Category Archives: Supply Management Best Practices

“e pluribus unum”

While I’m certainly not one for unbridled patriotism, I’ve always had a soft spot for the motto “e pluribus unum.” It could be that it takes me back to my days of high school Latin but that does not fully account for the sentimental impact of the words. The translation, like most from Latin, allows for a bit of nuanced interpretation. The range of translations typically include “One out of many” or “One from many,” and the one favored in … More

Determine is Bringing Innovation Through Experience & Modernity – Series 3

To understand the trend in technology and how Determine is addressing it is by looking at this from the persona of the company. Organizations want to be smarter by being able to collaborate in new ways using a common platform approach. Taking this concept as part of adopting solutions is something Forrester Research has looked at around the concept of a smart process applications. According to Forrester, what defines a smart process application is the ability to: Import or embed … More

Meet Determine, Inc. – formerly Selectica, Inc.

Today, we’re very excited to unveil not just a new brand identity and a name, but a brand-new company. Determine, Inc.™ is the result of years of work and planning by many people sharing a singular view about how to best position ourselves and shape the company for the future. Now we’re ready for it, and I couldn’t be more proud. As CEO of Determine, this transformation is one of the defining moments of my career. It has long been … More

Getting to Insight (Part 4 of 5)

This is the fourth in a five-part series discussing the obstacles and potential paths forward to achieve visibility – essential to any Procurement organization. The article was initiated based upon the following Ardent paper – HERE. In the first, second and third installment overall Spend and Savings were discussed. Let’s examine the third key area or leading indicator of procurement success: Risk. Risk For the past couple of years, I have been talking to prospects and customers about the topic … More

Still in the dark ages?

It’s time to face the music; your outdated processes and technologies are killing your business. Successful businesses of the future must adopt and embrace change. For years now, as an analyst or consultant and a managing operator, I have been a catalyst for change within organizations. Today, cloud computing and certainly mobile and big data are changing the future of business. But more than that, the digital revolution has led to a wave of connected technologies and a culture of … More

Getting to Insight (Part 2 of 5)

This is the second installment in a five-part series discussing the obstacles and potential paths forward to achieve visibility – essential to any Procurement organization. The article was initiated based upon the following Ardent paper – HERE. In the first installment I discussed the overall drive for procurement visibility. In this installment, we’ll discuss the first of the three key areas of procurement visibility: Spend. Spend Having been a long-term evangelist for spend visibility programs, it continues to puzzle me … More

How Integrated Analytics Solves Problems with SIM

In the past, Supplier Information Management (SIM) systems have focused on, well, managing supplier information. They kept everything in one place and made supplier data available to those who needed it. But that’s essentially where it ended. And that old SIM method is no longer enough. Sourcing is increasingly complex, forced to satisfy a growing number of regulations and strict compliance requirements, in addition to constant directives from executives to trim waste wherever possible. As a recent Spend Matters™ paper points … More

Procurement leaders as enterprise leaders, and why ECLM should be in their playbook

According to Forbes, top global companies are relying on their procurement leaders more and more to seek out innovative ways of doing business with suppliers. It’s no longer simply about cutting costs – procurement is more involved in mitigating supply chain risk and making strategic decisions in collaboration with top management. With better information and processes to tracking every company contract, procurement leaders can unlock the value in those contracts and see opportunities for cost savings that would have been nearly … More

How much can procurement change on their own?

As procurement professionals, we have come to take certain ideas for granted. Savings is still our primary performance metric given the ever-increasing challenges of today’s market environment. However, savings can no longer be the exclusive North Star to our voyage. We need to become more strategic by increasing our ability to create shareholder value and contribute to corporate competitive advantage. Collaboration with suppliers, at least in certain categories, requires that we take a multi-dimensional look at each commercial opportunity and … More

A New Metric for a New Perspective on Procurement

In March of 2014, Matthew Eatough, CEO of Proxima Group, wrote an article for Harvard Business Review discussing what he called ‘corporate virtualization‘. The concept is based on research that found that, on average, “69.9% of corporate revenue is directed toward externalized, supplier-driven costs.” The fact that such a large percentage of corporate revenue is spent with external business partners is surprising enough, but the study also uncovered that the percentage increased by 4% from 2011 to 2014, marking a … More

A visionary focused on helping procurement improve contract management

Just a couple of days ago, Gartner published its Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Suites, February 2015. We are proud to note that we have been recognized by Gartner as a visionary in the latest Moving from the leader’s quadrant into the top portion of the visionary quadrant, we take into account our adjustment from the previous report in July 2013. The elimination of many other vendors from the pool should also be noted. One could argue the changes in … More

How contract management improves supplier relationships

According to Gallup, supplier relationships are among the most overlooked but most important connections a business can have. Being a “customer of choice” can help mitigate risk, lower costs, and spur innovation. Companies that are great customers benefit from a more reliable supply chain and receive “flexible, non-bureaucratic support” from suppliers during crisis situations. What does this mean for enterprises seeking to improve their relationships with suppliers? Based on their research, Gallup came up with a list of five “core … More

CEOs’ top three concerns and how CLM can help

Every day CEOs like me are challenged to realize the objectives they’ve envisioned for their companies. To help ensure their business goals are being met in today’s demanding marketplace, three critical areas of business operations should be considered: compliance, cost reduction, and innovation. Fortunately, a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system can create value in all three of these crucial aspects of the company. Compliance: Maintaining compliance is one of the CEO’s top concerns. While the day-to-day work involved in being … 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

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