Increase Contract Value and Prevent Loss of Revenue with Better Contract Workflow

At the IACCM Europe conference last July, two out of three participants said that their companies lacked a clear, consistent workflow for contracting. Meanwhile, there was wide variation among business units in how workflow was defined. Organizations with effective contract workflow management, however, are achieving superior business results, while those without it too often lose revenue and valuable cycle time during the contracting process. The IACCM has outlined some of the pitfalls that can arise when contracting workflow isn’t well-defined … More

Getting to Insight (Part 1 of 5)

“Big data” and “analytics” are the buzzwords of the day. Or as our friends at Ardent more concisely say, visibility”. From the solution provider’s perspective, the challenge of delivering on the promise of visibility requires plenty of hard work, collaborating with customers and, frankly, a little trial and error. Prioritizing which critical areas to enable is more often than not the key decision a solution provider must make. Which brings me to this article that I found to be an … More

Collaborative Contract Management: Working Better Together

It’s not news that enterprises are dealing with more contracts and more complexity than ever before. Increasing numbers of stakeholders have skin in the game and creating, executing, and managing contracts plays a crucial role in ensuring a company’s profitability. There are plenty of news stories about legal and financial risk involved when contracts are poorly managed. Yes, contracts can make all the wrong headlines if not properly managed and monitored, as last year’s story about Walgreen’s botched financial forecast … More

Is there “Tough Love” Embedded in Your Budget Process?

It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C’mon – you know what question I’m talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer… If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT? Ugh. The problem is that the space between negotiated and realized savings is full of pitfalls: unexpected requirements, inaccurate demand, and budget holders who see an opportunity to unofficially reallocate savings elsewhere. Even when additional value … More

Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology (Part 1)

Terms like eSourcing, ePurchasing, and eProcurement that describe the electronic “source-to-pay” processes have been established for some time, probably a decade or more. But when they become interchangeable, or are used inconsistently within our industry, it makes understanding their differences and why they’re important confusing. Lack of common definition is not just a challenge for practitioners but for analysts as well. For example, Forrester Research notes the definition of ePurchasing as the entire source-to pay-process, while Gartner describes ePurchasing as … More

Adding it up: The Business Is Coming Together

I am honored and proud to take the reigns as president and CEO of Selectica. A lot has happened. One thing for sure: Selectica is coming together. Over the past year, we executed on a strategy to acquire IASTA (spend analysis, eSourcing & supplier management provider) and soon b-pack (procurement software & procure to pay technology) will close. This will enable our customers access to a complete suite of best-in-class, source-to-pay solutions. Now, we can deliver the highest quality and … More

Contract Automation Tips to Keep Your Global Business on Track

These days, the world is going paperless for good reasons. However, with contracts stored online instead of in drawers, they can lead to new risks for your business, especially if you operate on a global scale. Those risks, however, don’t outweigh the benefits but they do mean that you have to adjust to some new processes to make sure everything is done efficiently and securely. Many companies continue to make basic errors when converting to paperless processes, especially when moving … More

Why legal departments need tailored solutions for unique challenges

Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) regulations have become more complicated over the last several years. The TMT industry is a high-stakes field with a wide array of major players, including cable and satellite networks, social networks, film and television studios, and many others. Most of these companies are built on cutting-edge technology. They require experienced legal teams to handle consequential disputes and complex deals. TMT in-house counsels tend to be extremely specialized in their industry, and demand specific, configurable tools to address … More

Decide upfront who gets to recognize savings earned by procurement

Procurement teams work hard to source, negotiate and monitor deals, maximize supplier relations, manage risk, and control spend. The bottom line is they can save their company money–often, a lot of money. “In our first year we were able to leverage Spend Analytics from the SmartAnalytics® suite of products, allowing us to save $31.7 million from approx. $300 million in indirect spend–a 10% return!” — Greg Tennyson, CPO, VSP   Which begs the question: Where should the money saved go? … More

Rise of Regulation and Compliance Enforcement = Increased Need for Contract Management

As we move into mid-2015, it is clear that contract management needs are on the rise. Survey after survey from various analyst firms and consultancies tell us that contract management is a growing area of concern. The main benefits often attributed to contract management are providing efficiency and speed to the contract process through automation. A recent PayStream Advisors study found that 62% of survey respondents noted faster negotiation cycles as the primary benefit of contract management software. With regulatory … More

Whole Foods Markets Shift Their Cost Model as They Target Millennial Shoppers

In March, I wrote a post for this blog about the Whole Foods grocery chain in which I asked the question: “How Much Can Procurement Change on Their Own?” I looked at how Whole Foods has defied the low margins commonly seen in grocery retail by employing an operational strategy that merges brand reputation, consumer identity, and high-quality products in justification of higher prices. Their procurement team is part of a top to bottom approach to creating the right value … More

Focus on what matters most by silencing contract management “Noise”

Before I entered the world of software and technology, I spent over 10 years in manufacturing. I hear engineers often discussing what’s called “signal-to-noise” ratios. Like tuning an old AM radio, sometimes you get a good signal and the background noise is minimal. At other times, the static and buzzing is so intense that you cannot hear what the station is trying to broadcast. Managing contracts can be like tuning a radio. You have to reduce the noise to hone … More

The Strategy Behind Bringing Procurement and Contracting Closer Together

Today, contracts can no longer be filed away, retrieved only to resolve disputes later. They need to become more dynamic and play an active role with other business processes to realize their full potential. Why? Because the business landscape has been growing more complex for years now, with contracts at the center of every deal to ensure all parties deliver what’s promised. On both the buy – and sell-sides, businesses face increasingly complicated regulatory demands. Intricate supply chains may escalate … More

eSourcing and eRFx: Procurement terms to know

Remember the days when you asked for information from a vendor and they would send you a slick brochure? Some in fancy packages, others oversized (so they stand out). When you asked for a proposal, you’d get a 30-page bound book while others emailed you a PDF, or you got invited to a private page on their server to access the information. For some of you, that was back in the day. For others, it’s business as usual, and very … More

The Five C’s of a Good eSourcing Tool

As a Business Development Representative (BDR), I am the person you talk to when you ask for information. My job is to understand your needs and direct you to the right member on the sales team to help answer your specific questions. Sometimes, I get calls from prospects in the very initial stages of researching what products are available. They’ve outgrown their current solutions and they’re shopping for what might meet their needs. I had a recent conversation with a … More