November was all about success; how to achieve it, undermine it, prepare for it, and customers who embody it, like Alliant Credit Union and Watermark Retirement Communities. Anytime you start out on a new project, one of the first questions asked is likely, “how do we measure success?”
CPE programs, training workshops, industry events like the SIG Summit, eWorld Procurement and ProcureCon, even podcasts and Ted Talks; what they all share in common is providing content to satisfy those who are constantly striving for self-improvement. Likewise, most of our resources focus on helping you translate that need for improvement to your Source-to-Pay, contract management, sourcing and other processes. This October DetermiNews has plenty to accompany you on your path to process efficiency.
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.”
Procurement’s desire to be agile is as well-documented and frequently discussed as our interest in transformation. In both cases, however, we are at risk of falling into the ‘strategy trap’ – the lack of clarity, direction and actionability that accompany all things non-tactical.
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.
Is Spend Under Management a “Has Been?”
In this, the third of our four-part blog series for the release of CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence, Kelly Barner of Buyers Meeting Point delves into the myriad facets of Procurement Performance in Chapter Three. There’s no debate that the importance and influence of procurement is on the rise across industries, but the question is, are procurement’s metrics – like spend under management – truly representative of those accomplishments?
If necessity is the mother of invention, then reinvention must be the offspring of a continuous improvement process. Back in flight school, there was an industry group with a major professional education component, whose slogan was “When you’re good, you’re always learning.” The more source-to-pay professionals and practitioners I meet, and the more research and whitepapers I read, that same slogan could easily apply to procurement, sourcing and contract management, as well. As one Determine customer sagely told me at a recent User Group, “Comfort zones makes me uncomfortable.”
I read recently that “data is the new oil.” Which, from a corporate-speak pithiness perspective, is sound bytable enough. But it’s inaccurate: oil is a finite resource that gets used up and will diminish over time. Data, on the other hand, just keeps accumulating and getting ever more valuable. If you know how to leverage it , that is. Pick up some pointers in this month’s April DetermiNews, and even more in our webinar with Ardent Partners, CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence.
March is what we used to call in Vermont one of the “shoulder seasons.” That is, it can’t decide whether to focus on winter or spring so it just throws curve balls at you all day. Luckily for us, as we cover in this March DetermiNews, Determine has incredible customers for us to focus on regardless of what the weather is doing. There are many pathways to achieving customer success; we’re success agnostic – whatever works for them works for us.
From helping global corporations to helping local charities achieve their goals — it’s all in a day’s work.
Hauling debris off a fire-hazard hillside in the French countryside for France Bénévolat; enhancing the living environment for students at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; rehabilitating old building materials at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore; trailblazing for the London Wildlife Trust. What does that have to do with contract management or source-to-pay solutions?