Process and Best Practice Content

Tech selection Q&A: ‘I was like the most hated guy in the office for a while’

Tech selection requires evaluating a lot of procurement software vendors before making a choice, and our coverage typically focuses on the early part of the process to help companies buy a solution that’s the right fit for their needs. But we wanted to talk with a company well after its tech selection to gain insights on the process.

The strategic business enabler Tecom Group and its parent company, Dubai Holding, have gone through two rounds of tech selection to find a spend analytics firm to help them analyze high value transactions, find common spend areas, save money and add visibility for new business strategies.

To find out more about the tech selection process and its results, we did a Q&A with Cory Thwaites, Tecom’s executive director of procurement, about his efforts to bring in a spend analytics firm.

“I was like the most hated guy in the office for a while,” Thwaites said about trying to convince the staff that Tecom needed to know more about its spend.

He said that all changed once his team started seeing the dashboards that showed the actual state of Tecom’s spend.

How the Traditional Role of the CFO is Becoming More Digital, Data Driven, and Strategic

finance

The role of the CFO has changed dramatically in recent years, primarily affected by the large-scale introduction of digital practices in the work environment. Traditionally the role of finance leaders has been confined to finance optimization tasks, but they now find themselves confronting new challenges and becoming increasingly involved in the overall strategy of the company. They are realizing that if they optimize finance processes such as invoice processing (AP) and access the data housed in the AP department, they will be better able to manage cash, control spend, contribute to profits, and mitigate risk. And they will find ways to use the data to make more strategic decisions. This changing role is reflected by 10 major transformations.

Procurement’s technology revolution needs digitally literate workers with highly refined soft skills to succeed, Efficio report finds

Procurement is facing a turning point, one that gives it the opportunity to become more integral to the success of businesses than ever before, according to a survey by Efficio, a consulting firm that works with procurement professionals around the world.

Technology, like it does in many other internal departments, plays a major role in procurement’s transformation, but the Efficio survey states that a focus only on technology misses the point: People and their ability to capitalize on the benefits of technology will be vital to success.

“The procurement function can become more effective through an operating model that achieves the right mix of technology, insights and expertise” and puts people at the center, according to the authors, who analyzed feedback from 500 procurement professionals who participated in the survey, “The Human Factor: Strategic Procurement and the Leaders of Tomorrow.”

The experts at Efficio recently teamed with the UK’s Cranfield University School of Management to poll the procurement pros and find out how to craft that operating model. Researchers looked specifically at the need for future procurement leaders to have people skills, strategic abilities and digital fluency.

CPO Masters of Complexity (Part 1)

It sure seems like most everyone’s life is getting more complex. When I casually ask friends how they’re doing, the response is usually something about being ridiculously busy and barely being able to keep their head above water. In this age of constant connectivity, rampant over-scheduling at work and home, and constant barrage of information, complexity seems like the new norm.

The same is true for chief procurement officers (CPOs). According to our eighth annual “Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey,” CPOs largely see procurement-related risk on the rise — nearly 60% of the 481 respondents indicated that risk has risen either significantly (19%) or somewhat (42%). This is part of a broader theme of increased complexity that came out in the survey findings, where we profile complexity in four main areas: external complexity (headwinds coming from outside of the four walls of procurement), internal complexity (challenges of managing internal relationships and alignment with business objectives), talent complexity (building effective procurement teams and operating models), and digital complexity (defining and executing on digital strategies that are aligned with broader digital transformation efforts). In this post, I will focus on the first two areas of complexity. A subsequent post will discuss the last two areas.

5 tips from SIG on presenting at procurement industry events

Presenting at an industry event is an important step in any professional's career. It is also an excellent opportunity to promote, showcase and reward a team for a job well done. But most importantly, it is a critical factor in keeping an industry relevant, competitive and strong. Every professional worth their salt should consider it their duty to share their successes and failures.

Of course, in order to present at an industry event, you must first submit a proposal in the form of a session abstract. Sourcing professionals are well-versed in writing business cases and category strategies, and we have all read our fair share of good and bad proposals. However, when it comes to writing a speaking proposal, many sourcing professionals don’t give it the time or energy it deserves. These abstracts are often used to describe your session, and if the goal is to share your thought leadership, you will want to make sure your abstract grabs your audience’s attention. Consider the following five tips to write a compelling proposal for your next industry event.

EcoVadis CSR Index sees progress on labor and human rights, but procurement sustainability falls short

sustainable

Sustainable practices are slowly being embraced by companies around the globe, but performance has actually fallen in some key areas, according to EcoVadis’ newly released Global CSR Risk and Performance Index 2019.

The greatest increase was recorded in human rights and labor rights activities where aggregate scores for performance rose from 45.4% in 2017 to 46.7% in 2018, said the report from EcoVadis, a provider of  ratings for CSR, sustainability risk and performance for companies that fuel global supply chains.

EcoVadis attributed much of the gain to increased awareness and scrutiny of modern slavery as well as diversity issues in the workplace, with many governments introducing legislation requiring enhanced due diligence and reporting on these issues

SIG session recap: Want to digitize? It’s on you

Another SIG Executive Summit is in the books, and we covered the big picture and an interesting look at a hidden spend category. Also, this fall’s event in California was the first one that two members of the Spend Matters team spoke at together (more on that session later).

Walking through the halls and in joining the breakfast and lunch conversations, it was clear that “digitizing” is front and center for the majority of procurement organizations who attended. I think what myself, Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell were most surprised by, however, was the “gap” in maturity levels.

Who should have access to your projects and budget in your VMS?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Ivana Cvejic, Co-Founder and CSO for Renhead, an end-to-end workforce management technology provider headquartered in Las Vegas.

To outsource work while planning, tracking and budgeting projects, businesses procure transparent data and time management with vendor management systems (VMS). 

While it’s all well and good for businesses to have vital information and tools at their fingertips, that information must be made available to the right people so they can take the appropriate action that best benefits the organization. 

Leases lurk in businesses, leak money: Why lease spend isn’t managed well

Every department in a business has leases — from office printers to office space and routers to forklifts. But not all of this haphazard leasing and its hidden costs goes through the cost-saving negotiation and management provided by a procurement department. That rogue spend adds up, and businesses are starting to understand the full scope of their leasing spend and why it is so poorly managed.

Companies this year are seeing the full extent of this sprawling lease spend because a new accounting standard required that public companies move leases from the footnotes of their financial reports onto balance sheets. Private companies as well as state, local and federal government agencies will face the same reckoning over the next few years as they adopt these new accounting rules.

The new accounting standards have forced companies to wrangle all the leasing information across their business and put it into a centralized system in order to perform the necessary financial reporting. The unexpected benefit of this massive accounting compliance effort is that companies are now sitting on a pile of valuable information about their leases, which creates the promise for saving money and improving efficiency.

Sponsored Article

5 Easy Steps to Better Manage Your Suppliers

If you work for a large organization, you most likely have tens of thousands of suppliers, and any of them, to some extent, can pose a risk to your organization's operations, brand or customers. In addition, managing that many business partners is a difficult task that takes time, attention, organization and resources.

You and your suppliers are intimately linked, and what they do affects you, for better or worse. As a result, you need to be able to monitor, manage and collaborate with your entire supply base more broadly and effectively than ever before.

Before you get started, ask yourself these questions:

Customer reviews for SynerTrade are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for SynerTrade, a source-to-pay suite provider. The applicable SolutionMap categories for this report are Source-to-Pay, Procure-to-Pay, and Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT includes Sourcing, Analytics, CLM and SRM).

SolutionMap Insider members can read about SynerTrade in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of details from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets its customers' expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes from customers about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Use of eProcurement software evolves to mitigate costs, risks and add strategic insights, report says

As business executives become more interested in the use of electronic procurement software — or eProcurement — as a means to bring about more proactive results, industry leaders have begun to use the technology to target new methods of cost reduction and to yield growth and insights amid evolving industry standards.

In a recent report by Levvel Research, “2019 Procurement Insight Report,” experts discuss industry trends and business spend management strategies, which were collected in a market-wide survey conducted in April 2019. The research, sponsored by Coupa, evaluates how procurement automation software is being implemented and its effects throughout the industry. In Part 1 of this series, the report said one trend is that more business that are smaller and mid-size companies are considering the switch to digital procurement solutions.

In this article, we’ll look at what the study found about companies that have already adopted digital procurement.