Contracts, in one form or another, have probably been around as long as humans. There isn’t much written on the topic until Plato got around to it in 348 BC, and even he doesn’t go into much detail. Fast forward to today, and contracts are a fact of life. Business is built on contracts, and their importance can’t be overstated. So it is a curious thing that Determine still encounters so many companies using manual or spreadsheet-based contract management processes. It’s almost as if they’re treated as inconsequential afterthoughts, rather than invaluable assets. In this September DetermiNews, we explore a month of resources focused on contracts and how to best manage and leverage them.
Procurement was center stage again this month (fitting, in terms of it being a summer of trade uncertainty). We covered the discipline from a number of different angles, from taxes to tactics. But in looking back, one thought from Andrew Bartolini, founder of Ardent Partners, stood out as particularly relevant to how procurement as a whole is developing: “While intelligence is critical, a precise measure of procurement intelligence is less important than the performance it generates. In point of fact, as a department (and the entire profession) matures, the definition of procurement intelligence becomes a moving target; and it becomes relative to nearly all stakeholders in the source-to-settle spectrum.”
Depending on who you ask, France was either a shoe-in or a long-shot to win the World Cup this month in Russia. Why they won is very well explained by this paraphrased excerpt from the New York Times:
(The team) will be remembered for what it was: a team of exceptional talent and ruthless efficiency, a group in which every player knew his job and performed it flawlessly. All that it achieved — through diligent planning, hard work, relentless discipline — was remarkable; a team of top-class talents willing to sublimate their individual games to a collective mission.”
It also sounds very much like a description of a world-class procurement organization.
From process “black hole” to complete visibility, traceability and control.
At Determine, we are obviously (and justifiably) biased toward a source-to-pay and contract management cloud platform approach that is based on modular, implement-as-you-need solutions. The model makes perfect sense from every logic perspective. That’s why, when a customer like Amee Foss, National Director of Procurement and Plant Operations at Watermark Retirement Communities comes to the same realization, her story makes a much more powerful case than we can make. And she tells it beautifully in this interview in Supply Chain World.
I read recently that there has been a growing trend – call it an outbreak – in towns, cities and municipalities having their computer systems held for ransom. Apparently, it’s more common than most people realize (they’re easier prey than the business world). What was interesting about the story is the fact that many of these towns refuse to pay the ransom, and instead pay A LOT more to upgrade and update their systems to be more secure. Or they might do both. But it shouldn’t take a catastrophe to convince an organization that implementing the latest technology is the right thing to do – for risk as well as operational reasons . And it doesn’t have to cost a king’s ransom.
How a low code platform solves business challenges better, faster and more easily.
Low code platforms are very hot nowadays. Forrester estimates the market to reach $15 billion by 2020, and cloud application leaders like Salesforce are massively investing in it. In fact, Outsystems, a low code platform provider, just raised $360M, probably because of their great position in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service. In essence, a low code platform lets you focus on solving problems instead of thinking about the technology.
How predictive analytics leverages data intelligence to drive decision efficiency.
More than ever, the role of procurement is gaining influence across organizations. According to the recent Deloitte Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey 2018, cost reduction remains the top priority for procurement. But as innovative technology and digitization play a greater part in the procurement process, the function has become much more strategic. The role of cost-killer is rapidly giving way to critical business partner .
Four advantages of a cloud platform with a single source of truth.
In a recent webinar, Andrew Bartels of Forrester and Julien Nadaud, Determine’s Chief Product Officer, explored in detail the issues, challenges, benefits and hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whether you’re talking about machine learning, natural language processing, robotic process automation, expert system decision management or any other aspect, the goal is the same: harvesting data intelligence. The only way to gain true data intelligence is through seamless data integration.
“You don’t have to do anything but die.”
This rather blunt, but deceptively motivational statement was a frequent response from my high school coach whenever we felt too apathetic towards some practice drills or other. Do we we have to do sprints in the rain? Do we have to come in on Saturday? Do we have to… etc, etc. It was an effective motivator because the underlying message touched a competitive nerve: No, you don’t have to do anything, as long as you’re okay with failing miserably in front of a crowd of friends, parents, spectators and the opposing team. As a change management strategy, it turned a bunch of talented-but-unmotivated athletes into a winning team. Clever man, our coach.
Know what you need to know to empower your decision.
Attending an S2P demo can be a particularly high stress time for a procurement professional. We use this technology more than any other, to the point where its identity is synonymous with our own reputation internally. As a result, making the right choice is extremely important.