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  • My Recommendations for Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars August 31 – September 4

      Key Trends of Advanced Analytics (Gartner) September 2, 8:00am EDT and 11am EDT You have two shots at this week’s first recommended event as Gartner looks at current and expected future trends in analytics. Since knowledge – or as we more commonly call it today, data – is power, procurement should be prepared to do anything we get the opportunity to with analytics. In this webinar, Gartner will take us beyond the basics of analytics to look at advanced capabilities in technology and skill sets. I actually think it is an advantage that this is not a procurement analytics event – the more generalist the better. Looking at analytics as a broad approach will help widen our horizons about what is possible and what we need to know to harness the power.   Enhanced supplier due diligence: the implications for supplier risk management (Supply Management) September 3, 8:00am EDT While we don’t have a lot of information on this webinar, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Sunday, 30 August 2015
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the CEO Pay Ratio

      The Good The CEO pay ratio is being touted as a source of valuable information to investors as well as consumers. In a time when the minimum wage is a regular part of the public discourse, there is interest in having a single figure that represents the difference in compensation at the highest and median levels. When procurement represents a company that is B2C, they have to be very careful about the risk of negative public sentiment. Companies may be held responsible for the negative reputation of their suppliers, especially when the partnership is high visibility. In cases such as these, procurement may want to look at the CEO pay ratio as a way of staving off potential sources of negative publicity or reputational risk.   The Bad Although there is a lot of interest in the new ratio, it is not without its detractors. Some claim that at best the ratio misrepresents how companies feels about employees, and at worst creates negative press without actually offering any ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 26 August 2015
  • Procurement Perspectives Podcast: Panel Discussion on The Politics of Procurement

      One of the points that was made earlier in the discussion was the idea that public sector procurement is not about cutting costs or building competitive advantage. It is about solving social problems, and the first step to solving problems is identifying them. The fact that these teams start by bringing everyone together around a problem – something we heard in the audio excerpt just now – strikes me as really smart. There is no shying away from the fact that there is a problem or concern that defining the problem up front starts the project in a negative place. The group captures the problem and then works together to become part of the solution. I think this is an approach more private sector procurement organizations can get behind as well. And in particular, we should put a methodology in place for finding problems. Although private sector procurement often feels chained to savings and spend under management metrics, when we start to feel pressure to create greater val ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 24 August 2015
  • Webinar Notes: The End of Outsourcing? RPA is Here to Stay

    Low cost labor, such as is provided in the ‘BRIC’ nations of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, is more likely to be affected by RPA than high-margin knowledge based economies. And yet, those countries, and India in particular, have been seeing non-linear growth, meaning that profits and revenues are growing while headcount is not. Many of the positions that will be affected by RPA have been problematic for years because they are tactical, low satisfaction roles naturally resulting in high attrition and turnover. The cost to keep those positions filled, and to compete for available labor, is significant enough to change the value equation for companies looking to outsourcing there. For teams that are looking to augment their own in house capacity or capabilities, RPA presents an opportunity to continue completing tactical responsibilities without any additional headcount. It also creates new opportunities as process automation leads to increased data for analytics and complex decis ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 21 August 2015
  • Book Review: The Lean Supply Chain: Managing the Challenge at Tesco

    The basis of the book is the result of joint research done by Tesco and Cardiff Business School in the U.K. Author Barry Evans worked for Tesco’s supply chain organization for a decade. There is clear admiration for Tesco on the part of the authors, resulting in a book that is more of a calm investigation of a complex supply chain’s strengths and weaknesses than a post-crisis exposé. The authors start by clarifying that their (and presumably Tesco’s) definition of supply chain is broader than usual, inspired by Michael Porter’s ‘value chain’ approach. The grocery retail industry is highly competitive and operates on razor thin margins. Since, as pointed out in the book, the products offered are effectively commoditized, Tesco has had to differentiate on services, the environment in their stores, and the end-to-end consumer experience. Their investments into improving consumer sentiment are central to their business strategy. The other core element of Tesco’s strategy is simplicit ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 19 August 2015
  • Procurement Perspectives Podcast: Trusting Internal Team Members and What That Should Teach Us About Supplier Partnerships

    By comparing the kind of relationships we have with our suppliers and employees, Acquire Procurement makes an interesting point about the need to become more collaborative with some of our suppliers. This is especially true given the increased percentage of corporate revenues being spent with suppliers. According to research by Proxima Group in 2014, in a trend they have labeled corporate virtualization, companies are spending an average of 70% of their revenue with suppliers – and not all of it is being spent on materials. As a result, we are outsourcing ever larger percentages of our revenue – even when we don’t call it outsourcing. There are lots of different reasons to outsource. Third party service providers may specialize in a given process or service or they may be able to perform it more cost effectively. Regardless of the reason, you are taking a function that used to be performed in house with full communication and oversight and putting it on the other side of a wall, exp ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 17 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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