High Performance Procurement: 3 Questions for Procurement Leaders

Are you focusing on strategy or transactions? Regardless of internal department, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks, and in procurement that often means managing transactions.Procurement leaders who are able to take a step back and focus on making system wide improvements and evaluating the purchasing activities of a their company are more effective than those who micromanage transactions. Ultimately, a strategic procurement outlook will have an influence on the way that each transaction takes place as well as the way overarching plans are developed and implemented, leading to improved performance on all cylinders. Are you utilizing…


Supplier Diversity Programs: Doing Well by Doing Good

There is a reason why the smart folks at Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Harvard have created Supplier Diversity programs, joining their public entity counterparts, which are federally mandated to do so. Supporting local, diverse, and disadvantaged businesses is not only a good thing to do, it also makes a lot of business sense. What is Supplier Diversity? In practice, it means capitalizing on the opportunity to work with a new, growing, and diverse set of suppliers. Companies do this by proactively seeking out business relationships with all types of suppliers: large and small businesses, businesses owned by minority, women, veteran, persons…


Technologies to Transform Procurement in 2018

I’m 40,000 feet in the air flying from Boston to Dublin. As I sit back in my seat with a Guinness in hand, I begin to consider the safety of my flight.  I start contemplating the various procedures required to fly the plane and feel myself thinking I’d be more comfortable with the auto-pilot navigating the plane than the captain and his crew.  It’s not that I don’t trust the skills and experience of the pilots; it’s just that I know that they’re limited by the constraints of human error and capabilities. No matter the profession, even the most experienced humans…


Digital Transformation in Procurement

Late in 2017, we called digital transformation one of the “ingredients for innovation” in procurement. But simply using Amazon Business for your supply purchases or optimizing your website for mobile doesn’t mean you have a digital procurement strategy. Here are some ways that changes in your strategy will transform the way your organization operates and thrives: Process Revolution Procurement leaders assume that digital technologies will transform the entire procurement operation, from overarching strategies to the most elementary procurement processes. Properly implemented, these technologies can help procurement increase everything from data analysis to collaboration and team engagement. When implementing digital transformation…


A Faster Horse: Artificial Intelligence

Innovations that Disrupt In the past century or so, the United States has experienced the power of innovation that disrupts the economy and American way of life. Some inventions were created out of necessity (air conditioning, the telephone and antibiotics) and some out of desire (video games, Segways and TV dinners).  As we enter 2018, it is clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is an innovation that is here to stay and will most definitely change the way Americans work, play and interact. Artificial Intelligence Simply put, AI is “is intelligence displayed by machines, in contrast with the natural intelligence (NI)…


Ingredients for Innovation in Procurement

As we approach 2018, technological innovation in all industries is inevitable and when organizations fail to embrace new technologies and models they run the risk of falling behind the competition. By jeopardizing their competitiveness they ultimately run the risk of falling out of the race altogether. Procurement is no different, but as an industry it continues to fall behind in innovation. In order for the procurement function to successfully move forward, there are three necessary ingredients to drive innovation in the field. Digital transformation. The irony of the procurement function is that for the past 10 years or so it…


Why Tail Spend Matters: My First Nine Months as CEO

As I think back on my first 9 months as FairMarkIT CEO, I am reminded of the idiom “the devil is in the detail.”  But why are we having a ‘tail spend,’ devil is in the detail discussion?  Well let’s start by first defining what ‘tail spend’ is: Considered low priority Individually small dollar value transactions Generally, equates to 20% of your total spend across all categories With those transactions spread across 80% of your supply base The spend is typically unmanaged resulting in challenges with data clarity and integrity Why is ‘tail spend’ important?  Let’s do the math –…


Combating Debt: 3 Things The Public Sector Can Learn From Private Organizations

The national debt, which has grown to almost $20 trillion in recent years, has been a topic of conversation for decades. What many Americans aren’t aware of is the looming debt crisis with many state and local governments. In 2013, the Census Bureau estimated that $1.13 trillion of the debt is on a state level and about $1.82 trillion is local debt. As you can imagine, this is just the tip of the iceberg...as the American population grows and ages spending will as well, especially with retirement, healthcare and education. In order to combat our growing debt, government entities and…


Year-End Procurement Trends

As we near the end of 2017 there are a couple of procurement trends that have stood out above the rest.  What’s obvious is that technology is changing the way IT professionals do business and it will continue to in 2018. So, what advanced procurement in 2017 and how will we keep progressing in 2018? Trends of 2017: Big Data. It doesn’t get much buzzier than that...but this year we’ve seen that there is big value in big data.  Not only has data become more plentiful and easily accessible but it is also high quality and extremely valuable in terms…


5 Things You Should Know About eSourcing

In the past, the most crucial skill a procurement officer had was the competence to negotiate price and the terms of a contract. Once negotiations were concluded and the contract was signed, the job was done. Currently, the job isn’t so easy which is why eSourcing is an extremely critical tool, enabling procurement and sales departments to expedite and simplify the full life-cycle of the procurement process. If your team has yet to take advantage of this collaborative technology, here are 5 things you should know. eSourcing... Reduces Risk. The standardized approach of eSourcing gives companies control over their call for…