Daily Archives: October 8, 2014

Why Are We Going to Spend Thirty Posts Exposing Past Procurement “Trends”?

Is it because the doctor is just plain tired of 2nd rate analysts and consultants selling last century’s solutions instead of accepting that we are in the 14th year of the 21st century?

Is it because without a solid understanding of where Procurement comes from, where it is, and where it needs to be, you’ll never get to where you need to go?

Or is it because without this understanding, you’ll never select the right technology and continue to be among those organizations that select those procurement tools that collectively cost organizations in North America 1.5 Billion per year and waste more than 32 Million man-hours because the Procurement system fails to increase their productivity (and, in some cases, because the system is not aligned with organizational processes and needs, actually decreases productivity and hinders savings identification and realization)?

It’s a combination of all three.

Modern Supply Management tools are supposed to save the organization money, not cost it money, but as The Topline Strategy group discovered (as summarized in this article over on S&DC Exec and MarketWatch), only 28% (or one-quarter) of sourcing an procurement professionals believe that their procurement systems make them productive.

This is an abysmal statistic in an industry that spent over 1.4 Billion on Enterprise Software in 2013, software that is supposed to increase efficiency and, in the case of Supply Management, identify savings and add value to the process.

Why is the situation so bad?

The article gives a few hints, including:

  • convoluted user interfaces,
  • lack of critical features,
  • poor integration or implementation (with enterprise systems & IT infrastructure), and
  • lack of regular, often necessary, updates

But, in many cases, the real reason is lack of fit and key functionality.

UI, proper implementation, good integration, and regular updates are important, but the system has to fit the workflow and support organizational processes. Sometimes the organization’s processes will need to be updated, but there is a difference between updating to a more appropriate process, and changing to a completely different process unsuitable to the organization’s business just to force fit a square system into a round architectural hole.

And there’s no way you can select the right fit if you don’t know what the right process should be for your organization. And you can’t know the right process until you know what that process has to support, why, and how the process will need to evolve over time.

And that is fundamentally why we have to spend thirty posts diving into past procurement “trends” so you understand what the real requirements are and what is just hot air coming out of the mouth of another slick talking speaker (or vanishing ink from their specially made pens). It will take time, especially since we will have to take a few breaks to maintain our sanity, but we have to do it.

Don’t you agree, LOLCat?

Can U Wake Me When Its Over.

Yes, LOLCat, we’ll wake you when itz over. We don’t want to drive you to drink too! (Futurists have already driven this LOLCat to drink!)