Process & Best Practice Content

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6 Questions to Help Optimize Your Next Microsoft EA Renewal

Microsoft EA renewals have always been high-spend, high-stakes. But a number of factors have upped the ante. They include a greater number of software license audits (and higher penalties), changing product terms and the inherent complexity of migrating to Microsoft’s cloud offerings. For IT Sourcing pros tasked with negotiating a renewal, the implications are serious. Their next Microsoft EA renewal shouldn’t be treated as business as usual as it will present greater opportunity for overspending and compliance missteps. On the flipside, it’s also an opportunity to level-set and fine tune the EA for more value, more flexibility and best-match licensing that cuts cost and risk.

Beyond Contingent Workforce Management: Embracing an Agile Workforce

Today, when it comes to talent — especially highly skilled or expert talent — organizations are at the beginning of a new phase of workforce innovation. In the coming years, organizations will be going beyond the now well-established practice of sourcing external contingent workforce to augmenting or even replacing parts of their “permanent” employee workforce. The next phase of workforce organization innovation is embracing an agile workforce model.

Bringing Procurement Rigor to Merger Integration

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Bernard Gunther, co-founder of Spendata.

Mergers are rationalized by the expectation of post-merger synergies, a major one being cost reduction. However, cost savings opportunities that are routinely exploited by procurement are rarely a focal point for “clean teams” in pre-merger scenarios, or by the merged organization in the key 100 days of post-merger integration (PMI). In fact, the majority of mergers rarely deliver all of the expected cost savings.[2] In contrast, procurement can play a crucial role in planning for and delivering cost savings typically overlooked during the pre-merger analysis.

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Lessons Learned on the Road to Procurement Transformation

When it comes to leading a procurement transformation initiative, there is no substitute for experience. Recently, at the Coupa Inspire 2018 Conference, in San Francisco, four change agents discussed their e-procurement journeys and the lessons they learned along the way. As leaders of change within their respective organizations, Scott Whitehill of Blackstone, Todd Dooley of H&R Block, Dale Welcome of World Vision, and Leslie Townsend of Edwards Lifesciences each developed a vision for the role that e-procurement could play in addressing unique organizational challenges and opportunities. Just as important, they each built the stakeholder alliances and the infrastructure needed to translate their vision into reality.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 3): Enabling Supplier Innovation

disruption

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

Supplier innovation doesn’t have to be as exciting as SpaceX landing two Falcon Heavy rocket boosters back on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral (like they did in February), though this stunning feat was made possible in part by contributions from their suppliers. Value-added innovation is anything promoting efficiency or mitigating risk and can be as mundane as getting a supplier to license technology or form a JV with a supplier to support expansion in overseas markets. Just like making financial investments, promoting supplier innovation requires a portfolio approach.

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4 Ways Technology Can Enhance Food and Beverage Buying

As chefs try to meet growing consuming expectations, sourcing the wider range of ingredients and products they need quickly, reliably and at the best price, they face the challenge of their internal buying processes. For most, the process of food and beverage buying hasn’t really changed since the advent of email, adding to the phone and fax as ways to get those orders placed. It’s time consuming, inefficient and lacks the spend visibility and control that catering and hospitality businesses want to see. This is where modern technology can help. Here are four ways modern purchasing systems can enhance the food and beverage buying experience.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 2): Improving Procurement Efficiency

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

In this second installment of our series on developing the business case for supplier relationship management (SRM) capability investment, we are focusing on improving procurement efficiency, which can dramatically reduce non-value add (NVA) activities performed by procurement. SRM software eliminates many of these resource-draining manual tasks, promoting efficiency and enabling reallocation of scarce procurement resources.

3 Reasons IT Resists Procurement Software Investments — and How to Overcome Them

sourcing technology

For all of their outward differences, procurement and IT share many similar traits. Yet in spite of these similarities, procurement organizations know all too well the familiar pushback when engaging IT in software selection processes. Multiple ERP systems are already in place, so why should the business add more vendors? Do these new procurement solutions really add the additional value they say they do? How does this new system fit into the company’s long-term technology vision? Amid all of this pushback, it’s not uncommon for procurement to simply throw its hands in the air, fed up with encountering yet another roadblock in its aim to modernize the function. But hopelessness is not the answer.

Differentiate and Grow: How Procurement Marketers Can Stand Out in a Crowded, Copycat Market

marketing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Greg Hakim, vice president at Corporate Ink.

Increase transparency. Drive savings. Reduce risk. If you are a supply chain or procurement provider, these three messages are likely baked into your sales and marketing pitch. Which makes sense — they represent critical representations of the value you deliver. There’s one problem: Your competitors are saying the same thing.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 1): Enhancing Supplier Performance

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

In this post in our blog series on developing a business case for investing in Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) capabilities, we are focusing on enhancing supplier performance and the bottom-line impact that results. (See the first introductory post here.) The goal is to dramatically reduce service issues related to quality and delivery. This enables savings to be realized from suppliers such as those in low-cost countries that need to be developed.

How to Make Time for Value-Add Activities by Controlling High-Volume, Low-Dollar PO Spend

purchasing

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

A reader recently wrote in asking for ideas on controlling high-volume, low-dollar PO spend on readily available commodity items in order to free up time for value-add activity. The conventional wisdom is that purchase orders act as a point of reference and an insurance of sorts against fraud or unintentional errors related to invoicing, pricing, duplicates and wrong products. Yet POs can undoubtedly be a pain for buyers to draft, not to mention that all of the paperwork lengthens and slows down the entire purchasing process. There are two main options here to consider.

Building the Business Case for Supplier Relationship Management Investment

category management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

Investing in enhanced supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities is frequently discussed within procurement organizations but not often executed. The immediate need to achieve annual savings targets and satisfy stakeholders often drives a focus on sourcing, with its easily demonstrable return on investment, at the expense of SRM. Yet the basic value derived from robust SRM includes incremental gains in traditional procurement focus areas, such as price improvement, and even greater value derives from more aspirational areas such as risk reduction and the promotion of innovation and supplier diversity.