Process and Best Practice Content

Deloitte and Coupa discuss how CPOs are leading the way on agility


Recently two leading organizations from a) a procurement transformation and b) a procurement technology perspective got together to talk through what they’re seeing with their customers regarding how digital is fundamental to making their business operations resilient, and how “agility” is core to making this happen.

Deloitte Consulting and Coupa Software talked with Spend Matters about the key results of the 2021 Deloitte Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey and gave their “from the trenches” insights on how digital is delivering agility to reduce complexity. That complexity comes from broken supply chains, volatile supply markets, constrained spending and impatient demands from stakeholders – and even suppliers.

“Procurement is sitting right on the edge as we dig deeper into our supply chains, giving it a birds-eye view of the whole hemisphere in which we live and participate,” said Spend Matters chief research officer Pierre Mitchell. "This is why procurement people are intrinsically linked to the success of business continuity and resilience going forward. Never before have we heard the word ‘supply chain’ mentioned in so many ways and by so many media, and that’s because of the real risk that’s sitting out there right now that organizations are having to deal with risks the likes of geo political, cyber security, commodity pricing fluctuations, and more.” He invited the guests to speak to that subject and give their observations on the market — some key takeaways are included here ...

To earn love from digital customers, follow this 5-step formula for digital transformation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Howard Tiersky, author of "Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance."

Today’s customer is digitally driven. So, if your brand is going to thrive, digital must be at the core of what you do. Add-ons and tweaks aren’t good enough. To earn and keep customer love, you’re going to have to make sure they can access your products and services quickly and seamlessly.

For most legacy companies, this requires total transformation. My new book, "Winning Digital Customers," lays out a five-step process to help you make the shift.

Omnichannel communication in B2B sales becomes the new normal, according to new McKinsey study


A new report on a study of 3,500 B2B decision makers across 12 countries issued by the consultants at McKinsey & Co. found that B2B buyers are now looking to use and sustain omnichannel options — in-person, remote or e-commerce channels — to make deals with supplier sales reps.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, in-person meetings and deals might seem like the days of yore. Although many procurement departments have caught up with the digital trend in their processes, many B2B deals and negotiations were still primarily made during in-person meetings. That had to change with the pandemic. And even as in-person options reopen once again, B2B buyers still enjoy having that flexibility. Read more on the findings ....

Analysts’ Corner: 3 lessons from M&A deals that can benefit procurement pros

Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch shares three tips in his recent post for Analysts' Corner, a feature in our weekly email update: What I find most curious about M&A and due diligence is its relevance and lessons for procurement organizations — particularly as they evaluate technology options and make vendor selection decisions. A day does not go by where I do not draw a new analogy or lesson learned for procurement. Here are three of those lessons ...

CPOs share tips, tough lessons at SIG roundtable event: ‘I manage IT teams and they see me as a roadblock’

CPO tips

More than 70 procurement professionals helped kick off SIG’s three-day Procurement Technology Summit by joining an online CPO roundtable discussion that yielded insights from pros in the trenches:

  • “I manage IT teams and they see me as a roadblock — until the regulators come and then they need my insights.”
  • “Don’t advertise how fast your procurement team can turn around contracts. They’re all different.”
  • “Some suppliers in the pandemic were shams.”
  • “It’s a Rubik’s Cube on deciding what decisions to make.”

Read more to find out what else the CPOs said and to see Coupa's nine tips on supply chain resiliency.

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One surefire way to derail your procurement digital transformation

WNS Denali

Alpar Kamber, head of Procurement Services at WNS, gives two very good reasons why procurement digital transformation planning and implementation fail. "Too often, we are required to spend time upfront unraveling past failed attempts before we can dig in and offer workable digital solutions for our clients," he explains.

Many firms are convinced that the key to their success is to find the right tool with the right functionality. They therefore change their digital toolset frequently, trying out the leading digital tools in the industry. When one doesn't work, they immediately scrap it for the next solution, often resulting in the same unsatisfactory outcomes.

Why the constant change? Because they started on their digital transformation journey without a long-term strategy. The problem isn't the digital solutions, it's their operating model, processes and programmatic approach.

The Sourcing Industry Group’s Procurement Technology Summit discusses diversity, sustainability and technology disruption in procurement

Last week, the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) hosted one of its Procurement Technology Summit virtual conferences that brings thousands of procurement practitioners together to share the latest ideas and understand the latest developments in the industry.

The three-day event featured keynote speakers addressing diversity and inclusion, more than 30 discussions, and many sessions with procurement practitioners and technology vendors covering topics like sustainability, contracting and technology disruption.

The summit marked the 60th event for SIG since its inception in 1991. Over 1,300 attendees joined from more than 60 countries, showcasing the global nature of procurement in today’s day and age. The summit focused on procurement technology transformation through the lens of a post-pandemic world.

One common theme was a call to action: “The time is now.” This can mean anything from deploying new technologies to implementing a new diversification strategy.

Amid the Covid disruption, procurement is having a moment in the spotlight, and practitioners were eager to find out more about the concepts and technology shaping the industry.

Here are some of the highlights of the SIG summit.

Women in Procurement Wednesday: Rosalyn Curato on the important role others play in your career

To advance in any career, people need a mix of hard work, guts, intuition and a bit of teamwork to get the job done. Rosalyn Curato, the new Executive Vice President at the B2B accounting technology provider Lockstep, knows how important it is to advocate for yourself in the workplace. She says everyone needs to be able to “carve their own path.” Yet, Curato also acknowledges the importance of lifting up everyone around you to achieve true success.

She sat down with Spend Matters for the women in procurement series to discuss her path through finance and procurement, and the powerful role of women banding together.

Procurement in Practice: American Red Cross CPO tells how he crafts a ‘shared vision’ with his team, stakeholders (part 2)

American Red Cross CPO

In part two of a very candid and informative interview, Tom Nash, CPO of The American Red Cross — a nonprofit humanitarian organization, America’s largest blood provider and an organization with the size and scope of a Fortune 500 company — talks openly to Spend Matters about lessons from his experiences.

Having been a Chief Procurement Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer for large corporations and nonprofits in four different industries, he is a firm believer in sharing what he has learned with others, like the need for stakeholder communication. “It’s something I didn’t learn about at the beginning of my career. It was one of those holes that you fall into before you learn to do things better."

Read more about how Nash approaches his first few months in the role to get everyone on the same page.

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CPO Masters of Agility (Part 1) — Actionable Answers to Complexity

2021 CPO Survey

It’s nearly impossible to overstate the impact of COVID-19 on our personal and professional lives over the last year. Friends and colleagues in India are currently experiencing unprecedented hardship with the pandemic, and although we’re all connected globally, we can only succeed with leadership, empathy and determination. Businesses like Deloitte are playing a role here, and luckily, we have a secret weapon called the supply chain that can help, especially with Procurement leaders who can harness the power of their employees and their suppliers to rise to the massive complexity facing us right now. But we need to move faster to meet the moment and prepare for a different future than we envisioned a year ago.

Even when the pandemic subsides, complexity is here to stay, and this is why we chose “agility” as the theme for our just-released 10th annual Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey titled “Agility: The Antidote to Complexity.”

Technology targets a problem in asset-intensive industries: ‘Contractor spend’ becomes unwieldy as use of extended workforce rises

Contractor spend

When people think about the external workforce, they often refer to contingent staff and purchased services, an area typically covered by legacy technology solutions like MSPs and VMS. But those don’t address a growing problem now: how to handle management duties as more outside workers are being brought into asset-intensive industries to maintain and upgrade plants or build new facilities.

A specialized technology is needed for an area that does not receive a lot of attention — the external workforce in the maintenance and construction fields, commonly known as contractor labor or contractor management. Driven by cost optimization, labor shortage and demand for workforce flexibility, more and more companies in asset-intensive industries are outsourcing jobs to contractors.

What is striking here that within this industry the spend for contractor labor surpasses the indirect spend — however, the level of attention and management is minimal.

Procurement in Practice: American Red Cross CPO has key request for each stakeholder — ‘Come to me directly with any problems’ (part 1)

The American Red Cross

In a very candid and informative interview, Tom Nash, CPO of The American Red Cross — a nonprofit humanitarian organization and America’s largest blood provider and an organization with the size and scope of a Fortune 500 company — talks openly to Spend Matters about lessons from his experiences.

Having been a Chief Procurement Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer for both the Global Fortune 500 and large nonprofits, in four different industries, he is a firm believer in sharing what he has learned with others. “Especially for new CPOs,” he says, “so they don’t have to step in the same holes I’ve already stepped in.” Read how Nash approaches his first few days on the job.