Category Archives: Sourcing Best Practices

Sourcing Best Practices

How Integrated Analytics Solves Problems with SIM

In the past, Supplier Information Management (SIM) systems have focused on, well, managing supplier information. They kept everything in one place and made supplier data available to those who needed it. But that’s essentially where it ended. And that old SIM method is no longer enough. Sourcing is increasingly complex, forced to satisfy a growing number of regulations and strict compliance requirements, in addition to constant directives from executives to trim waste wherever possible. As a recent Spend Matters™ paper points … 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

Contract Management: Yours, Mine, and Ours

In his recent book Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar wrote, “…today’s supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage.” His point plays out on a daily basis through the contract management strategies and practices in many organizations. Because our supply chains are no longer linear or consecutive, we may be buying from and selling to the same … 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

Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology (Part 1)

Terms like eSourcing, ePurchasing, and eProcurement that describe the electronic “source-to-pay” processes have been established for some time, probably a decade or more. But when they become interchangeable, or are used inconsistently within our industry, it makes understanding their differences and why they’re important confusing. Lack of common definition is not just a challenge for practitioners but for analysts as well. For example, Forrester Research notes the definition of ePurchasing as the entire source-to pay-process, while Gartner describes ePurchasing as … 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

The Five C’s of a Good eSourcing Tool

As a Business Development Representative (BDR), I am the person you talk to when you ask for information. My job is to understand your needs and direct you to the right member on the sales team to help answer your specific questions. Sometimes, I get calls from prospects in the very initial stages of researching what products are available. They’ve outgrown their current solutions and they’re shopping for what might meet their needs. I had a recent conversation with a … More

Enterprise technology – A future written by millennials?

In viewing the release of our newest sourcing platform during a demo, I tried to discern all the pieces that I saw as unique or compelling. Looking past core features in the sourcing platform, such as RFx, auction and award management capabilities, I saw aspects of the new platform that are clearly distinguishable. Things like a slick and simple UI, collaborative reporting, in-app messaging and other social media, including capabilities for networking, made me think of the evolution of technology … More

Opportunities for improvement in sourcing and contracts

A look at Aberdeen’s recent research: I had the opportunity to read “Strategic Sourcing: Lessons Learned” recently published by the Aberdeen Group. You can download it for free at the following link: http://www.aberdeen.com/research/9814/RR-strategic-sourcing-lessons.aspx/content.aspx It is interesting that many companies are holding onto old technologies when the proliferation of new technology to support their sourcing environments is abundant. Given the numbers from the Aberdeen survey as well as analytics from Gartner, Forrester, etc., it is puzzling why companies remain reluctant to … 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

CEOs’ top three concerns and how CLM can help

Every day CEOs like me are challenged to realize the objectives they’ve envisioned for their companies. To help ensure their business goals are being met in today’s demanding marketplace, three critical areas of business operations should be considered: compliance, cost reduction, and innovation. Fortunately, a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system can create value in all three of these crucial aspects of the company. Compliance: Maintaining compliance is one of the CEO’s top concerns. While the day-to-day work involved in being … More

7 Scary Moments When Building Sourcing Projects

Imagine this: It’s Halloween night and you’ve just committed to complete a sourcing project with a tight deadline. You must stay late at the office in order to complete the project in time. Everyone has left for the day and you’re all alone. Suddenly, the lights flicker. You hear a creek at the door and then footsteps in the distance… Are your palms sweaty? Is your heart racing? Unfortunately, I can’t help you avoid that scary situation. Although, I’d recommend … More