Category Archives: Uncategorized

On the Eleventh day of X-Mas (2016)

On the eleventh day of X-Mas
my blogger gave to me:
Analysis Posts
Standard Sourcing Posts
Direct Sourcing Posts
Risk Management Posts
Sustainable Posts
e-Procurement Posts
some SRM Posts
some CLM Posts
some Best Practice Posts
some Trend Bashing Posts
and some ranting on stupidity …

Some of you might have thought we dished up the best first with our trend bashing posts and some ranting on stupidity. While those are some of the best posts SI has to offer, SI would like to think that its posts on Analysis and Optimization, the doctor‘s areas of expertise, are its crème de la crème. So, without further ado,

We know what spend analysis is (heck, the doctor co-wrote the book), but
What the Hell is Automated Spend Analysis?

Also, analysis is good because
Decisions Should be Data-Derived — But They Should Not Be Big Data Driven!

And even though you might think you can hire a high-school student and give him Microsoft Access and get a good analytics system on the cheap (as this was the complexity of many first generation contract management systems that, sad as it is, are still being sold today), the reality is that this is not the case and here is
Why You Should Not Build Your Own Analytics System

But all is not list. If you want to know, we will tell you
Spend Analysis – How You Get it Right?

In What Way Would the doctor Improve Spend Analysis? Glad you asked!
Part I
Part II
Part III

And we could not end this post without paying homage to the classic series by the old grey beard:
  I: The Value Curve
 II: The Psychology of Analysis
III: Common Sense Cleansing
 IV: Defining Analysis
  V: New Horizons Part I
 VI: New Horizons Part II

Come back tomorrow for the twelfth day of X-Mas.

On the Sixth day of X-Mas (2016)

On the sixth day of X-Mas
my blogger gave to me:
e-Procurement Posts
some SRM Posts
some CLM Posts
some Best Practice Posts
some Trend Bashing Posts
and some ranting on stupidity …

Before we go any further, the doctor would like to remind you that It’s Sourcing and Procurement, that we’ve already given you a list of basic questions to ask your e-Procurement Vendor, and that Procurement is so extensive that it’s the source of 101 Damnations that plague your working existence. All that being said, there is still more to say and some of it is captured in the linked posts below.

What is a “Best” Procurement Organization? Does it even exist?

No Environment is too Challenging or too Unique for Procure to Pay … despite what the neigh-sayers say!

3 More Terrible Reasons NOT to use e-Procurement … to add to the neigh-sayers’ pile of excuses!

What Procurement Processes Should be Automated? (Hint, not all of them!)

Procurement is Complex. Is Your Platform Capable of Handling It? (Hint, probably not!)

Have We Reached B2B 3.0 Yet? Part 5: B2B 3.0 in Procurement

How Do You Maintain Coherence Between Sourcing, Procurement, and Accounts Payable? (This is an important question, any incoherence costs you $$$!)

Some Procurement Myths Debunked!
Part I
Part II

And a shout out to the maverick!

And, finally,
Finding Your Procurement Mojo and Gettin’ Sigi Wit’ It
Part Un
Part Deux

Come back tomorrow for the seventh day of X-Mas!

One Hundred and Forty Years Ago Today …

Thomas Edison received a patent for the Mimeograph, one of the first low-cost duplicating machines that was commonly used to print small quantities in office work, classrooms, and even churches. It was essentially the predecessor to the modern photocopier and allowed for widespread distribution of information and communication. While primitive by today’s standards, it was advanced by 1870′s standards and a critical step towards the information revolution and a boon to journalism everywhere.

And while SI typically leaves its history lessons to the weekends, this is important enough to be noted on a week day.

Economic Sustentation #10: Mini-Trends and Macro-Trends

As noted in our initial damnation post, trends are the foundation of forecasting, but they are also the foundation of disruption when they change unexpectedly. When it comes to Procurement, the relevant trends may be consumer demand trends, inventory trends, market trends, or any other trend that Supply Management believes will impact its operation. Trends are damming because they are truly can’t live without them, can’t live with them events. Sort of. And we’ll discuss shortly.

First we need to point out that, when it comes to trends, there are two types of trends. Macro-Trends and Mini-Trends. A macro-trend is a large-scale, sustained shift in whatever is being measured. It could be a sustained consumer shift away from landlines to mobile phones as the primary means of voice telecommunication. It could be a sustained shift from overstocked warehouses to just-in-time delivery across retail chains. Or it could be a sustained shift upwards in the value of cotton, rice, coffee, or other staples where demand, and reserves are shrinking.

Mini-trends are emerging trends, often not yet acknowledged by the media or market, that may or may not culminate in large-scale, sustained shifts in the marketplace like their macro-trend counterparts, but are still likely to have a sustained impact over a period of time long enough to be significant and have the potential, in the future, to become, or replace, an existing macro-trend. Good examples of mini-trends that do not culminate in large-scale, sustained shifts are fashion trends — such as bell bottoms, balloon pants, hip huggers, long waistcoats, or any other fashion garment that is here today, gone tomorrow. Examples of mini-trends that became macro-tends are walkmans (that helped the cassette tape industry take off), cell phones (which have migrated from business phone to home phone), and gluten-free food products. Initially, these were all small markets but all are now global.

Both can make, or break, a company, and the ability to deal with these trends is what makes, or breaks, a great Procurement organization. But how does Procurement use trends to its advantage?

1. Identify marco-trends early in their lifecycle.

The sooner the organization is aware of a macro-spend, the sooner the organization can begin to insure products are appropriately designed, sourced, and inventoried to support marketing and sales through the macro-trend. The Procurement leader will have to work with the Chief Strategy Officer to select an appropriate market research firm to help the organization identify the appropriate emerging macro-trends, so that Procurement can figure out how the organization will be prepared to deal with the macro-trends when they hit their peak.

2. Identify potential mini-trends in the incubator stages.

Min-trends rise fast, and disappear faster. An organization has to identify micro-trends that could become mini-trends as soon as possible, select those it is in the best position to deal with, and prepare ready-to-go mini-trend product/sourcing plans the same way it would prepare risk mitigation plans, so that as soon as a micro-trend (which can be thought of as a small-scale, localize, mini-trend) starts to expand (virally) into a mini-trend, the organization can put the plan into action. When a mini-trend springs up, an organization that wants to take advantage of it has to be ready to source at a moments notice. It can only do that if it knows what it needs, what suppliers could meet the need, what transportation options can get the products to market quick enough, and how it can maintain just-in-time capability for surges as long as Sales needs it too.

3. Enable Marketing to Influence the Trends.

If the market research identifies two potential mini-trends that could arise, help marketing find the right advertising agencies with the ability to create campaigns to influence consumers towards the mini-trend the organization can best support. And make sure marketing minimizes its spend so it always has the budget it needs when it needs it. This is a book on its own (and the reader should check out SI’s post on marketing procurement as well as the doctor‘s joint series with the anarchist over on Spend Matters Plus [membership required] on how to Master the Marketing Way [Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part VI]), but the importance of the organization influencing spend, and Procurement supporting that cannot be underestimated.