Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Legend of Sourcing Hollow: The Headless CPO

The Headless Horsemen is one of the most famous paranormal figures from American literature. In celebration of Halloween today, I’ve decided to put a sourcing spin on this folk tale. Enjoy! One evening, a buyer was working late in the office of Sourcing Hollow. The air was cold and crisp. “The heater is probably going out again,” The Buyer said as he shivered and reached for his sweater. The Buyer was frantically flipping and searching through spreadsheets, supplier emails, and … More

Monthly Payback: Jane Rimmer of hiviz-marketing Speaks About Making Your Own Luck

On Luck Jane Rimmer, owner of hiviz-marketing, is a firm believer in making your own luck. “I believe you make your own luck,” Jane said. “But I also believe I have been lucky by being in the right place, at the right time. My experience at a couple of large technology companies provided me with the financial stability and industry connections to launch my own company.” On Business Principles Jane comes from more than 25 years of IT marketing and … More

Reimagining Your Outsourcing to Drive Productivity

Productivity is the ratio of inputs to outputs. Doing more for less is good. While outsourcing has aspired to do more for less, we have typically seen what has been called “the same mess for less.” Tightly controlled outsourcing contracts that have reduced risk and cost have also limited creativity and reengineering that could lead to improved labor productivity. They also run the risk of creating what management consultant Margaret Wheatley calls “highly controlled mechanistic systems that only create robotic … More

The Nobel Prize in Procurement

The 2012 winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics were recently announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Two U.S. economists, Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley, were given the award for finding practical applications for game theory and market-matching. The primary focus of their work is perfecting the matches between spouses, medical schools and applicants, and kidney donors and recipients. In most cases, their theories are applied in situations where cost is not a factor – sometimes … More

Procurement Poll: What Keeps You Up At Night?

Are you falling asleep at your desk because you’re having bad dreams about work? With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it would be great to kick off our Procurement Poll series with a question about procurement nightmares. We are interested in learning more about what keeps you up at night, unable to sleep and restless? Click here to take our October Procurement Poll. The results of the Procurement Poll will be featured in an upcoming issue of Iasta … More

Commercial Insurance Actions: The Real “Sealed Bid”

Just like most of you, I live in a town that has to purchase various forms of commercial insurance. The goal is for the town to create a fair bidding process for qualified insurance brokers to bid based upon the specifications provided. To accomplish this, Municipalities and Governmental Agencies use what is known as a “Sealed Bid” process where the bidders submit a sealed envelope that no one can tamper with. We understand that this is a fairly common practice. … More

Service Providers Tell All: How to Improve Innovation in Services Relationships

Clients often complain that they don’t get enough innovation from their service providers, so we asked a group of providers at our recent Sourcing Industry Conference about why this might be. They defined innovation as a two-way street and said their clients don’t understand the collaborative process needed to foster innovation. They also noted that the contract between service provider and client can cloud the matter with vague promises of innovation but that it often lacks specificity on how to … More

Emerging Trends in Supplier Information Management: Part 2

In Part One, I introduced a discussion of some surprising trends I found when looking at supplier registration forms from a wide variety of companies across many industries.  The first surprise for me was that so many of these companies are asking the same questions from supplier companies. In this post I’ll discuss the other unusual thing I discovered:  some organizations ask potential suppliers essay questions. It’s not quite as open as the classic American “How I Spent My Summer … More

Emerging Trends in Supplier Information Management: Part 1

When organizations adopt formal supplier management programs, one of the first steps they take is to focus on a more disciplined approach to collecting and managing basic information about current and potential suppliers. I am interested in the kind of data they collect and how they use it to manage suppliers so I took a look at supplier registration forms for a wide variety of companies and I was surprised by a couple of things: First, the data requested from … More

How Procurement Can Win the Support of Senior Management: Part 3

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. The third and final post in this series focues on what happens when executive support is not forthcoming. As you may know, the consequences resulting from a lack of support can range from trivial to devastating (including losing your job). Here are two signals that indicate a lack of executive support: The initiative is not properly funded and resourced. If senior management does not truly support your initiative, … More

How Procurement Can Win the Support of Senior Management: Part 2

Yesterday I discussed the foundation and three levels of support required from executive management. Click here to read Part 1. Today, I will cover how to create the conditions for success for stakeholder management. When seeking support for an initiative, ask the following questions: 1. What are the expected business benefits? 2. How much change is required to realise these benefits? 3. How will the benefits be measured and rewarded? 4. Who should sponsor the project? 5. Is the climate … More

How Procurement Can Win the Support of Senior Management: Part 1

At some point in their career, many (if not all) procurement professionals will experience the consequences of not having senior management support. The consequences can wreck promising careers and destroy confidence when things go wrong. Many individuals feel themselves “on their own.” Therefore, having strong organizational awareness and credibility regardless of support is vital to procurement’s function and initiatives. Frustratingly, whenever you read about procurement change programmes, people always reflect on the lessons learned and stress the importance of executive … More