Category Archives: Procurement Transformation

Procurement Transformation

Getting to Insight (Part 3 of 5)

This is the third in a five-part series discussing the obstacles and potential paths forward to achieve visibility — essential to any Procurement organization. The series was initiated based upon the following Ardent paper – HERE.  In the first and second installments the need for procurement visibility starting with Spend Analysis was discussed. Let’s dive right in and examine the second key area or leading indicator of procurement success as outlined by Ardent: Savings. Savings Congratulations are in order if … More

How Buyers, Suppliers, and Stakeholders Drive eSourcing Adoption

It’s easy to get caught up the “go live date” for your eSourcing software implementation. Many procurement leaders believe their team will be empowered to succeed simply by turning on a tool. However, that is not the case. Michael van Keulen from VF Corporation (a Selectica client) shared some best practices and advice at eWorld London for groups who are rolling out new eSourcing software. Michael shared some key elements from VF Corp’s successful eSourcing technology adoption that included: Developing … More

eSourcing vs. eProcurement: What are the differences?

Sourcing and procurement are often used as interchangeable terms, and indeed they are related ideas in supply management. However, they’re not quite the same, and neither are eSourcing and eProcurement. But what exactly are the differences? Let’s start with their definitions. Preceding the actual purchase of goods and services, sourcing facilitates the full life cycle of procurement by analyzing how a company spends their money on those assets. This includes identifying and selecting opportunities to reduce spend using knowledge of … More

Getting to Insight (Part 2 of 5)

This is the second installment in a five-part series discussing the obstacles and potential paths forward to achieve visibility – essential to any Procurement organization. The article was initiated based upon the following Ardent paper – HERE. In the first installment I discussed the overall drive for procurement visibility. In this installment, we'll discuss the first of the three key areas of procurement visibility: Spend. Spend Having been a long-term evangelist for spend visibility programs, it continues to puzzle me … More

Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology (Part 2)

In a recent post, Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology, we looked to address the challenge of the terms often used to describe procurement technology. Even the other day our sales team encountered a client RFP that asked us to elaborate our capabilities of RFx and auctions in the context of eProcurement. What? The initial reaction was that RFx and auctions are a part of eSourcing, not eProcurement. Based on this example, and hundreds of others … More

Getting to Insight (Part 1 of 5)

“Big data” and “analytics” are the buzzwords of the day. Or as our friends at Ardent more concisely say, visibility”. From the solution provider’s perspective, the challenge of delivering on the promise of visibility requires plenty of hard work, collaborating with customers and, frankly, a little trial and error. Prioritizing which critical areas to enable is more often than not the key decision a solution provider must make. Which brings me to this article that I found to be an … More

Is there “Tough Love” Embedded in Your Budget Process?

It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C’mon – you know what question I’m talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer… If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT? Ugh. The problem is that the space between negotiated and realized savings is full of pitfalls: unexpected requirements, inaccurate demand, and budget holders who see an opportunity to unofficially reallocate savings elsewhere. Even when additional value … More

Whole Foods Markets Shift Their Cost Model as They Target Millennial Shoppers

In March, I wrote a post for this blog about the Whole Foods grocery chain in which I asked the question: “How Much Can Procurement Change on Their Own?” I looked at how Whole Foods has defied the low margins commonly seen in grocery retail by employing an operational strategy that merges brand reputation, consumer identity, and high-quality products in justification of higher prices. Their procurement team is part of a top to bottom approach to creating the right value … More

eSourcing and eRFx: Procurement terms to know

Remember the days when you asked for information from a vendor and they would send you a slick brochure? Some in fancy packages, others oversized (so they stand out). When you asked for a proposal, you’d get a 30-page bound book while others emailed you a PDF, or you got invited to a private page on their server to access the information. For some of you, that was back in the day. For others, it’s business as usual, and very … 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

Women in Procurement: Big Challenges, Bigger Potential

The procurement profession has traditionally been a male-dominated field. A manual count by SCM World last year found only 22 women with top supply chain executive jobs in 320 Fortune 500 companies. That’s just 7%! With numbers like these, it’s understandable that many women see the procurement glass ceiling as alive and well. Historically, women have not been seen as great leaders or risk takers, which may have hindered their ability to climb the ladder; as SCM World points out, … More

Procurement leaders as enterprise leaders, and why ECLM should be in their playbook

According to Forbes, top global companies are relying on their procurement leaders more and more to seek out innovative ways of doing business with suppliers. It’s no longer simply about cutting costs – procurement is more involved in mitigating supply chain risk and making strategic decisions in collaboration with top management. With better information and processes to tracking every company contract, procurement leaders can unlock the value in those contracts and see opportunities for cost savings that would have been nearly … More

Gartner predicts 2015 as procurement technology matures

Gartner’s 2015 predictions for the procurement technology market, “Predicts 2015: A Maturing Procurement Technology Market Creates New Opportunities for Value Creation” is a good read if you can get your hands on it. With all of the technology that has been deployed over the past 15 years, companies still need to find ways to keep ahead of it. I am actually taken back by the need for enterprises to approach both technology and processes (AGAIN), specifically when it comes to procurement … More

A New Metric for a New Perspective on Procurement

In March of 2014, Matthew Eatough, CEO of Proxima Group, wrote an article for Harvard Business Review discussing what he called ‘corporate virtualization‘. The concept is based on research that found that, on average, “69.9% of corporate revenue is directed toward externalized, supplier-driven costs.” The fact that such a large percentage of corporate revenue is spent with external business partners is surprising enough, but the study also uncovered that the percentage increased by 4% from 2011 to 2014, marking a … More

A visionary focused on helping procurement improve contract management

Just a couple of days ago, Gartner published its Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Suites, February 2015. We are proud to note that we have been recognized by Gartner as a visionary in the latest Moving from the leader’s quadrant into the top portion of the visionary quadrant, we take into account our adjustment from the previous report in July 2013. The elimination of many other vendors from the pool should also be noted. One could argue the changes in … More