Category Archives: About us

Top Posts of 2016!

Now that we’ve counted down the top posts from the archives, we’re going to count down the top posts of the year, based on direct page-views. (These could be slightly out of order as most posts are accessed by main page accesses, but, as daily visits are fairly consistent, the relative order should not be off two much.) Our expectation is that many of these posts will continue to be read in the years to come as SI posts, which focus on education and not entertainment, truly do stand the test of time (as explained in our previous posts)!

Runner Up:

Give Your Procurement Some Backbone! Part I

10. Training a Procurement Team

09. 5 Reasons Why You Need to Take the Direct Procurement Challenge!

08. Aligning Procurement Strategies to Business Goals, Part I

07. Aligning Procurement Strategies to Business Goals, Part II

06. TAMR – Trying to Tame the Data Deluge!

05. Driverless Delivery? Tantalizing Theft Target!

04. Trade Extensions is Redefining Sourcing, Part IV

03. Spend 360 – Applying Deep Machine Learning to Spend Analysis

02. The Death of Factoring Will Be Highly Exaggerated

01. Technology Sustentation 89: IP Patents

What does all this mean? Come back tomorrow for our analysis.

Top Posts of 2016 … From the Archives … Explained!

Yesterday we counted down the top 20 visited posts from 2016 from the archives, which also contained the top 11 visited posts overall. What does this imply, besides the fact that posts on SI stand the test of time (due to their educational, vs. entertainment, focus)? It means that the desire for Procurement knowledge is increasing, and, more importantly, when you dig in, that a lot of organizations are still struggling with the basics.

Third Party Vendor Reviews Are Important

The 20th most accessed post was vendor day reprise, which centralizes links to the the vast majority of unpaid vendor reviews done by SI. The 8th most accessed post was from the Best Practice Vendor Selection series, and on Part V: Stuck with an ERP? You do have options! in particular. And the 3rd most accessed post is on how BizSlate is Bringing Sexy Back to ERP. In other words, many organizations are still on ERP and trying to figure out how to take it to the next level and how to either migrate from, or, if they are stuck with it, augment their ERP.

A Basic Understanding of Sourcing vs. Procurement is Being Sought

The 12th most accessed post was on Source to Settle – The Sourcing and Procurement Kettle, which follows up SI’s classic post on how it’s Sourcing And Procurement (and advertises a paper and webinar that explains it all). The 13th most accessed post addresses the Difference Between Direct and Indirect and the 11th most accessed post provides a Strategic Sourcing Plan Outline. Then the 9th most accessed post is Smock on Sourcing Strategy, the 5th most accessed post is on Developing Category Strategies, and the 4th most accessed post is on the Evolution of Purchasing. Plus, the 10th most accessed post is on the advantages of decentralization and the 16th most accessed post is on the advantages of multi-tier supply chains, which shows that not only is an understanding of sourcing and procurement being sought, but so is an understanding of how to structure it as well.

The Talent Issue is Still Omnipresent

The 15th most accessed post is on Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z and the 7th most accessed post is on the importance of the job description to your talent management strategy.

Risk and Related Areas Are Always Back of Mind

The 18th most visited post in the archives was on Bank Payment Obligations (as lack thereof puts many organizations’ financial supply chains at risk), the 17th most accessed post was on common negotiation ploys used by sales teams (as not knowing them puts a Procurement department at risk of leaving too much money on the table), the 6th most accessed post was on how the purpose of a contract is easy to define (as poor definition creates high risk), and the 2nd most accessed post was on five types of supply risk and how to mitigate them.

There Are Still a Lot of Organizations Beginning Their Procurement Journey

Not only was the top post of 2016 RFX Defined, but it was accessed almost twice as many times as the next most accessed post. (In fact, it was access over 10,000 times!)

Top Posts of 2016 … From the Archives!

Before we countdown the top posts of the year, let’s start by counting down the top twenty viewed posts from the archives. We’re doing this because, believe it or not, the top eleven posts of the year, based on direct page-views (as most visits are homepage views, not direct page-views) were from the archives, going all the way back to 2006! This is because SI posts, which focus on education and not entertainment, truly do stand the test of time!

Runner Up:

The Z-Score … or ZZZ-Score

20. Vendor Day Reprise!

19. Blogger Relations Part II: Fire Your PR Company!

18. It Took 40 Years But BPOs (Bank Payment Obligations) are now Truly SWIFT!

17. Common Negotiation Ploys: Some Basic Counter-Tactics

16. The Advantages of Multi-Tier Supply Chains Come at a Price

15. Economic Damnation 04: Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z

14. How an Online Marketplace Can Improve Equipment Rental Procurement Part I

13. Do You Know the Difference Between Direct and Indirect?

12. Source To Settle – The Sourcing and Procurement Kettle

11. A Strategic Sourcing Plan Outline

10. The Advantages of Decentralization

09. Smock on Sourcing Strategy

08. Best Practice Vendor Selection for True Multi-Nationals Part V: Stuck with an ERP? You do have options!

07. The Importance of the Job Description to Your Talent Management Strategy

06. The Purpose of a Contract is Easy to Define

05. Supply Management in the Decade Ahead VI: Developing Category Strategies

04. The Evolution of Purchasing

03. How BizSlate is Bringing Sexy Back to ERP

02. Five Types of Supply Risk and How to Mitigate Them

01. RFX Defined

What does all this mean? Come back tomorrow for our analysis.

Top SI Posts: What Are You Peers Reading? Part II

SI doesn’t do many top X lists, because not many are useful — but every now and again it’s informative to look at what is being read and ask why. In yesterday’s post, we summarized the top 11 posts from the first half of 2016. In today’s post, we discuss potential reasons as to why the indicated posts were the top posts from the first half of 2016.

If we analyze the top x posts, we see the following overlapping subjects, in alphabetical order:

  • Automation
  • Marketing
  • Platforms
  • Procurement Strategy
  • SRM
  • Supply Risk
  • Tail Spend

All of these revolve around platform, strategy, risk, and spend with (strategic) suppliers. Basically, your peers, enlightened as they are, are concerned with making the right decisions when it comes to identifying products and suppliers on which to allocate spend. This right decision revolves around a combination of cost avoidance, risk avoidance, and waste avoidance. The wrong decision can cost too much, come with too much (potentially devastating) risk, and cost the organization a lot of resources and effort over the long run to manage and control. All of this wastes time, money, and effort.

A Procurement organization with the desire to (someday) be best in class realizes that the only way it can do so when it is constantly under-resourced and under-funded is to be as efficient and effective as possible. It realizes that it has to build and maintain a sustainable value engine and focus on what matters — reliable supply, quality products and services, cost control (not savings), and value generation — and that this requires the right talent, technology and transformation from a laser focus on savings to a broad value focus on the organizational goals. A focus that understands and manages risk; that forms, adopts, and implements strategy; that gets all spend under management (even if that management is simply 3-bids and a buy or automated auctions for tail-spend so that the organization never spends more than market average and never gets less than market average quality); and that realizes that platforms provide power, but not solutions. Human intelligence is still required.

In other words, what SI has been focussed on since day one.

And that’s probably why these posts rounded out the top 20.

Top SI Posts: What Are You Peers Reading? Part I

SI doesn’t do many top X lists, because not many are useful — but every now and again it’s informative to look at what is being read and ask why. In today’s post, we’ll summarize the top 11 posts from the first half of 2016. Then, in tomorrow’s post, we’ll discuss potential reasons as to why these are the top posts from the first half of 2016.

#11: How Do You Find the Right Platform for You?

In this post we proposed an introductory four step process that could be used to help an organization identify the right Supply Management platform(s) to help it in its operations. This followed our two-part series on “what is a platform”.

#10: Ditch the Pepsi Blues, Already: Become a Marketing Procurement Asset Part II

In part II of this 2-part guest-post from Brien Seipel of Source One he noted that the next step for a Procurement organization that did not want to be ditched was to realign priorities and put the “marketing” into marketing Procurement. What does this mean? Check out the series!

#09: Can Your Platform Handle Direct? Take the Direct Procurement Challenge!

In this post we discussed how the direct procurement lifecycle was considerably different from the classic indirect procurement lifecycle (which is, by the way, cost centric perfect for indirect), and that an organization that wanted to get a grip on direct needed to understand this. We also noted that for an organization to figure out what platform was right for it, it had to take the direct procurement challenge.

#08: Don’t Let Tail Spend Take You For a Tail-Spin!

Tail spend is starting to get attention, and by right it should as this bottom spend often contains an overspend as high as 30%! Getting rid of this overspend can be as effective as saving 7% on the top spend.

#07: How Does Your State of Flux Measure Up?

In this post we noted that, in many organizations, SRM — Supplier Relationship Management, is in a state of flux. Policies are undocumented. Processes are not automated. Critical interaction data is not captured. And the majority of your employees interacting with your suppliers on a daily basis cannot even identify five of your top ten strategic suppliers. (Finance might hazard a guess, but while dollars spent is an indicator, it’s not a guarantee.) Something has to be done.

#06: AI Will Not Save Procurement — Thought Leaders Will

In this post we noted that despite the fact that Procurement is at a crossroads, and despite grandiose claims to the contrary about the power of AI-powered predictive and prescriptive analytics, AI will not save Procurement. Better systems will make us more efficient and effective, and power our Procurement Value Engine, but they will never be able to make decisions for us. They never have all the data, they never see beyond the numbers, and they don’t have the insight to look beyond what they are given. Their proficiency might increase, but it will never be perfect … and automating your Procurement function with them will simply automate your way to failure.

#05: Ditch the Pepsi Blues, Already: Become a Marketing Procurement Asset Part I

In part I of this 2-part guest-post from Brien Seipel of Source One he noted that organizations don’t ditch marketing procurement, they ditch bad marketing procurement and if you’re organization wants to get Procurement spend under control, the only way to do so is to become an asset, not a roadblock.

#04: Driverless Delivery? Tantalizing Theft Target!

Everyone loves automation and everyone loves Google’s and promise to automate everything — but automating deliveries is simply automating theft. Don’t believe it? Read the post!

#03: the doctor doesn’t like lists either, but the 50/50 is as good as it gets

The title says it all — warts and all, the 50/50 is the best Supply Management Vendor List out there.

#02: Failure to Monitor a Supply Chain for Risk Can Tarnish Your Brand

Supply chains are fraught with risk, but the biggest risk of all is the brand impact from an unexpected supply chain disaster that can destroy the corporate bank account.

#01: Aligning Procurement Strategies to Business Goals, Part I

This guest post from Torey Guingrich of Source One talked about how to align Procurement strategies to business goals, a necessity for organizational success.