Category Archives: Global Sourcing

Global Sourcing

Platform technology. The future is almost here.

All enterprises, our customers and prospects included, share a common challenge when it comes to supply management, That challenge is the burden of having a plethora of siloed solutions. The solutions  range from supposedly comprehensive spend management platforms to spreadsheets and manual processes, to category-specific solutions and supplier portals. Help, however, is on the way and it isn’t taking the form of the unattainable ERP vision of one all-inclusive behemoth. Enterprise technology solutions tasked with making business processes work better, … More

Evolution of the Cloud and its impact on Procurement

Talking about cloud computing today has become commonplace as cloud-based technologies play a more critical role in business.  But much like other technological innovations, one thing leads to another, with each iteration building on its predecessor. Consider the evolution of the power grid, of telecommunications, of the personal computer, or of the Internet. Based on the advances of technology leaders like Amazon, Google and Salesforce. Today, most of us in the IT industry understand that it is the evolving technology … More

The ROI of Integrity, Trust and Loyalty

Successful implementations that meet complex customer needs begin with strong relationships. We know that strong relationships are based on integrity, which takes time and effort to develop. But believe me, the ROI of integrity is real. From lower churn, more referral customers and loyal clients to shorter sales cycles, bigger deals, happier employees and more innovative solutions — investing in integrity is good for business. In fact, integrity is one of our core values at Determine. Having integrity leads to … More

Selecting buy- and sell-side technology that supports an enterprise approach

All too often, evaluating procurement and legal departments’ technology are centered on solving a specific problem. Typically, they’re related to sourcing events, departmental contract management, supplier optimization or spend analytics. In order to maximize ROI, however, such technology implementations should be considered as part of a broader enterprise strategy. This would also help stakeholders across the organization develop and extend their strategic potential and business impact. In a recent conference in France, we saw many customers who have focused heavily … More

Welcome b-pack!

As CEO of Selectica I am very excited about the opportunity to add industry-leader b-pack to our product portfolio, global market presence, and the amazing team of professionals we have working to serve our clients. It has long been our goal to expand our enterprise CLM and supply management solution to include downstream or purchase-to-pay solution as a part of our strategy. Enterprises, increasingly frustrated with the inefficiencies of managing a myriad of suppliers and disconnected information, are moving to … More

How much can procurement change on their own?

As procurement professionals, we have come to take certain ideas for granted. Savings is still our primary performance metric given the ever-increasing challenges of today’s market environment. However, savings can no longer be the exclusive North Star to our voyage. We need to become more strategic by increasing our ability to create shareholder value and contribute to corporate competitive advantage. Collaboration with suppliers, at least in certain categories, requires that we take a multi-dimensional look at each commercial opportunity and … More

Going Beyond Supplier Diversity 101

In today’s world, supplier diversity is becoming a growing concern and objective for procurement teams. While supplier diversity can be a moving target for most organizations, there is no denying diversity is becoming a competitive advantage. Improved supplier diversity is helping organizations strengthen employee motivation and emerge into new markets. Often, procurement teams struggle with where to start when mapping out their strategy, goals, and metrics for the diversity program. Dysfunctional processes, bad data collection practices, and the inability to … More

Time to broaden how we think about purchasing capability

“You are only as good as your team” is an oft-quoted phrase and something that procurement chiefs have taken to heart as their personnel numbers have grown. Each and every year procurement chiefs say that one of their key priorities is to improve the skills and capabilities of those in their team. Understandably this focuses on those who sit under their direct jurisdiction, but 2014 should be the year that this mindset changes because purchasing capability extends far beyond the … More

Shattered myths mean no let up in commodity markets

After locking themselves into a long-term contract, procurement chiefs could be forgiven for only giving the commodity markets a cursory glance over their morning cup of coffee, but recent price moves in the natural gas market prove there is no time to rest on any laurels. Between February and April this year, natural gas prices on the CME Nymex rose from $3.153 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) to $4.408. After reaching this yearly high, prices steadily fell and on … More

Disintermediation & The Insurance Intermediary

As consumers, we are all flooded with TV ads from GEICO, Progressive and other insurance companies that are providing insurance coverage direct to consumers. In fact, it seems the Gecko is TV’s most famous and recognizable celebrity today (at least he is to me). So, why do these companies sell their insurance products directly to the consumer instead of through insurance agents? The reasons are simple: Increased profit margin A direct relationship with the buyer The intermediary/agent provides little added … More

Service Providers Tell All: How to Improve Innovation in Services Relationships

Clients often complain that they don’t get enough innovation from their service providers, so we asked a group of providers at our recent Sourcing Industry Conference about why this might be. They defined innovation as a two-way street and said their clients don’t understand the collaborative process needed to foster innovation. They also noted that the contract between service provider and client can cloud the matter with vague promises of innovation but that it often lacks specificity on how to … 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

Put on Your Detective Hat & Solve Mysteries with Spend Analysis

When procurement professionals are speaking with me about spend visibility, one of the first questions I ask them is: “What do you want to accomplish with improved spend visibility and data?” I lead with this question because there are many ways to define spend analysis as part of the strategic sourcing process and countless ways to empower sourcing professionals with actionable information. I encourage my clients to start with spend velocity reporting as a traditional starting point, which helps access … More

My Procurement is Your Beschaffung and Their Approvisionnement

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet There is amazing variety in the titles used by professionals in the spend management space. In most cases, those differences are nominal and other than suggesting something about the organization someone works for, or their relative seniority, we know we all do the same thing for a living. One of the advantages of being a process-driven function is that we have the opportunity to … More

10 Reasons eSourcing Fails: Part 1

eSourcing has become essential in best-in-class procurement organizations.  Strategic sourcing improves efficiency, communication, and consistency – all of which are highly regarded in any organization.  As companies implement an eSourcing solution to take them to the next level, they should consider the following potential pitfalls to avoid. 1.    Lack of internal buy-in. A common issue among companies implementing an eSourcing solution and process is the lack of internal buy-in.  You make the decision to move forward with a new process … More