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  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/5 – 10/9: Getting out ahead of challenges and opportunities

      Unlock Working Capital with Predictive Analytics ( October 6, 2pm EDT I’ve long believed that mastering analytics skills and systems are the key for procurement moving forward – especially when predictive analytics is the goal. This webinar combines analytics with the objectives of CFOs to allow them to better manage cash flows and inventory management by studying the inflows and outflows of payments and receivables. Since procurement is in the position to estimate demand and put contracts (with payment terms) in place, we have a strategic role to play if predictive analytics catches on in Finance. According to Aberdeen Group research that will be explored during the webinar, best in class finance organizations are 78% more likely to implement predictive analytics.   What Procurement Doesn’t Know About Accounts Payable (and May be Afraid to Ask) (SAP/Ariba, SIG) October 6, 2pm EDT In another Finance related topic, Ariba takes on accounts payable from procur ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 05 October 2015
  • Lessons from the Ultramarathon Trail to Prepare for the Category Management Journey

    Hopefully that sets the stage for just how challenging it can be to put an effective category management program in place. Of course, it just easily proves that you can do anything you set your mind to – and more importantly – that you plan and train for. One of the comments offered almost as an aside in the webinar is the notion that Denali has made significant investments in their category management capabilities and training offerings because it is one of the questions they frequently field from CPOs. If I were still a practitioner, that fact would be enough to make me sit up and take notice. I would also fight to be part of any program to roll-out category management, whether purely internal or involving third party support. The main bridge between category management as a theory and category management in practice seems to be having a plan. Since it is often not a well defined concept, organizations have difficulty getting their category management efforts off the ground. Acco ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 02 October 2015
  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/28–10/2: Unique Perspectives on Familiar Topics

      What Your P2P Vital Signs Are Telling You (Hackett Group, Zycus) September 29, 2pm EDT In this event, Hackett Group and Zycus have taken a cool concept – the biometrics information we gain access to through wearable technology such as the iWatch – and applied it to procurement’s performance metrics. The best take away is that while we likely compare our performance on KPIs against market leaders and overall best practices, the most important improvement to show is over the baseline. Calculating a solid baseline can be just as hard as generating the results themselves, as we often see in sourcing projects. This webinar will provide an in-depth look at an exhaustive list of 50+ metrics and ways to excel against them.   Margin, Risk, and Prices, Oh My! Price Optimization: How Best-in-Class Sales Organizations Win (Aberdeen) October 1, 1pm EDT I have a soft spot (and a strong curiosity) for sales events, and the combination of margin and optimization makes this an easy ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 28 September 2015
  • Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: P is for Procurement... except when it isn't

    It used to be that every company had buyers; they were the people managing contracts and placing supply orders. Then strategic sourcing was introduced and dedicated buyers suddenly became a thing of the past, especially as eProcurement systems allowed supplies to be ordered by approved users through online catalogs. Being able to provide people in the organization with a convenient way to buy the right items from approved suppliers at contracted prices was a huge improvement. It also reinforced the notion that procurement could be managed more effectively through technology. If more is more, then getting the entire procurement process into a closed loop must be the ideal. This led to a desire for solutions that could handle full end-to-end integration. This vision connected spend analysis to sourcing to contracts to eProcurement through to Accounts Payable and back to spend analysis again. Now that P2P systems—meaning either purchase to pay or procure to pay—are more common, organi ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 24 September 2015
  • Would Sales Describe Your Procurement Approach as ‘Peter Price’ or ‘Valerie Value’?

    There are a couple of Epstein’s points that are worthy of further consideration. One is the temptation many sales people feel to go around the rules set out by procurement on behalf of the organization. A standard part of any sourcing process is to make clear that going around procurement in any capacity once the process begins is grounds for elimination. Epstein makes the valid point that if you know your value proposition is not being heard because your procurement representative is a Peter Price – in other words a tactical buyer – what do you have to lose? You aren’t going to get selected by going through the front door, so you might as well venture a pass at the back. More important, and harder to address, is the case of the value that has not yet been identified or earmarked for sourcing by procurement. As the interviewer asked, and as Epstein logically pointed out, if the organization has not yet defined a need, they won’t have assigned procurement to the spend (because it doe ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 22 September 2015
  • Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing (3rd Edition)

    Far from this 3rd being a simple re-run of the same old information, O’Brien has added some significant sections to the book that make it relevant for a larger audience. A considerable new section is dedicated to governance via the 5 P’s of people, proficiency, promote, payoff, and programme. Part of how the governance model plays out organizationally is through a steering committee that reports to the C-suite and facilitates all category management projects in the organization. O’Brien also specifically addresses category management for small and medium sized enterprises, making the point that while they may not be able to achieve the same level of leverage and scalability through category management that larger companies can, there is still significant opportunity for improvement. Like anything O’Brien has published, the case studies and visuals are key. Of particular value are the detailed competency charts for those in category management positions. In addition to the new are ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 05 August 2015
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Recently we had a discussion with Brian Daniels, CEO at Spend Radar. This is the continuation of an conversation we had with Rod True, COO, in February 2010, giving us an update on the direction of their organization and elaborating on new offerings.

This was an energetic and informative interview. We would like to thank Brian for taking the time to speak with us. Spend Radar is a growing organization with comprehensive capabilities in their product line. They are a company to put on your ‘watch list’ and invest the time to determine if their offering can fit a need in your organization.

A few years ago, Spend Radar’s client base was predominantly comprised of global organizations in excess of $5B in sales with multiple systems. Now they are finding that smaller companies with the same issues are part of their target market. Spend Radar’s smallest client is a $4M regional bank and the largest is a fortune 100 company. Their clients are in many industries such as life sciences, financial services, health and technology.

Brian outlined the progress with full ‘Spend Execution’. He is very excited about this offering and feels it is taking spend analysis many steps forward. It is in the beta stage and will be able to help companies make decisions looking forward instead of the classic approach of reviewing historical data. The plan is to roll out on a limited basis in the Summer of 2011. There are many reporting features and alerts that will frame areas of non-compliance and track savings and spend.

Spend Radar has successfully implemented Project Excellence: a formal implementation methodology that is structured and consistent. The Spend Radar staff goes through a certification process leveraging internal and external training and that focuses on delivery methodology, quality, meeting expectations and problem solving.

SpendZen Spend Radar’s blog and has generated a great deal of excitement and activity. They utilize it to showcase both clients and associates. The blog following continues to grow and enhances interaction with current and potential clients. 

We asked Brian if he noticed any change in their clients’ behavior due to the events in Libya and Japan. He has found many are looking for alternative methods and sources for products and freight costs.  Companies are trying to continue their businesses utilizing alternative suppliers if necessary.

Spend Radar is continuing to expand globally with clients in 15 countries. In the coming year they will be focusing on the domestic and international opportunities including those in Europe and Asia

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