Author Archives: Kelly Barner- Buyers Meeting Point
How to make friends and influence outcomes Procurement does not have an easy job. We function as the spending conscience of the enterprise. When a contract is going to be awarded, we make sure a careful selection process is followed and that every specification or requirement associated with additional cost earns its place. We ensure that incumbent suppliers deserve renewed business, and push all suppliers to perform their best on behalf of the company. As important as all those things … More
When you think about why a company would invest in a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution, the first things that come to mind might include improved governance and agreement administration. But is that it? If the ROI of CLM is limited to better dotted I’s and more neatly crossed T’s, the effort to select and implement a solution hardly seems worth it.
As we expand the impact of procurement beyond savings, one of the most frequently cited objectives is process efficiency. In theory, if procurement can help the company execute internal processes more swiftly, they can… something, something, something (?). Process efficiency is good, and savings are good. But neither will have any real impact if we don’t understand why we are driving them.
Having been in procurement for a while, I’ve seen a lot of changes take place over time. Procurement M&A — Mergers, acquisitions, rebrandings, etc. are the commercial equivalent of births, deaths, and weddings. They are the facts of life. That said, it is one thing to observe a change in the market, and it is another thing entirely to experience it firsthand.
If you’re anything like me as a procurement practitioner, you think of our end-to-end process in a linear fashion. It usually starts with spend analysis or some other source of information (budget, ERP, BI system output, etc.) and ends with Contract Management and/or Supplier Performance Management. For us, this is completely logical because the sub-processes that we view as the most “active” portions of procurement – strategic sourcing and negotiation – have been dealt with at this point.
Procurement is so accustomed to aligning our technology and processes with the objectives of the business at large that we sometimes miss opportunities to align our own technologies and processes with each other. Supplier Information Management (SIM) and Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) provide a perfect case example. Both bring together suppliers and internal touch points, extend beyond procurement’s peak involvement in managing spend categories, and play an important role in addressing (and mitigating) supply chain risk.
We do love our acronyms in procurement, but rather than being an exclusionary tactic designed to keep “them” out, I like to think that shortening our long phrases to “TLAs” is in line with the resource efficiency we apply to spend management.
As we enter Q3, many companies are beginning next year’s budget setting process. Establishing a new budget creates opportunities for big thinking, goal setting, forecasting and growth planning. In order to secure approval, however, each budget owner must demonstrate budget alignment between their funding requests and overall enterprise objectives.
It seems like we’ve been talking for years about the impact that Millennial employees “are going to have” in the workplace. While we were discussing and theorizing, they have been learning, building, growing and working their way up the org chart. According to Wikipedia, the Millennial generation includes people born from the early 1980s through the mid 1990s and early 2000s. If we assume a birth year window of 1982-2002, the oldest millennials are turning 35 this year.
In Part 1 of this series I wrote about making a business case to bring in new procurement technology. All organizations have handled first-time implementations of some sort – whether they are switching to a full platform or adding a new piece of functionality to a system already in place. The thing about new technology implementations is that, after all the effort invested in vetting prospective solutions, executive teams generally accept the notion that having technology in place is better … More
Although procurement technology is nothing new, there are first-time implementations going on all the time. Whether you are introducing the company’s first full end-to-end platform or adding a new area of functionality to an existing platform (i.e., contract management, supplier information management), preparing a solid business case will help win over decision makers and improve the selection process. Articulating your POV can be the difference between getting the green light to go ahead and more discussion and justification.
In this series, I am sharing some of the lessons I learned as a procurement professional dedicated to hired services — both location based and corporate. In Part 2, I discussed the process of establishing demand and requirements, as well as the eSourcing considerations associated with each type of service. In this post, I want to share some of the additional opportunities associated with hired services, along with the areas where procurement should proceed with extreme caution. After all, services … More
I recently wrote about the differences between product and service procurement: from demand to specifications, and technology to relationship management. But as I pointed out at the end of the post, the idea that “services procurement” is one thing vastly oversimplifies this broad category. Perhaps that is part of what causes product specialists to shy away from services procurement.
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
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.