Category Archives: Supply Management Best Practices

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

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

Analytics on the Brain in 2014

The emergence of Big Data has created a demand in the ability to understand and make sense out of an increasingly amount structured and unstructured information. The increased interest in analytics has given rise to a “culture of analysis” where procurement now sees: More data is being collected with an increased portion of this data to be analyzed coming from unstructured data sources such as pdf files, PPTs, emails, blog entries, wikis, word processing documents, photos, graphic images, videos, streaming … More

4 Tips for Recovering From Supply Chain Disasters

What happens when disaster strikes your supply chain? As a modern sourcing pro, you understand your role in your company’s supply chain operations and supplier risk program. Even though you can’t avoid ALL supply chain disasters, having a plan in place and being proactive when responding to changes in your marketplace and your supply base is a critical to your company’s success. If you aren’t sure where to start in developing your supply chain disaster plan, start with these four … More

Prego & Supplier Data: “It’s in there!”

Years ago, Prego televised a commercial for their spaghetti sauce with the catch phrase, “it’s in there.” The commercial went something like this… A father enters the house for a spaghetti dinner and condones his son’s wife for using sauce from a jar. The father continues to talk about garlic, herbs and onions to which the son replies, “it’s in there.” For those not familiar with the commercial, you can view it here. So, how does a can of Prego … 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

5 Supplier Diversity Best Practices

As you know from my previous blog post, supplier diversity programs bring great value your organization by: Finding creative ways to approach and fund initiatives that will have a positive impact on the organization Protecting the company from risk Bringing integrity, accountability and transparency to the organization So, how can you create a program that will have a strong impact on your organization? Here are five best practices to help you develop a supplier diversity program: 1 – Do your … More

Stakeholder Sympathy is Not Enough

There are words in the English language that we commonly misuse out of habit – sympathy being one of them. It sounds similar to empathy, so which word do we use and when? Knowing the difference between the two will make a difference when dealing with internal stakeholders. So, it’s important to use them appropriately! According to a synonym study in the Random House Dictionary (2013), sympathy signifies “a general kinship with another’s feelings”, while empathy refers to “a vicarious … More