Spend Management

This week’s featured webinar is ‘Tail Spend Management: How to Squeeze Savings from the Most Fragmented 20% of Spend’ by Proactis. If you are interested in more after reading our notes, you can access a white paper on Proactis’ site.

 

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This week’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is Sourcing Success Enablers.  Under the Organizational Best Practices heading is a brief paragraph that gets to the heart of what all procurement and supply management departments need to stay focused on:

“As part of a supply chain focus, successful companies do not overlook indirect categories. Chances are some categories (such as office equipment, professional services, etc.) consume a significant part of the total organizational spend and will also benefit from a review. Strategically source everything. (Often strategic sourcing means outsourcing procurement of non-critical, low value spend, or commodity categories to external organizations that also follow strategic sourcing principles.)”

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I spent the last couple of weeks reading The Contract Negotiation Handbook by Stephen R. Guth Esq., and despite how it may initially sound, I came away with one critical realization: I am a pop tart.

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When I am reading the books that may end up on the Buyers Meeting Point Endorsed Publications list (in the Procurement Library), I often find that they are missing a certain… something? Now I know what it is – cartoon illustrations! All joking aside, I am now in a position to recommend a book that contains solid procurement advice and pictures. Read all the way to the end of this interview to see my favorite from the book.

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Mike Buchanan, author of Profitable Buying Strategies (as well as Two Men in a Car, Guitar Gods in Bed, and The Marriage Delusion), agreed to participate in a Q&A session with Buyers Meeting Point about his book. Profitable Buying Strategies is an excellent resource for any procurement professional.  Those new to the discipline will benefit from a clear outline of key concepts, strategies, and tactics.  More experienced buyers will appreciate the case studies and a thorough review of how to take their current approach to the next level.

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I see this week's ISM event as being part of a recent increase in interest about the procurement of services.  I’ve worked in this category and it is truly a beast all its own. They mentioned visibility in their event description, and although that is a common enough concept in procurement it is the whole deal with meetings spend. While all services projects are complicated due to the relationships in place, addressing meetings spend has its own sensitivities. Not only is it a relationship-heavy category, but the times when meetings need to be managed are usually of high importance and high visibility.

You can listen to an on demand version of the event here.

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This week’s Wiki-Wednesday topic is financial statement analysis, and hopefully you’ll believe me when I say that if I can get comfortable with this, ANYONE else can too. Financial statements are not always easy to read, but with risk management and new supplier identification on the docket, the time has come for all of us to get used to doing it.

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When I was planning out this week's content, covering Master Data Management as our Wiki-Wednesday topic seemed like such a good idea. We were already looking at the subject through Philip Gunn's presentation from eWorld and I didn't know as much about it as I would have liked. Then Tuesday came and I found myself less jazzed about the idea than I had been. The irony of that feeling is that many of you probably feel the same way when it comes to tackling your own master data challenges. But you can't escape the fact that if you don't have a solid foundation of clean, current data, you can't be effective or accurate. So the mutual attitude adjustment starts...  NOW.

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I’m taking a break from the usual this week, and rather than covering a webinar, I’d like to share a new series of YouTube videos with you. Don’t get your hopes up – there are no home movies of cute cats falling down stairs or into grocery bags. Instead, I’d like to introduce you to a series of 5-7 minute videos made by Dr. Jim Anderson of Blue Elephant Consulting, and the writer of “The Accidental Negotiator” blog.

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This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is CAPEX (Capital Expenditures) v. OPEX (Operating Expenditures). Once you understand the difference between them, the next step is realizing the impact that distinction has on negotiated savings recognition.

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This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is the Pareto Principle - also known as the 80/20 rule. Many of us use it all of the time, but do we really understand the implications of the distribution principle? I'm sure I hadn't fully thought about it until reading up for this weeks' posting. Other things I did not know about the primciple are that it was incorrectly attributed to early 20th century economist Vilfredo Pareto because he observed that 20 percent of the landowners in Italy owned 80% of the land. (He also noted that 20% of the pea plants in his garden produced 80% of the peas...)

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I've always thought of Knowledge Management systems as databases full of documents. Unwieldy, outdated, only updated when your boss reminds you that participating will be part of your annual review cycle. As it turns out, most of what we already do can be worked into a knowledge management program - we just have to be deliberate about where information goes. The other take-away isn't a new one, but it seems to be one of the hardest ones to maintain.  At the end of a project, it is important to download and record your experiences and lessons learned - for yourself next time or someone else down the road.

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