New Spend Matters White Paper sponsored by BravoSolution: Market-Informed Sourcing

If you’ve been reading Spend Matters for a while, you’ll know that the topic of “optimisation”, advanced sourcing, (insert your favourite terminology here) has come up regularly. That’s not purely because we feature the world’s leading solution providers in this area amongst our sponsors, true though that is.

It’s more we firmly believe that:

a. The latest technology opens up some very interesting and valuable opportunities to procurement professionals and their organisations and

b. Those opportunities are not in general well understood or used yet by the profession.

We wrote about these issues and explained what we perceive as the role of optimisation in our previous White Paper, available here.

And now, we have another White Paper which is being launched this week, and will be free to download, sponsored by our friends at BravoSolution. It's called " Market-Informed Sourcing: A game-changer for Procurement".

In it, we take those discussions on further. In particular, we’re putting our head on the block by suggesting that the opportunities opened up by the latest technology actually change how procurement needs to look at one of our most fundamental processes and methodologies  that of Category Management.

We’re not suggesting that “category management is dead” although we did consider that as a headline grabbing title! We might still be tempted to go for the tabloid type approach. That’s not really what we’re saying, but we believe that for many categories, we need a fundamentally different approach to the strategic procurement process. The platforms available now will enable this, and will deliver significantly better value than current approaches.

We’re also making a bold suggestion. One of the reasons that uptake of this technology has been slower than it should be is, we feel, confusion about the terminology.  “Optimisation” sounds a bit mathematical and obtuse.  And every provider has a different term, and while this may help them distinguish their offerings, it leads to confusion in practitioners’ eyes.  So from now on, including in this paper, we’re going to be calling this process and family of technology solutions “market-informed sourcing” – or MIS for short.

That seems, after some considerable thought, the most appropriate description.  (We’ll explain why next week).  Category Management has always had the benefit of a simple, fairly snappy title that everybody (consultants, practitioners etc) uses and understands. We think that having the same commonality for this process will help to drive adoption and use.

Anyway, stay tuned next week for links to the new Paper and more on market-informed sourcing .

Voices (2)

  1. eSourcingSensei:

    Hello Peter
    Well I have had my head buried for some time now focusing firmly on the role out of a new service provider for our business, and as usual within that the subject of “MIS” (yes even I can adpat quickly from my previous “optimisation” usage LOL) came about again and as someone who has used that technology for some years I was delighted to put in my twopenny’s worth.
    So I am truly lloking forward to your new white paper, the last one bein infomative and quite thought provoking.
    As I have refelected over our use or, (in absolute truth), our lack of engagement in using currently available technology delivering “MIS” solutions, I have concluded their are two barriers that sit outside of the tool itself.
    1 – The Buyer (as you have intimated above) even though they use eSourcing technologies, cannot always get their head around the way the tool kit opperates or undersatnd it despite training and the fact that to maximise the “MIS” tool kit you have to approach your sourcing strategy differently and the way you design your tender allowing for the absolute maximum feedback from the respondents which then allows the “MIS” tool to truly deliver extensive and revealing analysis which you may otherwise never have considered.
    2 – The Internal Barrier – even when you do use the “MIS” tool and you cone up with what is the optimum solution based on the feedback provided by the respondents, the barriers or resistence (even “fear” maybe more accurate) to change are such that so often the optimum solution is rejected in place of a “safer” option.
    Having debated with some of my peers around the globe these are not uncommon issues and often cause people to move away from even thinking of using advanced functionalty such as “MIS” and staying with much safer eSourcing options.
    I think we forget that 10 years ago what many of us do now each and every day of our lives with eSourcing tools would have been considered revolutionary and bucking the perceived Procurement norm. It seems that now with so many fears about so many markets we have become scared to embrace technology that could actually unlock new avenues of supply for our businesses and provide more security for the future in what is often described as “uncertain times”.
    The 2010/2011 buzz word or phrase I have heard in so many companies (and now in the title of the White Paper you are about to release) is “Game Changing”. Lets hope we do not forget that many of us who have been eSourcing specialists since the late 1990’s would have been called “Game Changers” back then. “MIS” offers us new opprotunities to change the games we play in the Procurement market place.

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