Everyone has heard about chatbots, or intelligent assistants. The battle between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana is raging: They are embedded in our smartphones and are mainly driven by voice, augmenting our ability to access information and do things; these assistants are also in many homes, and have become mainstream in consumer smart objects and IoT devices. Now we’re wondering how soon they will be just as common on our desks at work.
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.”
Bring sustainable value to the bottom line.
Increasingly, procurement is being looked to for the added value it can bring to the organizational table. Expectations are on the rise as well, with big data and advanced analytics driving decision making to new levels by enabling teams to generate new insights and achieve unprecedented proactive capabilities. As covered in recent reports by both Ardent Partners and PayStream Advisors, demonstrating procurement’s value can include many components depending on the priorities of any particular company. But with increased reliance on cloud platform P2P solutions, showing procurement ROI is a great place to start.
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.
The world is mainly divided in two blocks in term of tax: the Value-Added-Tax, or VAT, that has been adopted by 166 countries out of 193 in the world; and the US, which is almost the only country that has sales tax. Some countries have still a very complex tax system that has not been unified between the provinces, like Canada, however the Good and Services Tax (GST) works mainly like the VAT.
There are a lot of differences in the way these two main tax systems work. Robust tax management can simplify the complexity for procurement.
Unlocking the strategic value in contracts.
A recent McKinsey study was chock-full of surprises in terms of procurement and CLM, including this little gem:
Across industries, total procurement operating expenses are typically less than 1 percent of total spending. By underinvesting in this way, companies are overlooking a significant source of value: suboptimal contract terms and conditions combined with a lack of effective contract management can cause an erosion of value in sourcing equal to 9 percent of annual revenues. For Fortune’s 2016 Global 500 companies, this 9 percent would have equaled $2.5 trillion in value.”
Kind of makes you wonder, what’s in your contracts?
It’s not just about IQ, but EQ (Effectiveness Quotient).
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.
It’s time to up your digital game.
In this fourth and final part of our blog series for the release of CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence, Managing Partner & Chief Research Officer of Ardent Partners returns to delve into Chapter Four – Strategies for Success. He caps off the report by offering best practices and forward thinking from leading global CPOs about how to achieve Intelligent Procurement. They run the gamut from common sense to “why didn’t I think of that?” — and you’ll find many more in the report itself which is available for download.
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?