The Hackett Group Content

Creating a Sustainable Supply Chain – Best Practices and Business Drivers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Elizabeth Ichniowski from The Hackett Group. Many multi-billion dollar companies have been making headlines, announcing important and ambitious sustainability initiatives ultimately designed to reduce total carbon emissions. August saw Coca-Cola, a $46.9 billion company, announce an additional $5 billion investment in its Africa supply chain project. The investment will support new manufacturing lines, cooling and distribution equipment and production, as well as a program called "Source Africa," which will seek to secure more "consistent and sustainable" local ingredients and raw inputs for Coca-Cola from across Africa. Following Coca-Cola's announcement, Kellogg, a $14.8 billion company, announced a more comprehensive program to commit to a sustainable supply chain. Kellogg plans to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions and require its suppliers to do the same, promoting accountability and transparency throughout its own supply chain.

Strategic Sourcing in Developing Countries

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Heather Towt of The Hackett Group. The increased focus on strategic sourcing in response to ever-shrinking margins is not a phenomenon specific to the developed world. Throughout the developing world, companies in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shifting from transactional-based purchasing and tactical sourcing to a strategic sourcing model. While the goals of strategic sourcing (cost savings, improved performance, risk mitigation and improved supplier relationship management) remain the same across geographies, unique challenges arise when sourcing in developing countries. Besides the usual suspects of language barriers, differing cultural norms and complex financial issues, several additional challenges should be kept in mind when sourcing in a developing country.

Market Intelligence: How to Find Information to Supercharge Your Sourcing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Connor Cantrell of The Hackett Group. Gaining market intelligence is a recognized way to both develop and support strategic sourcing decisions that will ultimately pay dividends for an organization. However, the ability to gather market, supplier and industry information that is both accurate and timely is a challenge many organizations face. Understanding the core components, and creating a library of tools and resources to effectively collect this information, will enable an organization to promote a culture of informed decision-making and support efficient third-party supplier relationships.

5 Things Procurement Organizations Should Start Doing Now to Meet and Exceed Internal Customer Requirements

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Kay Ree Lee, of The Hackett Group. “Procurement needs to be more proactive versus the business initiating projects.” “Procurement needs to be an integral part of the team.” “Consult the business before implementing any process improvement.” “Procurement needs to issue the POs in a timely manner. Waiting 3 days on a PO is unacceptable.” These are some comments we’ve recently heard when conducting a stakeholder survey (Voice of the Customer) as part of a broader procurement benchmark for different clients. We often hear that procurement is focused on meeting and exceeding customer requirements, but benchmarks from Hackett’s procurement database shows otherwise.

Why is eSourcing Adoption and Utilization Still So Low?

You would be hard pressed to find a TV viewer that would argue watching a show in standard definition is better than watching in high definition. Similarly, it would be difficult to find a procurement executive that would argue a manual (Excel/Word/email) based sourcing process is better than utilizing an eSourcing tool. It’s almost universally accepted that eSourcing is more efficient, improves quality/standardization, and generates better results.

8 Key Design Considerations for Optimizing Your Demand Planning Process (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series from Josh Peacher of The Hackett Group, he focused on defining the four basic design considerations for optimizing your organization's demand planning process. However, to truly move the needle towards world-class performance, a set of more advanced considerations must be applied. Part 2 discusses four more considerations.

8 Key Design Considerations for Optimizing Your Demand Planning Process (Part 1)

Demand planning was once an overlooked element of supply chain management. However, more and more companies are beginning to understand how essential this component is to overall operational well-being. After all, a demand forecast is the genesis of the supply chain process. If poor demand signals are being sent through the system, it becomes extremely difficult to manage raw material and finished goods inventories, execute an efficient manufacturing process, provide effective customer service, and ultimately drive an accurate financial forecast. So if your organization hasn't already taken a long, hard look at improving its demand planning process, it's time to begin. As a starting point for your journey, let's take a look at the eight key design considerations for optimizing your demand planning process. In this first installment, we'll focus on the four most basic design considerations and then move to more advanced ones in the second installment.

Designing Your Purchasing Card Program: What Makes Sense for Your Business?

Businesses use purchasing cards in different ways and for different reasons. When implementing or updating a p-card program, it is important to define your goals and have a plan for reaching them. The Hackett Group's Laura Gibbons looks at common motivations for using a p-card and the different options out there -- as well as which option would be best for your company.

How CPOs Can Manage Stakeholders to Drive Successful Strategic Initiatives

In our discussions with CPOs, they often seek to change the perception of the procurement department within their enterprise and present it as being strategic to their C-suite peers. Based on a recent Hackett Group survey, only 25 percent of stakeholder executives said that procurement was viewed as a valued business partner, though 76 percent of procurement executives said that expanding procurement's scope and influence within their organization was their most important goal. From these studies and conversations with CPOs, we have found that a primary roadblock to successful procurement strategic initiatives is having well-managed, supportive stakeholders who support procurement's value proposition (and initiatives) within their organization.

We Have Decided to Implement an ERP System– Now What?

Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can be a daunting task for many organizations due to the time and effort required, not to mention the financial commitment. In an effort to mitigate the risks, understand the complexities, and identify change management issues, organizations should commit six to eight weeks prior to blueprinting to conduct a mobilization assessment. The assessment will give the organizations an opportunity to identify and mitigate potential risks before the project is formally begun. The purpose of the mobilization effort is to thoroughly assess your core end-to-end business processes (examples provided below) using four key evaluation criteria: opportunity, risk, complexity, and change management.

Catalog This: How Developing the Right Spend Criteria can Optimize your Catalog Rollout

Here's the scenario: An organization is going through the process of determining how best to improve supplier contract compliance and protect negotiated savings, and it decides that implementing e-catalogs is a key piece of this initiative. While the management of these catalogs and the content contained therein is another issue entirely, the basic premise is to ensure that the usage of these catalogs results in increasing compliance to active contracts and simplifies buying for end users. That being said, the question remains: What is going to be put into these catalogs?

A New CPO’s First 100 Days: What to Focus on and How to Build a Plan of Attack

As a member of senior management, we are expected to hit the ground running and show how we are driving change for the company. CPOs typically report to a C-Level member of the executive team, and being prepared before you arrive is critical. Many of us have our own beliefs for how to measure success, but I would argue that there are some fundamentals involving people, process, data, and technology to exceed in our role and achieve company goals.