Category Archives: Suppliers

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

Participate In IASTA and Efficio’s Global Procurement Survey

Iasta has partnered with Efficio to research how procurement maturity varies globally and address the steps procurement leaders are taking to become change agents in their organizations. Our hope is the survey results will help us better understand procurement’s organizational impact from a global perspective. We are asking questions around: The big picture – What are your top challenges and plans over the next two years? The sourcing process – How do you prioritize, manage, and report on your projects … More

Are You Speaking the Language of Value?

Procurement organizations are constantly being challenged to create more value. The initial step for each company is to define exactly what value means given their unique economic context. The language of value, like value itself, is about discussing topics with an emphasis on creativity and potential. Since value is qualitative, procurement must be able to discuss, explain, and promote it without being overly reliant on the quantitative measures to which we are accustomed. Having the ability to discuss value creation … More

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

4 Factors Driving Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity is important in nearly every industry, but I always find it interesting to understand the various drivers that determine the level of importance within select industries.  Here are a few key takeaways I’ve found based on my conversations with clients and prospects: #1: Government mandates directly influence supplier diversity requirements. Supplier diversity in the Telecom industry is stemmed from government mandates to comply with minimum diversity requirements. As a result, several organizations have come to realize the value … More

Is Your Supplier Management Strategy Inclusive?

Supplier diversity programs are common in large organizations such as Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart. Even smaller organizations are starting to recognize the importance of having a supplier diversity program in place. Usually procurement is responsible for managing and reporting on progress against diversity targets, but successful organizations will find ways to include and inspire the entire company to participate in the supplier diversity program. Even though supplier diversity can mean something different for every company, a recent article … More