Author Archives: Kelly Barner- Buyers Meeting Point

Forget Everything You Know About Strategic Sourcing.

Instead of “recycle, reuse, retread” let’s talk about a reboot. Memorization is a frontage road: It runs parallel to the best parts of learning, never intersecting. It’s a detour around all the action, a way of knowing without learning, of answering without understanding.” — Ben Orlin, “When Memorization Gets in the Way of Learning,” The Atlantic, 9 September 2013

The Powerful Voice of the Customer

Listening to your customers is about more than building relationships, providing great service and ensuring the path to success; the powerful voice of the customer can also reveal a lot of insight and wisdom. Placing customer interests at the center of your strategic plan is wise, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. Meeting customer expectations requires a full understanding their needs – and that is not possible unless you have one or more dedicated people who truly want to … More

Strategic Procurement in the Post-Sourcing Era

Face it sourcing, CPOs just aren’t that into you. Last week, the team from Ardent Partners shared the results of their research: CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence in a webinar with Determine. This year’s report includes input from 324 participants, 62% of which are Director level, VP level, or C-level. No one industry accounted for more than 13% of the research data, although approximately 70% of the responses were from large (>$1B) companies in North America. Of all … More

From Customer Success to Customer Advocacy

Just weeks after joining the Determine team as their Senior Vice President of Customer Success, Kevin Turner was in attendance at the annual user group conference in Laguna Beach. Between meeting customers for the first time and hearing their feedback through presentations and informal exchanges, it was a critical and well timed opportunity to ensure that the Determine product roadmap is aligned with a broad range of definitions for customer success.

The Functionality Everyone Demands, but Almost No One Uses

Make sure your procurement team is focused on the right eSourcing solution features. In a recent blog post here on Determine, I shared my list of 10 questions I think every procurement team should ask at all solution provider demos. Some of them you’d probably expect, like questions about integration and the administration of configuration settings. Others you might not have thought of, for instance asking to what degree the company “takes their own medicine” by using the technology themselves.

10 Questions to Ask During an S2P Demo

Know what you need to know to empower your decision. Attending an S2P demo can be a particularly high stress time for a procurement professional. We use this technology more than any other, to the point where its identity is synonymous with our own reputation internally. As a result, making the right choice is extremely important.

Exceeding Expectations in CLM Implementation and Adoption

Late last month, Sean Delaney, Determine’s VP of Sales, and Mike Behne, VP of Professional Services, presented a webinar with IACCM on taking contract management “Beyond the Expected.” During that event, Sean and Mike discussed how real-life challenges morph into ideas and concepts for contract management innovations. One of the most important areas of focus for companies that want to manage uncertainty, mitigate risk and eliminate obstacles to competitiveness is implementation. After all, the success of any CLM implementation will … More

Top 10 Tips for Winning Procurement Stakeholder Support

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

Removing Obstacles to Competitiveness with CLM

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.

The ‘Why’ Behind the Drive for Retail Process Efficiency

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.

Professional Services & Support: The Canaries in the M&A Coal Mine

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.

Improve Contract Compliance by Thinking Like Sales…Not Procurement

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.

The Powerful Alignment of SIM and CLM

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.

The Inclusive S in S2P: Spend Analysis, Supplier Management, and Strategy

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.

Ensuring Budget Alignment with Enterprise Objectives

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.