Incendiary Tidbits Content

Should We Forget or Reinvent the Meaning of Labor Day?

By now, many of you will have already started your Labor Day weekend. Plenty of folks will have plans for the weekend, but I wonder how many of us will be thinking about the meaning of Labor Day? Very few, I suspect, even the workforce management or procurement professionals among us. I’m not trying to guilt anyone here. I’m just asking the question: Should we be thinking about it?

What the Super Bowl Can Teach About Risk Management

Pause for a moment to consider how adept the NFL has proven itself at proactively addressing logistics and risk management. Whether we’re talking facilities, security, transportation or emergency services, there’s obviously a lot more behind the curtain than we know about. Suffice it to say that little imagination is required to accept that the NFL sets an interesting, if not teachable, example — not just in terms of how to pull off a mega-event but how to react to most anything that could possibly go wrong. It expects problems and is prepared for them.

Why My Uber Rating is Lousy — and What it Can Teach Us About Solution Provider Rankings

on-demand workforce

What’s your current Uber rating as a passenger? Probably in the 4.5–5 range, right? Most people I know confirm that range. Indeed, my friends and I once compared scores when Uber first granted passengers the ability to see their ratings. We went around the room: 4.9, 5.0, another 5, 4.8, and some ridicule for the guy at 4.6. Now imagine my horror when I was greeted with a paltry, miserable Uber rating of 4.2. An outlier, for sure, but I assumed it wasn’t all that bad. Still, the low score was vexing. I had to figure out what had cut me down so far.

“Services Procurement” or “Procurement of Services” — What’s in a Name?

Many of us will recognize this quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet." But you may be wondering: Who is this fool, and what hath this to do with contingent workforce and services procurement? But then you may think about it a bit and ask: Are we talking about engaging several recommended, expert flower arrangers for a major event? Or are we contracting with florists in three major metro areas to continuously keep our offices in each location fragrant and cheerful? Ay, there’s the rub. Now we are closer to the core issue.

Where’s Jaggaer?

"Deep Procurement Throat" forwarded us a Coupa marketing email that we found humorous. It’s for a download of a recent IDC report on the sector. We won’t opine on the veracity of the report, as we don’t know anything about IDC’s methodology. But what we will call your attention to is that Jaggaer is listed in the report in multiple areas: Jaggaer, Jaggaer Advantage (BravoSolution) and Jaggaer Direct (Pool4Tool). That’s in the report. The landing page for the download tells another story — at least on part of the page!

Product-as-a-Service or Santa Claus: Which Do You Believe in More?

With the holiday season upon us, we baby boomers sometimes become nostalgic about the era before online shopping, same-day delivery and reverse logistics. Those were the days when there was only one end-to-end supply chain and dominant brand every December, and that was Santa Claus. But that was then, and this is now.

What Procurement’s Talking About at the Thanksgiving Table This Year

Spend Matters has very special powers.

We were able to travel into the future and become a fly on the dining room wall, joining several procurement practitioners gathered around the Thanksgiving table.

What is Procurement mad about this year? What are their concerns? What do they want to see changed? Here are some highlights of Procurement’s Thanksgiving 2017 discussion.

Trust No One: Is Independence a Solution to the X-Files?

Like the X-Files, the reality of a work environment can often defy explanation. Today’s procurement leaders talk about waging a “war” for talent. If the positions are out there and the inducements are so great, why are some of the best people opting out of corporate roles and into independent careers? I have cycled through both types of roles. For me, my choice to be independent comes down to one factor that happens over and over in corporate environments: people not keeping their word. Why is it so hard for leaders to say what they mean, then do what they say? With Fox Mulder-level skepticism, I don’t trust anyone when they tell me what I can expect in a job.

The truth is out there. But here are three areas where leaders frequently don’t walk the talk.

Old-Fashioned Heuristics: Common Sense Cause and Effect

Regarding the countless examples of reckless government spending we like to mock, I stopped caring a long time ago. Instead, I have turned my attention to the funding of studies designed to confirm things that we should have already known. If you have a sense of humor, there are numerous ridiculous examples where taxpayer money might have been invested more judiciously. Spending more than a billion to confirm that the use of seat belts saves lives comes to mind, as does funding a long-term study to determine whether obligatory handwashing might be a good idea in health care settings. Studying hospital behavior to determine if they might be playing self-serving games with the current reimbursement calculus also strikes a chord.

The Future of Work is the Gig of Disruption or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Get Back to Work

You know how some things seem timeless, while others — no matter how annoying — just don’t seem to go away. Or are they both one and the same? That’s the problem: confusion. One of the biggest threats to humankind today may not be nuclear war or climate change — it may very well be confusion, on a scale larger than the world has ever known. The misplacement of a comma or an innocent misspelling could mean the difference between life or death (or at least the flawed delivery of your Zappos shoes to your undeserving, though outwardly affable, neighbor). In any case, confusion seems to have become the bane of our existence and an accepted feature of our everyday life. But not for me. I have chosen to resist. And my first target is buzzwords.

Star Wars Mouse Pads and a Golden Pencil: What’s the Strangest Purchase You’ve Been Asked to Approve?

Earlier this week, I moderated a webinar with Procurify customer Lynn Gabriel, COO of Mainstream Fiber Networks, about her experience with implementing spend management technology for the first time (watch the webinar here). In explaining the change management process, Lynn mentioned the importance of helping employees understand cost savings measures within the organization and told a funny story: one of her employees submitted an approval for a $30 Star Wars mouse pad, insisting that it would help him be infinitely more productive on the job. (Needless to say, it was not approved.)

Back in Coastal Georgia with the Evacuation Blues Again

Hurricane Matthew and Irma. Two evacuations in one year have proven more than enough for me (and I’m hearing there may be yet another one on the way). In both cases I lost more than a week of my life. Whether holed-up with friends hooked on reality TV or moving between cheap motels with my ill-mannered pets, it doesn’t make much difference: it’s a totally depressing scene that has moved me to action. I ain’t going nowhere next time, no how.