Daily Archives: March 9, 2009

Recent Additions to the Resource Site

The 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.

The last week, which saw the introduction of a new Newsletter category, also saw a number of new additions to the glossary, including:

Business Process Outsourcing
Compliance Management
Crowdsourcing
Knowledge Management
Market Intelligence
Negotiation Management
Product Life-cycle Management
Sales And Operations Planning

In fact, there have been almost 100 resource additions in the past week alone, including:

The total number of unique, active resources exceeds the 2,150 mark, and breaks down as follows:

And includes the following recent additions, among many others:

Conferences

Dates Conference Sponsor
2009-Apr-14 to
  

2009-Apr-16

National Logistics & Distribution Conference
  

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Peach State
2009-Apr-27 to
  

2009-Apr-28

Trade Compliance 101 – Back to Basics
  

Raffles City, Singapore

Mondial Trade Compliance
2009-May-11 to
  

2009-May-14

Material Management National Workshop
  

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

MMI
2009-Oct-23 to
  

2009-Oct-24

Supply Chain Capital Decisions
  

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PMAC Ontario Institute

Journals

Journal Publisher
International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management IGI Global
International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation Inderscience Enterprises
International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management Inderscience
Journal of Operations and Supply Chain Management Fundacao Getulio Vargas
Business School
Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management Elsevier
Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics, and Policy Association of Transportation
Law Professionals

Webcast Archives

Original Date Webcast Sponsor
2006-Jan-1

00:00 GMT/WET

Contract Performance Management: What is it? Why do I need it? Nextance
2006-Jun-15

00:00 GMT/WET

Ask the Experts Best Practices in Purchase to Pay Processes Open Text
2008-May-27

00:00 GMT/WET

Del Monte Case Study: How Consumer Product Companies Can Optimize Downstream Data to Secure Top Supplier Position One Network Enterprises

which are all readily searchable from the comprehensive 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!

And continue to keep a sharp eye out for new content and even more new content categories which will be coming on-line in the near future!

Software Acquisition Insider Tips, Part III

Read the Contract

Don’t Be Fooled By the Presence of an SLA

The majority of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are designed for one purpose — and one purpose only — to give you a false sense of security that will cause you to overlook the fact that the wording insures that the vendor will be able to keep your money for the length of the contract, no matter what. Your average SLA will run for a dozen or more pages with lots of fancy wording around “Level 1″ problems, “Level 2″ problems, and so on with detailed text spelling out your responsibilities and consequence-free reprieve time for the vendor while you lodge your complaint and fill out the necessary documentation.

When you take out all the superfluous text and boil it down to the essentials, you quickly find out that your average SLA is toothless and promises very little. While there may be a process for every issues that could arise, the language will always be sufficiently vague that a lawsuit couldn’t be filed, as a case couldn’t be won, nor would it be worth your while to do so. And it’s a waste of time to argue it, as your vendor’s attorney’s will be just as good as yours, and for every point the vendor’s attorney concedes, he’ll introduce two more that could be used to screw you even worse in the long run.

The ideal SLA, and the only SLA with value, is one that allows you to terminate the contract at any time without leaving any money on the table under a pay-as-you-go kind of contract. (That’s why SaaS solutions can often be the best value for your money as many SaaS vendors will allow you to go month to month after a minimum period of time.) This is the only SLA that counts as the vendor understands that unless it keeps delivering a quality product backed by quality service that earns your business, your business is something it might not keep. There is no stronger incentive to a vendor than your ability to walk away.

There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Free modules? Free support? Free training? Not likely! Either it’s included in the price, is being offered as an enticement to lock you in for a fixed term, or it’s being offered in an attempt to divert your attention away from a complex SLA that benefits the vendor and not you. If you want the extra module, extended support, or training, offer to buy it a-la-carte instead. Anything that ties your hand contractually is not only not free, but very, very expensive — especially if it locks you into a long term commitment to a solution that doesn’t deliver the results you expected.

Don’t Get Fooled by the License Fee in Disguise

Many traditional enterprise software platforms have a clause buried deep in the SLA that requires you to pay the annual maintenance fee, or lose the right to use the software altogether even though you have years left on the contract. That’s not a maintenance fee, that’s a license fee. Make sure the maintenance fee is a real maintenance fee for support and bug fixes. If you’ve licensed the software, and paid six or seven figures to do so, you should retain the right to use the software for as long as you desire, even if such use doesn’t come with free assistance.

Don’t Get Screwed By The New Release

As sure as the sun rises in the east, the vendor will come out with a new release not long after you’ve bought the current version and expect you to pay a large tranche of money to get it. You may get offered a small “upgrade” discount, but you’ll pay, then pay again, and pay again, and again for as long as you own the software. If you can’t do business with a vendor that simply charges you a fixed, steady, predictable monthly rate for the software — with no surprises — consider at least going with a vendor who will fix the price of the upgrades up-front. At least you’ll be able to plan for the expenditure and know up front how much the software is really going to cost you over its lifetime.