Process & Best Practice Content

Give Your Company a Personality Test Before Contracting for Services

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Gary Weiss, Flash Global's vice president of pricing, procurement and inventory management.

If your company were a human who could sit down and take a personality test, how would it score? Every company is like a person, with an individual temperament, strengths, weaknesses and quirks. Instead of "personality," though, we call it "corporate culture." Company culture affects every aspect of business operations, including employee recruitment, retention, development, business practices and vendor relationships. These five questions will help you define your corporate culture and find a service vendor who is a good fit.

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Lessons in Supplier Risk Management: How a Fire, Strike Lost the Auto Industry $500 Million

Nissan

With powerful hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires threatening business operations and logistics, supply chain risk professionals across manufacturing industries usually have their hands full when it comes to mitigating disruptions. While the focus is usually on extreme weather, two operational disruptions at a supplier level in May and June revealed once again the full diversity of supply chain risks that can impact industrial production lines. In total, both events caused automotive and machinery supply chains more than $500 million in financial losses. These events are stark reminders of how a disruption at a single sub-tier supplier can ripple across manufacturing supply chains, impacting both upstream (sales) and downstream (production) operations.

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Procurement’s Spend Analytics Expertise is Untapped Strategic Lever for M&A success

Mergers and acquisitions provide a constant reminder of how business is always in flux and how executives need to meet the challenge of managing it. The first 100 days after a merger or acquisition often set the tone for the new entity and can influence long-term success. The environment is typically perfect for early procurement synergy capture, where when executed correctly, procurement optimization can improve EBITDA by an average of 10% to 30%, which is one reason why procurement is an untapped strategic lever for M&A. With effective spend analytics, organizations can better size up the savings based on the combined entities spend in key procurement categories and identify the commonality of suppliers across the merged entities and categories where spend is highly fragmented.

7 Tips: A Guide to Mastering Procurement Transformation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Alex Saric, Ivalua's chief marketing officer.

As the role of procurement continues to evolve, a new approach is required. Leaders are transforming their organizations with a new mindset, new processes and new technology. Having worked with hundreds of leading organizations as they transform procurement, I’d like to share these seven tips for procurement managers that should serve them well.

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5 Essential E-Procurement Operations Capabilities

A wealth of information exists for companies contemplating the launch of an e-procurement platform. Yet learning about the capabilities needed to support ongoing operations has been extremely difficult — until now. Our latest eBook, E-Procurement Operations: Post-launch Capabilities to Ensure Your Success, provides insights on the capabilities needed for successful e-procurement operations.

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Working Capital Optimization: 3 Things to Avoid

In my last blog I outlined why you needed to reconsider your approach to working capital and why current programs are limited in their capabilities. In this blog I wanted to outline the things you need to avoid, or at the very least be aware of when approaching a working capital program.

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

How Can Procurement Find Savings When Commodity Prices Are Going Up, Up, Up?

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

While going through questions that our readers have sent us, we came across one regarding how and where procurement practitioners can find savings when commodity prices are going up. The reader, a senior procurement manager, had noted that procurement’s primary task of finding savings is becoming difficult. This is an ever-relevant topic, and we enlisted the expertise of Stuart Burns, editor-at-large at MetalMiner, in coming up with some concrete tips for other procurement professionals facing this challenge. Read on!

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How Procurement Best Practices Are Stifling Innovation — And What to Do About It

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Many companies have discovered that best practices for managing professional services spend have imposed financial discipline but have come at the expense of innovation and organizational agility. Now, growing interest in agile development methodologies — in which small, cross-functional teams are empowered to work independently on complex problems — is prompting procurement officers to wonder whether the on-demand talent marketplace could help them regain ground at a lower price point. After all, the push for agility is driven by a need for companies to respond more quickly to opportunities and threats by nimbly adjusting the assets — including human ones — they put against each one.

To Deliver Superior Field Services Outcomes, Businesses Should Look to the Freelance Economy

Managing a modern-day field service function presents numerous challenges to business leaders. Consistently getting the right person for a service request to the right place at the right time has only become more difficult in today’s hyper-competitive, on-demand business environment. To meet these challenges, businesses have increasingly looked to augment their current W-2 field service employees by engaging third-party vendors. But while diversifying beyond full-time technicians is a reasonable start, businesses should not stop at merely outsourcing field services functions to external partners.

These 3 Data Problems Could Be Draining Your Company’s Resources

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brian Alster, global head of supply and compliance products at Dun & Bradstreet.

When you’re working on estimating the costs of your third-party relationships, the last thing you want to find are holes or inaccuracies in your data. It can leave you unable to make informed, data-driven decisions. This fear might explain why, according to Forrester research, almost a third of enterprise architects and chief data officers spend at least 40% of their time discerning the credibility of their data before using it to make critical decisions.

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The Imperative to Improve Working Capital: Driving Forces and Emerging Solutions

Improving working capital performance has become increasingly important to companies in recent years, yet few procurement and finance organizations have found truly sustainable, long-term solutions to support this goal. The problem is that immediate external forces are pushing businesses to make working capital improvements now, while the sound financial strategies to maintain these changes require more than a few “quick fixes” to ultimately succeed.