Last week, Jon Hansen and I did the second in what will be an ongoing series of ‘Point – Counterpoint’ Blog Talk Radio sessions. Here is how these sessions work: we agree on a topic in advance and then I do my darndest to disagree with Jon for 30 minutes, after which he declares us in agreement. Trust me – the conversations are as entertaining as they are informative.
Spend analysis solutions have long been critical enablers of procurement organizations. Over the last couple of years, however, the term analysis has gradually been replaced by analytics. In order to gather information on this transition, I reached out to Rosslyn Analytics, a company that has operated under the ‘analytics’ label since their founding in 2005, long before it was the prevailing term. I'd like to thank them for their help in putting this post together.
Let me begin by giving working definitions for both terms. According to BigDataCraft.com,
“Analysis is the examination process itself where analytics is the supporting technology and associated tools.”
I am not a fan of the term best practices. I mean who says it is really ‘best’ and there is always room for something better. I feel it is a little presumptuous to think YOUR way is the BEST way. I also think others can be offended by being told how to implement a best practice. However, there are ‘better’ practices that could improve your current situation. Some like to call it a process for continuous improvement.
I have had the opportunity to be in the selection and implementation of MANY supply chain solutions. There were bumps along the way and lessons learned as well. I know some of you think this was in the dinosaur days, but before there were packages to buy, everything was home grown to custom processes and requirements. Often a pitfall was that IT would gather the requirements and disappear while they were building it. Then when it was presented to the business user, it was not really what they wanted. Everyone learned it was an iterative approach and a business lead was a critical component to a successful implementation.
Change makes people anxious and frustrated. When a grocery store decides to move their aisles around, the consumer can’t find things easily until they get accustomed to the new system in place. Sometimes, the marketing team also changes the packaging. That favorite cookie or cereal is now hiding on the shelf, similar to the game of “Where’s Waldo”.
This week’s featured event (hosted by ISM and sponsored by Zycus) was primarily presented by Spend Matters’ Jason Busch. The webinar was recorded and will be available on ISM’s webinars page.
This week’s featured webinar was hosted by Supply & Demand Chain Executive and sponsored by SAP: Realizing Hard-Won Savings at H.J. Heinz.You can access the event on demand here.
I was on a Procure-to-Pay project years ago and we spent so much time learning the existing process. I wanted to get on with the project. It took me a while to understand that that was part of the project. A significant part.
Today's eSourcing wiki article, The Quest for Purchasing Fire, discusses the process and obstacles for getting buy-in from C-level executives as well as the stakeholders that will utilize an esourcing or eprocurement solution.
I have been the project lead on several software implementations and most of them have been difficult technically but the most challenging area was the change management for the end-user and the selling of the benefits. Pointing out the WIIFM (what's in it for me) definitely made a positive difference in moving the transition forward.