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

Rise of Regulation and Compliance Enforcement = Increased Need for Contract Management

As we move into mid-2015, it is clear that contract management needs are on the rise. Survey after survey from various analyst firms and consultancies tell us that contract management is a growing area of concern. The main benefits often attributed to contract management are providing efficiency and speed to the contract process through automation. A recent PayStream Advisors study found that 62% of survey respondents noted faster negotiation cycles as the primary benefit of contract management software. With regulatory … More

Whole Foods Markets Shift Their Cost Model as They Target Millennial Shoppers

In March, I wrote a post for this blog about the Whole Foods grocery chain in which I asked the question: “How Much Can Procurement Change on Their Own?” I looked at how Whole Foods has defied the low margins commonly seen in grocery retail by employing an operational strategy that merges brand reputation, consumer identity, and high-quality products in justification of higher prices. Their procurement team is part of a top to bottom approach to creating the right value … More

Focus on what matters most by silencing contract management “Noise”

Before I entered the world of software and technology, I spent over 10 years in manufacturing. I hear engineers often discussing what’s called “signal-to-noise” ratios. Like tuning an old AM radio, sometimes you get a good signal and the background noise is minimal. At other times, the static and buzzing is so intense that you cannot hear what the station is trying to broadcast. Managing contracts can be like tuning a radio. You have to reduce the noise to hone … More

The Strategy Behind Bringing Procurement and Contracting Closer Together

Today, contracts can no longer be filed away, retrieved only to resolve disputes later. They need to become more dynamic and play an active role with other business processes to realize their full potential. Why? Because the business landscape has been growing more complex for years now, with contracts at the center of every deal to ensure all parties deliver what’s promised. On both the buy – and sell-sides, businesses face increasingly complicated regulatory demands. Intricate supply chains may escalate … More

eSourcing and eRFx: Procurement terms to know

Remember the days when you asked for information from a vendor and they would send you a slick brochure? Some in fancy packages, others oversized (so they stand out). When you asked for a proposal, you’d get a 30-page bound book while others emailed you a PDF, or you got invited to a private page on their server to access the information. For some of you, that was back in the day. For others, it’s business as usual, and very … More

The Five C’s of a Good eSourcing Tool

As a Business Development Representative (BDR), I am the person you talk to when you ask for information. My job is to understand your needs and direct you to the right member on the sales team to help answer your specific questions. Sometimes, I get calls from prospects in the very initial stages of researching what products are available. They’ve outgrown their current solutions and they’re shopping for what might meet their needs. I had a recent conversation with a … More

Workflow – a critical ingredient

Anyone handling contracts on a regular basis understands that managing stakeholders is one of the biggest challenges. Contracts touch and affect many people within and outside an organization, but in quite different ways. Some view themselves as owners, others as users and still more as reviewers or approvers. And then there are those who may simply be affected in some way by the aims or purpose of the contract. When you face such a broad array of people or functional … More

How Millennials Helped Shape Procurement Technology for the Future

I was reminded while reading this post by Spend Matters that user adoption continues to be identified as a top challenge in implementing electronic procurement technologies, and is in fact often noted as the reason for a program’s failure. The benefits of putting a best-in-class procurement application in place are relatively obvious, and yet end user adoption continues to meet resistance. We have been working on ways to tackle procurement job functions while keeping this key challenge in mind. I … More

CLM vs. ECLM: Which comes first?

I have been blogging about contracts at the core of business for some time now, but it appears there is still some confusion as to what the best way is to get started – a holistic approach or a functional/departmental approach. The answer is actually both. The term CLM or Contract Lifecycle Management is used right along with ECLM or Enterprise Contract Lifecycle Management. One letter (E), however, makes all the difference in the world; even though it is most … More

Selectica Showcases Integrated Sourcing Solutions at ISM2015 Conference

I’m really looking forward to attending ISM2015 next week in Phoenix—the premier supply management conference of the year. It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry, and to network with over 3,000 supply chain and procurement professionals from across the globe. It looks to be their biggest event ever, so you don’t want to miss it! There is certainly an impressive lineup of featured speakers. Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense, will … More

Think like a CLM consultant to improve compliance, reduce risk, and increase profit

Interesting how perspectives can make all the difference in the scheme of business. Looking at something differently can change how you approach it and affect the outcome. While I’ve spent many years in corporate management, for a couple of years, I took on an assignment as a Gartner Research Analyst before coming back to the business side. That experience as a consultant has changed how I look at things today. And I wanted to share some of this perspective as … More

Where to find contract management discussions at ISM 2015

ISM’s annual supply management conference is just around the corner, May 3 – 6 in Phoenix. If you haven’t yet made plans to attend, there’s still time to look into it. If your travel plans are all in place, then you have to make some tough decisions about which breakout sessions to attend. This year, the tracks at ISM 2015 are decidedly strategic and value oriented, making it harder to determine which sessions offer the processes that can best benefit … More

Three suggestions to boost your CLM success

If you’ll spend two minutes reading this article, I’ll help you boost your CLM user adoption by as much as 45%. How, you ask? Simple: By avoiding some basic but common mistakes that place implementations at risk. Through a decade of implementations, we’ve discovered a few simple “Do’s and Don’ts” that consistently drive attractive ROI and user adoption regardless of organization size, needs, market sector, previous expertise with CLM, or regulatory requirements. I’d like to share those with you. Ready? … More

Contract Lifecycle Management helps you avoid contract overload

Let’s consider this familiar situation: it’s the last day of the fiscal quarter, and everyone in your company involved in the contract process is frantically working on extensions, approvals, and special requests. Since each contract is being reviewed and adjusted manually by the legal team, it could very well be the wee hours of the morning before anyone gets to head home – especially if anything unexpected comes up. These last-minute quarterly efforts inevitably lead to confusion and inconsistencies at … More