The Procurement Strategy & Planning Category

Digital Service Providers: Do They Require Your Attention and Why? (Part 2) [Plus+]

crowdsourcing

In Part 1 of this series, we described and unpacked the topic of digital platform-based service providers, which represent a modest but growing spend category far outside of the scope of contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement programs. While they are not on procurement’s radar, Spend Matters believes these providers will increasingly become a significant part of organizations’ services consumption and spend over the next 10 years.

In Part 2, we review what is arguably the most successful sub-segment of these digital service providers, as well as revisit the question of whether they require your attention and why.

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6 Questions to Help Optimize Your Next Microsoft EA Renewal

Microsoft EA renewals have always been high-spend, high-stakes. But a number of factors have upped the ante. They include a greater number of software license audits (and higher penalties), changing product terms and the inherent complexity of migrating to Microsoft’s cloud offerings. For IT Sourcing pros tasked with negotiating a renewal, the implications are serious. Their next Microsoft EA renewal shouldn’t be treated as business as usual as it will present greater opportunity for overspending and compliance missteps. On the flipside, it’s also an opportunity to level-set and fine tune the EA for more value, more flexibility and best-match licensing that cuts cost and risk.

So You Want to Buy Strategic Sourcing? Key Differentiators to Consider [PRO]

In our previous installments of this series, we focused on some of the key differentiating aspects of contract management and spend analytics solutions. As you may recall, rather than focusing on the features and functions that most providers deliver, this series is focused on highlighting areas that pop up as differentiators in the eyes of the more progressive practitioner organizations that we speak with. The idea is to help separate the wheat from the chaff even though we don’t know what exact flavor of bread that you’re baking.

Within the sourcing area, we will also take some additional liberties by highlighting some key functionality that might perhaps better fall into an “extended sourcing” category that transcends just traditional sourcing strategy and execution. For example, project portfolio management, savings management, performance management, stakeholder management, and other processes clearly transcend just sourcing, but from a pragmatic “on the ground” standpoint, these are often prioritized by sourcing and category management teams. They are trying to drive short-term value while trying to scale their efforts with a form of knowledge management that will support their longer-term transformation outside of episodic sourcing events and into a more end-to-end lifecycle view of progressive category management.

There are also some provider-level differentiators that transcend software feature-function nuances, and we’ll highlight these as well. OK, let’s dive in.

Beyond Contingent Workforce Management: Embracing an Agile Workforce

Today, when it comes to talent — especially highly skilled or expert talent — organizations are at the beginning of a new phase of workforce innovation. In the coming years, organizations will be going beyond the now well-established practice of sourcing external contingent workforce to augmenting or even replacing parts of their “permanent” employee workforce. The next phase of workforce organization innovation is embracing an agile workforce model.

Sole Sourcing and Lack of Weapon Design Experience to Blame for Pentagon’s Munitions Procurement Woes

The U.S. government is facing considerable challenges with its munitions procurement, as reported by Defense News in an article memorably headlined “The U.S. is Running Out of Bombs — And It May Struggle to Make More.” According to the latest annual Industrial Capabilities report from the Pentagon's Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, sole sourcing and a lack of weapon design experience are crippling the U.S. industrial base.

Bringing Procurement Rigor to Merger Integration

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Bernard Gunther, co-founder of Spendata.

Mergers are rationalized by the expectation of post-merger synergies, a major one being cost reduction. However, cost savings opportunities that are routinely exploited by procurement are rarely a focal point for “clean teams” in pre-merger scenarios, or by the merged organization in the key 100 days of post-merger integration (PMI). In fact, the majority of mergers rarely deliver all of the expected cost savings.[2] In contrast, procurement can play a crucial role in planning for and delivering cost savings typically overlooked during the pre-merger analysis.

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Lessons Learned on the Road to Procurement Transformation

When it comes to leading a procurement transformation initiative, there is no substitute for experience. Recently, at the Coupa Inspire 2018 Conference, in San Francisco, four change agents discussed their e-procurement journeys and the lessons they learned along the way. As leaders of change within their respective organizations, Scott Whitehill of Blackstone, Todd Dooley of H&R Block, Dale Welcome of World Vision, and Leslie Townsend of Edwards Lifesciences each developed a vision for the role that e-procurement could play in addressing unique organizational challenges and opportunities. Just as important, they each built the stakeholder alliances and the infrastructure needed to translate their vision into reality.

Majority of CEOs Agree That Sustainability Holds Value to Businesses, Yet Few Are Measuring ROI

CEOs increasingly agree that sustainability holds value to businesses, but quantifying that value remains a challenge. A slight majority of business professionals believe that sustainability drives both revenue and savings for their businesses, but only 30% measure the ROI of their sustainability initiatives. These are some of the findings from the Ethical Corporation’s fourth annual Responsible Business Trends report. This year, more than 1,500 global business professionals took part in the survey, the majority based in Europe and North America. 

Executives Continue to View Supply Chain as a Support Function Rather Than a Competitive Differentiator

Despite the push to transform procurement and supply chain from a back-office function to a strategic one, supply chain executives are still more inclined to see supply chain as a support function rather than as a competitive differentiator or a growth enabler, according to a recent report from Accenture. In “Drive Your Own Disruption: Is Your Supply Chain in Sleep Mode?” the authors of the report argue that new digital technologies are key to shifting supply chain beyond its support role.

3 Reasons IT Resists Procurement Software Investments — and How to Overcome Them

sourcing technology

For all of their outward differences, procurement and IT share many similar traits. Yet in spite of these similarities, procurement organizations know all too well the familiar pushback when engaging IT in software selection processes. Multiple ERP systems are already in place, so why should the business add more vendors? Do these new procurement solutions really add the additional value they say they do? How does this new system fit into the company’s long-term technology vision? Amid all of this pushback, it’s not uncommon for procurement to simply throw its hands in the air, fed up with encountering yet another roadblock in its aim to modernize the function. But hopelessness is not the answer.

Cyber, Political Resilience Rankings Shuffle in Latest FM Global Resilience Index

MBO Partners

FM Global released Wednesday its 2018 Resilience Index. While overall resilience rankings have remained largely unchanged from 2017, cyber and political resilience rankings have shifted. The Global Resilience Index is an annual ranking of 130 countries and regions according to 12 economic, risk and supply chain factors, which include supply chain visibility, supplier quality and rate of urbanization, in addition to the aforementioned cyber and political risk.

How Current and Future Leaders are Managing a Changing Procurement Function: ISM 2018 Roundup

digital business transformation

The future of procurement will be agile, digital and strategically focused. Regular readers of Spend Matters are familiar with these trends, of course, but how exactly organizations will realize those projections is often less clear. Clarifying this path forward was a top focus for attendees at ISM 2018 last week in Nashville, particularly for procurement’s current and future leaders. During a series of roundtable talks on the second day of the conference, CPOs from household-name companies and winners of the ISM/Thomas 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star awards convened to discuss how they’re approaching digital strategy, the increasing trend toward externalization and ways they’re preparing for risks both in the near term and on the horizon.