… but don’t, because if they did, Source-to-Pay would be ubiquitous across the space.
As we noted yesterday, if you’re a long-time reader of SI, you can skip this post because you already know it all. But if you are a new reader, and haven’t scoured the archives yet, this post is for you — to help get you up to speed fast on what you may not yet have discovered in the extensive archives you can find right here on SI.
Yesterday we covered the first four “secrets” that shouldn’t be secrets anymore. Today we cover the last three.
5. Contract Management is just a new name for document management with integrated monitoring, it’s not a replacement for contract managers — and definitely NOT a replacement for lawyers!
Lately I’ve noticed how contract management is coming into vogue … again. And while that’s a good thing, it’s important to understand what contract management is and isn’t because it seems that some vendors, and some publications, are promoting the new offerings, with automatic clause identification and suggestion, as the latest and greatest tools to solve all your contract woes when the reality is that these tools are nothing more than document management tools with monitors, alerts, and contract templates that can swap out versions of a clause based on industry, geography, spend level, and identified risk.
We won’t deny the importance of having a good contract management tool that can monitor expiration dates, contract pricing, and, most importantly, invoiced pricing against contracted rates, but these tools, even if they contain sophisticated contract creation and clause identification capabilities, can’t replace a contract expert, a master negotiator, a trained legal professional, or a good spend analysis tool that can uncover devious work-arounds by less-than-reputable vendors looking for a way to make back that buck they gave up in negotiations. (For example, we still hear from consultants to this day who tell us how, ten years later, they find that some office supply management vendors still regularly changed SKUs to bill you twice as much for that pen as it’s really worth — as most of their customers still haven’t caught on.)
6. e-Procurement is tactical, and not a substitute for e-Sourcing
There’s still a lot of confusion in the marketplace between what is e-Procurement (and how it relates to I2P, P2P, EIPP, and the other new acronyms old players are coining to differentiate their new, streamlined, offering) and what is e-Sourcing, even though it should be fairly clear cut (as the doctor outlined over a decade ago in this post on why it’s sourcing and procurement). A few of the e-Procurement vendors are even claiming that you don’t need sourcing at all if you use the wisdom of crowds (which is not the case because there’s a big difference between a great deal on a commodity office supply and a great deal on raw cocoa or custom circuit boards, which are not commodities), market intelligence, and automation. Sourcing is the strategic part of the purchasing cycle, procurement is the tactical. You need both, and one is not a substitute for the other.
7. It’s not what you know, it’s what you can learn!
Plain and simple,
- it doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing it that way for 20 years if it’s not optimal,
- shift happens, and
- whatever happens, the world of tomorrow will not be the world of today.
You have to keep learning. That’s why this blog is here to help you.