Category Archives: Sourcing Best Practices

Sourcing Best Practices

Forget Everything You Know About Strategic Sourcing.

Instead of “recycle, reuse, retread” let’s talk about a reboot. Memorization is a frontage road: It runs parallel to the best parts of learning, never intersecting. It’s a detour around all the action, a way of knowing without learning, of answering without understanding.” — Ben Orlin, “When Memorization Gets in the Way of Learning,” The Atlantic, 9 September 2013

The Functionality Everyone Demands, but Almost No One Uses

Make sure your procurement team is focused on the right eSourcing solution features. In a recent blog post here on Determine, I shared my list of 10 questions I think every procurement team should ask at all solution provider demos. Some of them you’d probably expect, like questions about integration and the administration of configuration settings. Others you might not have thought of, for instance asking to what degree the company “takes their own medicine” by using the technology themselves.

Customer Success Part 1: Do you have a strategic relationship with your technology provider?

I recently joined Determine as their Senior Vice President of Customer Success, but it is not a new role for me. One of the primary things I work on with companies is the need to tell their success stories, whether internally or externally. Believe it or not, the reasons for doing this – regardless of the intended audience – aren’t as different as you might think.

For whom the bell tolls: Carillion and the need to rethink outsourcing.

This week the UK’s 2nd largest construction company, employing an estimated 43,000 people around the world, went into liquidation. Three quarters of the company’s sales came from the UK, where many of the contracts were awarded by the UK government for such infrastructure projects as new roads and hospitals.

Big Data, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics will drive future enterprise performance.

What value does the Determine Cloud Platform add? How can its Big Data offering assist buyers? And what advantages are offered by the predictive and prescriptive analytics developed by Determine? In mid-September, I was interviewed about recent and forthcoming developments of Determine’s Cloud Platform Source-to-Pay and Contract Management solutions, which cover the entire finance procurement process. The original interview appeared in the French procurement magazine, Décision-Achats. What fundamentally distinguishes you from your competitors? What would you say is the main … More

What Do Procurement Organizations Need Most? Answer: Agility & Flexibility

One idea that has not changed, nor will ever change for procurement, is the importance of managing cost. In fact, procurement’s raison d’être, headed by the Chief Procurement Officer or other procurement executive, is and always will be focused on controlling cost; but it increasingly requires the adaptability to adjust to the world around it.

Featured Resource: Strategic Sourcing in the Euro-Area

A common currency demands uncommon approaches Europe offers unique sourcing and spend management challenges; the right strategy will turn those into unique opportunities. While the countries that make up Europe vary dramatically in size, diversity, and economic influence, much of the continent shares a common currency that underscores the need for common approaches to strategic sourcing. This report examines the unique pressures, actions, and capabilities faced by organizations in the European region as they continue to leverage sourcing to bolster … More

The hijacking of Lean Management or management’s flight from complexity?

“Lean production is a work organization model that favors the development of proactive, competent employees who are prepared and motivated to think and suggest improvements.” — Philippe Hidden behind the magical power of measurement quantified using intrinsically false data, Management is finding itself unable to deliver performance in a complex world within ever more complex organizations. Didn’t Lean Management provide the keys to performance? In the 1990s, didn’t the complexity sciences largely contribute to the revival of the practice of … More

Relationships: Vital to business success and prosperity!

With blogs, such as this, or any social media connection—email, text, online media in general—it  seems that building relationships has become a lost art. However, I beg to differ and will explain. This blog is about Relationship Economics and how it’s still as valuable as ever and even in vogue. In today’s economy, relationships are perhaps the new currency. A relationship describes a connection or association between people and/or things. Economics is about resource abundance, scarcity and allocation, the distribution … More

The Procurement Maturity Curve — savings at every stage

The role of Procurement is ever changing and growing in importance. What are your company’s current practices? What are you doing to advance to the next level? Savings is still a primary focus and a critical measure of effectiveness, but it’s not the only one. In this two-part series, we’ll examine how procurement technology is (or should be) adding value across enterprises. We’ll also touch on how incorporating data and analytics tools can enhance processes, providing procurement professionals with increased … More

Business considerations for a better year

A lot has already changed within the first few weeks of the year. The China asset bubble finally burst, oil prices are near $25 a barrel and indicators predict especially uncertain times. Could 2016 be the year that we see the predictions of 2008 come home to roost? Whatever the year holds, David Bowie was right, the future will not be boring. As we hope for the best and prepare for the worst, here are my key business considerations for … More

Center Led Procurement: An Introduction

One of the hot topics in sourcing today is the trend toward center-led procurement organizations. This is where strategic decisions are coordinated centrally while transactional activities are decentralized across the organization, especially in large enterprises (>1 billion dollars). Today we are going to compare and contrast center-led procurement with the traditional centralized and decentralized models of procurement, and review some of the advantages of the center-led model. A classic decentralized model of procurement, where each business, functional or geographic unit … More

Empower managers with P2P process improvements

Overhead cost control, reduction and compliance with agreed budgets—They’re on every organization’s agenda, yet few have the processes and solutions in place to achieve them. In this blog we look at the issues and the solutions. Getting overhead under control. Whether it’s a new calendar year or a new fiscal year (or both), now is the time to make your spend control and reduction resolutions, and put the steps in place to make them a reality. Of all the factors … More

Optimizing Strategic Sourcing Efforts – Insight From Research: Part 2

These are exciting times for procurement professionals. But consistently, most procurement leaders feel they should be doing better. Unlike last year’s Ardent report on “The State of Strategic Sourcing,” respondents in 2015 see as obstacles technology systems and processes rather than staff or talent challenges. Moreover, they feel that they can drive improvements that propel procurement forward through effective use of collaboration and enabling technologies, something that best-in-class are doing better than their peers. Survey respondents note that a strong … More

Buying turkey doesn’t have to be like rocket science!

One irony that historians note is that turkey was most likely not eaten on the first Thanksgiving. But tradition is what it is, and turkey is on the menu today. With that being said, there is a lot of turkey to be had this year. Let’s start with some numbers: According to the NTF (for the non-turkey experts, this is the National Turkey Federation), 228 million turkeys will be raised in the U.S. in 2015. As everyone probably knows, the … More