Tagged Content: Process and Best Practice

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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What Do Procurement People Do All Day? (And What Should They Do?)

- October 24, 2014 10:19 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary

blur-city-crowd-1719-821x550 I saw a blog post a few months back asking the question about how chief procurement officers (CPOs) spend their time. Although the post was really just a Trojan Horse for campaigning a full-blown “benchmarking” survey, the topic is a good one to explore, and there is already some solid quantitative research on the topic. For those of you who have children, you may be familiar with Richard Scarry’s book What do People Do All Day. It’s a wonderful illustrated children’s book dealing with all of the various roles that people play in a small town. Of course, I didn't see any procurement people, and I was envisioning a small, dimly lit negotiations room where supplier people were, ahem, “sharpening their pencils.” But, there was a firefighter, so perhaps that is close enough.

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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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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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Thinking Through Event Size Limits – Courtesy of a Sourcing Optimization Guru (Part 1)

- October 22, 2014 6:48 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain, Technology

1368590906514fn When I worked at FreeMarkets in the early days before the advent of self-service sourcing tools, we used to think events with over 500 line items (grouped into half a dozen or so lots) were large. The items and the groups we lotted them into were generally part of the same category or families. At the time (15 years ago), we were using sourcing technology that was incredibly rudimentary compared with the power of tools that are available today that leverage the ability to conflict different bids from suppliers based on flexible submission capability. Moreover, bids can now cascade across different supply chain elements including raw material costs/requirements, transportation costs, value added steps, etc., and we can bring them together in a common event. It raises the question: How big is too big for an event?

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Finding Procurement Talent – Putting Internal Recruiting in Full Swing

- October 21, 2014 6:28 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary

When it comes to searching for procurement talent, it’s not simply a question of looking for new “internal” recruits. There’s more to it than that. Yet by building the base of the talent pyramid organically and thinking through all the issues tied to compensation and strategic perception of the role, fresh eyes and fresh viewpoints can be brought in. This brings new sources of innovation, including helping to keep the procurement and SCM profession relevant and in tune with changing demographics and cultures – and of course making procurement a destination rather than a sentence or banishment.

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Finding Procurement Talent – Finding Young Blood

- October 20, 2014 2:15 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary

file0002022362803 When it comes to hiring, recruiting and developing organic talent in procurement, the best apples usually come directly from the tree. But while many existing procurement staff “have the chops” to support modern procurement requirements in theory, the “barrel” of legacy staff often contains some overripe or even rotten apples. Yet is there a middle ground between looking externally and finding the perfect “Honey Crisp” varietal internally?

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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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50 Shades of Pay: Shade 7 – Purchase and Payment Historical Spending

- October 13, 2014 2:36 AM | Categories: Accounts Payable, Purchasing, Purchasing Process

In the last six installments of this research series, we’ve talked about the numerous ways to mine and utilize payment history data to create value. But, you can't really do spend analysis without analyzing purchase history too. In other words, we are now going to analyze what you purchased rather than just whom you paid. In our next two installments, we will talk about more granular insights into receiving and upstream into requisitioning. And only then we will get into how to automatically classify line item details into a spend category taxonomy and cross reference that spending data back to contracts. So, for now, we are just going to focus on purchase orders.

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It’s Time to Pull Procurement Research Out of the Gutter

- October 10, 2014 6:34 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Procurement Commentary, Procurement Research

1382985400p16fs For most things in life, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly. So be it with procurement research. I’ve been doing procurement research for a long time, and have seen some really good stuff from all sorts of firms. However, I’ve noticed lately a marked increase in quantity of research surveys and an unfortunate commensurate drop in quality. “So what?” you say. “What’s the problem here?” The problem is that practitioners are surveyed to DEATH by one other (e.g., advanced firms getting hit up by others) and by third-party firms from numerous provider sectors. And when the research is sketchy, it drags everyone down.

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Rethinking Procurement – and Rethinking Talent (Part 1)

- October 9, 2014 10:24 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary

The most advanced procurement functions we research and work with are stepping beyond existing mandates and beginning to make us radically rethink the role of the procurement function and how it might look in the coming decade and beyond. In the first post in this series, Mind the Talent Gap in Procurement, we began to explore why most organizations have such a hard time aligning procurement and supply chain talent with today’s business requirements.

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Reforming and Rethinking Procurement Talent From the Beginning

- October 8, 2014 6:20 AM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement, Procurement Commentary

While more empirical evidence is needed, it is clear that what has been tried in the past is not working when it comes to procurement talent management. It is time to start over and become more scientific in how we think about talent and the complex organism that is procurement, using many of the ideas that we’ll be exploring in this series of posts on the topic.

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