Best of Spend Matters: Sourcing

A company's sourcing strategy can be a make it or break it element of success or failure. This year, Spend Matters (and sister site MetalMiner) have put a lot more focus into smart sourcing and the tactics behind it. (Shameless plug: we're even throwing a conference on it!)

New Research -- Market-Informed Sourcing: A Game-Changer for Procurement -- Peter Smith (my UK colleague) doesn't give himself enough credit for his deep knowledge of how procurement technology works. He also fully understands the importance of approaching technology from a pragmatic business perspective first rather than through the geeky lenses that we're sometimes guilty of including in our Spend Matters research from this side of the pond. Peter's latest Spend Matters research paper, Market-Informed Sourcing: A game-changer for Procurement, presents an ideal case for changing procurement's functional approach to negotiation and supplier management by leveraging advanced sourcing technology.

Supplier Discovery via Networks/Marketplaces Must Correctly Fit In Sourcing Processes (Part 1) -- In the early years at Spend Matters, I remember being impressed by the concept of Open Ratings, a vendor that sat between the software and content worlds. Open Ratings' solution attempted to predict whether or not a supplier would remain financially viable based on a combination of financial, credit and related inputs. Although their execution was not always perfect -- and they were held hostage by some of their content providers over third-party data until D&B, one of their major content sources, finally acquired them -- it is clear that Open Ratings was the pioneering solution voice in the supply chain risk management sector.

A Different Kind of Leverage: Observing the Role of Corporate Sourcing and Procurement -- Together with John Fafian, VP of Firmwide Sourcing at Morgan Stanley, I recently co-facilitated a workshop on the remediation of outsourcing relationships at the Sourcing Interests Group's Global Leadership Summit in Seattle. We had a standing-room-only crowd and a lively discussion about alternate diagnoses and solutions for the problems described in a short, all-too-real, hypothetical case we reviewed. One of the things I like about this conference, in addition to the opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones, is that the presentations and discussions are of the highest quality and that they make me think. Sometimes I hear about something entirely new that some organization has done; other times, it may be just a simple comment or observation by a speaker that helps me think of an old topic in a different way.

Inside the Strategic Sourcing Transformation at AngloAmerican (Part 2) -- In the first post in this series, which we featured yesterday on MetalMiner, we covered the basics and key themes surrounding AngloAmerican's recent procurement transformation. We learned quite a bit from the keynote presentation that Susan Lasecki-Coiro, AngloAmerican's Head of Global Supply Chain Strategy and Performance, presented at the event. Susan's experience leading AngloAmerican's "supply chain transformation" is really just another story of a large multinational realizing it could potentially save billions of dollars through better procurement. But a few themes beyond the basics that we shared in our initial take on AngloAmerican's story do stand out.

- Brianna Tonner

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