Category Archives: Functionality

Analytics on the Brain in 2014

The emergence of Big Data has created a demand in the ability to understand and make sense out of an increasingly amount structured and unstructured information. The increased interest in analytics has given rise to a “culture of analysis” where procurement now sees: More data is being collected with an increased portion of this data to be analyzed coming from unstructured data sources such as pdf files, PPTs, emails, blog entries, wikis, word processing documents, photos, graphic images, videos, streaming … More

The RFx Prescription

You could say I’m in the RFP business. Or, more accurately, the RFx business, given that I interact with RFIs, RFPs, RFQs, RFTs, and the like every week. On a regular basis, I request a great deal of information or feedback, and receive numerous requests of my company. I get to see the process of requesting information, price and non-price, from every angle. I answer questions of sourcing pros who are considering purchasing Iasta sourcing software; I build existing vendor … More

Go Beyond with Spend Analysis: 3 Ways to Improve Your Modern Sourcing Process

Have you uncovered the hidden potential lying within your data? Data visibility is often the most challenging for procurement pros to achieve. Scott McBride (Iasta Director of Global Alliances) shares the importance of “going beyond” with spend analysis in this short video below. With Scott’s perspective in mind, below are three ways you can improve your modern sourcing process using spend analysis: 1-Centralize your data. Data in a silo is useless. When data lies in different systems, the information is … More

3 Optimization Tips for Success

Optimization is undoubtedly one of the most advantageous parts of managing a project using an eSourcing solution. Look at any standard sourcing process diagram, and you are likely to find optimization placed near the end, squeezed in just before negotiations are scheduled to begin. While optimization scenarios cannot be run until supplier bids and information are received, planning must begin well in advance before opening an event, whether it is an RFP, RFQ or Auction. Cost components may be straightforward … More

What’s old may be new again – M&A and eAuctions – Part 1

As is often the case with many ideas in business, trends capture attention of decision makers in terms of what is possible. Procurement is no exception. Consider progressive concepts that advance procurement activities related to emerging areas such as in supplier risk or predictive analytics; both hot areas where Iasta continues to be focused for defining the modern sourcing paradigm. But trends also come from what was once considered old with a new spin. A perfect example of this is … More

10 Steps to Prepare for Your Next Reverse Auction

If someone said that running a reverse auction takes a lot of time and effort, then I would have to disagree. Don’t get me wrong. Conducting a reverse auction does take time and energy, but the auction itself may only last 45 minutes. In my opinion, the real sweat and tears occur in all the preparation leading up to the reverse auction. Rather than diving right into running a reverse auction, you need to prepare ahead of time by gathering … 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

Spend Analysis v. Spend Intelligence: 4 Questions to Ask As a Procurement Team

In 2013, it’s not groundbreaking to say spend analysis is considered a key function within most successful procurement organizations. In fact, Aberdeen Group research found that 89% of best-in-class procurement teams utilized a spend analysis solution within their organization. In the same report, Aberdeen Group gathered that access to data is a critical component to a Best-In-Class procurement team. If you’re curious in reading more about these findings, download the report here: Dynamic Procurement – The CPO as a Collaborator, … More

Kissing the Frog: How Procurement Can Develop Strategic Supplier Relationships: Part 2

Welcome back! Just joining us? Click here to read Part 1 of this series. As you can tell from my previous blog post, there is a great deal of information to consider when trying developing strategic supplier relationships. If you are like many of Iasta’s clients, these questions are all important to the identification and development of strategic suppliers. However, there is high likelihood supplier information is living in the following areas/systems across the business landscape: Spend systems (ERP, P-Card, … More

Building a Sourcing Pipeline: 8 Questions to Ask When Evaluating eSourcing Providers

Are you asking the right questions when you’re evaluating eSourcing providers? Andrew Bartolini of CPO Rising recently published an article entitled “Building the First Sourcing Pipeline – Getting Started.” He provides valuable advice to procurement organizations that have just purchased an eSourcing solution. These organizations should be commended for the decision to become more strategic by implementing tools that will (hopefully) streamline their sourcing processes and vault their positions within their companies. However, from one solution provider’s point of view … More

Make your M.A.R.K. in Modern Sourcing

Have you heard about this new term, “Modern Sourcing”? In an increasingly competitive marketplace, purchasing pros need the right sourcing solutions to identify savings, ensure compliance and mitigate risk. We can help you make your M.A.R.K. with these four tips to make sure you’re on the right path to Modern Sourcing excellence. Migrate towards a center-led procurement structure. Why is this approach so important? Center-led procurement models incorporate supply chain strategies and strategic commodities, best practices, and knowledge sharing while … More

For Innovative Sourcing: Date More, Marry Less

Anyone who’s been in the outsourcing business for any length of time has heard the cliché that outsourcing relationships are like marriages – they require hard work and commitment over the long term. Well, maybe it’s time to change that. Rather than marrying your next outsourcing provider, take them out on a date and see how things go from there. The fact is, our current approach to outsourcing contracts is completely out of touch with the needs of a business … More

Modern Sourcing Inspired by Dodgeball: 5 Best Practices to Learn

Have you ever watched the movie Dodgeball? I had a chance to watch it over the weekend and the famous line stuck out in my mind: “If you’re going to become a true dodgeballer, then you’ve got to learn the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.” So, put your game face on…the same principles can be applied to modern sourcing.  If you’re going to become a true Modern Sourcing pro, then you’ve got to embrace these … More

Is Your Procurement Organization Dancing in the Dark?

Break out your dancing shoes, brush off the dust, and turn on the lights…it’s time to stop dancing in the dark! We find that a lot of procurement organizations are “dancing in the dark” because they don’t have the proper visibility into their spend and sourcing pipeline. Without this insight, you could be losing out on hard dollar savings and efficiencies! Iasta recently hosted a Webinar with AOL and Spend Matters, “Vote for Visibility: Yes, Procurement and Data can Dance.” … More

Look into my crystal ball…

As the economy continues to evolve and change, procurement groups are looking at past spend to determine sourcing opportunities, supplier consolidation and expansion, and off contract spend. But what about future spend? How can you predict the unexpected? Simple questions such as, “What effect will an increase in gas prices have on my spend?” and “If the real estate price index decreases 5% over the next year, what are my savings?” should be taken into consideration when forecasting for the … More