Author Archives: Alex Behrens

Successful blockchain alliance requires planning and cooperation, Deloitte says

It’s hard to deny the growing relevance of blockchain technology to procurement and compliance functions in businesses across industries. In fact, according to Deloitte’s blockchain consortia perspectives article series, 92% of executives who responded to its 2019 Global Blockchain Survey said they are already part of a blockchain related alliance or plan to join one within a year, seeking cost savings and technical acceleration.

A blockchain consortium could even include your competitors, but if done correctly, everyone can benefit.

U.S. companies optimizing working capital through digital transformation, Hackett finds

Companies surveyed by The Hackett Group reduced their working capital as a percentage of revenue by 2% in recent years, according to the Hackett 1000 Cost and Cash Optimization survey. Although the survey was published prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the findings are beneficial to companies looking to make the most of their working capital.

Fueled by faster receivables payments and inventory optimizations, businesses are trying harder to optimize working capital after several years of pushing suppliers to extend payment terms. The survey found inventory levels fell by 2.8%, the first decrease in six years. In total, working capital of the Hackett 1000 is equal to 6.2% of U.S. GDP.

Accenture report: C-suite needs to recognize procurement technology’s value across all departments


Businesses that lead the way in innovation and technological implementation are reaping much greater rewards than those that take a less-focused approach across a wide range of industries, according to Accenture’s Future Systems Report.

While the research was done before the coronavirus disruption changed the business landscape, the report has lessons for C-suites now that companies’ top leaders are relying on procurement more than ever to stabilize supply chains, improve insight into spend and automate processes if staffing levels can’t be maintained.

To combat corruption, businesses want more technology and training, survey finds

Companies around the world face corruption and need technology, training and insights into the varied legislation to strengthen countermeasures, according to The Global Anticorruption Survey conducted by the consulting firm AlixPartners.

The biggest concerns by far surrounded procuring and effectively using digital tools in the fight against corruption, where 81% of respondents said they lacked the appropriate IT systems and software to properly address corruption risks.

Amid coronavirus crisis, zero-based budgeting presents opportunities for positive change, Accenture reports

Executives at every level are in for a tough year as the coronavirus disruption continues to weigh down the global economy. Procurement leaders, however, are also being presented with a unique opportunity to rethink how they approach budgeting at a time when controlling costs are more important than ever.

In the recent ““Getting Ahead by Cutting Back”” report, Accenture outlines how businesses can employ zero-based budgeting to hedge against volatility and move away from budgeting practices that rely on simple calculations based on conditions from previous years.

Coronavirus disruption spurred North American manufacturers to rethink supply chains in Asia, Thomas Industrial survey finds

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

A snapshot of the manufacturing sector about a month ago gives a view of how much disruption the coronavirus outbreak has caused and how much more is to come, according to the March 2020 report from the Thomas Industrial Survey. And in any other time, dire news about the price of oil would be driving more economic concern.

To get the most out of digital procurement technology, Hackett recommends cycle of continuous improvement

In order to realize the full range of productivity advantages from digital transformation, procurement organizations will need to embrace a cycle of continuous improvement that generates value throughout the entire lifecycle of automated processes, according to The Hackett Group’s "Digital Continuous Improvement" Point of View paper.

How procurement leaders get results: Kearney report has insights

The procurement function at leading companies is having a bigger impact than ever on the bottom line and in guiding business processes — with 90% of those CFOs saying that procurement professionals now have an active role at the executive table, and two-thirds say they have a good understanding of procurement performance, according to the recent A.T. Kearney Realizing the Power of Procurement report.

The report says that procurement executives still “must show stakeholders that they understand internal business requirements. And they must communicate that state-of-the-art procurement is more than cost savings.”

Accenture cybersecurity report sees risks from hacker groups and vulnerabilities in supply chains, the cloud

As cybersecurity becomes an increasingly crucial priority for businesses and individual employees, financially motivated criminal groups are increasingly targeting third-party partners and suppliers to gain access to otherwise secure systems, according to Accenture’s most recent Cyber Threatscape Report, which tracks emerging threats and trends in the cybersecurity realm. "To help reduce business risks, organizations need to make a security pivot of their own,” the report states.

Cyber risks and the future of AI on procurement are highlighted in Dun & Bradstreet Sentiment Report

Concerns about cyber issues and how to get artificial intelligence into procurement have grown, and confidence is fluctuating over the effectiveness of compliance and procurement functions among U.S. and U.K. businesses, according to the annual Dun & Bradstreet Compliance and Procurement Sentiment report. Cyber-risk topped the list of concerns, rising above internal regulatory training and customer and vendor due diligence priorities from the past four quarters. A majority of compliance and procurement professionals now also agree that AI will play a part in enhancing efficiency and generating insights within their business functions.

A.T. Kearney: The best use of analytics boosted profits by 83%

Advanced analytics are an indispensable part of doing business in the 21st century, but few businesses are leveraging the full potential of their existing analytics capabilities, with just a fraction achieving the substantial cost savings and profitability improvements that digital transformation and advanced analytics have to offer, according to A.T. Kearney’s “Value of Analytics in 2019” study.

It revealed that just 6% of businesses surveyed have adopted the methods and mindset required to be an analytics leader, including C-suite commitment to an analytics strategy aligned with the broader business strategy, real-time data availability, and an entrenched culture of data-driven decision making. Those organizations saw an increased profitability of up to 83% relative to counterparts who made minimal use of their data and had yet to integrate analytics into their company culture, the study said.