On our blog and in the OutLoud podcast we’ve been talking quite a lot about the unique requirements of services procurement. In a podcast interview, Determine Chief Product Officer Julien Nadaud addressed the fact that in terms of specifications/requirements and the qualification process, buying services is fundamentally different from buying materials. Kelly Barner wrote a multi-part blog series about how services procurement cannot be considered “one thing” since it encompasses a broad range of talent areas, cost and delivery models, and operational effects on the business. At this point, I think we can agree that services procurement is a case unto itself: but what about procurement services — services that procurement purchases for their own use?
In Parts One and Two of this series, much of what we look at is about making it easier for users through process automation and integration — making the experience almost seamless behind the scenes. In this final chapter, while we address process automation and integration, we identify how the brokering of process from one step to the next is essential, especially when stakeholders are expecting to see the transition as part of the process.
In the Intro and Part One of this series, we touched on why UI/UX is becoming increasingly important across source-to-pay technology (ease of use, user adoption, millennials). We also explored the behind-the-scenes aspects that define a truly standout UI/UX, as opposed to “just a pretty interface.” In Part Two we look at when technology becomes so seamless and works so well, you forget it’s there.
“All things seem possible in May.”
In the world of procurement, that quote by Edwin Way Teale wasn’t far off the mark. CPO Rising 2017: Tools of the Trade was a big focus this month. In this year’s report, the first to really take a technology angle, there was so much to cover we had to parse it out into four chapters. A lot of revelations, chief among them is that procurement leaders are much less focused on spend under management and much more interested in what we call Process Under Management. Pure logic: get your processes in shape and efficient, and other benchmarks will follow.
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The podcast series that’s all about minding your business in contract management and source to pay.
When it comes to procurement and technology, getting the practitioner’s perspective first-hand adds considerable practical dimension and insight to our learning and messaging. In that regard, my conversation with Greg Tennyson, CPO at VSP Global (formerly at Salesforce.com and Oracle) was a trove of information and a revealing glimpse into how a CPO thinks about shaping procurement today. Since Greg will be our featured guest in our webinar tomorrow at 11 AM ET with Ardent Partners digging into their new report CPO Rising 2017: Tools of the Trade, this podcast is a great intro to what will be an important webinar.