Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

Examining the Future of Procurement Technology: Accenture’s Take on 5 Key Solution Areas


Earlier this summer, Accenture published one of the most inventive and daring pieces of research on the future of procurement to date: Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One. Based extensively on interviews with procurement organizations as well as some of the best minds within the firm, it’s anything but the conservative white papers that often come out of consultancies. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s daring – and very daring for Accenture! Authored by Kai Nowosel, Kris Timmermans and Abigail Terrill, the paper argues that procurement will fundamentally change in structure, integration and digital enablement. Central to the argument of how the new procurement organization will operate is an evolution of technology.

July 30 Webinar: Forget Uber’s Classification Problems – Engage Critically Needed Independent Professionals, Safely and Efficiently


Uber and other large-scale online work platform companies that engage large populations of workers in low-skill jobs have come under legal and regulatory fire as of late. Unfortunately, these businesses made big mistakes very early on: They did not take worker classification questions very seriously. But distinct from the media’s crisis coverage of Uber and other such businesses, the population of independent professionals, a critical enterprise talent pool, will continue to grow, as projected in a number of recent studies in the US and Europe. Sourcing and engaging this talent population will continue to rise as a priority for businesses and their contingent workforce procurement practitioners. Join us for a webinar, “Directly Source and Engage Highly-Skilled Independent Talent with Controlled Cost and Risk,” brought to you by Spend Matters and MBO Partners, in which you will learn about this fast growing independent professional workforce segment and state-of-the-art models for effectively and efficiently engaging these it.

What Do Procurement Metrics and Procurement Analytics Have in Common?


The clock is winding down to the Institute for Supply Management's Metrics and Analytics Symposium, which begins this Thursday in Philadelphia. (Register here.) Jason will be helping with a panel and I will probably be heading down as well. If you can, you should definitely try to make it. Craig Reed, who is an ISM board member and heavy hitter practitioner, will be leading it. I know Craig, and I can tell you he knows his stuff! Other executives from Honeywell and DuPont will also be at the event, as well as the non-manufacturing side, represented by Nationwide. You may wonder why there’s a conference on both metrics and analytics. Aren’t these 2 different topics? The former seems very organizational and the latter seems very technical. But the 2 are highly connected.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 5 – The Core CM Solution

businessman hand pushing on a touch screen interface

Today we continue our multi-part Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle (S2S) or source-to-Pay (S2P) process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. So far, we have introduced CLM in depth, defined the “CLM wheel” and reviewed the solution space to try and understand which solutions were typically required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective, as no current solution supports the full buy-side process, in our view. We also followed this solution space review with a detailed review of the core solutions that were historically used to implement a full end-to-end solution, when strategically sourcing a high-value category. Now that we understand where traditional procurement solutions have been used with respect to full CLM and a number of the capabilities a true CLM platform is required to possess, we can discuss the core must-have level 1 requirements. In this post, we point out these must-have capabilities that every contract management platform needs to bring at least some value to your organization and where they fit on the CLM wheel.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 4 – The Traditional Solutions

Traditional tools

So far in our contract lifecycle management (CLM) series, we have discussed how the process can generate truly exceptional results when implemented correctly, and we have introduced a “wheel” framework that defined the processes and requirements for a core platform needed to support the end-to-end contract lifecycle in a modern supply management organization. In our last post, we provided a review of the solution space in an effort to understand what types of solutions were historically required in support of the CLM process. This understanding is important because no current solution supports the full CLM process well – as defined in our framework – on the buy-side and within a broader enterprise context. In this post, we will map each of the relevant components included in core buy-side technologies to the CLM framework because it helps one understand not only how these solutions support CLM, but how a specific CLM tool often needs to hook into this technology.

For Procurement, is it the Process or the Tool That’s Broken?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Anu Gardiner, head of procurement at DocuSign. I was in a meeting with one of our senior executives and we were discussing some recent complaints on the internal social site about our procurement process. Just like I had done in response to the complaints, I shared that we had recommended the right tool to solve the problem but that the initiative could not be prioritized at the time due to more pressing needs at the company. And then came the question: Is it the process or the tool that’s broken? This is a question I have been pondering for some time...

July 30 Webinar: Taking the Direct Route to High-Impact Independent Talent

Sourcing Workforce

If you’re a contingent workforce management or services procurement practitioner, you’re already familiar with the indirect route of managing (and spending on) a contingent workforce in the industrialized work arrangement models of staffing agency temporary labor and statement of work services. This indirect route includes the practices, processes and technologies involved in the process. But in today’s increasingly hyper-specialized knowledge economy, there is a whole other segment of contingent workforce that is becoming increasingly significant to enterprise performance and competitiveness: an independent workforce that is both highly skilled and professional and inaccessible through standard supplier channels. This is where the war for talent is really being waged. Join Spend Matters and MBO Partners for a webinar examining both how this new segment operates and effective models for engaging it.

Policy Meets Procurement and Category Management: Analysis and Implications of the Supreme Court Striking Down EPA Regulations


In a late June ruling, the US Supreme Court struck down Environmental Protection Agency directed regulations for limiting mercury and toxic emissions from coal and oil power plants. From a procurement and supply chain vantage point, the ruling is arguably the most important decision the nation’s highest court has made in the past decade. Not only does it cut to the very heart of procurement’s mission to manage costs, but it has direct linkages with energy sourcing and category management. The decision also highlights the need for procurement to work more closely with public affairs and public policy teams inside their organizations. This Spend Matters PRO brief analyzes the implications of the ruling for procurement and supply chain organizations and provides recommendations for manufacturers and non-manufacturers alike on how to take action around policy and regulations.

Procurement: Mandate Only What Makes Sense


Last week, Pierre Mitchell returned to his series over on Chief Procurement Officer of knocking down the top procurement myths that exist. This time, in Procurement Needs a Mandate: Procurement Myth No. 19, Pierre talks about the myth that a number of mandates must exist within procurement organizations. Sure, certain mandates may make sense for the organization. Others, however, simply do not. Find out more about Pierre's take on this subject, and make sure to head over to our CPO site for additional myths in the series.

Best ‘Ask the Expert’ Ever? PPM: The Core of an Effective Procurement Operating Model

Advice Meaning Informed Help Assistance And Support

On this Throwback Friday (#tbf, anyone?), we've thrown open the doors to our archives to bring you our second-most-viewed recording of an Ask the Expert webinar of all time. Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell takes participants through the important procurement topic of PPM in Ask the Expert: Procurement Performance Management (PPM): The Ultimate Alignment Tool - Not a Dashboard! . Procurement performance management can transform a procurement organization – but only if you know how to apply and maintain the tool or process properly. Pierre walks us through a number of steps to properly integrate PPM into your procurement organization. If you missed this webinar late last year, luckily as a Plus or PRO member, you can view the entire recording right here.

Spurious Correlations, 150% Cost Savings and How to Justify Your Next Procurement Project


Last week, I presented on a webinar alongside Tim Cummins, the founder of International Association for Contract and Commercial Management, and Ulf Zetterberg, the CEO of Seal Software. I was sharing some analysis that I did on Apple Inc.’s purchase agreement templates and how contracts sometimes can create more relationship risk than they prevent. On the risk side, I referenced a great case study that David Simchi Levi’s team at MIT performed for Ford. On the reward side, I mentioned the oft-quoted research by John Henke regarding his ‘Working Relations Index” research in the Automotive industry. What followed was a classic example of correlation being used to infer causation.

Exploring ‘Total Cost’ as a Productivity KPI for the P2P Process

Close up of a money puzzle

Total cost of ownership of the procure-to-pay process is not simply about measuring the costs associated with acquiring a P2P platform, it’s about tracking all P2P processes and managing them as a business key performance indicator. Managed well, the TCO P2P KPI can positively impact the bottom line of any business. Many organizations think that when acquiring a P2P platform, a firm business case needs to be constructed based on the total cost of the platform and high-level benefits that are reasonably achievable. But there’s actually a more effective way to think about the cost and returns of P2P technology. In this Spend Matters PRO brief, we explore this new way of measuring P2P returns and cost through a modified TCO approach.