The e-Sourcing Handbook (Free e-Book)

The e-book edition of the e-Sourcing Handbook, co-authored and edited by yours truly, and sponsored by Iasta (an e-Sourcing solution provider), is now available on request (through e-mail).

The e-Sourcing Handbook is your modern guide to Supply and Spend Management Success which utilizes and enhances strategic sourcing technology and best practices. Covering the full spectrum of the e-Sourcing cycle, the handbook helps you understand not only what spend analysis, e-RFx, e-Auction, decision optimization, and contract management are, but where and when to apply these technologies for maximum benefit.

Building on the resounding success of the e-Sourcing Wiki and the e-Sourcing Forum and Sourcing Innovation blogs, the handbook takes the concept of open access to knowledge and best practices one step further by compiling the best information on e-Sourcing to appear on all three public information sources into one definitive source. Furthermore, by mixing content from factual and informative wiki articles with blog postings that are both controversial and opinionated in an innovative manner, the juxtaposition of the two in the handbook allows the reader to see where the boundary lies between information and advocacy. It is the goal of the authors that, through this ground-breaking effort, the reader will gain a better understanding of e-Sourcing and how to take their supply and spend management efforts to the next level.

And, most importantly, unlike some of the recent e-books to pop-up, this is a real book – not a glorified marketing white paper doubled (or tripled) in size with a fancy (spaced-out) layout that contains dozens of colorful, yet useless, images. An exact mirror of the forthcoming print-book, it’s 220 pages of solid content backed up by a 4 page resource section, 8 page glossary, and 22 page bibliography for those who thirst for knowledge. The full table of contents and index are also included to help the reader quickly find what she is looking for.

But perhaps the foreward by co-author Eric Strovink of BIQ says it best.

The e-Sourcing space has undergone a major transformation since 2000. Vendors who were once dominant or cutting-edge have failed. Many have undergone asset fire sales, become part of the walking-dead, or been absorbed into larger companies; and still others have been forced by their investors into mergers that make little sense to the outside observer.

These consolidations have brought about a dangerous commoditization of ideas, along with a slowdown of innovation. Even worse has been the obscuring – by over-enthusiastic and under-educated vendor marketing departments – of deeply important issues that sourcing practitioners must consider and understand in order to be successful.

In response to this, my co-author, Dr. Michael Lamoureux, launched the Sourcing Innovation blog with the specific purpose of educating practitioners and cutting through the marketing babble that had begun to dominate the discussion. Another co-author, David Bush, started the e-Sourcing Wiki (from which the bulk of this Handbook is taken) in a similar attempt to put fundamental e-Sourcing ideas and concepts into a publicly accessible forum. Over the years, David has also built Iasta’s e-Sourcing Forum blog into a credible and useful resource.

These efforts are laudable, but blogs and wikis are sometimes hard to navigate, and effort is often required to extract related information in a useful way. This Handbook is an effort to draw together the knowledge base of the Wiki, along with relevant blog postings, into a coherent and readable framework. Of course, one might argue that none of the authors are readable or coherent – and that may be a fair criticism – but we’ve made a best effort.

Because Michael is a strong and independent voice in the space, it’s appropriate that he is the editor of this Handbook. He has taken an interesting and unorthodox approach, choosing to mix factual and informative wiki articles with blog postings that are both controversial and opinionated. The juxtaposition of the two allows the reader to see where the boundary lies between information and advocacy. This is perhaps the first effort of its kind where two very different resources are interlinked in a constructive, and hopefully interesting, way.

I trust that this edition of the Handbook will be the first of many similar efforts, and that together we can collectively energize our space with accurate information and useful insights. Remember, the e-Sourcing Wiki is a public resource – anyone can contribute – so everyone should consider “sharing the wealth” and do so.