Author Archives: Kelly Barner- Buyers Meeting Point
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.
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
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.
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.
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