The ERP Category

Breaking Down Global Silos (Part 2): Lessons Learned from Conflict

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Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of Jonas’ story about an ominously last-minute meeting with the Rio de Janeiro headquarters of his oil and gas company, right before an ERP launch. Missed Part 1? Read it here.

The year 2016 showed us how political events, market movements and social trends could be more easily mapped to emotional triggers than axioms of behavioral economics or underlying transactional data. In 2017, we are likely to see more of the same.

Breaking Down Global Silos (Part 1): Did Rio Ruin Houston’s New ERP Launch?

I sat in front of a camera that appeared to pan around the office — even though it was powered down.

As I tinkered with three remote controls, attempting to connect our virtual conference room to one in the southern hemisphere, I could not suppress my most paranoid instinct that perhaps our headquarters in Rio de Janeiro bugged our equipment to allow them to monitor the movements and voices of their North American employees.

My supply chain counterparts in the Brazilian corporate headquarters of one of the world’s largest oil and gas exploration companies called an ominously last-minute conference on a particularly sweltering spring day, which was already packed with activities for our impending ERP “go live.”

ERP or Best-of-Breed? (Part 6): Making the Decision in Contract Lifecycle Management

There’s no perfectly prescriptive guidance we can offer, but, generally, if you want more flexibility to chart your own destiny in managing more complex supply chains and services networks, you want to focus heavily on your own native supply analytics (which can use third-party analytics solution providers, of course).

This way, you’ll be able to switch out the workflow execution apps as needed where you use BoB suites (e.g., source-to-pay suites) or “mini suites” (e.g., CLM) to manage the hard stuff — and also use ERP to manage the easier stuff until that day when ERP may eventually catch up.

The “hard stuff” isn’t just advanced industry-specific processes, but also just the richer data models that are required to support the advanced analytics that are part-and-parcel of areas like artificial intelligence.

CLM is actually a great example for us to highlight in closing out this series.

ERP or Best-of-Breed? (Part 5): Agile IT Architectures to Enable Agile Procurement

The discussion of ERP vs. best-of-breed (BoB) and apps vs. suites is important, but it’s still narrow.

What I mean is that the choice of sourcing model for software used by procurement is heavily driven by the broader “service delivery model” of how procurement delivers its supply management services.

Procurement organizations are increasingly needing to be more agile in their service delivery to stay in step with internal service partners (IT, Finance, HR, etc.) and business units — and therefore need to draw creatively from external service providers of all forms.

ERP or Best-of-Breed? (Part 4): 10 Ways to Get the Best of Both — Together

Based on the factors we outlined in our previous installment exploring the ERP vs. best-of-breed issue and the scope of your project, your strategies for deftly grafting BoB onto your existing enterprise application “backbone” will, of course, vary. In this next part of the series, the following 10-point checklist from recent Spend Matters research on preparing for and undertaking this type of operation may be helpful. It focuses on how to best use BoB cloud app suites and ERP together.

ERP or Best-of-Breed? (Part 3): The Realistic Downsides of BoB

We began this series by reinvestigating the age-old question, “ERP or Best-of-Breed?” The semantics and the assumptions alone are problematic, so we had to throw a few clarifying questions out there first. Then we delved into how to put yourself into a strategic sourcing mindset to begin considering the issue — but we only began scratching the surface of the pros and cons of the various options!

ERP or Best-of-Breed? (Part 2): Look to Sourcing Best Practices for Best Software

In our opening salvo on the latest and greatest edition of the “ERP vs. Best-of-Breed?” issue, I mentioned that baseline definitions are critical to understanding the deeper problems inherent in the debate. Defining “best-of-breed” (What does best mean? What breed are we talking about? Must the breed be apps-only?) and “app suites” (Single app? Or a ‘sweet suite’?) is the first step of the process. That’s because there are multiple options between these two ends of the spectrum. And, it’s really important to understand that a single ERP provider (or even BoB suite provider) doesn’t equate to an integrated solution set, a single architecture or a common support model, among other things. So let’s start with how to optimally source this technology (and/or broader XaaS services) — by looking to strategic sourcing.

ERP or Best-of-Breed (BoB)? Here’s How to Quickly Settle That Whole Thing

Even though Spend Matters declared the "ERP vs. Best-of-Breed" debate dead way back in 2014, the issue has a funny way of rearing its head. Sure, IT organizations are still somewhat biased towards ERP suites and business units/functions still prefer BoB solutions that will help them accomplish their goals, but asking "ERP or BoB?" is fundamentally a losing proposition. Why?

Industrie 4.0: Danke, Germany! Procurement Will Now Leapfrog to Strategic Maturity

Industrie 4.0 is, in a nutshell, the promise of ever-more automation and it is all the hype these days. Kaitlyn McAvoy, in a recent post, cited McKinsey Partner Richard Kelly as pointing out this is “much more than hype,” i.e., it is the tangible future. Richard was absolutely correct; Industrie 4.0 has definitively arrived on the world business agenda. At the recent Hannover Messe, exhibitors from across the globe and from all industries (from Microsoft to Bosch) presented over 400 ongoing project examples in the Industrie 4.0 space. I would like to discuss in this post why, in particular, Industrie 4.0 should be great news for procurement and why it is worth being a proactive, targeted adopter. So why thanks to Germany?

VMS, HR and ERP: Strategic Integration and Educating Users — NEW Webinar Announcement

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Now more than ever the vendor management system (VMS) cannot act as an isolated entity. It must interface with ERP and financial systems, procurement suites, HR systems, best-of-breed procurement tools and talent marketplaces, as well as work intermediation platforms. Seem complicated? It doesn't have to be. Join Spend Matters, SAP Fieldglass and a special guest on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m. CDT, for Strategic VMS Integration: ERP, Procurement Systems, HR Systems and Beyond.

A Little Bump in SAP That Can Make Your Planning Crash

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Daniel Martinez, manager at GEP.

Over the last 10 years there has been a surge in ERP implementation based on supply chain transformation projects, aiming to get complete and correct information about the flow of goods. But how effective have these implementations been in delivering results?

Integrating SAP MM and P2P: When ERP and E-Procurement Must Do a Two-Step ‘Buy’ Together

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Spend Matters recently spoke with a large procurement organization whose IT group is supporting 50 locations globally with an SAP implementation, as well as a third-party purchase-to-pay (P2P) solution and supplier network deployed on top of it, leveraging the underlying MM components for core automation. The lessons we learned from the discussion speak to the importance — and beauty — of thinking through all of the details when it comes to thinking through ERP and procurement systems integration, especially when multiple systems will be handling different aspects of transactional procurement.