Are You Speaking the Language of Value?

Procurement organizations are constantly being challenged to create more value. The initial step for each company is to define exactly what value means given their unique economic context. The language of value, like value itself, is about discussing topics with an emphasis on creativity and potential. Since value is qualitative, procurement must be able to discuss, explain, and promote it without being overly reliant on the quantitative measures to which we are accustomed. Having the ability to discuss value creation … More

How to Develop Strong Vendor Relationships & Strategic Partnerships

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, internal communication and alignment are key factors for a Procurement team who wishes to increase their real and perceived value to their organization, as well as their influence.  The vision for the Procurement team should align with the vision for the overall organization. Additionally, being able to effectively communicate Procurement’s impact on the company’s mission and vision is critical to success. In this post, I’d like to further suggest that Procurement view … More

8 Benefits eSourcing Can Provide Suppliers

Supplier organizations are often hesitant to participate in a RFP or an eAuction because they feel a supplier may have already been selected, and they may just be a placeholder for the process. Of course there are times where this can occur, but as long as the cost of participating is less than the potential benefit from participating, a supplier can/will benefit from participating in eSourcing. Below are 8 benefits eSourcing can provide suppliers: #1. Increased transparency in purchasing process – … More

Top 5 Reasons Why Should You Attend ISM 2014

ISM continually sets the bar for supply chain events around the world. This year, ISM 2014 will take place in the city that never sleeps (Las Vegas) on May 5-7. Why should you attend ISM 2014? Here are five top reasons you won’t want to miss this conference: #1-Connect with the biggest names in procurement: You can attend leading-edge programs presented by big name speakers, such as the winners of the ISM Michigan State University Awards for Excellence in Supply … More

3 Reasons to Implement a Supplier Diversity Program

April is Celebrate Diversity Month, which started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. Diversity can be recognized in many ways – from self-expression, to a difference of opinion, to choosing diverse suppliers – but one thing is certain, we celebrate diversity in hope that people will gain deeper understanding of the diverse group of backgrounds and cultures. As for procurement, supplier diversity programs are just as important to recognize (and celebrate). Today, supplier diversity programs … More

3 Reasons to Choose BoB vs ERP

By design, ERP solutions were intended to cover the ground of multiple applications on a single platform. But while great in theory, ERP solutions don’t always work effectively using only “one” platform. In fact, organizations are often pressured or forced to think using an ERP suite is the only option. However, choosing a Best-of-Breed (BoB) solution somewhat negates this approach and in some cases simply makes sense for an organization to adopt this single platform approach. While one size does … More

5 Ways Sourcing Teams Can Start Spring Cleaning

As the weather starts warming up and hibernation days are waning, we tend to get the urge to reorganize and clean up the mess that accumulated while hiding from the cold. This phenomenon that helps pull us out of the funk of winter and into a fresh start is referred to as spring cleaning, and it can be applied to more areas of your life besides the home. You can probably start thinking about ways to clean up around the … More

4 Factors Driving Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity is important in nearly every industry, but I always find it interesting to understand the various drivers that determine the level of importance within select industries.  Here are a few key takeaways I’ve found based on my conversations with clients and prospects: #1: Government mandates directly influence supplier diversity requirements. Supplier diversity in the Telecom industry is stemmed from government mandates to comply with minimum diversity requirements. As a result, several organizations have come to realize the value … More

Baseball and Measuring Procurement’s Value

Finally, spring has sprung and it is officially baseball season. In my house, there is much rejoicing! With the dawn of each new season there is fresh hope, even if it is sometimes…fleeting. Perhaps more than any other sport, baseball is often analyzed through the prism of statistics. Whatever age or school of thought you might hold in relation to baseball, you can likely rattle off some form of statistic about some of the players you follow, if a fan. … More

How Risky is Supply Chain Risk Communication?

How risky is supply chain risk? Leading organizations assess it, manage it, and communicate it. But in an effort to be both cautious and proactive, it is important to remember that there is more than one audience for risk information. Information shared in a routine disclosure to one reader may signal a crisis to another, or so the Chipotle Restaurant Chain learned the hard way earlier this month. The Chipotle Restaurant Chain is reassuring consumers after an industry blogger highlighted … More

5 Communication Tactics for Modern Sourcing Pros

Not everyone has a knack for strong communication. We live in a technology-driven world where instant messages, emails, and text messages drive most of our conversations. In fact, some people would actually prefer these digital communications over face-to-face interactions. But there is no denying the benefit of in-person communications. You can pick up on body language in the room and people are more likely to ask questions and participate in the conversation. As a Modern Sourcing Pro, you need to … More

8 Signs You Are Ready to Adopt a Modern Sourcing Solution

I can rattle of many reasons why teams should consider implementing a modern sourcing solution. Even though each company will have different challenges, needs, and goals; if your team is experiencing any of these eight signs below, now is the time to adopt a modern sourcing solution! Sign #1: Limited Or No Visibility Into Your Company’s Spend If you have limited or no visibility into your spend, you are likely missing out on hard dollar savings. A spend analysis solution … More

Keeping the Procurement System Working Like a Well Oiled Machine

Procurement is more than the process of finding, contracting, buying, and paying for products and services. In an effort to do all of these things and more in a way that creates a sustained corporate competitive advantage, most procurement organizations have built up systems of initiatives, each of which offers some improvement to their performance or results. This system of loosely interconnected disciplines and solutions drives procurement’s efforts through the procure-to-pay process and beyond. Some of the most common procurement … More

What Can Procurement Learn from The Bully Pulpit?

I like to fancy myself a student of US History. In fact, I often find myself intrigued about how lessons learned from some of the most influential people in history can be applied to the political, business and personal issues facing the present. For example, when I came across a LinkedIn post titled, “Three Lessons Execs Can Get from the Gettysburg Address,” I became unreasonably excited to read more. I personally consider Theodore Roosevelt (TR) the most interesting historical/political figure … More

March Monthly Payback: Cherlyn Decker, AOL Inc.

Who is Cherlyn? Cherlyn is the Head of Procurement Services and CPO at AOL Inc, a media and internet company, where she leads procurement, strategic sourcing, leasing and investment for more than $500M spend across all business units including: Technologies, Business Support, Content, and Subscription, Brand/Agency marketing and Huffington Post. Cherlyn is accountable for building a high performing return and delivers strong returns on investment for both savings to the business and cost of procurement, and she demonstrates thought leadership … More