends to generate more excitement, as it taps into the latest and most innovative industry trends.

How to Make Time for Value-Add Activities by Controlling High-Volume, Low-Dollar PO Spend

purchasing

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

A reader recently wrote in asking for ideas on controlling high-volume, low-dollar PO spend on readily available commodity items in order to free up time for value-add activity. The conventional wisdom is that purchase orders act as a point of reference and an insurance of sorts against fraud or unintentional errors related to invoicing, pricing, duplicates and wrong products. Yet POs can undoubtedly be a pain for buyers to draft, not to mention that all of the paperwork lengthens and slows down the entire purchasing process. There are two main options here to consider.

E-Signatures and Digital Signatures in Procurement: Definitions and Considerations [Plus+]

digital signature

While the terms e-signature and digital signature are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Every digital signature is electronic, but not every electronic signature is digital. This may sound a bit confusing, but it's not with proper definitions. This three-part research series provides a foundation for procurement and supply chain practitioners to understand the benefits that digital signatures can bring to contracting and contract management, as well as interactions with internal stakeholders, suppliers and partners. This first part provides definitions, a general background on the topic and the benefits and drawbacks of these tools.

10 Reasons For Procurement to Work With Payments (Part 2) [Plus+]

e-invoicing

In the first installment of this series, we explored several arguments in favor of why procurement should get closer to the actual settlement process and cash flows of the final step in procurement transactions: payment. Today, we move into reducing supplier risk, capturing savings and reducing contract/compliance leakage through closing the transaction, invoice, and payment loop, and the importance of greater visibility into supplier engagement models and supplier network fees (amongst other reasons).

10 Reasons For Procurement to Work With Payments (Part 1) [Plus+]

Sometime shortly after the phrase “P2P” was born, we managed to collectively forget what the second “P” meant. As a friendly reminder, it stands for “pay.” Rather than spanning the length of a transaction from an initial order to payment to a vendor, P2P became known (while companies wrote RFPs for solutions and as vendors marketed tools) as the combination of e-procurement and e-invoicing. This duo, while extremely valuable, doesn’t exactly impact payment all that much (if at all).

But payment matters much more than most folks we talk to in procurement think. By taking control of payments, we can, for example, do an end-run around the administration hassles and supplier headaches that poorly run accounts payable (AP) functions create. And this is just one reason to consider getting more involved in payment strategy and execution. In fact, we can think of at least 10 reasons that should factor into a business case for procurement to seize control and initiative around payments.

Procurement Technology Solution Selections: It’s Time to Show Your Hand to Providers [Plus+]

In this article, we make the case for letting your providers know who their competitors are early on in the selection process and why this ultimately works significantly in your favor. In prior articles, we have talked about the importance — necessity really — of sharing information about yourself and your goals with providers, all in the context of selecting procurement solutions.

Write Better RFPs: How to Get What You Want (and Need) From Suppliers [Plus+]

RFP

The typical business challenge when you go to market with an RFP centers on getting ideas for what is possible, and identifying suppliers that either already have these ideas or are willing to work with you toward that end. Targeted activities are often services or complex products where quality, service or the engineered final product will be different from each vendor responding. We've put together some fresh ideas to an old challenge: conveying your needs in ways that a supplier can relate to and that encourages them to put their best foot forward, with a proposal that goes beyond your wants and addresses your needs, as well.

The Amazon Effect: Competition for Procurement Talent

No one and no thing is now safe from what is known as the “Amazon effect.” As Bezos’s behemoth continues to expand in multiple locations, including the addition of the impending HQ2, it is disrupting hiring and retention efforts in all business functions. Top procurement talent is especially susceptible, as it’s hard not to be seduced by arguably the No. 1 supply chain company in the world, with a Gartner Supply Chain Masters honor to boot. This should rightfully strike fear in leaders of procurement organizations.

New Research: Using Collaboration in Bringing Competitive Advantage to Your Supply Chain

If your organization wants to create competitive advantages through its supply chains, collaboration is crucial, according to new research from the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. The findings were presented in a white paper, End-to-End Supply Chain Collaboration Best Practices, written by Mike Burnette, managing director of the institute. Burnette and other supply chain faculty at the university interviewed 17 leading companies in eight industries to determine the best practices that help organizations achieve success through collaboration.

Supplier Onboarding: Linking Design With Action (Part 2) [Plus+]

You’ve defined a strategy for supplier onboarding and given full consideration to all of the elements that make your requirements unique. You’ve fully considered which internal stakeholders besides procurement need to be included in the process of supplier onboarding and management. And you’ve mapped specific initiatives to onboarding requirements. But now it’s time to define specific supplier onboarding workflows, fully linking design with action.

What if Procurement Managed Itself like a Supply Market? And Which Market?

Procurement, like any service business, should generate value. Based on widely known benchmarks, this translates on average to a 4X–5X “procurement ROI,” where the “R” is demonstrable economic value annually created by procurement divided by the annual investment in procurement, usually the annual procurement budget. Here’s an example. If total addressable spend is $500 million and the procurement budget is the general industry average of 1% of spend, the business is investing about $5 million in procurement. Most of this investment goes to labor, with only about 10% of this is allocated for technology. And of the $500,000 spent annually on technology, probably less than a third is discretionary spend for procurement, while the rest of the money is spent on ERP licenses/maintenance, custom systems, integration and IT support. That leaves about $150,000 for supporting a lot of requirements in spend analytics, e-sourcing, contract management, supplier management and P2P, to name a few.