Category Archives: Procurement Transformation

Procurement Transformation

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

Analysis: How Procurement Teams Demonstrate ROI (Part 2 of 2)

In my last post, I talked about the results of an Iasta Efficio survey that showed the two top priorities for sourcing teams in 2014 were: Increase the rate of cost savings (identified and realized) Drive wider operational efficiencies through procurement Previously we discussed the benefits and importance of having tools and methods to reporting on savings Analysis: How Procurement Teams Demonstrate ROI (Part 1 of 2). Now we’re ready to move on to the second priority. Priority # 2: Drive … More

Analysis: How Procurement Teams Demonstrate ROI (Part 1 of 2)

As 2015 begins, many organizations are assessing how well they achieved their 2014 goals, preparing the best ways to communicate that success in terms of ROI for the company, and setting goals for 2015. According to an Iasta Efficio survey conducted in April of 2014, the top two priorities for procurement teams in the 2014-2016 timeframe are: Increase the rate of cost savings (identified and realized) Drive wider operational efficiencies through procurement Top Priority: Determining your rate of cost savings … More

Finding the “Zen State” for the Modern CPO: Part 2

Last month, I hosted a roundtable discussion, “Finding the ‘Zen State’ for the modern CPO.” During the breakout session, I challenged thirteen procurement leaders to identify ways they can find a “state of harmony” in the dojo of the modern enterprise. In part 1 of my blog post, I shared the findings of the group’s top internal and external challenges the CPO is facing today. In part 2, I’ll be sharing how CPOs are applying innovation to their organizations for … More

3 Reasons Why We’re Excited to Attend Procurement Leaders Zurich Forum

Procurement Leaders Zurich Forum tickets purchased? Check! Plane tickets & hotel room booked? Check! Bags packed? Check! We’re ready to travel to the UK next week for Procurement Leaders Zurich Forum next week on October 15! This year’s theme is: Maximising Procurement Value Through Process Improvement and Innovation. We can’t wait to embrace this theme through engaging networking sessions, roundtable discussions, and inspiring keynote presentations. Below are three reasons why we’re excited to attend Procurement Leader’s Zurich Forum: 1-Gain inspiration … More

Getting Enterprise Contract Management Right: Join Iasta at IACCM

Iasta is kicking off October by prepping to attend the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) on October 14-16 in Chicago. IACCM is the global forum for innovation in trading relationships and practices and is leading the way in responding to the demands of global networked markets. What’s On The Agenda? On Day 1, Selectica will host an executive boardroom session, “2015 Readiness: Contract and Commercial Management Trends & Transformation Discussion.” Patrick Stakenas and Bill DeMartino from Selectica … More

“The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement – Part 3 of 3

If you are just joining this series of posts on “The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement, you can read Parts 1 and 2 here and here. We have looked at the need to make meaningful change from within procurement professionals, and the importance of mindset discipline in the face of demanding stakeholders. In this post, we will conclude our series regarding Norman Vincent Peale’s inspirational bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking with rule number six from his “ten rules … More