In keeping with holiday tradition, I again bring you the Wit and Wisdom of the SpendFool, culled from all of the foolish comments I could find on Spend Matters during the last year. As usual, the SpendFool left some juicy tidbits again this year, and I hope you enjoy them, along with his 2006 and 2007 contributions, because, if the Fool is true to his word, 2008 might be the last year he leaves any tidbits of merit. (See the seventh comment.)
Well, if there’s one thing you can’t accuse Texas of (besides turning the town drunk into the governor and the POTUS), it’s supplier diversity!
As Groucho Marx quipped, “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that had me as a member”.
I’m going to be introducing a certification called the Society of Professional Analysts in Supply Management, or SPASM for short. Some of the modules will include key skills such as:
- seeing some trends in business week, writing them up, and then claiming credit for them the following year
- knowing when to create a good rumor or dredge up an old one (e.g., Ariba getting bought is always a good one)
- knowing when to write up a lovely alert on Emptoris and their success at GSK and Motorola (when the bill comes due on their renewal)
- running from the ERP vendor analyst handlers at a trade show in order to actually go look at real functionality and talk to real customers
I’ll also add an extra training module on an old system that is important to know about it if you’ve never been exposed to it, and that is the Manufacturing Information Access Software System. If you’ve never heard of it, I HIGHLY recommend you Googling it to find out some great user comments about it.
Thermodynamics says that vapor will become solid at higher pressure, and I can tell you that the pressure is definitely on at many marquis SAP shops where the Procurement executives feel like Charlie Brown with the football getting pulled away again.
As a sidenote, if you all think I’m too sarcastic, please consider it a marker of higher evolution, not cruelty:
Sarcasm Seen as Evolutionary Survival Skill
It’s due to an arcane mathematical effect called Avnermatics where all reported figures geometrically multiply at a constant determined by the proximity of an acquisition and it’s also like “Schrodinger’s cat” in quantum mechanics because you can’t actually measure it, and if you do, you’re likely going to kill it.
If the commodity manager doesn’t pay attention to the innovative new suppliers out there, then the commodity manager is an idiot and not doing his/her job, merely prone to racking and stacking stale incumbants rather than identifying discontinuous improvements in the market on behalf of his/her clients. These are the true analysts, those that analyze where things are going, and where the innovations are happening (and putting it into context for a client with a very complex organization situation) rather than trying to put new shinola on old sh&t.
If you set the way back machine to the great sensei Genichi Taguchi and his definition of waste, it was actually a loss function to the consumer and to society – so this correlation is both understandable and natural.
What’s funny is that nobody from Aberdeen ever chimes in on this blog defending themselves and their “honor” (ok , stop laughing). Why? Because they know it to be true and the analysts are using Aberdeen (to build their personal brands) as much as Aberdeen uses them. To quote Bob Seeger, they were “getting their share”.
You have the 2 opposing philosophies of the assemble/maintain your own versus going for a turnkey low-maintenance option. Thing is … both are needed (strategic stuff for the former) … in line with “IT doesn’t matter” (in fine print: for the commodity stuff) … BUT, mass customization hinges upon great design, and SaaS offerings can’t just have the many-to-many data model and a few data dictionaries. SaaS is the right concept, but time will tell how much customization features will be available as native functionality so that the platform will be commonized, but will be tunable (e.g., plug-in’able content) to specific user requirements.
The biggest cost though of beef is its impact on global warming. Methane is 21x more ‘warming’ than CO2 and organic beef is even worse given the time it takes to get an organic cow to slaughter weight. Dairy cows also are part of the equation. So, my friends, it’s great that you’ve switched to a hybrid car and changed your lightbulbs, but you now need to give up cheeseburgers and milk in order to save our planet. I guess it’s veggie burgers and soy lattes in our foreseeable future. Otherwise, we need start doing methane reclamation not just in landfills, coal mines, and manure piles, but also in livestock, and that’s just not a visual that I care for on a bike ride through Vermont or Wisconsin.
A Procurement organization should be ‘fit for purpose’, and it’s less about the size of the spend than how you use it… which is to deliver lasting value.
In procurement, it’s all about talent, and transformation. And we need a whole lotta both.
Well, that’s likely it. I hope you enjoyed this three-part series.