The Cost Management Category

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]

purchasing

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

From Process Efficiency to Savings: 12 KPIs for Business Spend Management

spend visibility

Coupa recently released its 2018 benchmark report on measuring business spend management success by means of 12 key performance indicators (KPIs). The 12 KPIs, which cover process efficiency, digitization, compliance and savings, were based on anonymized data from the top quintile of Coupa customers’ performance in each KPI. In this post, we will look in more depth at each of the four categories

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.

5 Key Lessons Given and Learned: How Procurement and IT Can Work Together to Transform the Business

IT

Before taking part in a webinar with Rimini Street on how procurement and IT can more effectively work together to shift focus from maintaining existing systems to investing in innovation, our intrepid founder Jason Busch wrote, “I’ll be learning as much about this topic during the event as I’ll be contributing to it.” Hopefully I’m not alone in wondering what Jason’s lessons learned indeed were during the ensuing discussion. Banking on that, we caught up with Jason on his takeaways from the event.

How Do Procurement People Buy Flowers? Or, Using Procurement Smarts in Everyday Life

Procurement is basically shopping with a strong emphasis on value. Does that mean procurement people also better shoppers in their everyday lives? To find out, I asked around the office: “What have you recently used your procurement smarts to buy for yourself?” Take, for example, flowers. They are ordinary and yet can be exorbitant in cost. And despite what it may seem, this is a complex purchasing category.

3 Hot Topics Procurement Won’t Be Able to Stop Thinking About Even at the Beach

As we slog through the dog days of summer, many procurement folks are letting their minds wander to more pleasant thoughts — a drink by the beach, a few rounds on the back nine, a moment of peace (however fleeting) without the constant ding of email notifications from a smartphone. And as they pack for a well-deserved vacation, they’ll try leave behind some of those more persistent thoughts and concerns, as well. What has been top of mind for procurement this year, and what has stressed them out to the point where they need to get away from it all for a bit? Here are the top three topics our readers have been sweating over for the last seven months.

Why Procurement’s Persistent Tail Spend Problem is Now Finally Solvable

Tail spend frustrates many procurement groups. It’s messy, it’s complex and it’s time-consuming to tackle. Inking big deals and keeping stakeholders happy seem like far better priorities for the typical category manager, since that’s how he can turn executive heads and make his daily life simpler. At least, that’s how it used to be. These days tail spend is trending — and for good reason. Here are three reasons why this persistent thorn in procurement’s side is finally getting the attention it deserves.

What’s the Cost of Having a Long Supply Tail, and How Do You Determine the ‘Right’ Supply Base?

tail

We recently put up an interactive Ask Spend Matters box so that you, our readers, can tell us about the topics you want us to investigate. One of the first questions that came in was about tail spend: “What is the cost of having a long supply tail, and how are organizations determining the ‘right’ supply base (number and percentage) as relates to spend?” As Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell put it, "This is a great question, but it’s a bit tricky to answer.” Read on to hear his reply!

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.

So, When Should I Cost Model My Products?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa, opportunities director at Mintec.

Rather than speak about raw material and commodity prices, I thought I would introduce you to some of the ways I encourage people to use Mintec data. Fast-moving consumer goods are manufactured from multiple, potentially volatile, raw materials. With access to raw material prices and to your recipes/specification, you should be able to create a simple cost model.

The Allocation Game — Managing Cost Before Money is Spent

finance

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post form Steven Krueger, principal, and Matt Polvara, senior manager, at Ernst & Young LLP.

With more interest rate hikes a likelihood, banks are poised for growth. But that doesn’t mean they should stop their cost reduction programs. By strategically reducing or eliminating costs, and in particular by optimizing infrastructure costs (which account, on average, for about 40% of a bank’s cost base) banks can be leaner and more agile in a changing economic and regulatory environment. They will be better positioned to face off increasing threats from FinTech firms that are aiming to introduce disruptive technology-enabled business models. Ultimately, banks can reallocate funds they saved to invest in products and technologies to defend or grow market shares.