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.
We’ve all gotten so used to everything being “in the cloud” that many of us have stopped thinking about what it really means for enterprise business – and what it makes possible. I dug into the topic in a conversation with Tim Scott, a Business Consultant Manager at Determine, to follow up on some of the points raised in his recent webinar on sourcing and contract management with PayStream Advisors.
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.”
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?
Instead of “recycle, reuse, retread” let’s talk about a reboot.
Memorization is a frontage road: It runs parallel to the best parts of learning, never intersecting. It’s a detour around all the action, a way of knowing without learning, of answering without understanding.”
— Ben Orlin, “When Memorization Gets in the Way of Learning,” The Atlantic, 9 September 2013
Listening to your customers is about more than building relationships, providing great service and ensuring the path to success; the powerful voice of the customer can also reveal a lot of insight and wisdom.
Placing customer interests at the center of your strategic plan is wise, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. Meeting customer expectations requires a full understanding their needs – and that is not possible unless you have one or more dedicated people who truly want to hear from customers and work with them to advance their objectives. As I found out in my conversation with Rose Lee of Determine, that’s precisely what a Chief Customer Officer does. And a whole lot more.
Face it sourcing, CPOs just aren’t that into you.
Last week, the team from Ardent Partners shared the results of their research: CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence in a webinar with Determine. This year’s report includes input from 324 participants, 62% of which are Director level, VP level, or C-level. No one industry accounted for more than 13% of the research data, although approximately 70% of the responses were from large (>$1B) companies in North America.
Customer advocacy isn’t an event or a milestone: it is a natural progression that predates implementation.
Just weeks after joining the Determine team as their Senior Vice President of Customer Success, Kevin Turner was in attendance at the annual user group conference in Laguna Beach. Between meeting customers for the first time and hearing their feedback through presentations and informal exchanges, it was a critical and well timed opportunity to ensure that the Determine product roadmap is aligned with a broad range of definitions for customer success.
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.
Make sure your procurement team is focused on the right eSourcing solution features.
In a recent blog post here on Determine, I shared my list of 10 questions I think every procurement team should ask at all solution provider demos. Some of them you’d probably expect, like questions about integration and the administration of configuration settings. Others you might not have thought of, for instance asking to what degree the company “takes their own medicine” by using the technology themselves.