Yearly Archives: 2011

Using Second Life as a Virtual Platform for Negotiation Training and Practice

As organizations transition to more “e-enabled” platforms to conduct business ¬— whether it’s e-sourcing, supplier Web portals or conducting business meetings via WebEx or Skype — they will benefit from more opportunities to use these technologies to supplement workforce capability. Recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with an academic colleague at Indiana University in Indianapolis (IUPUI), Dr. Peggy Daniels Lee, who was teaching a sourcing class. At the time, I was teaching a B2B marketing class at Indiana State … More

eSourcing Forum in Review: The Best of 2011

As the year comes to an end, we crunched the numbers to see which blog posts were the most popular. We’ll use the data to continue providing content that is relevant and useful. We thought you might be interested in knowing too so here they are. In ranked order, the top 5 blog posts on eSourcing Forum were: 1. Three Lessons Sourcing Can Learn from Firework Shopping 2. Procurement Fraud: A Costly White Collar Crime on the Rise 3. What Procurement Can Learn … More

Five Ways to Put Discipline into Your Sourcing Process in 2012

As procurement departments are trudging down the path to becoming best-in-class, Integrated Category Management organizations, it can help to take a step back to look at the big picture. Putting out fires and maintaining laser-like focus on cost reduction and other tactical activities can consume our days and force us to put more strategic endeavors on the back burner. So, before you move into the holiday season and start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, do what you can to … More

Cloud Security: Peeling the Onion

Discussions around cloud security tend to be framed in terms of lonely ships sailing into uncharted waters: “You don’t know what you’re getting into,” we’re routinely warned. Actually, we do. The fact is, the fundamental security challenges confronting a company seeking to source IT infrastructure services in the cloud are essentially the same as those faced in traditional outsourcing.  Various potential risks – data center vulnerability, network intrusion, unauthorized system access, data privacy, natural disasters, etc. – must be assessed … More

North America Payroll Market Fans Out to Offer New Solutions

The North America payroll administration outsourcing market is constantly evolving. Different types of clients require different solutions, and providers continue to refine their offerings to meet the diverse needs. In recent years North America payroll providers have been stretching their outsourced payroll services so that what was once a specialized “service bureau,” fulfilling functions such as tax filing and check printing, is now broadened in scope to include traditional payroll processing as a basic package. Heritage payroll providers, such as … More

Four Best Practices to Improve Supplier Performance Scorecarding

In the past decade, manufacturing and service firms, to name two examples, have become increasingly aware of the importance of supplier performance and its impact on their own performance and market competitiveness. A number of factors have converged to create the perfect storm in these sectors: • Increased outsourcing and reliance on suppliers for both goods and services • Globalization of business and supply chains • Increasing complexity in managing suppliers • Increasing supply risks • The view of suppliers not just as a cost, … More

New Supply Chain Strategies to Maximize Product Value and Growth- Gartner Webinar Review – Part 2

In Part 1, I discussed serveral companies discussed in the Gartner Webinar that recognize the importance of having a good balance of understanding product and opertional excellence. You can read Part 1 here. One of Burkett’s major points in this Webinar is that to realize value across a products’ lifecycle a company must consider the product, supply chain and demand from the beginning of the its life. They must anticipate challenges in early introduction and have created a supply chain … More

New Supply Chain Strategies to Maximize Product Value and Growth- Gartner Webinar Review – Part 1

Michael Burkett, VP Research at Gartner conducted a compelling Webinar last week titled, “New Supply Chain Strategies to Maximize Product Value and Growth.” The key message of Burkett’s presentation is that product value is maximized when the supply chain is considered and integrated throughout the product’s lifecycle. New products fail 50% of the time. Why? Contributing factors include product cost issues, inventory shortages and poor commercialization process, to name a few. Profitable innovation is key to bringing new products to … More

12th Annual ISM Services Conference Review

The 12th Annual ISM Services Conference, this year held in Phoenix, AZ December 1-2, focused on many topics dealing with the challenges involved in sourcing things like temporary labor, marketing agencies, and legal services. The conference had a full agenda, covering topics such as Building a High-Impact Indirect Sourcing Function and The Five Golden Rules of Negotiation.  Several of the sessions are summarized below: Enlightening Marketing Procurement: Maximizing Investment. Minimizing Waste. Presenters: Chuck Hatsis: President of Surge Consulting and Shannon Puhl, … More

The IT Consumerization Challenge – and Opportunity

The “consumerization of IT” – or the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend – has emerged front and center, and a lot of CIOs aren’t very happy.  A recent article in Computerworld calls it a “thorn in the side” of most IT departments, and cites complexity, support, and security concerns. Like it or not, employees are purchasing iPads, Blackberries, iPhones, and other devices and using them for work-related purposes.  One question CIOs need to ask themselves is, “When do I … More

Reverse Auction Strategy Can Halve Insurance Costs

The use of reverse auctions has significantly reduced the costs of many commodities that corporations purchase. The “art” of spend management and Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO’s) using reverse auctions is becoming common among private equity firms. The principal focus of spend management is on goods and commodities. The successful application of reverse auctions to such corporate service “spend” categories as legal, accounting and insurance is relatively limited.  A few large corporations have experimented with the use of reverse auctions for … More

Five Benefits of Green Procurement

Before an organization can go green, it has to want to go green. So, why should an organization want to be green? Below are five benefits of becoming a green procurement organization: Brand Image: An organization that has gone green is seen as a good corporate citizen. This increases its image in the eyes of the public. Customer Satisfaction: An organization that goes green in response to customer concerns increases its levels of customer satisfaction, a key point in customer … More

Showing Thanks to Your Suppliers

Have you ever considered that Thanksgiving might be the perfect time of the year to think about how to get valued suppliers more involved in helping your business succeed?  Setting up an awards program that recognizes your supplier’s accomplishments, business improvements and future initiatives is an excellent way to show your gratitude. Supplier award programs help solidify your relationship, drive motivation and make the supplier feel like they are a critical contributor to your team. One of our clients, a … More

A Lesson in Supplier Risk: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

On Friday, McDonalds announced the company dropped its egg supplier after learning about reports of animal cruelty. From a recent article, “A three-month investigation conducted by ABC News and Mercy for Animals, a non-profit organization devoted to animal welfare, produced a video alleging abuses at farms run by McDonald’s egg supplier Sparboe in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado. The video, first shown on “Good Morning America,” shows hens packed into industrial cages too small for them to spread their wings. It … More

Optimization: Guarantee Best Total Value

Cast a Wider Net Using World Class Bid Gathering and Bid Analysis Tools Optimization is the process of collecting and evaluating supplier proposals to arrive at the best possible sourcing solution that meets all the buyer’s needs.  This process reaches out to current and prospective suppliers encouraging all to be creative and innovative. Optimization uses state-of-the art computer based tools that give suppliers an online platform for submitting proposals in a “non-auction” environment and enabling buyers to thoroughly evaluate hundreds … More