The destination is clear when there is a “source of truth”

Over the past 5 years, general counsel have become increasingly aware of the need for the corporate legal department to steward an enterprise contract management business process. The previously “federated” approach to ownership of the process meant that groups like legal, procurement, finance, marketing, sales, etc., all were involved in “contracting” at some level, but this also meant that no one owned the management and optimization of the contracting business process across the entire company. This awareness has translated into … 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

Avoiding Litigation with Information Governance Tools

As I was looking through some industry stories recently, I came across this report of a ski resort in Park City, Utah, that lost its lease on land it had held since the 1970s due to a data management oversight. Had the contract been renewed according to standard procedure, there never would have been an issue. Unfortunately, because of poor data management, no one knew the lease was coming up for renewal; and by the time they realized the deadline … More

Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology (Part 2)

In a recent post, Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology, we looked to address the challenge of the terms often used to describe procurement technology. Even the other day our sales team encountered a client RFP that asked us to elaborate our capabilities of RFx and auctions in the context of eProcurement. What? The initial reaction was that RFx and auctions are a part of eSourcing, not eProcurement. Based on this example, and hundreds of others … More

From Cost to Revenue Center: How Legal Can Impact the Bottom Line

For too long the legal department has been seen as something of a necessary evil within an enterprise: vital in keeping the company out of court or at least on the winning side of legal battles, but unable to add much value beyond those duties. This attitude, however, is changing. Increasingly, legal departments are contributing more and even becoming zero-cost centers by streamlining operations, uncovering and inventing new revenue streams, and participating more fully in the enterprise’s overall strategy. Here … More

Contract Management: Yours, Mine, and Ours

In his recent book Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar wrote, “…today’s supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage.” His point plays out on a daily basis through the contract management strategies and practices in many organizations. Because our supply chains are no longer linear or consecutive, we may be buying from and selling to the same … More

Increase Contract Value and Prevent Loss of Revenue with Better Contract Workflow

At the IACCM Europe conference last July, two out of three participants said that their companies lacked a clear, consistent workflow for contracting. Meanwhile, there was wide variation among business units in how workflow was defined. Organizations with effective contract workflow management, however, are achieving superior business results, while those without it too often lose revenue and valuable cycle time during the contracting process. The IACCM has outlined some of the pitfalls that can arise when contracting workflow isn’t well-defined … More

Getting to Insight (Part 1 of 5)

“Big data” and “analytics” are the buzzwords of the day. Or as our friends at Ardent more concisely say, visibility”. From the solution provider’s perspective, the challenge of delivering on the promise of visibility requires plenty of hard work, collaborating with customers and, frankly, a little trial and error. Prioritizing which critical areas to enable is more often than not the key decision a solution provider must make. Which brings me to this article that I found to be an … More

Collaborative Contract Management: Working Better Together

It’s not news that enterprises are dealing with more contracts and more complexity than ever before. Increasing numbers of stakeholders have skin in the game and creating, executing, and managing contracts plays a crucial role in ensuring a company’s profitability. There are plenty of news stories about legal and financial risk involved when contracts are poorly managed. Yes, contracts can make all the wrong headlines if not properly managed and monitored, as last year’s story about Walgreen’s botched financial forecast … More

Is there “Tough Love” Embedded in Your Budget Process?

It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C’mon – you know what question I’m talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer… If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT? Ugh. The problem is that the space between negotiated and realized savings is full of pitfalls: unexpected requirements, inaccurate demand, and budget holders who see an opportunity to unofficially reallocate savings elsewhere. Even when additional value … More

Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology (Part 1)

Terms like eSourcing, ePurchasing, and eProcurement that describe the electronic “source-to-pay” processes have been established for some time, probably a decade or more. But when they become interchangeable, or are used inconsistently within our industry, it makes understanding their differences and why they’re important confusing. Lack of common definition is not just a challenge for practitioners but for analysts as well. For example, Forrester Research notes the definition of ePurchasing as the entire source-to pay-process, while Gartner describes ePurchasing as … More

Adding it up: The Business Is Coming Together

I am honored and proud to take the reigns as president and CEO of Selectica. A lot has happened. One thing for sure: Selectica is coming together. Over the past year, we executed on a strategy to acquire IASTA (spend analysis, eSourcing & supplier management provider) and soon b-pack (procurement software & procure to pay technology) will close. This will enable our customers access to a complete suite of best-in-class, source-to-pay solutions. Now, we can deliver the highest quality and … More

Contract Automation Tips to Keep Your Global Business on Track

These days, the world is going paperless for good reasons. However, with contracts stored online instead of in drawers, they can lead to new risks for your business, especially if you operate on a global scale. Those risks, however, don’t outweigh the benefits but they do mean that you have to adjust to some new processes to make sure everything is done efficiently and securely. Many companies continue to make basic errors when converting to paperless processes, especially when moving … More

Why legal departments need tailored solutions for unique challenges

Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) regulations have become more complicated over the last several years. The TMT industry is a high-stakes field with a wide array of major players, including cable and satellite networks, social networks, film and television studios, and many others. Most of these companies are built on cutting-edge technology. They require experienced legal teams to handle consequential disputes and complex deals. TMT in-house counsels tend to be extremely specialized in their industry, and demand specific, configurable tools to address … More

Decide upfront who gets to recognize savings earned by procurement

Procurement teams work hard to source, negotiate and monitor deals, maximize supplier relations, manage risk, and control spend. The bottom line is they can save their company money–often, a lot of money. “In our first year we were able to leverage Spend Analytics from the SmartAnalytics® suite of products, allowing us to save $31.7 million from approx. $300 million in indirect spend–a 10% return!” — Greg Tennyson, CPO, VSP   Which begs the question: Where should the money saved go? … More