Category Archives: Sourcing Best Practices

Sourcing Best Practices

How to Develop Strong Vendor Relationships & Strategic Partnerships

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, internal communication and alignment are key factors for a Procurement team who wishes to increase their real and perceived value to their organization, as well as their influence.  The vision for the Procurement team should align with the vision for the overall organization. Additionally, being able to effectively communicate Procurement’s impact on the company’s mission and vision is critical to success. In this post, I’d like to further suggest that Procurement view … More

8 Benefits eSourcing Can Provide Suppliers

Supplier organizations are often hesitant to participate in a RFP or an eAuction because they feel a supplier may have already been selected, and they may just be a placeholder for the process. Of course there are times where this can occur, but as long as the cost of participating is less than the potential benefit from participating, a supplier can/will benefit from participating in eSourcing. Below are 8 benefits eSourcing can provide suppliers: #1. Increased transparency in purchasing process – … More

3 Reasons to Implement a Supplier Diversity Program

April is Celebrate Diversity Month, which started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. Diversity can be recognized in many ways – from self-expression, to a difference of opinion, to choosing diverse suppliers – but one thing is certain, we celebrate diversity in hope that people will gain deeper understanding of the diverse group of backgrounds and cultures. As for procurement, supplier diversity programs are just as important to recognize (and celebrate). Today, supplier diversity programs … More

5 Ways Sourcing Teams Can Start Spring Cleaning

As the weather starts warming up and hibernation days are waning, we tend to get the urge to reorganize and clean up the mess that accumulated while hiding from the cold. This phenomenon that helps pull us out of the funk of winter and into a fresh start is referred to as spring cleaning, and it can be applied to more areas of your life besides the home. You can probably start thinking about ways to clean up around the … More

5 Communication Tactics for Modern Sourcing Pros

Not everyone has a knack for strong communication. We live in a technology-driven world where instant messages, emails, and text messages drive most of our conversations. In fact, some people would actually prefer these digital communications over face-to-face interactions. But there is no denying the benefit of in-person communications. You can pick up on body language in the room and people are more likely to ask questions and participate in the conversation. As a Modern Sourcing Pro, you need to … More

8 Signs You Are Ready to Adopt a Modern Sourcing Solution

I can rattle of many reasons why teams should consider implementing a modern sourcing solution. Even though each company will have different challenges, needs, and goals; if your team is experiencing any of these eight signs below, now is the time to adopt a modern sourcing solution! Sign #1: Limited Or No Visibility Into Your Company’s Spend If you have limited or no visibility into your spend, you are likely missing out on hard dollar savings. A spend analysis solution … More

Keeping the Procurement System Working Like a Well Oiled Machine

Procurement is more than the process of finding, contracting, buying, and paying for products and services. In an effort to do all of these things and more in a way that creates a sustained corporate competitive advantage, most procurement organizations have built up systems of initiatives, each of which offers some improvement to their performance or results. This system of loosely interconnected disciplines and solutions drives procurement’s efforts through the procure-to-pay process and beyond. Some of the most common procurement … More

10 Lessons the Olympics Can Teach Procurement: Part 2

Welcome back! Just joining in? In my last post, I discussed 5 lessons the Olympics can teach procurement. Today, I’ll share the last 5 lessons: 6- Focus Under Pressure – Procurement is more focused than ever at getting a seat at the proverbial table. Demonstrating how procurement creates value is essential. In the past, the value procurement has provided has often been put into question. Today, procurement has the opportunity to change this perception. 7- Expect More – As procurement … More

10 Lessons the Olympics Can Teach Procurement: Part 1

This year in Sochi, Russia, many of us witnessed the amazing feats of the more than 6,000 athletes that competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Olympics have always been a source of inspiration for those who are hungry for great success stories, including the business world. So, the question is, “What can the Olympics teach procurement?” Whether you are a seasoned procurement professional or new to the role, there are lessons the Olympics can teach procurement. In Part 1, … More

5 Easy-to-Keep Goals for 2014

It’s February. You have a full month of New Year’s resolutions under your belt. Are you still on track to reach your goals for 2014? Even if you’ve modified your original plans for a personal (or professional) lifestyle change, you don’t have to fail! At Iasta, customer success is our obsession. We love sharing our customer’s success stories. We’ve put together 5 easy-to-keep goals and best practices that have helped our clients take their sourcing initiatives to the next level … More

5 Common (and Dangerous) Misconceptions about Sourcing

With the constant changes and innovations occurring in today’s world, sourcing is often a bit of a moving target. And often other departments and stakeholders are confused about (or unaware of) the definition and value of strategic sourcing. What’s the strategic sourcing process look like? Who is responsible and accountable for sourcing events? What technology is used, and how can other departments benefit from this technology? These are just a few of the questions that drive the misconceptions about strategic … More

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

What Do Chess and Strategic Sourcing Have in Common?

When strategizing on the management of your team in a sourcing tool, you should think about building your players in the game of strategic sourcing in terms of pieces in a game of chess. Having pieces that move differently or perform different functions is essential to the successful implementation of the sourcing solution and critical to developing smooth business processes across the team. Having the fundamentals of chess in the back of your mind also allows you the flexibility and … More

4 Naughty Procurement Habits You Must Break Today

“You better be nice– Santa is watching!” How many times did you hear that phrase growing up? Only once or twice, right? As a kid, you were encouraged to act “nice” because you knew Santa was watching at all times. But as an adult – do you feel the same pressure? If you want to be on the “nice list” this year for your procurement habits, here are four procurement habits you need to break: 1- Being a collaboration scrooge. … More

Moving Beyond Cost Reduction to Cost Avoidance: Part 2

Welcome back! Just joining in? Check out Part 1. In order to better understand the trend towards cost avoidance, consider traditional cost containment questions in sourcing which may include: What is the historical price of what we are buying? What discounts / savings can we get from buying now? What is our existing contractual relationship with that supplier? However, when addressing cost avoidance, the questions become much more complex. A cost avoidance mentality drums up sourcing questions such as: What … More