Category Archives: Analysts/Research

End-User Computing Levers Can Help You Manage Costs

Now that you’ve signed the contract, is your organization experiencing higher than anticipated end-user computing (EUC) and device growth? How is your service provider reacting to your demand? Have you been surprised by a different charging model to manage the growth? Are the business case benefits beginning to erode? If you answer yes to any of these questions, the following Top 5 ideas will help you get your EUC under control. 1. Work with your service provider to leverage your … More

Setting the Table for Many … Service Providers, That Is

The sourcing environment has become intensely complex with every type of operational service potentially being outsourced, shared sourced, or retained and squeezed in every direction to increase productivity and profit line contribution. And all of this is complicated by multiple providers who must somehow work effectively together. Managing business requirements (demand) and service providers (supply) in an integrated fashion is one of the greatest management challenges facing today’s executives. Three common failings can easily trip up service integration: the lack … More

Leadership vs. Management in Procurement: Part 2

Welcome back. Just joining us? Click here to read Part 1. Procurement managers have an important role to fill in the organization – particularly given how critical talent management is today. An effective manager has to bring in the right staff, ensure that individual and across-the-board skills gaps are filled, and retain resources once an investment has been made in their capabilities. They are also responsible for putting together a plan that supports procurement’s efforts to meet performance targets and … More

Leadership vs. Management in Procurement: Part 1

I recently attended an event on procurement salary trends that included some tips for negotiating purchasing salaries. The negotiation advice was given by Robert Menard (CPP), a trainer and author who focuses on negotiation, purchasing, sales, and communication issues. In addition to some really great tips (for instance, if you don’t negotiate your own salary, what kind of impression are you giving the company that will expect you to negotiate on their behalf should you get the job?), Robert provided … More

Is Your Mega-Outsourcing Contract Renewal Closer Than You Think?

The renewal of a major second generation outsourcing contract presents an interesting dilemma. Changing service providers, especially one that manages a large part of your operations, is never easy, even in the best of circumstances. The incumbency factor, shrinkage in your retained organization, the limited internal capability depth and the need to devote management bandwidth to a huge transition, all while keeping the lights on, would give pause to most organizations. If your incumbent has at least earned a “first … More

Iasta & Forrester Discuss How to Empower Your CPO With Business Intelligence

Often, procurement teams like yours are required to pull data from many unlinked systems. As you know, data in silos of disparate systems is useless. Therefore, teams find themselves lacking the information and insight to implement data-driven business decisions that the CPO and other executives are demanding. Let’s review a few scenarios that might sound a little too familiar…and if they do, be sure to register for our live Webinar with Forrester on Thursday, December 6 at 11 AM EST. … More

Procurement in Q4: Six weeks and counting until the quarter closes

With the end of the year quickly approaching, many procurement groups are looking at their performance metrics for the year. For procurement groups that haven’t quite hit their savings targets, December 31st is an unwelcome but inevitable date looming on the horizon. Before you resign yourself to your current savings numbers, there might be some things you can do in the last weeks of the year to improve your position. Although there is not enough time left to run additional … More

Beef Up Your Data Protection Strategy to Match Business Needs

Events such as the 9/11 attacks and the tsunami in Japan have caused many organizations to reassess their overall data protection strategies for data backup and recovery, disaster recovery and business continuity, as well as long-term retention and security of their data. However, most business downtime is caused not by catastrophic events or major natural disasters but by hardware failures, data loss, power outages or UPS failures, network outages, security breaches, human error and application failures. Here are the Top … More

Reimagining Your Outsourcing to Drive Productivity

Productivity is the ratio of inputs to outputs. Doing more for less is good. While outsourcing has aspired to do more for less, we have typically seen what has been called “the same mess for less.” Tightly controlled outsourcing contracts that have reduced risk and cost have also limited creativity and reengineering that could lead to improved labor productivity. They also run the risk of creating what management consultant Margaret Wheatley calls “highly controlled mechanistic systems that only create robotic … More

Commercial Insurance Actions: The Real “Sealed Bid”

Just like most of you, I live in a town that has to purchase various forms of commercial insurance. The goal is for the town to create a fair bidding process for qualified insurance brokers to bid based upon the specifications provided. To accomplish this, Municipalities and Governmental Agencies use what is known as a “Sealed Bid” process where the bidders submit a sealed envelope that no one can tamper with. We understand that this is a fairly common practice. … More

Emerging Trends in Supplier Information Management: Part 1

When organizations adopt formal supplier management programs, one of the first steps they take is to focus on a more disciplined approach to collecting and managing basic information about current and potential suppliers. I am interested in the kind of data they collect and how they use it to manage suppliers so I took a look at supplier registration forms for a wide variety of companies and I was surprised by a couple of things: First, the data requested from … More

How Procurement Can Win the Support of Senior Management: Part 3

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. The third and final post in this series focues on what happens when executive support is not forthcoming. As you may know, the consequences resulting from a lack of support can range from trivial to devastating (including losing your job). Here are two signals that indicate a lack of executive support: The initiative is not properly funded and resourced. If senior management does not truly support your initiative, … More

How Procurement Can Win the Support of Senior Management: Part 2

Yesterday I discussed the foundation and three levels of support required from executive management. Click here to read Part 1. Today, I will cover how to create the conditions for success for stakeholder management. When seeking support for an initiative, ask the following questions: 1. What are the expected business benefits? 2. How much change is required to realise these benefits? 3. How will the benefits be measured and rewarded? 4. Who should sponsor the project? 5. Is the climate … More

Lessons from Apple: Who is Keeping Watch Over Your Supply Chain? Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this series. Apple makes their suppliers sign Nondisclosure Agreements , and warns employees against disclosing anything beyond what is absolutely necessary, but clearly they have lost much of the control they were previously able to exert over their research & development and manufacturing processes. Their procurement and supply chain groups are clearly facing real challenges if they hope to bring non-publicly available information back inside the fold. While it is necessary to share … More

Mid-Market Companies Make Positive Impacts on Global Supply Chain & Economy

According to an article on Inside Supply Management, “Recent research into middle-market companies, those with annual revenue between US$10 million and $1 billion, finds they are the growth engines in today’s economy.” Another interesting statistic from the article?  If the nearly 200,000 U.S. middle-market companies were their own country, that country would be the fourth largest economy in the world, behind Japan and ahead of Germany. As middle-market companies continue to grow and shine in our economy, the Ohio State … More