Author Archives: Sean Delaney

How startups grow by going old school.

As the Vice President of Sales at Determine, I have the opportunity to visit great organizations in many different industries and countries. Often, they present challenges. I always try to not only understand the problem being presented but, more importantly, pinpoint the core issue at the root of the discussion. It’s something I find personally rewarding, and am always looking for patterns and relationships between issues in order to create common solutions. Sometimes I discover a nugget that stops me … More

Bricks to Clicks — the impact on the supply chain

Legal, procurement, supply chain—oh my! Visiting some retail clients during the holidays, I was struck by the impact of the accelerated shift from “bricks to clicks” on procurement, supply chain and legal. It’s no secret that recent holiday shopping sales showed a continuing significant shift to online buying habits. Actual physical toy retailers are nearly nonexistent, mobile phone retailers are all online, booking holidays is a 100% online pursuit, banking, grocery and now urgent purchases are easily accessible for online … More

Chaos, uncertainty, dysfunction: Brexit and contract management.

Whatever your preference, Hard or Soft Brexit, the UK will be triggering Article 50 by April Fool’s Day next year. Thereafter, the UK will be leaving the European Union within two years. This should be accomplished by March 2019. But hard to say, since the UK government is not saying much. Depending on which media outlet you subscribe to (and believe), this is the worst/best/unknown thing that has ever happened to the country in the nearly 60-year existence of the … More

Business considerations for a better year

A lot has already changed within the first few weeks of the year. The China asset bubble finally burst, oil prices are near $25 a barrel and indicators predict especially uncertain times. Could 2016 be the year that we see the predictions of 2008 come home to roost? Whatever the year holds, David Bowie was right, the future will not be boring. As we hope for the best and prepare for the worst, here are my key business considerations for … More

Empower managers with P2P process improvements

Overhead cost control, reduction and compliance with agreed budgets—They’re on every organization’s agenda, yet few have the processes and solutions in place to achieve them. In this blog we look at the issues and the solutions. Getting overhead under control. Whether it’s a new calendar year or a new fiscal year (or both), now is the time to make your spend control and reduction resolutions, and put the steps in place to make them a reality. Of all the factors … More

Are Chief Risk Officers Keeping Businesses Afloat?

During my annual pilgrimage to Ireland on the ferry from NW Wales to Dublin I was struck by the unnerving thought that all it would take for a ship like this to be unrecoverable is for it to list by 11 degrees or more. Thankfully, it was early in the day and the captain didn’t seem sauced as was Captain Schettino on the Costa Concordia. The point is that there are risks in our lives everywhere, many of which are … More

Avoiding Litigation with Information Governance Tools

As I was looking through some industry stories recently, I came across this report of a ski resort in Park City, Utah, that lost its lease on land it had held since the 1970s due to a data management oversight. Had the contract been renewed according to standard procedure, there never would have been an issue. Unfortunately, because of poor data management, no one knew the lease was coming up for renewal; and by the time they realized the deadline … More

Why legal departments need tailored solutions for unique challenges

Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) regulations have become more complicated over the last several years. The TMT industry is a high-stakes field with a wide array of major players, including cable and satellite networks, social networks, film and television studios, and many others. Most of these companies are built on cutting-edge technology. They require experienced legal teams to handle consequential disputes and complex deals. TMT in-house counsels tend to be extremely specialized in their industry, and demand specific, configurable tools to address … More

Contract Lifecycle Management helps you avoid contract overload

Let’s consider this familiar situation: it’s the last day of the fiscal quarter, and everyone in your company involved in the contract process is frantically working on extensions, approvals, and special requests. Since each contract is being reviewed and adjusted manually by the legal team, it could very well be the wee hours of the morning before anyone gets to head home – especially if anything unexpected comes up. These last-minute quarterly efforts inevitably lead to confusion and inconsistencies at … More

Autonomy & HP: The Same Old Story in Big Tech M&A

I think this article is fascinating in light of the recent news that SAP is acquiring Ariba. Autonomy was once a market-leading software company that helped organizations all over the world understand the meaning of information. A pioneer in its industry, Autonomy offered unique meaning-based technology that made sense of and processed unstructured, ‘human information’ and drew real business value from that meaning. In fact, Information Week once named Autonomy one of the “The World’s hottest enterprise software companies”. Autonomy’s … More

Glencore – Xstrata: The New Threat to Commodity Stability?

The proposed takeover by Glencore of Xstrata is going to present global commodity buyers with some challenges. The combined group will become a formidable player, creating an entity with a value of $90 billion and profits in excess of $16 billion. The group will become not just the world’s biggest exporter of coal for power plants (1/3 of the world’s seaborne thermal coal), and the largest producer of zinc, but also a significant player in commodities such as copper and … More


In 1997, shortly before I joined the M&S Merchandising team, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was a major issue. Awareness regarding CSR increased after a child labor scandal was exposed in Moroccan factories. Basically, our suppliers were employing underage workers to make children’s clothing. During this time, sourcing and procurement teams had a very difficult time trying to police their suppliers in low-cost countries. The lack of robust controls to monitor supplier performance created a negative impact on the M&S brand … More

The A to Z of SRM?

I have been desperate to take some time to read this article in SM on the A to Z of SRM. It is a big topic anyway but I was still hoping that It would offer some clarity on what is SRM. However, it gave me a lot more. The speakers highlighted at the SRM conference in Geneva outlined how they interpreted SRM within their organisations and what benefits it gave. Let me summarise, by speaker: BP, Bill Knittle – … More

eEnablement for the NHS

This week I attended a workshop hosted by the NHS on the Procurement eEnablement Programme. Although the meeting was specifically for the UK NHS its theme was relevant for both Public and Private sectors. The main objectives were: • To understand the key issues for the providers of procurement eEnablement technologies to the NHS • To steer the NHS Procurement eEnablement Programme to deliver appropriate policies, guidance and tools to maximise benefits for the NHS and support a sustainable technology … More

Let the market decide!

I have been following the development of Green technology from two different aspects; firstly, from a personal perspective, i.e I want to live in a self sufficient household. I don’t want to pay for energy supplied by a French company that increases prices in the UK by 22% whilst back in France, we subsidise their increases capped at only 2%. I also don’t want to pay Oil producers so that these Sovereign Wealth funds can come back and buy Premier … More