The Professional Services Category

Repairing the Relationship Between Procurement and Marketing (ICYMI)

For the past two weeks, Spend Matters has been taking a closer look at the marketing category. As most of the supply management world knows, the relationship between procurement and the marketing function can hardly be described as rosy. While we’d like to say there’s hope on the horizon, the obstacles to advancing procurement’s strategic value are still, well, standing in the way.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 2) [Plus+]

The next topic we must address in considering the basics of attacking marketing spend is potentially the most sacred of all: agency selection. In considering how best to engage in this area, it is important to consider the costs of both sides going through the process. For agencies, the costs to manage and respond to an RFP can be quite high. Some agencies estimate their total cost at around $200,000 per RFP — on average!

Granted, the bulk of this expense comes in the form of soft costs. But the undertaking is considerable, and carefully vetted among agencies. This point is important to emphasize: agencies are quite picky about the clients and projects they bid on. We hope the following example, based on how one West Coast-based agency approaches RFPs, provides insight into the best means of engaging the right set of firms.

Does Marketing Procurement Deserve a Bloody Break? Our Q&A with Tina Fegent

marketing spend

In our series Ask Spend Matters, we recently answered this question: Do other areas of procurement get as much negative press from suppliers as marketing procurement do? We had the chance to chat with our question asker, Tina Fegent, who lives near Oxford, England, via Skype as we kicked off our reporting process. Here are select excerpts from that initial conversation. (Read the full piece to see where it all went.)

Do Other Services Procurement Areas Get as Much Negative Press from Suppliers as Marketing Procurement?

Tina Fegent is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but for someone with a couple decades of experience in the marketing procurement space, Tina is officially en garde when it comes to marketing services suppliers (namely, the agencies) bad-mouthing her chosen profession. That really got Tina’s goat. So she she came to Ask Spend Matters and asked us a question: “Do other areas of procurement get as much negative press from suppliers as marketing procurement do?”

New Report: Obstacles in Advancing Marketing Procurement’s Strategic Value

marketing spend

There is still a case for marketing procurement, as a new report on the function’s obstacles and opportunities shows. Globality, which connects clients with small service providers, commissioned a survey of 300 senior procurement professionals from around the world. It gleaned eight major takeaways from the survey, which are presented in the report, Marketing Procurement 2017: Key Opportunities and Barriers in Advancing Procurement’s Business Impact. We’ll look at a few of these more closely.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 1) [Plus+]

Torchlite

Like MRO, packaging and logistics, the marketing category straddles the boundary between direct and indirect spend. And we all know (or so marketing folks claim) that it has a substantial impact on sales — allegedly, at least. The direct commercial impact is notoriously difficult to assess, although the new breed of analytics-driven spend analysis tools targeted specifically at marketing spend (e.g., cross-channel, competitive insights, etc.) and campaign performance can help. But put these in the agency parking lot for a minute. We’ll get into them later in this analysis and series.

For now, let’s focus on the marketing category as one among many — what makes it unique, what makes it similar and what are important trends.

Legal Sourcing and Billing: Category Sourcing, Maturity Models and Services Procurement Linkages (Part 2) [Plus+]

forced labor

Legal spend is a bit different than other categories in part because it cuts across all aspects of the business and the lines between “make” and “buy” can be drawn differently based on customer, need and timing. The fundamental challenge in this regard is that legal spending must be aligned with sales (customers), procurement (vendors), finance and operations (products) to deliver the right level of value. If it’s seen as a siloed compliance function, legal is doomed to languish as a subperforming cost center. In considering legal sourcing maturity, it’s essential to keep this in mind.

Accenture Spend Trends Category Insight

Top Challenges and Questions Facing Corporate Legal Departments [Plus+]

UpCounsel

The market landscape for legal services is much more dynamic than it may appear to most outside observers — and as a result we are seeing a number of meaningful trends in the market.

The provider landscape is rapidly changing. Firms are specializing in certain legal matter areas, and non-law firm providers are emerging as viable alternatives to perform certain types of legal work at lower cost and higher efficiency. And as in almost every industry and market, technology is playing a more transformational role in the legal services market, with implications for both buyers and suppliers.

In this article, we share some of the frequently asked questions we have received from GCs, and our responses and recommendations.

4 Habits That Can Sink a Procurement Consultant’s Career

consulting

So you told the corporate world that you’re going to go do it your way. (Congratulations, and cue inspirational theme song.) And for the purpose of discussion, let’s assume that you have taken care of the basics in going freelance: building an emergency fund, buying healthcare insurance, setting up retirement contributions, getting the right business insurance and so on. I have been on all sides of the client-consultant relationship. I have engaged and managed consultants as a corporate client, I have engaged consultants for my own clients and I am also a consultant myself. So, I’ve seen where the landmines are and learned how to avoid them. Here are the top temptations that can send you straight back to a corporate role — the “fateful four” — definitely in order of importance.

3 Ways Contingent Workforce and Services Procurement Professionals Can Stay Ahead in 2017

services procurement

New Year’s resolutions are a fun, time-honored practice that are often made with the best of intentions – yet, quite often, they melt away like the the gray-brown remnants of snow by the time February and March roll around. However, we’ve resolved to help contingent workforce and services procurement professionals stay on top of their game as we head into 2017. Last week, Spend Matters’ Research Director of Services and Labor Procurement, Andrew Karpie, gave his look ahead on platform-intermediated work trends in the coming year, including possible scenarios stemming from how digital platform intermediation for work and services will increasingly become “a mainstream sourcing mechanism in the enterprise.” So how exactly can procurement practitioners in this space stay ahead?

Why Top Global 100 Law Firms are (Still) Behind in Procurement

UpCounsel

The legal profession is arguably the last one champing at the bit to innovate. To be fair, there are several factors that prevent the legal industry from leading change or transformation efforts when it comes to process and practice. But in many ways, the inability to change (or at least change quickly) built into the inherent partnership environment trickles down into how law firms’ procurement leadership thinks about — and ultimately carries out — their function.

What WorkRails’ Latest Funding Round Means for Procurement Practitioners

Catalant

WorkRails, founded in late 2015, announced that it has raised $2.3M in a seed round led by Boldstart Ventures and including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, BoxGroup, and Lattice Ventures. The Long Island-based company, co-founded by Work Market and OnForce co-founder Jeff Leventhal, brings a unique play to the growing and rapidly evolving digital work intermediation platform space. While that realm tends to be thought of in terms of categories like freelancer marketplaces, crowdsourcing, and FMS, it is actually highly heterogeneous and continuously spawning innovative models. So how does WorkRails work, and what does it mean for you?