The Category Management Category

From Talent to Category Management: 4 Critical Development Areas for Procurement

Cybersecurity and access to critical talent are the top worries on CPOs’ minds, according to a Hackett Group report, The CPO Agenda: Expanding Procurement’s Influence Through Change and Innovation. The importance of cybersecurity is compounded by the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25. In addition, cybersecurity and access to critical talent are also expected to be “high risk” in the near future by three quarters of procurement professionals who took part in The Hackett Group’s annual Key Issues Study.

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3 Reasons Catalogs Can’t Be Trusted to Manage Low-Value Spend

For many procurement organizations, catalogs have become the default way to manage indirect spend. It’s easy to see why. Catalogs offer a simple way to manage recurring, low-value purchases. By grouping previously sourced categories and commonly requested items into a single interface, catalogs promise ease of use, efficiency and, of course, increased savings, especially through the reduction of maverick spend. In practice, however, catalogs often create as many new problems as they solve. To help you understand why, here are three reasons why catalogs can’t be trusted to manage low-value spend — and how you can go about protecting your organization.

Afternoon Coffee: Omnia Partners Purchases U.S. Communities GPO, Argentine Ports Stalled by Sticker Shortage

Omnia Partners, a group purchasing organization (GPO) composed of National IPA, Prime Advantage and Corporate United, announced Monday it had entered an agreement to buy Communities Program Management LLC, the organization that staffs and manages the operations of the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. Dangerous weather and labor strikes are not the only issues that can hold up shipments at ports. Sometimes a supply disruption can be caused by something as a simple as a shortage of green stickers. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Insight Sourcing Group (ISG): Provider Introduction, Summary and SWOT [PRO]

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Insight Sourcing Group (ISG) is likely the largest North American boutique management consulting firm providing strategic and operational solutions for procurement. But unlike similar firms, ISG offers more than just consulting services. Beyond its core business, ISG has three additional business units that form the nucleus of its offering: SpendHQ, a spend analytics platform; InsightGPO, a group purchasing organization (GPO); and ISG Energy, an energy supply and demand cost optimization practice.

This Spend Matters PRO Provider Introduction offers an overview of ISG, including quick facts on the provider. The brief includes an introduction to each of ISG’s four business lines, an overall SWOT analysis comparing it to other procurement consultancies and a selection checklist for companies that may consider the provider.

30 Under 30 Megawatt Star Charlotte de Brabandt on Leading International Teams at Multinationals

Last month, Thomas and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced the winners of the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program, which showcases the most talented young professionals working in supply chain. Like in previous years, the accomplishments of these 30 young professionals are thoroughly impressive, and this perhaps describes no one better than Charlotte de Brabandt, the Megawatt Star.

Group Purchasing Organizations: Supplier Perspectives and the Evolving GPO Landscape [PRO]

Joining a GPO is like getting a Costco membership. You know you’re not going to get ripped off, so you probably won’t put much thought into joining. But therein lies the rub for GPO members. Like Costco, a GPO is a one-size-fits-all marketplace where you may overbuy when you get there or underbuy by not getting there at all.

In an increasingly Amazon-dominated world, however, this model is not the only available option.Today, the assortment and pricing of items available to consumers are tuned to the user and monetized most efficiently by intermediaries that can source better and optimize for lowest total landed costs better than individual buyers. Procurement organizations are now looking to bring this experience to the complex world of B2B purchasing. And where GPOs fit into this more sophisticated equation is not a simple answer (many are still trying to figure it out themselves). 

But that doesn’t mean GPOs will go the way of the 1980s big box retailer. Instead, GPOs will have to take on a role beyond the race to the lowest price. This multipart Spend Matters PRO series explains what motivates GPOs and helps procurement organizations best decide when and how to engage them. In this second installment (see our initial GPO introduction), we explore GPOs from a supplier perspective and offer recommendations for vendors working through GPOs to make these relationships more successful. We also explore how GPO options and capabilities are evolving and segment the GPO market by model and type and provide case example looks at different GPO business models. These include vertical/industry independent, member-owned, horizontal, affinity, category-specific and procurement technology led GPO models. 

An Introduction to Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) [PRO]

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Group purchasing organizations (GPOs) are not a new idea. Agricultural cooperatives aggregated the buying power of farmers hundreds of years ago. That said, GPOs have evolved quite a bit, and the infusion of new digital capabilities is taking that evolution to an even higher level. This evolution also means that procurement organizations must go in “eyes wide open” to best utilize this important tool in the procurement tool belt.

Not all GPOs (or GPO models) are the same. Understanding the differences will make you a more educated, and thus likely more successful, buyer. Therefore, we’ve decided to delve a little deeper into this obscure sector of the procurement provider market and shed some light on how to best extract value from it.

This multipart Spend Matters PRO brief is designed to demystify GPOs and put procurement organizations on the same information playing field as the GPOs attempting to sign them up, expand their utilization of contracts and sell additional services. Within this series, we will explore GPOs by type, as there are several business models in play, and by industry segment, as GPOs are heavily embedded in certain markets and are little more than a supply option in others.

This first installment in our GPO coverage:

  • Defines what GPOs are (and are not)
  • Explains how GPOs operate
  • Explores GPO “spend coverage and fit”
  • Analyze the GPO market segments and how to engage them
  • Offers tips and tricks for engaging GPOs based on their own constraints/models
  • Provides both basic and advanced takeaways for procurement organizations that are thinking through GPOs as an alternative supply option
  • Offers a checklist of activities to consider when sourcing GPOs

Icertis Raises $50 Million in Series D Round, Plans to Invest in AI Capabilities and Global Expansion

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Icertis announced Thursday it has raised $50 million in Series D funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $96 million. This funding round was led by Meritech Capital Partners, with PSP Growth and Cross Creek Advisors also taking part. In the near-decade since its founding in 2009, Icertis has become a leader in the contract management market, counting around 50 customers in the Global 500 and about 100 customers in the Global 5000. Moreover, as of Q4 2017, Icertis ranks top in Spend Matters Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) SolutionMap. The provider is a solution leader and a value leader across all four SolutionMap personas.

Top Supply Chain KPIs for 2018: Practitioners Weigh In

For procurement and supply chain professionals, a refresh of their organization's key performance indicators (KPIs) have undoubtedly been on the brain since before the winter holidays. Now that we’ve leapt into 2018, many realize it’s time for less thinking and more action.

Ask Spend Matters: Is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Right for Me?

A reader recently wrote in with a question about how to find group purchasing organizations (GPOs) or purchasing consortia. This individual is a U.S.-based sourcing manager at Heidelberg, a multinational company that provides equipment and services for the print media industry. The reader told us that his company is thinking about bidding out for copiers next year, and he became interested in looking into GPOs after hearing about them at a local ISM meeting. However, a casual internet search for GPOs yielded no shortage of results.

The Hidden 80/20 of IT Spend: Where to Mine for Savings

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This Wednesday I'm participating in a webinar titled “The Paradox of IT Spend: How to Influence the Biggest Cost Reduction Opportunity and Claim Savings.” The gist of the event is that there are significant savings in tackling what some may consider “sacred cow” categories within IT spend that are not so sacred at all. But what are the best opportunities, and how much in potential savings is on the line? The answer to the first question is more nuanced, as it centers on targeting budgets (and suppliers) based on the cost of maintaining systems. The answer to the second question, however, is simple: lots.

Is the Tail Spend Problem Solved with Technology or with Managed Services?

Tail spend is a thorny problem — and an important one.

Tail spend is an amalgam of more granular spending: one time, low dollar, maverick, tactical by design. It doesn't even have a common definition understood by all, and it is generally a mess.

So, how to solve this problem? The design ideal is the concept of guided buying, where you start with the end customers (i.e., employees who need something) at the time of need and then guide them down to get what they need to accomplish their goals (but also within corporate policy). It’s an entryway to all procurement, not just the procure-to-pay (P2P), process, so you need to get it right and make the experience count.

But, who is the guide? Is it a tactical buying group in shared services or outsourced provider? Or is it a technology solution? Let’s discuss.