Process and Best Practice Content

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In a rapidly changing world, companies need API-integrated technology ecosystems to meet immediate needs and be ready for the future

The way we work today is different, even from how many of us worked only a few months ago, which means operational practices must keep pace. The global economy continues to shift, with workers requiring more flexibility and employers evaluating alternative engagements for specific projects that can spur savings and outcomes. Companies that make the decision to embark on a digital transformation journey have a brighter outlook, maximizing their chances of success.

Digital transformations require companies to make honest, clear evaluations of their existing technologies, some of which may work well. In other cases, legacy platforms may not integrate with modern tools, hampering progress. So choosing the right technology platforms becomes the linchpin in the change process. When an organization’s systems can fully integrate with one another, the resulting ecosystem alignment brings formerly disconnected departments together. This creates an atmosphere where operational practices can be revised or replaced to become more comprehensive, which can be especially important with regard to managing a company’s workforce.

With COVID-19 presenting unforeseen challenges, companies are trying to optimize their internal and external workforces. Organizations have to remain nimble, recalibrating quickly to respond to unexpected situations, whether that means scaling worker numbers up or down. When pressures like these act upon organizations, there is a significantly increased demand for them to adopt cloud-based workforce management platforms that allow them to integrate seamlessly with other departments, including HR, finance, IT and legal.

Freelance management technology can be the key to meeting current workforce changes and planning for the future


Even as the nature of work changes with an expanding global economy and increasing impacts of technology, the past six months have presented unexpected and dramatic challenges. Because of COVID-19, companies find themselves at various stages of ramping up or down — so they need an agile, scalable talent strategy to meet these demands.

Some companies, like providers of delivery and educational services are in greater demand, while businesses like restaurants, bars and museums have needed to adjust their business models. The unpredictable nature of the current situation and potential for even greater disruption provides the perfect opportunity for companies to prepare their responses to these situations. Having technology that supports an agile model gives those companies ways to quickly adapt their workforces.

Direct spend management can help wrangle manufacturing needs, weather coronavirus crisis

Procurement technology often gets noticed for its cost-cutting abilities with indirect spend, but the COVID-19 disruption has highlighted the value of other features, like supplier relationship management, supply chain collaboration and working capital management.

And manufacturers should take notice because direct spend management holds just as much savings opportunity as indirect spend, but manufacturers often haven’t deployed the technology yet.

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Using bridge solutions to speed up the consumerization of procurement 


What is a bridge solution and how can it help speed up the consumerization of services procurement — and why is that important?

Bridge solutions (or stop-gap solutions) are simply solutions that solve specific problems. These are typically problems that have not yet been addressed by P2P solutions because they are too niche or specific. Bridge solutions can tackle the problem differently and often come alongside laser-focused expertise and knowledge from the providers of these solutions.

Although the issue of consumerization certainly isn’t a niche one, there are many individual aspects that need to be addressed and automated to make true consumerization a possibility. For example, the larger more end-to-end P2P solutions (such as Coupa) do a fantastic job at automating the requisition-to-approval process and invoicing, but what they are not doing is providing the tools to automate the piece before the requisition gets raised. Bridge solutions can essentially act as a plug-in to cover any areas that are still being handled offline or by heavy manual data entry.

CIPS honors top procurement team, best technology use at its 20th annual industry awards


The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) hosted its 20th annual Excellence in Procurement Awards event last week to celebrate the innovative solutions and providers in the global procurement space, naming Johnson Matthey as its overall winner.

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Witnessing supply chain and sourcing history in the making

It’s shaping up to not only be a year of global historical significance, but also a pivotal moment in the record books for each of our companies. How we react and upskill now will determine our organizations’ trajectories for the foreseeable future.

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Why now is the time to transform procurement


The need to increase supply chain sustainability, boost profitability and mitigate supplier risk in the wake of COVID-19 has turned procurement from a cost-cutting department to a strategic arm of the business. Recent research found most procurement professionals believe colleagues consider them to be a key business partner, contributing significant strategic value (67%).

Ian Thompson of Ivalua shares his perspective that those businesses that have recognized procurement’s strategic value and given it a voice at Board level have been better able to weather the recent turbulence. They’ve benefitted from greater visibility into the supply chain and better access to actionable insights to make better, faster decisions. This leaves those businesses well placed to gain an advantage over competitors. However, he believes that there are still many that have not given procurement the investment it needs to step up, causing them to lag behind. For them, now is the time to transform.

10 Theories on Procurement Technology Venture Stage Investment (Thesis 5: ‘Push’ Savings)

In a series of columns that stem from investing ideas that excite me, I’ll share 10 theories that I believe will drive investments in earlier-stage (angel/seed and Series A/B) start-ups in the procurement technology market. For perspective, Thesis 1 looked at automation and vendors in that space. Thesis 2 looked at providers of marketplace solutions. Thesis 3 looked at UI/UX technology and adoption in the start-up stage. Thesis 4 dug deeper into bridge solutions. Today, let’s dig deeper into push savings.

SIG session: How will companies balance work-from-home vs returning to the office in a post-pandemic world?

home working

It's no secret COVID-19 altered the work environment greatly. But, what's here to stay? In this SIGnature event, a panel of executives discussed the agile work environment in a post-pandemic world. What's good about the work-from-home model? What are some best practices?

SIG event tackles risk management, scoring technology adoption and measuring procurement success

The professional association SIG (Sourcing Industry Group) hosted a daylong online event Wednesday for procurement professionals to network and learn best practices for pivoting procurement in a COVID-19 pandemic world.

The sessions highlighted in this article cover third-party risk management, a Jaggaer exec exploring how we keep score, and Ivalua CMO Alex Saric's looks at procurement success in the time of COVID-19.

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Your end-to-end suite is failing you … and here’s why

The fear of change is evolutionary in humans. We’re taught to keep our routines and resist change in order to stay in control. But what happens when that fear gets in the way of progress?

In a lot of ways, this is the crossroads that the source-to-pay (S2P) industry seems to be approaching. After years of hearing that “end-to-end is king” and that it’s easier, more cohesive and more streamlined to have a single solution to cover everything from sourcing through to payments — there are rumblings that there might be another way.