Author Archives: Kelly Barner- Buyers Meeting Point

A Prosperous Alliance: Procurement and Accounts Payable

I will never forget the first time I set foot in an Accounts Payable department. I was working as the lead consultant on a project to completely transform and rebuild a company’s procurement function. Everything was going exceptionally well: processes, reporting, technology implementation, and upskilling the current team. The CPO mentioned to me that I should stop in and introduce myself to the AP lead before the project moved much further forward. I dutifully did so – although when I … More

Putting the Principles of Multinational CLM into Practice

In my last post, I wrote about the differences between global and multinational contract lifecycle management. These two seemingly synonymous terms provide guidelines for a large group of varied users and organizations, but they achieve their objectives in different ways. Global implies control, pushing a set of standards universally, while multinational implies flexibility, modifying a localized ability to accommodate regional norms.

Be Global. Act Multinational.

In a recent webinar co-presented by IACCM and Determine (available on demand here), IACCM CEO Tim Cummins discussed the history of global contract lifecycle management (CLM) efforts reaching back to the 1990s. As he pointed out, the CLM approaches of the time had a tendency to overemphasize centralization and standardization for the sake of cost efficiency. Though this strategy did bring some short-term operational wins, it both alienated local users and created regulatory and/or accounting complications for the company and … More

Sometimes a “Platform” is just a platform

A closer look: This past week I had the opportunity to be the first guest on Determine’s new podcast series, “Determine OutLoud,” hosted by Constantine Limberakis. If you missed it – listen here – the fast-paced conversation was far more fun than talking about procurement is supposed to be.

Note to Self for the New Year

Depending on when you grew up (I’ll willingly date myself here), you may have played Mad Libs, the paper-based game that asked each player to fill in a series of nouns, verbs and adjectives to complete a story. The result was usually nonsensical and inexplicably hilarious, but this approach also has a place in today’s corporate world.

Compliance advice for those who herd cats

Procurement teams facing the constant challenge of measuring and enforcing contract compliance may shudder at the thought that December 15th was National Herding Cats Day. We put a contract in place, and they buy from someone else. We establish a process, and they do whatever they like. It can be infuriating. But, if we approach our internal “cats” with the right attitude, they also present us with unique opportunities to improve procurement’s performance, impact, and influence. Here is some advice … More

U.N. International Anti-Corruption Day: Procurement’s Role

The United Nations has declared December 9, 2016 “International Anti-Corruption Day” – an effort aimed at raising global awareness of the social and economic impact of corruption, particularly in the developing world. As they explain on their website, “Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion is stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of global GDP.” It is easy to agree (especially in the abstract) that corruption is … More

Concentric Supplier Risk Management

Today, executives in all functions and lines of business are driven to create shareholder value. Nothing can destroy the perceived value of an investment faster than negative press, which can do irreparable damage to a brand. In some cases, the cause of the criticism may not even be due to a company’s own actions, but rather those of their suppliers (or suppliers’ suppliers). When a supply chain extends across the globe, procurement may have to extend the scope of their … More

Investing in Corporate Governance to Ensure Compliance

Governance and compliance are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe the “law and order” part of procurement’s responsibilities. That being said, they are not quite the same thing. Governance captures the rules in place regarding purchasing and spend management, while compliance is the adherence to (and/or enforcement of) those rules. In a perfect world, governance is what you do and compliance is what you get in return. Historically, most organizations have predominantly focused on compliance. This may be due … More

Increasing Visibility to Build Understanding

Procurement needs to be familiar with their company’s spend and purchasing habits on a very detailed level. This requires a combination of spend analysis, contract reviews and stakeholder interviews. What they must remember, however, is that procurement does not just need to increase visibility for the sake of their own understanding, but rather to increase the understanding of all decision makers in the organization. This might include helping the CFO see past savings to appreciate the value of process improvements, … More

The Procurement Maturity Curve – Collaboration is value creation – Part 4

In this series of posts, we have looked at how procurement can progress from meeting the fundamental requirement for savings and ensure their continuation through process compliance. We have also considered the potential associated with a shift from an outward-in focus to one that is externally driven, allowing us to position the enterprise to take advantage of the best available options as well as to minimize the risks associated with them. Although this progression tracks an expanding perspective and set … More

The Procurement Maturity Curve — Managing Risk inside and out – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we looked at how procurement can improve its risk mitigation role by getting involved earlier in the process, and staying involved. In Part 2 we’re going to compare and contrast the internal/external sources of risk, along with how to keep it in check. Look at risk from the outside in. When procurement looks at each category of spend as being directly influenced by materials markets and varying levels of influence in the supply chain, … More

The Procurement Maturity Curve — Managing Risk inside and out – Part 1

In the past, we’ve taken a close look at how procurement’s maturity curve affects its focus. Two recent posts addressed issues concerning the evolving role of procurement savings, compliance and enterprise alignment. In this blog series, we’ll consider risk. First, we look at supplier risk and methods to monitor and mitigate it; then we’ll examine internal vs. external risk sources. Procurement: Sourcing risk mitigation. After procurement has dealt with the primary internal spend management needs of the enterprise —savings generation … More

Procurement: Achieving compliance without focusing on enforcement: Part 2

In my last blog I discussed how procurement’s evolution has spurred the need for increased attention to compliance. By decentralizing day-to-day purchasing, extending it to organizational “consumers,” the process has been made more efficient — as long as everyone stays within the guidelines. In this post we examine the bigger picture of compliance; that is, aligning procurement processes with broader organizational goals. Improved Compliance Through Alignment Let’s face it, generating savings is not as simple as buying the same products … More

Achieving compliance without focusing on enforcement: Part 1

  In this blog series we’re taking a close look at how procurement’s maturity curve affects its focus. Two recent posts covered procurement’s first priority – savings. Now we set our sights on compliance. First, we’ll examine how the evolving role of procurement has created an environment where increased attention to compliance is imperative; on the follow-up post we’ll explore how to improve compliance through enterprise alignment. Procurement Evolves Procurement’s transition over the last decade from “purchasing” to its current … More