Readers’ comments from last week on Spend Matters

We take a look at your comments on our articles from the past week.

Proactis to acquire EGS

Proactis agreed an acquisition of EGS Group, making them the largest public sector procurement provider in the UK. We inform you of the latest information about the deal.

Two Dogs made an interesting comment:

“Smart move by Proactis whose organic growth has stalled in the last 3-4 years. I think there is an opportunity for them to become the small cap consolidator of the eProcurement space, having done this with Requisoft, Alito and now EGS over the years.

There are a number of vendors with turnovers of sub-£10m which if assembled together would represent something much more significant, particularly looking upstream into the now crowded sourcing market and also further downstream into the AP automation space.”

How to make stakeholders hate you: Number 1 – Drive them mad with technology

The first piece in a short series on managing stakeholders, approached from a slightly different angle..

Sam Unkim came up with a few more ideas:

“Never include any keyboard short cuts, which would reduce the time spent on the system and let users get back to their actual jobs.

Pictures of an item. Perish the thought . But if you must, make it of the outer carton, which hopefully has never been seen by the requestor.

Scatter the process over as many separate pages as possible, then involve your Trusts Local I.T. team in making the internet as slow as possible. Remember a page isn’t worth viewing unless it takes three minutes to load.”

As did Dan:

“Use descriptions that are completely different to the accepted standard wording – for example instead of ‘tablet computers’, call them ‘slate computers’ instead.”

How to make stakeholders hate you: Number 2 – Revel in being the gatekeeper

The second piece in a short series on managing stakeholders, approached from a slightly different angle..

RJ described the problems they faced when dealing with a “gatekeeper”:

"I once worked in the technology sector for a CPO who loved to describe himself as “Chief Cost Killer”. As far as our technical and marketing clients were concerned you might just as well have called our team the “Creativity and Value Killers” as we were sent on missions to systematically undermine any strategic investment in favour of a few extra Euros off the price. Needless to say, a company that was at the forefront of technical and marketing creativity in the late 90s and early noughties is now just another player in a crowded market."

Marketing Services procurement illustrates the difference between effectiveness and efficiency

Differentiating between effectiveness and efficiency and deciding their relative importance is one of the issues we need to address if we want procurement to continue to grow in stature and credibility. Are costs being truly minimised by efficiency?

Bitter and twisted argued from a different perspective:

“Procurement needs to abolish ‘cost’
There’s no such thing as a ‘cost’.
There are only ‘investments’ (although some investments are wiser than others)”

RJ also believes we need to take a different approach to the matter:

“And yet Procurement teams (and their key sponsors, usually in Finance) continue to use “savings” as the only measure of Procurement performance … Few other roles in a business are measured in such a one-dimensional way.

Sadly, though, although there are some better practices around, I’m yet to discover a best practice measure of Procurement value/balanced business scorecard and would love to hear from anyone who has found the solution to this perennial problem..”