Category Archives: Suppliers

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

2 Questions You Should Ask Your Supplier Sales Rep Before Thanksgiving

Brace yourself: the end of 2013 is just around of the corner! We’re all trying to make the most of the time we have left. This includes maximizing remaining budgets, tabulating results, and starting to plan for the year to come. The same is true of the sales teams of our suppliers. Not all companies close their books on December 31st, but those who do are trying to hit their quotas before the close of the biggest quarter of the … More

Accounting for the 500lb Gorilla

In today’s world, we know the value of the procurement function can’t, or at least shouldn’t, be measured purely on savings in relation to previous spend. Held merely to this one metric, it is difficult (maybe impossible) to get a true understanding of the value being delivered by procurement. Why? One reason is buyers are dealing with more than simply managing suppliers. Buyers need to understand the fluctuation of commodities affecting the price of the goods suppliers are providing. Rod … More

3 Real Supply Chain Disasters

Has your company ever experienced a supply chain disruption that turned your company upside down? Have you ever experienced a day at the office like this?… Phones are ringing off the hook. Everyone is running around the office- frantically looking for their supervisors. The media is knocking on your door- demanding answers or at least a comment. Facebook and Twitter are blowing up with comments about your company’s supply chain disaster. Maybe you’re lucky enough to never experience a supply … More

10 Steps to Prepare for Your Next Reverse Auction

If someone said that running a reverse auction takes a lot of time and effort, then I would have to disagree. Don’t get me wrong. Conducting a reverse auction does take time and energy, but the auction itself may only last 45 minutes. In my opinion, the real sweat and tears occur in all the preparation leading up to the reverse auction. Rather than diving right into running a reverse auction, you need to prepare ahead of time by gathering … More

Fantasy Football and Procurement: 4 Tips to Choosing a Winning Supply Network

Football season is upon us! Have you started developing your strategy to pick the winning team for 2014? Many football fanatics have begun their annual Fantasy Football draft preparations – analyzing statistics of players-yards carried, completed passes, and playing time to create the “perfect” football team. Understanding and analyzing the stats of each player is critical for “coaches” when drafting their teams. Creating spreadsheets, scanning the internet, and looking for the most up to date player’s statistics are critical tactics … More

4 Consumer Purchasing Decisions Based on Supply Chain Sustainability

At Iasta, we have teams working on the front lines of spend analysis and we’ve noticed a definite upward trend in the number of organizations tracking the sustainability levels of their supply chains. I personally love seeing this B2B trend become so powerful that sustainability conversations have started popping up in B2C environments as well. I frequently see consumers make buying decisions based on sustainability practices of the company making the product they are purchasing. As a consumer, have you … More

6 Goals to Add to Your Sourcing Bucket List

Most of us have a bucket list filled with both personal and professional hopes and dreams. Whether your bucket list includes a sky diving trip on your next birthday or becoming the next CPO of your company, you likely have goals that motivate you on a daily basis. If you lead a sourcing organization and are looking to add some goals to your professional bucket list, here are six accomplishments you can add to your sourcing bucket list: 1)    Mitigate … More

Spend Analysis v. Spend Intelligence: 4 Questions to Ask As a Procurement Team

In 2013, it’s not groundbreaking to say spend analysis is considered a key function within most successful procurement organizations. In fact, Aberdeen Group research found that 89% of best-in-class procurement teams utilized a spend analysis solution within their organization. In the same report, Aberdeen Group gathered that access to data is a critical component to a Best-In-Class procurement team. If you’re curious in reading more about these findings, download the report here: Dynamic Procurement – The CPO as a Collaborator, … More

Kissing the Frog: How Procurement Can Develop Strategic Supplier Relationships: Part 2

Welcome back! Just joining us? Click here to read Part 1 of this series. As you can tell from my previous blog post, there is a great deal of information to consider when trying developing strategic supplier relationships. If you are like many of Iasta’s clients, these questions are all important to the identification and development of strategic suppliers. However, there is high likelihood supplier information is living in the following areas/systems across the business landscape: Spend systems (ERP, P-Card, … More