Daily Archives: February 16, 2009

Recent Additions to the Resource Site

The recently redesigned Sourcing Innovation Resource Site, always immediately accessible from the link under the “Free Resources” section of the sidebar, continues to add new content on a weekly, and often daily, basis. Unlike many “resource”, “best of”, or “portal sites” that are abandoned almost as quickly as they are thrown together, the resource site is actively maintained (and dead links are removed on a regular basis).

In fact, there have been over 80 resource additions in the past week alone, including:

  • 41 conferences, bringing the total number of conferences to 203
  • 8 upcoming webcasts, bringing the total number of upcoming and archived webcasts to 285

The total number of unique, active resources now exceeds the 2,000 mark, which breaks down as follows:

And includes the following recent additions, among many others:

Dates Conference Sponsor Updated
2009-Mar-3 to


The Supply Chain Forum

Whittlebury, England, UK (Europe)

Richmond Events Last Week
2009-Mar-4 to


5th Annual North American Summit on Food Safety

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Europe)

Strategy Institute Last Week
2009-Mar-15 to


International Trade & Customs Conference

San Antonio, Texas, USA (North-America)

APICS Last Week
2009-Apr-27 to


The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum

New York, New York, USA (North-America)

Richmond Events Last Week
2009-Jun-1 to


Biotech China

Shanghai, Guangdong, China (Asia)

Biotech China Last Week
2009-Sep-23 to


The Procurement Forum

Southhampton, England, UK (Europe)

Richmond Events Last Week
Date & Time Webcast Updated

13:00 GMT-05:00/CDT/EST

An Invoice is a Demand on your Cash

Sponsor: ImagiTek

Last Week

12:00 GMT-05:00/CDT/EST

Workforce Planning in a Recession: Plan Now for the Future

Sponsor: Infor

Last Week

2:00 GMT-05:00/CDT/EST

Complete Operating Expense Control

Sponsor: Expense Watch

Last Week

14:00 GMT-05:00/CDT/EST

10+2: Finding a Way Forward

Sponsor: American Shipper

Last Week

13:30 GMT-05:00/CDT/EST

Supply Chain Transformation: How to Compete in the New Global Arena

Sponsor: Forte

Last Week

Which are all readily searchable from the new Site-Search page. So don’t forget to review the resource site on a weekly basis. You just might find what you didn’t even know what you were looking for!

The Art of Procurement Mastery

Now more than ever, procurement leaders have enormous responsibilities on their shoulders. Not only are they expected to drive even larger cuts in costs of goods sold but they are under fierce pressure to make every business process as efficient as it can possibly be. So notes Gregory Spray in a recent Supply Chain Management Review article on The Art of Procurement Mastery.

The article also notes that not many companies are using the downturn as an opportunity to radically rethink their activities and strategies. A downturn is a great opportunity to snap up top talent, apply business analytics to develop sharper insight, collaborate closely with suppliers to drive product innovation, and outsource effectively.

The article examines the performance gap between “procurement masters” and their lesser performing industry peers that was highlighted in a recent Accenture survey across more than 600 procurement executives from Asia, Europe, and North America which found that procurement masters achieve 30% higher savings with costs that are 50% lower, procurement masters outsource at a frequency that is two to four times higher than low performers (depending on the function), and procurement masters are leaders in supplier relationship management. I have to say that these results are not unexpected, given that Hackett has been logging similar results for almost three years now.

The study defined a “procurement master” as one with superior performance in the following five metrics:

  • Total-Cost-of-Ownership (TCO) savings
  • Spend Under Management (by Procurement)
  • Ratio between TCO Reduction and Procurement Operating Costs
  • Percentage of NPD/NPIs where Procurement has a Material Role
  • Percentage of Suppliers Managed Under a Formal Process

So what do procurement masters do that their industry peers don’t?

  1. More Thoughtful and Pragmatic Procurement Strategy
    Masters look and think three to five years out when planning purchases for critical business categories and they do a more innovative job of measuring procurement performance.
  2. Better Guidance for Sourcing and Category Management
    Masters employ a center-led organizational design that cuts across organizational entities and employ best-practice sourcing processes that emphasize

    • common processes
    • wide-spread usage of cross-functional procurement teams
    • formally tracked activities
    • tight focus on TCO
    • end-to-end supply chain orientation
  3. Greater Innovation in Procurement Processes
    For example, 83% of masters (compared with 8% of low performers) excel at providing clear and documented buying channels to end users and 87% of masters use LCCS for value creation.
  4. More Assertive Supplier Relationship Management
    Supplier Relationship Management is a leading practice of procurement masters with 84% employing a supply-base segmentation approach (compared to 1% of low performers), 83% employing automated tracking and reporting of supplier performance (compared with 1% of low performers), and 80% employing central logging and proactive management of contracts (compared with 8% of low performers).
  5. Supplier Workforce Management and Organization
    Masters excel in workforce management with 78% (compared to only 3% of low performers):

    • Objectively measuring existing competencies
    • Frequently adjusting organizational skills to align with procurement strategy
    • Emphasizing ongoing training
    • Blanketing competency development strategies across the procurement network
    • In addition, 86% of masters use variable pay schemes (that compensate high performers).

  6. More Effective Use of Technology
    As the article astutely points out, technologies and technology-based solutions have advanced considerably in being able to support innovations in procurement and leading procurement executives are looking to new technology solutions to help digitize the entire supply chain.

As this echoes many of the messages my fellow bloggers and I have been conveying for the past few years, I’d say that this is good advice across the board.