Author Archives: Melissa Webb - Iasta

Why Your RFPs Aren’t Getting Responses – and How to Fix Them

Nearly everyone in the business world has worked on an RFP in some way, whether by helping to put one together or by responding to one. Either way, it can be a source of frustration. Why is that? A recent Spend Matters paper, which you can download for free here, outlines the issues with the RFP process specifically as they affect software providers, but it could really apply to RFPs in any competitive, fast-growing field. The best suppliers in the … More

How Integrated Analytics Solves Problems with SIM

In the past, Supplier Information Management (SIM) systems have focused on, well, managing supplier information. They kept everything in one place and made supplier data available to those who needed it. But that’s essentially where it ended. And that old SIM method is no longer enough. Sourcing is increasingly complex, forced to satisfy a growing number of regulations and strict compliance requirements, in addition to constant directives from executives to trim waste wherever possible. As a recent Spend Matters™ paper points … More

Decide upfront who gets to recognize savings earned by procurement

Procurement teams work hard to source, negotiate and monitor deals, maximize supplier relations, manage risk, and control spend. The bottom line is they can save their company money–often, a lot of money. “In our first year we were able to leverage Spend Analytics from the SmartAnalytics® suite of products, allowing us to save $31.7 million from approx. $300 million in indirect spend–a 10% return!” — Greg Tennyson, CPO, VSP   Which begs the question: Where should the money saved go? … More

How Millennials Helped Shape Procurement Technology for the Future

I was reminded while reading this post by Spend Matters that user adoption continues to be identified as a top challenge in implementing electronic procurement technologies, and is in fact often noted as the reason for a program’s failure. The benefits of putting a best-in-class procurement application in place are relatively obvious, and yet end user adoption continues to meet resistance. We have been working on ways to tackle procurement job functions while keeping this key challenge in mind. I … More

Improving Collaboration within Supplier Relationship Management

A few weeks ago at Iasta reSource Indianapolis, I hosted a roundtable titled, “What is Supplier Relationship Management? Discuss supplier partnerships that inspire, improving communication.” We had a great discussion around supplier relationships, so I wanted to share some interesting discussion points that could help you to start thinking about what supplier relationship management really means in your organization. A common issue procurement teams face when managing supplier relationships includes coordinating with stakeholders to ensure the relationship is going well … More

4 Tips to Ensure a Successful Supplier Relationship

When evaluating the market, you want to identify and target suppliers who fit your organization’s needs best. Think of it as if you’re interviewing a candidate for a new position at your company. It’s a two-way street – you want to impress the candidate as much as they are trying to impress you. Most importantly, make sure the relationship is the right fit for both parties before entering into a partnership. Consider these 4 tips when choosing your next supplier … More

4 Ways Sourcing Can Bridge the Innovation Gap

Paul Walker and Sarah Coulter presented on behalf of the Clorox Global Strategic Sourcing (GSS) Organization at the 99th annual ISM conference in Las Vegas about innovation in sourcing practices. Clorox has developed a unique approach to growing the business through innovative partnerships and has learned a few things along the way. These learnings were shared at the ISM conference last week, and there were four key messages I took away from the presentation that led to the success of … More

re:build 2014 – Process is Documented Culture

“Process is documented culture.” This quote was discussed by Michael Lopp (engineering leader at companies such as Borland, Netscape, and Apple) at re:build 2014, a technology conference I attended in Indianapolis. While I took away a lot of great information, Lopp’s discussion particularly resonated with me. The best processes really do grow organically over time as a result of culture, and when implemented correctly they imply a fluid and effective approach for an entire team. This is ultimately what everyone … More

5 Ways Sourcing Teams Can Start Spring Cleaning

As the weather starts warming up and hibernation days are waning, we tend to get the urge to reorganize and clean up the mess that accumulated while hiding from the cold. This phenomenon that helps pull us out of the funk of winter and into a fresh start is referred to as spring cleaning, and it can be applied to more areas of your life besides the home. You can probably start thinking about ways to clean up around the … More

What Do Chess and Strategic Sourcing Have in Common?

When strategizing on the management of your team in a sourcing tool, you should think about building your players in the game of strategic sourcing in terms of pieces in a game of chess. Having pieces that move differently or perform different functions is essential to the successful implementation of the sourcing solution and critical to developing smooth business processes across the team. Having the fundamentals of chess in the back of your mind also allows you the flexibility and … More

How Sourcing Analytics is Changing Leadership

Procurement continues to look for ways to define themselves as a true profit center rather than a cost center. The problem typically arises in the form of defining what exactly they bring to the table. It’s easy to make generalizations like “Procurement saves money” or “Procurement brings efficiency”, but it’s hard to quantify these statements. However, as organizations turn towards automated ways of tracking KPIs associated with Procurement activities, such as cost avoidance, savings, and cross-functional collaboration, leadership is paying … More

6 Steps to Implement a Successful Auction

Dave Harman, eSourcing Strategy Lead at Centrica, presented at eWorld London 2013 and shared Centria’s experience with M&A transition plans. In my opinion, the most impactful part of his presentation was how Centrica used auctions to initiate a smooth transition between the new company and parent company. Dave expressed that quick wins spring from the use of auctions, not only from a cost and immediate market feedback perspective, but also from a procurement perspective, introducing a standard methodology to use … More

4 Tips for Executing Effective RFPs

The content of your RFP drives the quality and effectiveness of the responses you receive. I often see the same types of issues arise when buyers compile RFPs, which ultimately end up pushing out timelines, leaving money on the table, and possibly even causing poor award decisions to be made. Strike a balance between the amount / type of information you gather and the amount of information you share to create an effective RFP that will help move towards the … More

6 Goals to Add to Your Sourcing Bucket List

Most of us have a bucket list filled with both personal and professional hopes and dreams. Whether your bucket list includes a sky diving trip on your next birthday or becoming the next CPO of your company, you likely have goals that motivate you on a daily basis. If you lead a sourcing organization and are looking to add some goals to your professional bucket list, here are six accomplishments you can add to your sourcing bucket list: 1)    Mitigate … More

4 Change Management Tips for a Successful Procurement Transformation: Part 2

Welcome back! Just joining in? Check out Part 1 here. Today, I’ll review the final two factors I believe are crucial when launching a successful procurement transformation initiative. 3. Take it one day at a time. I must admit that taking a “one step at a time approach” is often my own biggest challenge when working through a change management initiative. A colleague of mine once reminded me that I “can’t eat an elephant all in one day.” Change management … More