You’ve heard the phrase “back to basics” countless times. And it’s an incredibly misleading message: That basics somehow equates with “regressing.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Honing your basic skills and knowledge is about improving, moving forward, excelling. Ask any top musician, athlete or craftsperson — basics make you better.
Three best practices you can use right now.
Procurement often uses the terms governance and compliance to describe the “law and order” part of our responsibilities. Governance establishes the rules for enterprise purchasing and spend management, while compliance measures how well distributed buyers adhere to those rules. In a perfect world, proper governance would lead to consistent compliance. In the real world, there is often only a loose connection between the two.
The definition of spend management seems to be fairly obvious ⎼ it’s the management of enterprise spend, right? On the contrary, the practice of spend management involves more than just the simple tracking and monitoring of how much money is going out of an organization. Much more.
Give your organization a clear, consistent process for optimizing contract management.
According to the IACCM (International Association of Contract & Commercial Management), two-thirds of participants at their conference a few years ago admitted that their companies lack a clear, consistent workflow for contracting. Some had no formal definition, while others had wide variations between countries or operating units. Since contracts are the most fundamental part of doing business, not having your workflow in high gear means your organization is going to sputter and stall.
Empower managers with process improvements.
Depending on where you sit in a company, budgets are either essential guardrails for organizational efficiency, an inescapable fact of life, a necessary evil, or just evil. Overhead cost control, compliance, data quality — they are on every organization’s budget management agenda, yet few have the processes and solutions in place to achieve them. Here are four best practices to get closer to that goal.
Determine OutLoud: A conversation with Anthony Mignogna, Director at Source One, a Corcentric company.
Attend any procurement conference, read any procurement blog, download any procurement whitepaper these days and what are you likely to see and hear? AI! Blockchain! Machine learning! Chatbots! Emerging technology is undoubtedly exciting, and it is no wonder that it captures our attention and imagination. But does it have any actionable value for the majority of procurement organizations today?
Evolving beyond savings.
Last month we concentrated a lot on looking at the ways (and why’s) procurement teams can and should be more supplier oriented. Not surprisingly, that supplier-centrism also applies to your strategic sourcing processes. That requires a holistic focus to integrate analytics, contracts and supplier information, and the technology to make it work.
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:
The NBA finals are upon us. Is it luck? Or have the Raptors and the Warriors made it this far by building a framework for success; utilizing each player’s strengths and abilities to give them a competitive edge above the rest? We say it’s a framework for success – which is exactly what it takes for a supplier management strategy to work, too. From covering the basic fundamentals to ensuring you’re prepared for any and every potential supplier risk, maximizing the competitive advantage you can achieve with the right approach to supplier management helps the entire organization win.
Executives in all functions and lines of business are driven to create shareholder value, a challenge that increasingly requires them to take calculated risks that often involve the supply chain. From a shareholder’s perspective, nothing destroys the perceived value of an investment faster than negative press, even when it is the unintended result of ‘pushing boundaries’. In some cases, the criticism may not even be due to a company’s own actions, but rather those of their suppliers (or suppliers’ suppliers).