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  • Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Is there “Tough Love” Embedded in Your Budget Process?

    It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C'mon – you know what question I'm talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer… If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT? Ugh. The problem is that the space between negotiated and realized savings is full of pitfalls: unexpected requirements, inaccurate demand, and budget holders who see an opportunity to unofficially reallocate savings elsewhere. Even when additional value is created, many times by the end of the year the savings have all but evaporated. This is a problem that has to be handled by the top level of the organization. If the strategic vision of the leadership team requires that all uncommitted funds be returned to a central account, they have to be willing to support Procurement by issuing a mandate. Declaring that all funds saved by Procurement are to be removed from line of business budgets is a tough love decision. But all that really m ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 01 July 2015
  • Procurement Perspectives Podcast: Hear from the 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Stars

    This week our audio comes from the ThomasNet and ISM 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Rising Stars program. They hosted a panel-style interview and discussion with some of the 2014 award recipients at this year’s ISM conference. The full hour-long conversation is available on Sound Cloud if you want to hear it. The podcast starts with each of the participating recipients and program mentors introducing themselves and then moves on to a press-conference style question and answer session with some of the most recognizable names in procurement media – including the Hackett Group, Manufacturing Talk Radio, and Spend Matters. The excerpt I selected to share starts with a question from Supply Chain Management Review’s Editorial Director, Bob Trebilcock, as he asks how these rising stars ended up in supply chain. You can listen to the podcast on the PI Window on Business Blog Talk Radio channel or on our Sound Cloud page. ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 30 June 2015
  • Webinar Recommendations for June 29 – July 3, 2015: Outsourcing Health Checks, Risk Management, and eInvoicing

      Outsourcing Health Check and Readiness Assessment: A Proactive Approach to Achieve Full Potential and Uncover New Value (Neo Group) 6/30, 11am EDT It used to be that when we talked about outsourcing, you could assume that meant offshoring. These days, so much spend is being directed to third parties that we hardly even think of it as outsourcing at all. This event looks clearly at off shored outsourcing spend, and asks three key questions: does your offshore provider achieving the goals you set out, are they creating value beyond just hitting contract KPIs, and are they laying a solid foundation for future growth and improvement?   The Dawn of Risk Management (SIG, IBM) 6/30, 2pm EDT When it comes to artificial intelligence, or AI, we’ve been talking about robotic process automation (RPA) quite a bit here on BMP. But before software robots for outsourcing, there was Watson, the IBM created cognitive system famous for winning a $1 Million prize on Jeopardy! Well, no ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Sunday, 28 June 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Collaborative Procurement: Using Relationships to Drive Influence and Results

    For starters, and as Bartolini stated in the event, you can’t have influence without collaboration - because no function is an island. This has its roots in the timing of procurement’s engagement with the business. Influence is not an on-again, off-again quality, which means that while it is important to engage as soon as possible, it is probably better not to disengage in the first place. Not only does staying connected take care of the lead time problem procurement so often faces, it also changes the role procurement plays and how we are regarded by the business. For instance, if we come in at the last minute, we are ‘order takers.’ If we are constantly present, we are partners. Agility, the focus of the overall CPO Rising 2015 Agenda, plays an important role in influence building as well. There are plenty of reasons for procurement to want to be agile, but wanting to have influence requires that we be agile – almost by definition. Being at the center of the action requires agili ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 26 June 2015
  • Guest Post on Design News: Understanding the Differences between Strategic Sourcing Goals, Objectives, and Requirements

    Early in the course of a product design and manufacturing organization’s strategic sourcing project it is common to have a kickoff meeting that includes the engineering team. It is the opportunity for the sourcing project team to lay the groundwork for the rest of the effort. One of the most critical discussions that should be a part of the kickoff is around the goals, objectives, and requirements for the project. This is an effort to be taken seriously by both procurement, which should facilitate the discussion, and engineering, which provides critical inputs. Unlike a mission statement, which is often dismissed as being an overly soft (and largely meaningless) feel-good expression of early-stage enthusiasm, goals, objectives, and requirements are tools that will be used actively in the sourcing project once it reaches the decision-making stage. When I worked as a consultant at a procurement solutions provider, I held workshops on kickoffs for the procurement teams I coached, as par ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 25 June 2015
  • How Procurement Saved the American Revolution

    Generally speaking, the Colonies (as we were known back then) were a key point in the British commercial supply chain. The mercantile system was based on having colonies that would become exclusive trading partners. The Colonies sent materials such as fish, grain, and lumber to the West Indies in exchange for sugar, molasses, and rum, which were sent to Britain.1 Whether it was for materials made or grown in the Colonies, or the other markets we afforded them access to, there is no doubting that we were worth fighting for. When tensions started to rise because the British were exacting more in trade and taxes than the colonists felt they received in return, tensions hit a boiling point. And we think we have supply chain risk today… When it comes to the fighting itself, George Washington’s army only stood as long as he could procure enough supplies to feed, clothe, and house it. He barely managed to do so in the hard winter of 1776 but somehow came through. “He successfully procured ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 04 July 2014
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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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