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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Recommended Webinars August 19-30: Ditching Contact Management, 3rd Party Risk, Single Source of Truth, Negotiations with Less Stress

This week we are running a “2 for 1” special with our weekly coverage of procurement industry webinars. The following events take place in the last 2 weeks of August. If you happen to be planning a little further out, I’m going to be onsite at NESCON (the New England Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition) on October 7th – so look for more about that event in the coming weeks. If you’re planning to attend, let me know so we can connect!

If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “Virtual Procurement and the C-Level CPO” from Tradeshift’s Roy Anderson on September 10th.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday (although there won’t be an email on August 26th).

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Empowering Procurement to Drive M&A Activity

The uncertainty surrounding Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) can be frightening for all employees involved, but often overlooked is the potential a merger can bring for procurement to hit the “RESET” button – both with their internal procedures and with their suppliers. With common M&A buzzwords like “increasing shareholder value” and “synergies” thrown around by management, procurement is provided with an abundance of short term cost-saving opportunities.

In this post, I’ll outline the steps, tips, and strategies procurement can use to generate cost savings during M&A activity and boost that ever sought after shareholder value.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars May 13-17: P2P Playbook, Print eSourcing, and why Spend Analysis Matters

If last week was sleepy, this week is slammin’! 5 webinars and 4 live events provide plenty of opportunities to learn, share and network. Of course, all of three of this week’s recommended webinars are on the 16th at either 1 or 2pm ET, so make your choice wisely.

If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Disrupting Finance and Procurement: A Conversation with lululemon athletica About Digital Transformation’ from Coupa on June 19th. I love an opportunity to peek behind the curtain at well-known brands, and even though it is a webinar, I never give up hope that someone will figure out a way to offer free samples. (!)

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Setting the Foundation: Preparing Spend Data for a Procurement Metrics Program

Metrics are a critical aspect of measuring the success of any business function. The importance of quantifying progress against goals and objectives cannot be overstated. Without a metrics program, underperforming organizations are unable to target functional areas that require improvement, and growing organizations are unable to set goals or scale resources to align with the changing state.

Because procurement organizations are often challenged by stakeholder resistance and a lack of executive-level sponsorship, metrics are key to demonstrating value. Sourcing efficiencies, cost savings, stakeholder satisfaction, and overall procurement ROI are just the starting point for capturing bottom line impact. While these are often viewed as the foundation for a metrics program, the final structure can’t be established without being certain of data quality and availability.

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Recommended Webinars for Nov 27 – Dec 1: Spend Analysis Tell All, Deconstructing AI, Supply Chain Performance

This week is really busy – there are no signs of a year-end slowdown yet! In addition to the webinars taking place, ProcureCon Marketing is happening in New Orleans, LA and Procurement Leaders DITX is happening in London. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

 

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for September 18-22: Relationship Help, Spend Analysis, AI and Strategic Sourcing

This week, ProcureCon Indirect West is taking place in Scottsdale, AZ. Two of the keynote speakers are good friends of BMP: Jules Ryan and Joanna Martinez. Be sure not to miss their presentations! As for my recommended virtual events, click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for Feb 6–10: Internal Intel, the Cognitive Age, Sourcing for Business Outcomes

This week's webinars will give you access to a variety of strategies and approaches to scale your impact. As procurement's role in the enterprise shifts and evolves, we need to be able to combine perspectives on the organization, processes, and the disruptive technologies of the future. This week's events include all three. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Podcast Transcript: Actionable Spend Analysis Through Applied Data Science

The following is the transcript from a recent BMP Radio interview with  Brian Seipel and James Patounas, both from Source One. If you would like to listen to the podcast, please click here.

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Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 24-28

In addition to the webinars I’ve recommended below, ProcureCon Pharma is running in Philadelphia from Wednesday through Friday. If you’re going, be sure to stop by and say hello to our friends SAP Ariba, Source One, and tealbook! Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars October 3-7

And… just like that… it’s October! In the shadow of The Procurement Revolution the calendar looks a little light this week. That being said, there are two interesting webinars taking place. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/12 - 16

After a drought last week, webinars are back with a vengeance! There are 9 this week and 12 already scheduled for next week. Having so many events to choose from doesn’t necessarily make it easy to pick just a few to recommend, but it does ensure that if you make the time you will learn something new. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

 

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Spend Analysis 101

As a procurement professional, I am frequently tasked with conducting a spend analysis on behalf of current and potential clients, but for those outside of the industry, this may be an unfamiliar exercise. In this post, I will attempt to provide a crash course on spend analysis, answering some of the most commonly asked questions about the topic: What is a spend analysis? Why should I do one? And finally, how do I do it?

A spend analysis is a very broad term that refers to… you guessed it! Analyzing the spend of an organization with the objective of understanding where money is being spent and where there may be opportunity for cost savings or process efficiencies. Spend analyses are conducted by procurement professionals in an attempt to get a comprehensive view of all of an organization’s expenditures and they are frequently the starting point for beginning the strategic sourcing process. There are a number of benefits to conducting a spend analysis, but the most important is transparency. A spend analysis provides a holistic view of all spend (indirect and/or direct) in a given time period, typically during a fiscal or calendar year. By doing this, you are able to gain visibility into where spend is being allocated, who the top suppliers are, how many suppliers you use for certain services, and areas of opportunity. For decentralized organizations, a spend analysis may reveal potential service redundancies across departments/brands and provide insights into areas of consolidation across supply bases. Along the same lines, a spend analysis provides organizations with the information needed to increase spend control by showing where and how spend/budgets are being allocated. Although there are many reasons why an organization would conduct a spend analysis, the benefits are consistent.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/2 - 6

This week’s recommendations are all focused on the very latest in procurement technology, and – more importantly – what it allows the organization to accomplish. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

 

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/12 – 10/16: Data, Intelligence, and Insights

This week’s event picks come from a fresh variety of hosts – all looking at data, intelligence, and insights that procurement can use to improve decision making and results. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/14–18: BYOI – Bring Your Own Imagination

This week’s events represent a wide range of topics as well as some of the companies we don’t hear from quite as often. Interestingly enough, I’m starting to see the old players of Ariba (now SAP) and Emptoris (as IBM) making a comeback in events and marketing. One thing all these topics have in common is the idea that imagination is a key component to a sustainable vision for the future. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in the events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Guest Post on the Ivalua Blog: Looking at Procurement's Assets with Fresh Eyes

Sometimes the best ideas are right in front of us. This can be evident when you look at a situation with fresh eyes, much like what the United States Postal Service recently did.

The USPS is a large organization facing unprecedented changes that are challenging long-held assumptions about how to operate efficiently and effectively. Ideas to improve their declining financial situation were mostly variations on past strategies: closing branches, stopping Saturdaydelivery or raising prices. Not surprisingly, those approaches did little to improve the situation.

But the tide may be about to change. On May 21, the Inspector General of the USPS issued a report with some bold new ideas such as exploring ways to better leverage an under-appreciated asset: their national network of localized offices. Rather than pursue tired old approaches, they are exploring ways to increase the financial services they offer and create new revenue streams without making significant additional investments into infrastructure or personnel.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE POST

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Tomato, Tomato… Analysis, Analytics?

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.”

 

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Webinar Notes: Turning Data into a Business Case for Procurement

This week’s webinar notes are from a recent Procurement Leaders webinar on ‘Turning Data into a Business Case for Procurement.’ The webinar is available on demand here thanks to Rosslyn Analytics, and you can hear an excerpt of the webinar in my July 14th Blog Talk Radio update here.

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Firefighting and analytics

As Procurement professionals, we are accustomed to using analytics for our decision making, negotiations and final awards. How does that apply to other professions like Fire Fighting?

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Webinar Notes: Using spend analytics for supplier categorisation and management

Our featured webinar notes this week are from an August 28th event run by Supply Management and presented by Lutz Peichert Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research and Chris Ayscough Purchasing Director at SITA. The event can be viewed on demand here.

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