Category Archives: Services and Indirect

Beeline Acquires OnForce, Setting Up A Divergent Talent Philosophy to SAP, Fieldglass and Ariba (For Now)

Earlier today, Beeline announced it had acquired OnForce, one of a select group of vendors on the periphery of the vendor management system (VMS) market targeting the recruiting, on-boarding and management of what are best known as “freelancers” in the global talent market. Terms of the deal were not announced, but we expect it was a strategic rather than a financial-led acquisition (i.e., the transaction was not just a question of adding accretive revenue) which would suggest a premium multiple on revenue.

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impacore: Keeping McKinsey, Bain, and Other Consultancies Honest With a New Services Procurement Model (Part 1)

But professional services procurement is without a doubt still one of the most challenging and fascinating category areas for procurement executives, leaders, and functions to address, for a number of reasons. It’s always interesting, therefore, to hear of new ideas and approaches. One such approach is coming from a relatively young German firm, impacore, founded some four years ago, who are promoting a novel solution.

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Coupa’s 2013/2014 Product Roadmap: Beyond P2P

- October 2, 2013 4:28 PM | Categories: Conferences, Services and Indirect, Technology

Earlier today at the One Vision customer road show in Chicago, Coupa shared its latest product roadmap, highlighting a number of new areas of product expansion and enhancement. Coupa maintains its perspective that expanding organically, with fully integrated modules built on a common suite and platform, is preferable to expanding through acquisition. Among other areas, Coupa is planning material enhancements or new modules in sourcing, e-invoicing compliance (and features), inventory management, dynamic discounting, and services procurement in the coming 15 months. All of these enhancements and new applications will continue to be built on Coupa’s platform (it hasn’t yet been […]

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Last Chance to Register: Services Procurement Secrets Revealed This Afternoon

- September 27, 2013 10:21 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect, Services Procurement & Contingent Labor

The manufacturing, food and CPG industries have gotten progressively "smarter" in the past decade by using market intelligence on pricing (from market indexes in contracting to statistical forecasting) to manage commodity risk and exposure - and drive better procurement outcomes. Yet most companies are still sourcing and managing services-based categories, (e.g., contingent spend, consultancy services, legal spend, marketing) without even 10% of the intelligence they have around spend in their core business! Join Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell, and special guest Roy Anderson from Metasys as they discuss Services Procurement Secrets: How to Use Category, Market, and Pricing Intelligence on this afternoon's Spend Matters Pop-Up webinar from 1-1:30pm Central.

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Sourcing Managed Services: Not Consulting, Not Outsourcing

The line between outsourcing and sourcing managed services can be somewhat blurry because the services provider does assume responsibility for the delivery of a project or outcome tied to a project (but not necessarily the overall charter or management of what the project is tied to). The easiest way to explain this dual-ownership is that under a managed services environment, the internal procurement organization maintains responsibility for sourcing strategy development (make/buy, demand management, specification standardization/rationalization, service level/quality requirements, etc.) and overall category management, including stakeholder engagement and management, supplier development, internal reporting, etc.

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Outsourcing – Key Recommendations for the “Delivery” Phase

- April 11, 2013 9:25 AM | Categories: Complex Categories, Services and Indirect

Plan for due diligence processes and transition phase. Don’t hand-over to a totally different contract management team. Be an intelligent, informed customer; don’t over- or under-manage the contract and supplier.

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Outsourcing – Key Recommendations for the “Implementation” Phase

- April 4, 2013 10:25 AM | Categories: Complex Categories, Services and Indirect

We’re now into recommendations around the execution of outsourcing projects, dividing the recommendations into three sections – strategy (last week), implementation and ongoing delivery. As we said last time, we can’t cover every aspect of outsourcing good practice here, and for many experienced procurement professionals, some of what follows may appear somewhat obvious. But we hope even readers in that category will find something of value.

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A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 4)

- February 6, 2013 9:09 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect

Market Informed Sourcing, (or MIS), as I’ve called it (or optimisation, expressive bidding, collaborative sourcing as various software providers term it) is a different approach to sourcing compared to traditional sourcing or category management. Now we should start with some caveats – MIS is not appropriate for every procurement exercise or every category. For relatively simple and tactical procurement exercises or categories, it will probably be unnecessarily complex as a process. But where it is feasible, and appropriate, it offers something rather different to the usual sourcing process. Let’s look at how and why.

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A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 3)

- January 29, 2013 8:50 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect

We wrote in the last article about the standardised nature of category management process and practice, and the dangers inherent in approaching different categories via that standard approach. Now let’s consider another failing of much “traditional” category management methodology and philosophy. We might define this as an overly procurement-centric approach to the whole task in hand. The buyer is placed in an almost deity-like position, controlling the whole process and with other participants fitting into their scheme and doing what they are told to by the all powerful category manager.

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A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 2)

- January 23, 2013 9:02 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect

The first issue we’ll look at today is around the strengths and weaknesses that arise from the standardised nature of category management. Now the process and accompanying tools were largely designed and promulgated by the consulting profession and a number of the features – deliberately or fortuitously – fit the consulting model very nicely.

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A Critical Look at Category Management

- January 17, 2013 9:38 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect

CatMan’s main impact was in the indirect spending area. Procurement in a manufacturing environment was run on what we might call a category management basis for many years, even if we didn’t call it that, probably since the beginnings of the function. I was the “Raw Materials (EU controlled materials)” buyer for Mars in my first functional role, then Head of Packaging Buying. We would now see those as first a fairly junior then a more senior CatMan role, but that was well before the days of consultants such as Kearney and McKinsey popularising the approach and the associated terminology.

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How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 5)

- December 3, 2012 8:31 AM | Categories: Services and Indirect

One of the most important elements of tackling marketing spend is Executive Buy-In, which requires aligning the vision of the CMO, CPO and CFO. In fact, don't do anything until you force this to happen! Above all, ensure that your CPO is well briefed, and don’t let this person destroy your credibility by going into meetings with the CMO with the usual procurement speak. Take the time to get your CPO genuinely interested in the topic as a means of furthering their own interests and even career. For example, in a CPG or retail company, all executives can further their interests by knowing more about marketing. In general, some might call this attaining “stakeholder buy-in” since there might be stakeholders who are critical decision makers who are not C-level – but you get the idea.

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