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.
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?
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.
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?
From process “black hole” to complete visibility, traceability and control.
At Determine, we are obviously (and justifiably) biased toward a source-to-pay and contract management cloud platform approach that is based on modular, implement-as-you-need solutions. The model makes perfect sense from every logic perspective. That’s why, when a customer like Amee Foss, National Director of Procurement and Plant Operations at Watermark Retirement Communities comes to the same realization, her story makes a much more powerful case than we can make. And she tells it beautifully in this interview in Supply Chain World.
I read recently that there has been a growing trend – call it an outbreak – in towns, cities and municipalities having their computer systems held for ransom. Apparently, it’s more common than most people realize (they’re easier prey than the business world). What was interesting about the story is the fact that many of these towns refuse to pay the ransom, and instead pay A LOT more to upgrade and update their systems to be more secure. Or they might do both. But it shouldn’t take a catastrophe to convince an organization that implementing the latest technology is the right thing to do – for risk as well as operational reasons . And it doesn’t have to cost a king’s ransom.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then reinvention must be the offspring of a continuous improvement process. Back in flight school, there was an industry group with a major professional education component, whose slogan was “When you’re good, you’re always learning.” The more source-to-pay professionals and practitioners I meet, and the more research and whitepapers I read, that same slogan could easily apply to procurement, sourcing and contract management, as well. As one Determine customer sagely told me at a recent User Group, “Comfort zones makes me uncomfortable.”
Some common themes from ISM and Procurement Leaders.
Last week I had the pleasure of sitting in on some great presentations at the Procurement Leaders World Procurement Congress 18 in London, as well as attending the Institute for Supply Management ISM2018 in Nashville, TN the week before. They provided the perfect opportunities to reflect on where Procurement currently is, and where it’s going (hint: agile procurement). It is remarkable how much it has evolved – and what the notable changes are – over the last 10 years.