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Imagining a World Without (Good) Spend Analysis (SynerTrade)

This content was originally posted on the SynerTrade blog on January 17, 2019

Before procurement had spend analysis solutions at our disposal, every question about historical purchasing activity led to unthinkable manual work or a big question mark. Now that we can centralize, cleanse, and normalize data for analysis - often with the assistance of tailor-made automation – many of us have stopped thinking about what life was like without it. But not all spend analysis is up to the task. In fact, having inferior spend analysis can be almost as bad as not having spend analysis at all. Poor spend analysis inflates expectations about the level of visibility we have, and may artificially inflate our confidence about how well we understand the spend we’re working to manage.

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The Procurement Maturity Curve, Part 1: Savings at Every Stage (Determine)

This content was published on the Determine blog on January 15, 2019

After multiple years of transformation (first procurement, then digital), most of us have accepted the idea that we work in a state of perpetual change and self-examination. What are my company’s current practices? What am I doing to advance myself or my team to the next level? How does that compare to what my competition is doing? Isn’t this striving for growth what “procurement maturity” is all about?

Despite procurement’s evolution to this point, savings continues to be a critical measure of our effectiveness. And yet, it is no longer quite as prominent as it once was. In this two-part series, we’ll examine how procurement technology is (or should be) adding value across the enterprise. We’ll also touch on how incorporating data and analytics tools can enhance processes, providing procurement professionals with increased oversight for the sake of compliance, risk management and collaboration.

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Thought Leader Q&A with Kelly Barner, Managing Director, Buyers Meeting Point LLC (Thinkers360)

This content was published on the Thinkers360 blog on January 9, 2019

Thinkers360 Q&A’s profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Kelly Barner, Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point, a U.S.-based trusted source of information for the procurement industry.

Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?

KB: Keep it in perspective! Doing your best work means being objective, adventurous, and confident. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself or doubt your work, stay away from them like Superman stays away from kryptonite. Be aware of emerging trends and topics without sacrificing your unique point of view. You’ll be faced with all kinds of surprises, some good and some bad. Learn what you can and then keep moving forward. My husband likes to quote former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno who said, “You’re never as good as you think you are when you win; and you’re never as bad as you feel when you lose.” The same holds true in business. Own your successes, own your failures, and don’t give up. Ever.

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[News] Art of Procurement and the Elephant in the Room

If you follow Philip Ideson and Art of Procurement, then you’ve probably seen today’s news announcement. Rather than having three brands: Art of Procurement (podcast and blog), Palambridge (managed services), and CatalystCo (microlearning platform), everything is now Art of Procurement.

Here’s the new structure:

  • The Art of Procurement podcast and blog will continue as they always have been, remaining on the path that made AOP the #1 weekly procurement podcast.
  • Palambridge is now AOP Experts On-Demand, providing targeted guidance or whole project support from pre-vetted subject matter experts
  • CatalystCo is now AOP Nudge Microlearning, a web-based platform that helps your team members #TakeAction with confidence through what they learn, and with what they already know

Being successful in business requires a healthy appetite for risk and a willingness to push forward in the absence of certainty. That’s the 10,000 foot level explanation for how we ended up with three brands in the first place. At the same time, you can’t build a legitimate vision for the future without reflecting on the past and owning everything associated with it.

The Art of Procurement philosophy emphasizes the importance of community to the elevation of the procurement function. We advocate journey mapping for the sake of making change a reality. And we aren’t asking anyone else to do something that we aren’t willing to do ourselves. Change is intimidating. But the adrenaline rush that comes with fear is also a powerful motivator. Harness it, and nothing is beyond reach.

The only piece of the puzzle that might be missing is what this has to do with me. Phil and I have worked together regularly since The Procurement Revolution in 2016. We co-founded Palambridge and I was key part of the pilot project that became the Nudge microlearning platform.

With the consolidation of brands, I am now the Content Director for Art of Procurement in addition to my work at Buyers Meeting Point. I could not be prouder to align my name and brand with another brand in the field of procurement. Phil and I are ‘thick as thieves’ (you know, without the stealing part), working hard to fight the status quo and loving every minute.

Don’t take your eyes off us. If small steps can lead to big changes, Art of Procurement is about to rock the world of procurement. Won’t you join us?

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