Author Archives: Jami Parent

Pushing Sourcing Strategies into Contracts

In the world of Strategic Supply Management, everyone knows that the ROI of strategic sourcing initiatives is only as good as the resulting contracts and the contract compliance in purchasing. Last week, I attended a Selectica webinar — now on demand — titled, “Creating Strategic Value from Contract Management.” Guest speaker Andrew Bartels, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Inc. discussed the importance of choosing an enterprise Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution that is cross-process, not process-based. He … More

Top 3 Reasons Procurement Teams Seek New Software Solutions (Part Two)

In my last post, I shared an observation about how cost savings is no longer the sole metric of success for procurement teams.  I also revealed that savings is no longer among the top 3 reasons that procurement teams choose to purchase new upstream procurement software solutions.  Cost savings has been drifting down in the list, holding the #3 spot in 2012 and 2013. Now, in 2014, cost savings has fallen to 4th place. Why the change? Well, to start, … More

Top 3 Reasons Procurement Teams Seek New Software Solutions

Guiding procurement teams to the best solutions and most effective implementations of these solutions involves engaging with them at a level much deeper than features, functionality, and price. We establish relationships and learn about their challenges, the underlying reasons they are looking for a new solution, and their short and long term goals for their team. In the end, we firmly believe that Iasta’s success is measured by our ability to solve problems and achieve goals for each client individually. … More

Supplier Diversity Makes Headlines with Minority Subcontracting Laws

At Iasta, we started paying more attention to supplier diversity when we released our first Supplier Information Management software in 2007. In 2012 and 2013, we began noticing a significant uptick in general market interest and direct inquiries from clients and prospects regarding supplier diversity tracking. Aside from hearing about supplier diversity issues from clients and prospects, we’re also reading about it in the headlines. Just last week, McHugh Construction agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit alleging … More

6 Steps to Improve Your Win-Loss Process: Part 2

Welcome back! Just joining in? In Part 1, I discussed the first 3 steps Iasta took in 2013 to improve our win-loss process and shared Iasta’s experience of each step. Today, I’ll share the final 3 steps and our journey each step of the way. Step # 4: Communicating the Process The Win-Loss team put together a presentation complete with process flow charts, sample interview questions, and high-level goals and went on tour. We met with all internal departments to … More

6 Steps to Improve Your Win-Loss Process: Part 1

Part of planning my goals for 2014 involves reviewing what I did well and what I could improve on from 2013. At Iasta, I’m part of the Win-Loss team and one of my favorite Iasta success stories from 2013 is our revamped win-loss process. Prior to 2013, Iasta performed win-loss interviews with clients and prospects, but we didn’t have a solid process for determining who to interview, when to interview them, and how to communicate results. In hopes of bringing … More

Need Product Ideas? Don’t forget to look in your own backyard

The Iasta Product Management team gets product ideas from a variety of sources: market research, industry analysts, procurement forums and blogs, Iasta sales and support reps, tradeshow conversations and many other sources. We record and track all the ideas we gather and use the following metrics to help us prioritize the list: Quantity and Quality of market evidence to demonstrate a need for the feature Impact the feature would have on target markets and long term product vision Development effort … More

Hey Procurement! Demonstrating Procurement ROI is Easier than You Think!

Are you still using manual processes to show ROI? If so, it’s time for you to re-evaluate your options… According to an Iasta user poll, 88% of Iasta clients use Hard Dollar Savings to demonstrate value to their company. The remaining users said Cost Avoidance was the most important metric they used to track value. At Iasta, we know many procurement teams who spend weeks collecting data for KPIs from a multitude of systems. Next, they cut, paste, and manipulate … More

4 Consumer Purchasing Decisions Based on Supply Chain Sustainability

At Iasta, we have teams working on the front lines of spend analysis and we’ve noticed a definite upward trend in the number of organizations tracking the sustainability levels of their supply chains. I personally love seeing this B2B trend become so powerful that sustainability conversations have started popping up in B2C environments as well. I frequently see consumers make buying decisions based on sustainability practices of the company making the product they are purchasing. As a consumer, have you … More

Investor’s Due Diligence & Spend Analysis: You should be paying attention!

Do you conduct annual reviews of your investment portfolio? I know it’s considered a best practice to conduct annual reviews of your investment portfolio including asset allocation, quality of investments and overall performance. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I’ve actually been doing it. I hadn’t reviewed my investments in a few years. I was unhappy with my portfolio performance in 2012, so I decided it was necessary to perform a new round of due diligence to help me decide what 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

Does Your Procurement Team Need Better Contract Management?

If your company doesn’t have a good contract management process in place then you are missing out on some significant opportunities to improve your procurement processes, maximize negotiated savings, minimize off-contract spend, and leverage your full buying potential to get the best possible pricing from suppliers. How do you know if you need a better contract management process?  Ask yourself these 10 questions and, if you answer yes to more than one or two, you should take a serious look … More

10 Ways to Drive Procurement Value: Part 5

As part of our blog series highlighting advice offered by Jason Busch from Spend Matters in our recent, this installment discusses idea # 5:  Advanced Procurement Strategies for Supplier Performance Management. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Successful procurement groups are using their Supplier Performance Management (SPM) processes and tools to reap benefits far beyond basic performance data.  SPM implementations have moved from simply collecting and monitoring supplier data on key performance indicators to … More

Monthly Payback: Mukund Krishna, CEO of Suyati, Advises Businesses to Consider Websites as Prime Real Estate

Not everyone can afford a Park Avenue address, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your current property like anything less than prime real estate. Mukund Krishna, CEO of the global technology consulting firm, Suyati, says “You aren’t maximizing your website’s potential if you aren’t managing it like a good real estate property. Like real estate, good websites are attractive and can be reached in many ways, from many different places.” He continued his real estate metaphor by comparing a … More