eSourcing – what does it take in the modern economy?

Sourcing technology over the years has come a long way. While its beginnings initially focused primarily on auctions and RFx, today strategic sourcing efforts can provide a much more comprehensive and integrated view of the supply base. What can be attributed to this development over the past decade is the change in the endgame for procurement, and how procurement views its role in the proverbial organization. Don’t get me wrong, managing cost is, and continues to be, the motivating factor … More

Getting to Insight (Part 3 of 5)

This is the third in a five-part series discussing the obstacles and potential paths forward to achieve visibility — essential to any Procurement organization. The series was initiated based upon the following Ardent paper – HERE.  In the first and second installments the need for procurement visibility starting with Spend Analysis was discussed. Let’s dive right in and examine the second key area or leading indicator of procurement success as outlined by Ardent: Savings. Savings Congratulations are in order if … More

How Buyers, Suppliers, and Stakeholders Drive eSourcing Adoption

It’s easy to get caught up the “go live date” for your eSourcing software implementation. Many procurement leaders believe their team will be empowered to succeed simply by turning on a tool. However, that is not the case. Michael van Keulen from VF Corporation (a Selectica client) shared some best practices and advice at eWorld London for groups who are rolling out new eSourcing software. Michael shared some key elements from VF Corp’s successful eSourcing technology adoption that included: Developing … More

eSourcing vs. eProcurement: What are the differences?

Sourcing and procurement are often used as interchangeable terms, and indeed they are related ideas in supply management. However, they’re not quite the same, and neither are eSourcing and eProcurement. But what exactly are the differences? Let’s start with their definitions. Preceding the actual purchase of goods and services, sourcing facilitates the full life cycle of procurement by analyzing how a company spends their money on those assets. This includes identifying and selecting opportunities to reduce spend using knowledge of … More

Getting to Insight (Part 2 of 5)

This is the second installment in a five-part series discussing the obstacles and potential paths forward to achieve visibility – essential to any Procurement organization. The article was initiated based upon the following Ardent paper – HERE. In the first installment I discussed the overall drive for procurement visibility. In this installment, we'll discuss the first of the three key areas of procurement visibility: Spend. Spend Having been a long-term evangelist for spend visibility programs, it continues to puzzle me … More

Are Chief Risk Officers Keeping Businesses Afloat?

During my annual pilgrimage to Ireland on the ferry from NW Wales to Dublin I was struck by the unnerving thought that all it would take for a ship like this to be unrecoverable is for it to list by 11 degrees or more. Thankfully, it was early in the day and the captain didn’t seem sauced as was Captain Schettino on the Costa Concordia. The point is that there are risks in our lives everywhere, many of which are … More

Why Your RFPs Aren’t Getting Responses – and How to Fix Them

Nearly everyone in the business world has worked on an RFP in some way, whether by helping to put one together or by responding to one. Either way, it can be a source of frustration. Why is that? A recent Spend Matters paper, which you can download for free here, outlines the issues with the RFP process specifically as they affect software providers, but it could really apply to RFPs in any competitive, fast-growing field. The best suppliers in the … More

Why your Board is Thinking About Innovative Processes, Strategies & Technologies

In the past, we’ve seen innovation as the critical ingredient for creating and sustaining company growth. Now, leading executives are asking for innovative new frameworks and processes for designing higher value business models on which to build their enterprise. Many, however, still struggle with day-to-day operational function and count on their vendors to provide innovative solutions. Today the responsibilities of the CPO are even greater. There’s more pressure and expectation for procurement to cut cost and realize every contractual savings. … More

Getting down to business: Contract Lifecycle Management Basics

Many prospects call me before they fully understand what contract lifecycle management (CLM) is or what it can do for their company. What they do know is that they need “something” to manage their current contracting processes. As a BDR (business development representative), my role is to help them understand what our contract management solution can do, what sort of pain points the software can minimize, and provide a basic understanding of the solution features. I answer a lot of … More

The destination is clear when there is a “source of truth”

Over the past 5 years, general counsel have become increasingly aware of the need for the corporate legal department to steward an enterprise contract management business process. The previously “federated” approach to ownership of the process meant that groups like legal, procurement, finance, marketing, sales, etc., all were involved in “contracting” at some level, but this also meant that no one owned the management and optimization of the contracting business process across the entire company. This awareness has translated into … More

How Integrated Analytics Solves Problems with SIM

In the past, Supplier Information Management (SIM) systems have focused on, well, managing supplier information. They kept everything in one place and made supplier data available to those who needed it. But that’s essentially where it ended. And that old SIM method is no longer enough. Sourcing is increasingly complex, forced to satisfy a growing number of regulations and strict compliance requirements, in addition to constant directives from executives to trim waste wherever possible. As a recent Spend Matters™ paper points … More

Avoiding Litigation with Information Governance Tools

As I was looking through some industry stories recently, I came across this report of a ski resort in Park City, Utah, that lost its lease on land it had held since the 1970s due to a data management oversight. Had the contract been renewed according to standard procedure, there never would have been an issue. Unfortunately, because of poor data management, no one knew the lease was coming up for renewal; and by the time they realized the deadline … More

Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology (Part 2)

In a recent post, Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology, we looked to address the challenge of the terms often used to describe procurement technology. Even the other day our sales team encountered a client RFP that asked us to elaborate our capabilities of RFx and auctions in the context of eProcurement. What? The initial reaction was that RFx and auctions are a part of eSourcing, not eProcurement. Based on this example, and hundreds of others … More

From Cost to Revenue Center: How Legal Can Impact the Bottom Line

For too long the legal department has been seen as something of a necessary evil within an enterprise: vital in keeping the company out of court or at least on the winning side of legal battles, but unable to add much value beyond those duties. This attitude, however, is changing. Increasingly, legal departments are contributing more and even becoming zero-cost centers by streamlining operations, uncovering and inventing new revenue streams, and participating more fully in the enterprise’s overall strategy. Here … More

Contract Management: Yours, Mine, and Ours

In his recent book Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar wrote, “…today’s supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage.” His point plays out on a daily basis through the contract management strategies and practices in many organizations. Because our supply chains are no longer linear or consecutive, we may be buying from and selling to the same … More