Category Archives: Suppliers

Communication Key to Driving Value Out of SME Suppliers

There is no denying the value that small and minority-owned suppliers offer to businesses, but securing that value has proved to be trickier for procurement. Small and medium-sized suppliers, and in particular those owned by minority groups, are more innovative and more responsive than their larger counterparts tend to be. For their customers and the procurement teams they work with this means they can benefit from them being more nimble, able to respond quickly to the changing needs of the … More

Procurement Goes Back to Kindergarten for a Lesson in Relationships

As kids enter Kindergarten, one of the basic lessons we teach them is learning how to play well with other children. Almost any kindergartner will tell you, “If you play nice with others, they will play nice with you.” But as adults, it seems as though we’ve forgotten this basic lesson we teach children – especially in the daily routine of our working relationships. Procurement is no exception. For instance, from a procurement perspective, it has often been argued that … More

Improving Collaboration within Supplier Relationship Management

A few weeks ago at Iasta reSource Indianapolis, I hosted a roundtable titled, “What is Supplier Relationship Management? Discuss supplier partnerships that inspire, improving communication.” We had a great discussion around supplier relationships, so I wanted to share some interesting discussion points that could help you to start thinking about what supplier relationship management really means in your organization. A common issue procurement teams face when managing supplier relationships includes coordinating with stakeholders to ensure the relationship is going well … More

Supply Chain Finance Collaboration

I recently wrote an article for eSourcing Forum about the role procurement can play in carrying out a company’s working capital strategy. Since more procurement pros are reporting to Finance, I shared three ways procurement can support the CFO: Establish Payment Terms Implement Technology to Manage Initiatives Manage Interface With Suppliers The third way, which leverages procurement’s existing relationships with suppliers, allows procurement to contribute to working capital by managing the importance of expense-based supply relationships to an operation. As … More

Finding the “Zen State” for the Modern CPO: Part 1

A few weeks ago at Iasta reSource Indianapolis, I had the privilege of hosting 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. After brief introductions around the room, we looked to find our Zen state by breaking down the challenges of modern CPOs into two core areas: Internal Pressures (Yin) and … More

3 Ways Procurement Can Support the CFO’s Working Capital Strategy

Working capital is defined as the amount of cash an organization has on hand at any given time. Some people also refer to working capital as net liquid assets or current assets minus current liabilities (where ‘current’ means due within a year). The amount of working capital held by a company is a primary measure of operational health because it communicates a steady top line and the ability to manage costs. The management of costs is a clear reason procurement … More

6 Ways Retailers Benefit from Using Modern Sourcing Solutions

The retail industry runs a high supply chain risk as a result of high public visibility and being consumer-focused. In order for retailers to be successful in a heavily competitive marketplace, they must adopt and advance modern sourcing and procurement approaches that go beyond cost savings efforts alone. These modern approaches create a combination of tools and processes that allow for greater visibility. Modern sourcing tools and processes also give procurement teams the ability to reduce risk from the supply … More

Collaborative Supply Thinking Outside of the ‘Giga’ Box

Has your organization considered entering into a highly collaborative supply relationship? Some organizations are moving in this direction. Let’s take Tesla Motors and Panasonic for an example. On July 31st, Tesla Motors announced details about their plan to build a lithium-ion battery factory (Tesla Gigafactory) with their primary battery supplier, Panasonic. The factory will most likely be located in the Reno, Nevada area and is being hailed as the solution to Tesla’s lithium-ion battery supply constraints. According to current plans, … More

4 Tips to Ensure a Successful Supplier Relationship

When evaluating the market, you want to identify and target suppliers who fit your organization’s needs best. Think of it as if you’re interviewing a candidate for a new position at your company. It’s a two-way street – you want to impress the candidate as much as they are trying to impress you. Most importantly, make sure the relationship is the right fit for both parties before entering into a partnership. Consider these 4 tips when choosing your next supplier … More

Why Retail Needs to Think Beyond Cost to Deliver Innovation

When you hear “retail” – what terms come to mind? We’ve found that retail is a broad term that can incorporate many different sectors, especially for global organizations. Retail can cover heavily regulated areas such as food and drugs, but retail also includes: Apparel Electronics Furniture Health & Beauty Regardless of how you view or analyze retail, the industry as a whole is tied by its consumer-focused nature. And due to this large amount of public visibility, retail runs a … More

Procurement’s Ever-Growing Role in Retail

It’s been 10 years since AT Kearney categorized retailers into three different categories: Food and drug retailers, who sell just what you would expect (food and drugs) Soft line retailers, who sell apparel Hard line retailers, who sell appliances, electronics, and furniture Although these classifications still exist, the definitions have blurred considerably in recent times. Take Wal-Mart, for example. Wal-Mart is a hypermarket giant that combines all three of the above categories under one roof. And as we all know, … More

Contract Management in a New Context: It’s About Centralizing Compliance, Governance, and Risk (Part 3)

Creating an enterprise approach to CLM is essential in today’s procurement world, as procurement and other departments are increasingly being audited on their organizational processes and data approaches.  This is paralleled with the efforts of center-led / center-of-excellence approaches being established by world-class procurement enterprises, something we are seeing more and more within our client base. Using an enterprise approach for CLM therefore only makes sense for organizations taking this approach. In fact, the consolidation of CLM into one tool … More

Contract Management in a New Context: Blind Men, Elephants, and Visibility (Part 2)

Today, organizations have many choices when selecting a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution.  Some solutions may come from a content management provider as part of a wider usage of sharing content.  Others may come from ERP systems, who argue that you’re simply leveraging just another module within your ERP.  Someone focused on these two options may be considering CLM as just an add-on functionality or an afterthought to using one provider. Still, other CLM options come from specific functions, like … More

Contract Management in a New Context: Going Outside Your Silo (Part 1)

Without Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) in the modern business world, a list of things can go wrong, including missed savings, heavy fines, costly litigation, and broken relationships. However, what truly defines CLM will always be a matter of perspective. Generally speaking, CLM is the ability to manage against contracts to ensure that contractual obligations are being met.  This starts with the coming together of two parties that agree on the context of a business relationship.   CLM, contract award, compliance, and … More

Supplier Diversity Makes Headlines with Minority Subcontracting Laws

At Iasta, we started paying more attention to supplier diversity when we released our first Supplier Information Management software in 2007. In 2012 and 2013, we began noticing a significant uptick in general market interest and direct inquiries from clients and prospects regarding supplier diversity tracking. Aside from hearing about supplier diversity issues from clients and prospects, we’re also reading about it in the headlines. Just last week, McHugh Construction agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit alleging … More