Daily Archives: January 18, 2008

the doctor Exposes A Few More Elephants

As the doctor mentioned in his last post, there are a lot of elephants hiding in the sourcing and procurement war room! There are so many, in fact, that the doctor is having problems figuring out how they all fit! However, as the doctor was in-depth scanning and reviewing some vendor web sites (and no, the doctor‘s not going to list names – since he’s sure most of these vendors are still upset with him for the X-emplification series, which is going to be followed by an X-asperation series in the next month or so thanks to some really great questions and suggestions the doctor received in private e-mails), he caught a glimpse of the data enrichment elephant hiding behind the door, spotted the compliance elephant under the boardroom table, and found the performance management elephant hiding in the closet.

The Data Enrichment elephant would have us believe that your data is “enriched” if it’s processed by a spend repository that applies repeatable data cleansing and categorization rules to make sure it is always in a form that can be analyzed by the solution that you have. Although accurate cleansing and categorization is important, and a necessary part of any spend analysis project (whether done by a central data administrator or an analyst on the fly using a real spend analysis tool), it’s not data enrichment. Enrichment, by definition, means that additional data, culled from other third party sources, is added to your data so that you can do analysis above and beyond what you could just with the data in your organization. For example, this could be using Equifax Austin-Tetra to append financial risk and diversity information so that you can determine how much spend is really going to diversity suppliers (versus how much spend you think is going to diversity suppliers) and how many suppliers you are dealing with have a risk of failure in the next 12 months. In other words, what the Data Enrichment elephant is selling you is important, it’s just not enrichment – it’s basically what you should be getting with any tool you buy that promises accurate cleansing and categorization.

The Compliance elephant would have you believe that just because the vendor sells a complete suite that is capable of fully automating your processes and work-flows, storing all information and award decisions in a searchable centralized repository, and managing your contracts with a solution that alerts you whenever a transaction is found off of contract or a contract is coming up for renewal, that you are compliant. the doctor would like to say he’s sorry, but he isn’t, but compliance is much broader than this. Compliance is not just compliance with internal processes, but whether the system is always being used (because automating the processes is irrelevant if the system is not being used), whether it is collecting the data required by your organization to meet the requirements of Sarbanes Oxley and the accounting standards being used, whether or not you are awarding to a company on the denied party list, whether or not the carrier who is bidding is licensed to operate in the countries that you are shipping from or two, whether or not the products you are sourcing comply with regulatory requirements such as REACH, RoHS, and WEEE, and so on. This goes well beyond the offerings of any sourcing or procurement solution on the market. Well beyond. If the vendor is telling you that they enable compliance with respect to SOX, REACH, etc., and being very specific about it – that’s great! Sourcing and procurement solutions can enable compliance. But, considering the breadth of regulations that need to be adhered to in global trade, a sourcing or procurement solution alone, by itself, will not make you compliant. So, in short, this is an elephant that likes to considerably over-promise and under-deliver.

The Performance Management elephant tells you that if you have a sufficiently complete technology platform, than you achieve supplier performance management. One vendor in particular is stating that a combination of project management, collaboration technology, assessment, and monitoring technology is everything you need for supplier performance management. Although this is likely everything you need to monitor and measure your suppliers, and thus a good foundation, there’s a big difference between measuring something and doing something about the result! The nature of performance management is that it can’t be a purely technology solution – because performance comes down to people. Technology is good at tracking tasks and, by way of benchmarks, pointing out where there are inefficiencies or problems – but you need people to identify the root causes and work with suppliers to identify the solutions and insure that they get implemented. Furthermore, for this type of platform to be truly useful, it should have an expert-system module that can be customized to each vertical to help the individual responsible for performance management to diagnose possible errors and resolutions. Without this, then it’s just an open source project management tool combined with an RFX tool for surveys and assessments and a BI tool on an ERP to produce metrics and generate alerts when something falls outside of an acceptable range. In other words, the Performance Management elephant has a really good cause, but is a little confused how to actually go about getting results.

For those of you counting, this brings the total number of elephants we’ve discovered in this room to date to twelve. In addition to the data enrichment, compliance, and performance management elephants, previous posts identified the optimization, e-Procurement/EIPP, and spend analysis elephants; the supplier enablement, contract management, and hidden cost elephants; and the RFX, e-Payment, and technology RFP elephants.

the doctor hopes you enjoyed this post, and the brief return of the blogologues, because this will be the last regular blogologue for a while. There are two reasons for this. The first reason it takes a lot of time to craft and edit a post of meaningful content (versus the first half-formed thought that comes to mind), and given that this blog is generating zero income at the present moment, the doctor, unfortunately, can only afford to dedicate so much time to it. The second reason is that the first cross-blog series of 2008 on Sustainability starts next week, and given the importance of this topic, the doctor does not want to detract from what he hopes will be a very popular, and very prolific, cross-blog series.

Your Sourcing, Procurement, and Supply Chain Event Guide for 2008

In case you forgot, the doctor is going to remind you that he also maintains a free resource site, that is always accessible as the first link on the right-hand sidebar, that happens to include, among other things, the largest event guide for the sourcing, procurement, and supply chain space that you are going to find anywhere!

the doctor‘s event guide currently has over 100 conferences and forums catalogued and indexed for 2008. (The event guide does not contain seminars, workshops, or training classes since there are now hundreds of event planning, consulting, and training firms offering thousands of these a year.) To make it even easier for you, the doctor is including them all, in chronological order, in this easily accessible and bookmark-friendly post.

To your future!

Year Month Day Event Location Sponsored By
2008 Jan 21-22 Supply Chain Management Forum Mumbai, India Marcus Evans
2008 Jan 23 CSR Supply Chain Summit Shanghai, China Chaina
2008 Jan 24 SRM 2008 Geneva, Switzerland WBR
2008 Jan 24-25 2nd Annual Leadership Summit on Healthcare Supply Chain Management Las Vegas, NV, USA World Congress
2008 Jan 28-30 Procure to Pay Orlando, FL, USA IQPC
2008 Jan 28-30 ProcureCon Indirect USA 2008 Atlanta, GA, USA WBR Research
2008 Jan 28-30 The 2008 Risk Management Summit Arlington, VA, USA ASMI
2008 Jan 29-30 Strategic Sourcing for Indirect Goods and Services Singapore IQPC
2008 Feb 3-5 Performance Management Analytics San Francisco, CA, USA CFO Conferences
2008 Feb 4-6 Reverse Logistics Association Conference Las Vegas, NV, USA RLA
2008 Feb 4-7 ARC Advisory Group Forum Orlando, FL, USA ARC Advisory Group
2008 Feb 7 Green Supply Chain Forum Miami, FL, USA FL International University
2008 Feb 7 4th National Public Sector Procurement Conference 2008 Manchester, England, UK CIPS
2008 Feb 11-13 Talent Management Solutions 2008 Arlington, VA, USA ASMI
2008 Feb 12-13 e-World Purchasing & Supply London, England, UK e-World
2008 Feb 13-15 SAP Insider Europe Nice, France SAP
2008 Feb 14-15 Australian Logistics Council Annual Forum Canberra, Austrailia ALC
1008 Feb 17-20 NextLevel 2008 Orlando, FL, USA SciQuest
2008 Feb 25-26 Contract Performance Management Auckland, New Zealand Conferenz
2008 Feb 25-27 SAP Insider USA Orlando, FL, USA SAP
2008 Feb 26-28 EcoBuild London, England, UK
2008 Feb 27-1 Logicon Europe ? WBR Research
2008 Feb 28-29 8th Annual Talent Management Strategies Conference New York, NY, USA Conference Board
2008 Mar 3-4 Exteneded Supply Chain London, England
2008 Mar 3-4 CSCMP Southern Africa Johannesburg, South Africa CSCMP
2008 Mar 3-5 Gartner Compliance & Risk Management Summit Chicago, IL, USA Gartner
2008 Mar 3-7 Global Supply Chain Management Program Atlanta, Georgia, USA CSCMP SCL
2008 Mar 4-5 Trade & Supply Chain Financing Conference – Asia Hong Kong, China Euromoney Seminars
2008 Mar 4-6 Warranty Chain Management Conference San Deigo, CA, USA ALG Associates
2008 Mar 5-7 CAPS Executive Roundtable Scottsdale, AZ, USA CAPS
2008 Mar 5-7 Category Spend Management & Spend Optimization Amsterdam, The Netherlands Marcus Evans
2008 Mar 6-7 Supplier Relationship Management Conference Atlanta, GA, USA Conference Board
2008 Mar 9-11 PurchasingNet Client Forum Las Vegas, NV, USA PurchasingNet
2008 Mar 11-12 Growth and Innovation Conference New York, NY, USA Conference Board
2008 Mar 12-13 China Sourcing Summit Shanghai, China Chaina
2008 Mar 13 Government Procurement 2008 London, England, UK CIPS
2008 Mar 13-14 Ethical Sourcing Forum (NA) New York, NY, USA Intertek
2008 Mar 13-14 8th Annual Talent Management Strategies Conference San Diego, CA, USA Conference Board
2008 Mar 13-14 Category Management Forum Sydney, Australia CIPS Australia
2008 Mar 17-18 Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management Atlanta, GA, USA CSCMP
2008 Mar 17-19 Supply Chain World North America Minneapolis, MN, USA Supply Chain Council
2008 Mar 18-20 SCM Logistics India 2008 New Delhi, India Terrapin
2008 Mar 25-26 SaaScon 2008 Santa Clara, CA, USA SaaScon
2008 Mar 25-28 Logicon USA Las Vegas, NV, USA WBR Research
2008 Mar 26 National Sustainable Procurement London, England, UK BiP Solutions
2008 Mar 31-4 Shared Services Week Orlando, FL, USA IQPC
2008 Apr 10-11 2nd Supplier Management Forum Las Vegas, NV, USA EyeForProcurement
2008 Apr 14-16 ProcureCon Indirect Europe 2008 Amsterdam, The Netherlands WBR Research
2008 Apr 15-18 The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum New York, NY, USA Richmond Events
2008 Apr 20-24 Effective Buyer Dubai IIRME
2008 Apr 22-24 Supply Chain Strategy & Management Forum (Spring Meeting) Knoxville, TN, USA University of Tennessee
2008 Apr 23-25 CSCMP Europe Brussels, Belgium CSCMP
2008 Apr 24-25 Best Practices Conference Atlanta, GA, USA The Hackett Group
2008 Apr 27-1 Effective Cost Management In Purchasing Dubai IIRME
2008 Apr 28-29 Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management Dallas, TX, USA CSCMP
2008 Apr 30 – 2 i2 Planet Phoenix, AZ, USA i2
2008 May 4-6 Creating a Resilient Supply Chain Toronto, ON, Canada SCL
2008 May 4-7 93rd Annual International Supply Management Conference St. Louis, MO, USA ISM
2008 May 6-9 Sourcing 2008 Newport Beach, California SIG
2008 May ??12-??14 reSource ’08 Indianapolis, In, USA Iasta
2008 May 12-14 Ariba Live 2008 USA Las Vegas, NV, USA Ariba
2008 May 13 Lean Supply Chain Strategies and Implementation Garland, TX CAPS
2008 May 13-14 The Seventh Annual Responsible Business Summit London, England, UK Ethical Corporation
2008 May 13-15 10th Annual European Supply Chain & Logistics Summit Dusseldorf, Germany WTG Europe
2008 May 14-16 Ariba User Group Conference Las Vegas, NV, USA Ariba
2008 May 18-20 Enterprise Procurement Exchange Pinehurst, NC, USA
2008 May 18-21 USMA Annual Conference Scottsdale, AZ, USA Utility Supply Management Alliance
2008 May 18-21 FOCUS 2008 Las Vegas, NV, USA JDA
2008 May 20-21 Global Lean Supply Chain Optimization London, England, UK IQPC
2008 May 20-22 Green West Expo Los Angeles, CA, USA
2008 May 21-22 Public Sector Procurement Forum Canberra, Australia CIPS Australia
2008 May 21-23 PMAC National Conference St. John’s, NL PMAC
2008 May 27-31 CeMAT Hannover, Germany
2008 May 28-30 AMR Research Supply Chain Executive Conference Scottsdale, AZ, USA AMR
2008 Jun 5 Supply Chain Leaders Conference San Francisco, CA, USA GSCLG
2008 Jun 10-11 Procurement Solutions London, England, UK OGC
2008 Jun 10-11 Ariba Live 2008 USA Brussels, Belgium Ariba
2008 Jun 12 CIPS New Zealand Strategic Procurement Forum Auckland, New Zealand CIPS Australia
2008 Jun 17-19 3rd Low-Cost Country Sourcing Conference Chicago, IL, USA EyeForProcurement
2008 Jun 28-2 IFT Food Expo New Orleans, LA, USA IFT
2008 Jul 2-4 European Procurement Summit Montreux, Switzerland Marcus Evans
2008 July 26-30 NIGP Annual Forum Charlotte, NC, USA NIGP
2008 Aug 19 CIPS Australia Strategic Procurement Forum Adelaide, Australia CIPS Australia
2008 Aug 20-21 InterMat Miami, FL, USA
2008 Aug 21 CIPS Australia Strategic Procurement Forum Perth, Australia CIPS Australia
2008 Aug 25-28 Strategic Purchasing & Procurement Forum Stockholm, Sweden IQPC
2008 Sep 8-11 NASPO 2008 Annual Meeting St. Louis, MO, USA NASPO
2008 Sep 10-12 2008 CODA Conference Bermuda CODA
2008 Sep 14-16 APICS International Conference & Expo Kansas, MO, USA APICS
2008 Sep 17-18 Low Cost Country Sourcing Prague, Czech Republic EyeForProcurement
2008 Oct 5-8 CSCMP 2008 Denver, Colorado, USA CSCMP
2008 Oct 8-9 Chief Service Officer’s Summit Boston, MA, USA Aberdeen Group
2008 Oct 13-16 SCM Logistics World 2008 Singapore Terrapinn
2008 Oct 13-17 Executive Retreat Miami, FL, USA Supply Chain Council
2008 Oct 14-15 4th CIPS Australia Annual Conference Melbourne, Australia CIPS Australia
2008 Oct 15-16 Procurement Outsourcing & New Solutions for Procurement Summit Philadelphia, PA, USA EyeForProcurement
2008 Oct 21-23 Green East Expo New York, NY, USA
2008 Nov ??-?? Supply Chain Risk Management 2008 The Netherlands
2008 Nov 4-7 ProcureCon Europe 2008 Geneva, Switzerland WBR Research
2008 Nov 5-7 Reposition 2008 Winnipeg, MB CITT
2008 Nov 9-13 Pack Expo International Chicago, IL, USA Pack Expo
2008 Nov 10-13 ProcureCon USA 2008 Las Vegas, NV, USA WBR Research
2008 Nov 18-19 2nd Green Purchasing Summit Dallas, TX, USA EyeForProcurement