Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

Mobile Procurement and the Emerging Startup

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Vroozi. As young companies experience success and begin to grow, they often discover that many of the seemingly smaller facets of the business process have been overlooked due to the minute number of employees involved in the procedure. As these companies begin to scale, these smaller aspects can develop into larger problems. Procurement is a prime example of a process that is too often overlooked and can cause issues within organizations that scale quickly without the proper system in place.

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Procurement and Talent Management Processes: Don’t Wait for HR!

It might seem obvious, but if you want better talent, you need a better talent management process. Unfortunately, we find that this process is informal at best, and when it does occur, it is often tribal and siloed. In the physical supply chain, translating demand to supply and then performing supply strategy and planning (and then sourcing/execution) is second nature. But, when it comes to defining skills and knowledge requirements to talent supply sources (full-time hires, part-time, contingent labor, contractors, consultants, BPOs, etc.) and then optimizing the right talent source for the job, the process completely breaks down.

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Social Media and the CPO

macbook-air-notebook-technology-1168-825x550 For a recent workshop in London, I prepared a session titled "From Facebook to Supplier Collaboration - how social media is changing procurement.” As well as being one of the more enjoyable topics to research (I got to know far more about vloggers and Haul Girls than I really needed to), it is actually a huge and fascinating topic once you really get into it. And it goes way beyond just keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date, which is about as far as many CPOs and senior professionals get. So in this piece we will get into an overview of the subject and start focusing on the key principles of social media, which then suggests what CPOs, procurement directors or similar should be considering in terms of actually making use of the tools - we'll cover that in Part 2.

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Procurement Talent: Exploring Company and Industry Lessons and Looking Ahead

One of the battles in getting new blood into procurement is making it interesting for those around it. In higher education, some organizations have used a data/science-based approach to appeal to key research personnel and to attract talent into the function. This is an approach that has also appealed to some pharma/biotech firms (e.g., Pfizer and Novartis have had great results from applying reverse auctions to various forms of molecules). Outside of sourcing, within financial services, job security is nearly guaranteed in procurement given the endless pool of third-party risk management work, which has the potential to dovetail with compliance initiatives as well.

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Rethinking Procurement – and Rethinking Talent (Part 2)

It is when a set of specific efforts (outside of human capital management) comes together alongside fostering a talent-centric culture that true, lasting change and procurement impact become possible. Take the concept of creating a center of excellence of or CoE. Effective CoEs must rely on more than just KPIs/benchmarks. But while we need to make them more powerful to enable teams in new ways (e.g., enabling category managers with better supplier and market information), simply tossing headcount at the problem will not solve the issue.

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How Marketing and Procurement Can Work Better Together

- October 2, 2014 2:56 PM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement Strategy & Planning

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from David C. Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University. Whether it is in a corporate conference room on the floor with the nicest furniture, a white board-lined room at a major consulting firm, or the hallway outside an MBA classroom, you won’t go long without hearing the term “value chain” these days. Read on to hear more about how "both the procurement function and the marketing area are crucial in that they occupy strategic placement at opposing ends of that chain".

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CPO Insight: Procurement Transformation – Myth or Reality?

- September 30, 2014 6:27 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning

What does a "transformation" really take to be successful? I'm writing this from the economy cabin of a very busy London to Dubai flight, on my way to run a couple of workshops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the BravoSolution joint venture in the region, Tejari. By the time you read this, the workshop will be completed, and the topic in Dubai is Procurement Transformation - Myth or Reality? One of the reasons we chose this as a topic is that "transformation" has become an over-used expression and procurement has not been immune to its charms. In this Plus article, Pierre Smith talks about what exactly a procurement "transformation" means.

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Mobile Procurement and the Interim Chief Procurement Officer

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Vroozi. Holding an interim position isn’t easy. You step into a recently vacated role and are tasked with leading an established group with an established set of practices. Meanwhile, you likely have your own thoughts and ideas and would like to establish yourself as someone who can handle the position going forward—once the interim label is removed. This process is no easier when the interim person in question is the interim chief procurement officer.

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50 Shades of Pay: Shade 4 – Analyzing Total Spend, Payments by Supplier Type

money in the form of some coins In our previous ‘shades’ (begin with Shade 1 here), we helped describe a foundational capability: to analyze and make visible how much money has been paid to suppliers. We also discussed how to wrangle the supplier master data that feeds the payment data that in turn, feeds the analytics. Now, in this Spend Matters Plus Research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores and classifies the types of suppliers with which you've held transactions to analyze your spend – ultimately signaling the shift from spend analysis to supply base analysis.

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Spend Visibility: It’s Best in the Raw

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Paul Blake, a sales manager at GEP. Earlier this week, I met with a prospective client to talk about spend visibility, big data. and all that good stuff. With the best of intentions of course, and having applied a very great deal of resource and brain power (and inevitably cold hard cash), this client had built a program of data capture, manipulation, and transformation, based on all sorts of rules and manual interventions all designed to make sense of their global spend patterns. I got the impression that they felt that had created a bit of a monster that they'd yet to get anything really, you know, useful out of.

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Woodbrowser: Exploring a (Highly) Category-Specific Procurement Approach to Softwood Lumber

- September 15, 2014 2:30 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning

With each passing year, there are fewer categories in which supply chain transparency (including visibility into total cost at different tiers) is not rising – often considerably. But the lumber industry is one in which total cost transparency is blurred through an intermediary-led brokerage model that has evolved little for over half a century. Woodbrowser is hoping to change this. With the support of one of FreeMarkets co-founders, Sam Kinney - probably one of the most authoritative experts on real-world market mechanisms and market design (and, in full disclosure, a friend and mentor) - Woodbrowser is hoping to shake up the economics of the lumber market.

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ATTN: CPOs! Pop-up Webinar this Friday! Register Below

The Best-of-Breed vs. ERP Debate is Dead: What Really Matters in Best-in-Class Procurement Suites? will take place this Friday, September 12 at 11 a.m. CDT. Join us for this brief, half-hour event as we attempt to study the nature of procurement suites and identify emerging trends. There will also be a brief demo to demonstrate functionality of the trends we’ve detailed during the webinar. Register here.

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