If you search online for “agility and adaptability,” (or, like in our last blog, ask Alexa), chances are the links shown will be a menu of education, supply chain and leadership topics. Which works perfectly to summarize what we covered this month: Agility is the ability and willingness to learn from experience and apply that to perform successfully in new situations; Adaptability is to embrace change. We strive for both every day, and help our customers do the same.
If you’re anything like me as a procurement practitioner, you think of our end-to-end process in a linear fashion. It usually starts with spend analysis or some other source of information (budget, ERP, BI system output, etc.) and ends with Contract Management and/or Supplier Performance Management. For us, this is completely logical because the sub-processes that we view as the most “active” portions of procurement – strategic sourcing and negotiation – have been dealt with at this point.
We do love our acronyms in procurement, but rather than being an exclusionary tactic designed to keep “them” out, I like to think that shortening our long phrases to “TLAs” is in line with the resource efficiency we apply to spend management.
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.
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.
In this series, I am sharing some of the lessons I learned as a procurement professional dedicated to hired services — both location based and corporate. In Part 2, I discussed the process of establishing demand and requirements, as well as the eSourcing considerations associated with each type of service.
In this post, I want to share some of the additional opportunities associated with hired services, along with the areas where procurement should proceed with extreme caution. After all, services procurement is about securing access to expertise more than anything else. As Julien Nadaud, Determine’s Chief Product Officer, pointed out in a recent Determine OutLoud podcast, “You can not buy people the way you buy goods.” Procurement needs to approach services with the same level of preparation that they would apply to any other complex, strategic effort.