Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

Choosing Procurement Technology That Grows With You

As a procurement practitioner, when you start looking at the portfolio of solutions you have available today, some patterns will likely emerge. First, you’ll have a range of tools in your arsenal. There will be a few painfully obsolete tools that are creaking along (used only by select specialists still able to maneuver them). There will be specific procurement tools (analytics, sourcing, etc.) not used by many. There there will be several mainstream ERP solutions that are used nearly daily by all, and so on. In one of the most important Spend Matters' PRO research briefs published this fall, Thomas Kase, vice president of research, looks at how we have reached the current state of procurement technology and the impact of this technology on people, processes, habits, culture and time.

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Exploring the State of the Independent Worker: A Key Services Procurement Component

- October 29, 2014 6:31 AM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning, Survey

iphone-macbook-air-man-164-525x350 MBO Partners recently released its annual “State of Independence” report covering independent workers. Independent contractors, whether they work part-time or full-time in this manner, are an increasingly overall component of services procurement programs that are looking to tap specialized skills or take advantage of alternative labor and project-based delivery models (although one that is often not given enough attention relative to the staffing and SOW ecosystem).

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Top 4 Ways CPOs Will Use Social Media

apple-cup-display-1883-733x550 In Part 1 of this series we looked at the principles of social media, which give an insight into how and why it has been such a phenomenon. Aspects such as the way it enables users to feel a sense of belonging and to share knowledge, information and their passions so quickly and easily, play to ancient human needs. So now let’s look in a more practical manner at the areas where social media tools, or tools that at least use these principles, will increasingly play an important role in the lives of CPOs and indeed all procurement professionals. There are 4 principle areas that we can consider, although there is overlap between them in some cases.

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A Procurement Talent Recipe – Analytics and Other Changing Ingredients

The future’s procurement professionals will lead a high-tech, information-rich function that supports the organization and all its stakeholders with resource, tools, knowledge and intelligence reinforcing its effectiveness. The core qualification in procurement is traditionally perhaps financial experience and maybe negotiation skills. In order to lead a fit-for-future procurement function, other important skills will come into play, and these “higher-level” skills may not be purely about procurement.

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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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