Procurement News from the US – Weekly Round-up

- February 24, 2012 8:31 AM
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Jason is presenting two webinars next week: dial in on Tuesday.

With sharedserviceslink.com. 11am Central: Top procure-to-pay secrets to realize your cost reduction and working capital ambitions — sharedserviceslink.com has teamed up with Spend Matters to share gems of wisdom from their research series ‘P2P and Working Capital–Bridging Technology & Collaboration to Drive Savings and Cash’ to help your organization find answers to these three simple questions. Attend this webinar to explore the market state of procure-to-pay platforms from basic, hosted e-procurement capabilities to broader deployments combining both best-of-breed and ERP technology components, as well as advanced discounting and supply chain finance strategies.

With ISM/Zycus. 1pm Central: Leaving Reverse Auctions in the Dust: Discovering a Next Generation of Sourcing Technologies — Business historians will look back on recent and future decades in procurement and supply chain history by noting how quickly individuals and organizations began to embrace new types of negotiation technologies and philosophies during this timeframe. One of the largest changes that started to occur is when a certain set of more advanced practitioners became comfortable with allowing greater supplier expressiveness while responding to RFPs and RFQs. Rather than locking suppliers into rigid specifications through sealed bidding or reverse auction approaches, these new models began to embrace and rely on a different line of thinking to maximize potential savings while reducing risk. Join us for this webinar as we explore the evolution of sourcing and negotiation techniques, including how and why new “sourcing optimization” or “advanced sourcing” approaches are quickly gathering steam inside more advanced companies.

A new partnership…

Will CombineNet’s New Partnership with Spend Radar/Upside Fully Address Modular Suite Gaps? (Part 1) — Earlier in February, CombineNet announced it had partnered with Spend Radar and Upside in spend analysis and contract management. When we initially heard about the news, we were intrigued for a number of reasons. First, by partnering with third-parties in areas where it doesn’t compete today (although one could argue data acquisition and line-level classification is fundamental to doing large scale sourcing and optimization right), CombineNet tacitly acknowledged that the advanced sourcing/sourcing optimization market where it competes is not an island, and that it must have closer linkages with other parts of sourcing suites that are more than batch-based hand-offs. This is an assertion we haven’t entirely bought into given the fact that much of the CombineNet user base today is already using other vendors (e.g., Ariba, SAP) to cover other aspects of the source-to-pay automation lifecycle.

There’s more beyond P2P?!?!

Procurement and Finance Collaboration: A Non-P2P Perspective (Part 2) — Any time we hear about procurement and finance collaboration, the topic somehow involves purchase-to-pay (P2P) technology. Granted, budgeting, planning and savings implementation are also common joint procurement/finance collaboration memes that crop up, but in general, the most frequent intersection points that touch both organizations somehow involve demand management, transactional buying, payment approvals, working capital management, discounting/early payment, etc. Yet there are far more potential touch points between the functions. And in a recent Business Finance byline by Emptoris’ Craig Doud, we begin to get to the bottom of what some of these additional points of non-P2P collaboration should be. (Part 2 here)

A guest post from Alvarez & Marsal.

Be Smart When Sourcing Legal… A study of 200 American law firms revealed that 64% of respondents believe that the legal landscape went through a fundamental shift during the recent recession 1. The two most notable changes were a decline in hourly billing rate growth and the increasing use of alternative billing structures 2. Approximately 85% of clients requested discounts. Companies that spent up to $500,000 with a particular firm paid a blended average rate (all positions) of $255/hour while those that spent $5-10 million who failed to leverage their spend paid nearly twice as much, at $477/hour. All summed up: The legal community is validating for us that Legal is a category that should be “in bounds” vs. “out of bounds” for sourcing organizations. An alternative approach for managing and leveraging enterprise-wide spend is within your reach.

The paper we’ll all always need…

Friday Rant: The Paperless Revolution Has Arrived – But There’s One Paper We’ll Always Buy — Having spent most of my early working life in the printing industry, I can recall Friday martini luncheons with paper salesmen (and they were all male back then) who would nervously mock the then futuristic predictions that the modern office of the 21st century would, in fact, be paperless. Most of those guys ended up taking early retirement, but many thousands more paper mill workers whose grandfathers, fathers and mothers worked the mills for over 100 years have lost their jobs and even their communities to the paper industry’s demise.

- Sheena Moore

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