The Determine
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A Corcentric Company.

June 4, 2019

Compliance advice for those who herd cats

Compliance advice for those who herd cats

We’ve all heard (or used) the expression that managing some groups of people is “like herding cats”. For cat people in the reading audience, this requires little explanation. Cats do what they want, when they want, only if they want. The expression wouldn’t have caught on if it weren’t true, which means there are plenty of feline humans out there too. If you’re in procurement, I’m sure you’ve met quite a few of them.

We put a contract in place, and the “cats” buy from someone else. We establish a process, and they do whatever they like. It can be infuriating. But, if we approach our internal cats with the right attitude, they also present us with unique opportunities to improve procurement’s performance, impact and influence.

Here is some advice for those days when you find yourself unavoidably herding cats:

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August 22, 2018

Evading the Strategy Trap in Pursuit of Procurement Agility

Evading the Strategy Trap in Pursuit of Procurement Agility

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.

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July 24, 2018

Procurement steps up its game.

Procurement steps up its game.

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?

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February 13, 2018

Top 10 Tips for Winning Procurement Stakeholder Support

Top 10 Tips for Winning Procurement Stakeholder Support

How to make friends and influence outcomes

Procurement does not have an easy job. We function as the spending conscience of the enterprise. When a contract is going to be awarded, we make sure a careful selection process is followed and that every specification or requirement associated with additional cost earns its place. We ensure that incumbent suppliers deserve renewed business, and push all suppliers to perform their best on behalf of the company. As important as all those things are, it can often leave procurement looking like the “skunk at the garden party” from an internal procurement stakeholder perspective.

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December 21, 2017

The ‘Why’ Behind the Drive for Retail Process Efficiency

The ‘Why’ Behind the Drive for Retail Process Efficiency

As we expand the impact of procurement beyond savings, one of the most frequently cited objectives is process efficiency. In theory, if procurement can help the company execute internal processes more swiftly, they can… something, something, something (?). Process efficiency is good, and savings are good. But neither will have any real impact if we don’t understand why we are driving them.

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September 19, 2017

The Powerful Alignment of SIM and CLM

The Powerful Alignment of SIM and CLM

Procurement is so accustomed to aligning our technology and processes with the objectives of the business at large that we sometimes miss opportunities to align our own technologies and processes with each other. Supplier Information Management (SIM) and Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) provide a perfect case example. Both bring together suppliers and internal touch points, extend beyond procurement’s peak involvement in managing spend categories, and play an important role in addressing (and mitigating) supply chain risk.

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July 25, 2017

Making the Case for Procurement Technology “Upgrades”

Making the Case for Procurement Technology “Upgrades”

In Part 1 of this series I wrote about making a business case to bring in new procurement technology. All organizations have handled first-time implementations of some sort – whether they are switching to a full platform or adding a new piece of functionality to a system already in place. The thing about new technology implementations is that, after all the effort invested in vetting prospective solutions, executive teams generally accept the notion that having technology in place is better than not having technology in place.

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July 18, 2017

So, You’ve Decided to Add New Procurement Technology

So, You’ve Decided to Add New Procurement Technology

Although procurement technology is nothing new, there are first-time implementations going on all the time. Whether you are introducing the company’s first full end-to-end platform or adding a new area of functionality to an existing platform (i.e., contract management, supplier information management), preparing a solid business case will help win over decision makers and improve the selection process. Articulating your POV can be the difference between getting the green light to go ahead and more discussion and justification.

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April 13, 2017

The Real Issue at the Heart of the Procurement-Finance Divide

The Real Issue at the Heart of the Procurement-Finance Divide

Overcoming Differing Objectives and Stakeholders

If we were to try to identify the greatest obstacle to a harmonious procurement and finance relationship, what would it be? Most of what these two teams care about is actually very well aligned. They are both good stewards of enterprise resources, working capital and the bottom line. Both care about managing risk and facilitating internal processes that provide other internal groups with the resources to do their jobs effectively.
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