The Procurement Category

Sponsored Article

AI, Machine Learning and What They Really Mean for Procurement and Contracts

Your contracts. Even though they govern all of your supplier relationships and deal with huge sums of money, they’re error-prone and are in dire need of meaningful controls. Procurement solutions don’t encompass contract management, and technology-enabled as they may make you may feel (especially compared with what you had only a couple years ago), leave you with the manual, administrative tasks that keep you from more meaningful work. Machine learning (ML) can automate those tasks, and use your contract data to deliver insights that will create tremendous opportunities for increased profit, efficiency, savings and accelerated growth without you lifting a finger.

Does the Supply Chain Hiring Process Need Revamping? ISM’s M.L. Peck Discusses Talent Gaps and the “30 Under 30” Competition

interview

The nomination period has opened again for the “30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars” program, which recognizes some of the most talented young supply chain professionals. (A public service announcement: If you’re interested in nominating someone, you have until Dec. 3!) Organized by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Thomasnet.com, “30 Under 30” is now in its fourth year and just as ambitious as ever in its aim to attract young people to the supply chain field and tackle that notorious talent gap.

Can Procurement Save the Government?

Think about the role of effective government: defend the nation from risks and support the citizens, with minimum tax burden. And in a capitalist society that is of, by and for the people, the government needs to tap market innovations of the same people it serves to solve big problems, be it national security, healthcare or recovery from disasters. The same is true in commercial enterprises. Procurement in companies is chartered with bringing in innovations and helping defend the enterprise from external risks in the supply chain while also helping maximize value to demanding stakeholders.

Big Ideas 2017: Highlights from Procurious’ Chicago Summit

The world is changing rapidly, and procurement has a lot to take charge of if it wants to lead businesses through the coming disruption. That was the big takeaway from the 2017 Big Ideas Summit, presented last week by Procurious in Chicago. In a daylong series of presentations spanning geopolitical instability to emerging technology and leadership challenges in this uncertain era, procurement influencers from around the world gathered to set the agenda for procurement transformation. Missed the event? Check out some of the notable quotes and images from the summit within.

Take it From a Former Road Warrior: User Conferences Have Come of Age

Eved

Having spent more than 30 years in the software game, I thought I had reached my fill of trade shows and all of the related logistical nightmares. For years, user conferences were saddled with similar baggage (sheep in wolves’ clothing). But not anymore — at least not based on my experience of the last few years. Done well, user conferences bring customers and qualified prospects together in increasingly engaging formats. They have become staged, anticipated events, if not exclusive, peer-to-peer gatherings.  

Determining the Avoidable and the Unavoidable in Supply Chain Risk

category management

Some supply chain risks are avoidable. For instance, it is feasible and highly advisable to avoid doing business with potential suppliers in certain countries (like North Korea) where doing so would bring all sorts of risk to fruition. But any supplier could suffer from an accidental factory fire. A hurricane or flooding could strike pretty much anywhere in the world, so this sort of risk is unavoidable. That does not mean, however, that we cannot take actions to manage that type of risk better.

A New Perspective for Procurement: Understanding RAP

risk

Although I can’t be sure if risk-aware procurement (RAP) can rightfully claim this year’s mantle for most popular new supply chain management (SCM) acronym, it should be a leading contender. Not that it’s about acronyms, or that building a procurement-led and more structured supplier relationship management (SRM) capability isn’t meaty enough on its own, but when you add in the sizzle of supplier risk management (SRM), well, let me put it this way: Chief procurement officers (CPOs) who “RAP” are embracing one of the more powerful hooks the profession has seen in more than a decade.

‘Come Over to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies’: On Blending Corporate and Freelance Work

After I wrote passionately about making the change from corporate employee to free agent, a friend asked how I could write that when I had just taken a corporate job. I was going back over to the “Dark Side.” Or was it the going back to the “Light Side”? It hadn’t occurred to me that my perspectives and actions might seem contradictory. Let me correct that. It occurred to me, but I didn’t care. And neither should you.

Star Wars Mouse Pads and a Golden Pencil: What’s the Strangest Purchase You’ve Been Asked to Approve?

Earlier this week, I moderated a webinar with Procurify customer Lynn Gabriel, COO of Mainstream Fiber Networks, about her experience with implementing spend management technology for the first time (watch the webinar here). In explaining the change management process, Lynn mentioned the importance of helping employees understand cost savings measures within the organization and told a funny story: one of her employees submitted an approval for a $30 Star Wars mouse pad, insisting that it would help him be infinitely more productive on the job. (Needless to say, it was not approved.)

Is Artificial Intelligence in Procurement Mostly Just Overblown Marketing Hype? Basware’s Eric Wilson Weighs In

In Part 2 of our conversation with Eric Wilson, VP of P2P at Basware, we touched on the inherent risks of computers making decisions that have historically been reserved for humans. While it may not seem as life or death in procurement as it is in the case of, say, autonomously driven Uber-Volvos being involved in rollover accidents, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to massaging out the kinks. How much work, exactly? Are we in the full throes of the revolution, or in the eye of the storm? Enough with the metaphors — here’s the final installment of our conversation with Wilson.

Spend Management Platforms: No Longer Just for the Big Boys

Procurement organizations large and small all have issues they need help with. The problem is not all of them realize it. For reasons from pressure to secure cost savings to lack of qualified resources, many procurement groups remain blind to process inefficiencies or daily headaches that could be easily relieved: misplaced purchase orders, byzantine spreadsheets, forgotten contract renewals, papers stacked to the ceiling. These were and continue to be real issues that plague procurement organizations. Unfortunately, small and middle-market firms have found themselves locked out of the opportunities that technology such as spend management platforms offer procurement.

‘Ask Spend Matters’ Lightning Round: Marketing Spend, Public Procurement and Finding a Contractor

As we work behind the scenes to turn Ask Spend Matters into a more regular feature, we thought we’d chip away at a few of the reader questions we’ve been sitting on. As managing editor Taras Berezowsky promised last month those who have submitted a question but not heard back, we haven’t forgotten about you! Today’s lightning round edition, if you will, tackles three specific questions on the value versus price debate in marketing spend, where federal agencies find their suppliers and how to find a young person to prepare those boring databases.