During my annual pilgrimage to Ireland on the ferry from NW Wales to Dublin I was struck by the unnerving thought that all it would take for a ship like this to be unrecoverable is for it to list by 11 degrees or more. Thankfully, it was early in the day and the captain didn’t seem sauced as was Captain Schettino on the Costa Concordia.
In the past, we’ve seen innovation as the critical ingredient for creating and sustaining company growth. Now, leading executives are asking for innovative processes and new frameworks for designing higher value business models on which to build their enterprise. Many, however, still struggle with day-to-day operational function and count on their vendors to provide innovative solutions.
In a recent post, Getting clarity for building a holistic approach to Procurement technology, we looked to address the challenge of the terms often used to describe procurement technology. Even the other day our sales team encountered a client RFP that asked us to elaborate our capabilities of RFx and auctions in the context of eProcurement. What? The initial reaction was that RFx and auctions are a part of eSourcing, not eProcurement.
For too long the legal department has been seen as something of a necessary evil within an enterprise: vital in keeping the company out of court or at least on the winning side of legal battles, but unable to add much value beyond those duties. This attitude, however, is changing. Increasingly, legal departments are contributing more and even becoming zero-cost centers by streamlining operations, uncovering and inventing new revenue streams, and participating more fully in the enterprise’s overall strategy.
In his recent book Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar wrote, “…today’s supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage.” That’s where contract management strategies can make all the difference.
At the IACCM Europe conference last July, two out of three participants said that their companies lacked a clear, consistent workflow for contracting. Meanwhile, there was wide variation among business units in how workflow was defined. Organizations with effective contract workflow management, however, are achieving superior business results through improved contract value, while those without it too often lose revenue and valuable cycle time during the contracting process.
It’s not news that enterprises are dealing with more contracts and more complexity than ever before. Increasing numbers of stakeholders have skin in the game and creating, executing, and managing contracts plays a crucial role in ensuring a company’s profitability. There are plenty of news stories about legal and financial risk involved when contracts are poorly managed.
It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C’mon – you know that procurement savings question I’m talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer…
If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT?
Terms like eSourcing, ePurchasing, and eProcurement that describe the electronic “source-to-pay” processes have been established for some time, probably a decade or more. But when they become interchangeable, or are used inconsistently within our industry, it makes understanding their differences and why they’re important confusing.
I am honored and proud to take the reigns as president and CEO of the company. A lot has happened. One thing for sure: our business is coming together.