Mapping Out an Adoption Plan for Tail Spend Management (TSM)

Admittedly, when we first started Fairmarkit, building adoption strategies was an area that was grossly overlooked.  Our incorrect assumption was if the technology delivered on the benefits we reviewed with customers, than we’d have rapid user adoption within the organizations we partnered with.  We’d work with procurement executives to map out KPIs, fine tune the machine learning and automation, and upload all the necessary customer data to have the system ready to go. But this method had a much longer adoption curve than anticipated. The customers with the quickest adoption are those that either mandate usage or use Fairmarkit to…


Bringing Outsourced Tail Spend Management Back In-house

Should you outsource your tail spend management (TSM)?  Wildly fair question. I’m writing about this topic for 2 key reasons. First, I’ve had 5 conversations over the past week with companies in different stages of their outsourced journeys.  Second, because we’re hosting a webinar on November 14th to discuss how we helped Univision Communications bring their tail spend management (TSM) back onsite after originally outsourcing it to a business process outsourcing (BPO) without adding any additional headcount. To start the conversation, I’ve observed that most procurement teams have at least explored the option of outsourcing different aspect of their process.  I understand…


Deep Dive: Tail Spend Compliance

Tail Spend Compliance: An Often Overlooked Issue that Deserves Your Attention Following a great blog from our CEO on The Headcount -- Compliance Tradeoff, we thought we'd take a deeper dive into tail spend compliance. No matter the industry, it is easy to see how important it is for the procurement process of an enterprise to adhere to certain rules and procedures. That is how you ensure you are consistently getting the best prices possible and working with the most reliable vendors. Not only does this directly benefit your bottom line, but it also helps you manage risk. Compliance also…


4-Way Tail Spend Optimization

All decisions in life are tradeoffs.  It could be as simple as going out to dinner with friends versus staying in to save money, to something as important as deciding whether to take a new position at work in a different country versus staying in your current role.  To add to the complexity of any decision, there are usually dozens of factors to take into consideration when selecting an option. But to really make it interesting, there are typically several more factors that in-a-perfect-world should have been taken into consideration, but were never considered.  The “net-net” of the above is…


Let’s Talk Tail Spend KPIs

The saying, ”In God we trust, all others must bring data” seems to resonate very well when we start talking about tail spend Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  However, most procurement leaders that I meet with have little to no KPIs for their tail spend (the 80% of their purchases that makes up 20% of their budget). The reason I referenced the above saying is because if tail spend is not tracked, measured, and reported against, the business is just “trusting” that status quo will continue working. I’d challenge this mentality on two fronts: First, just because you trust your employees…


Tail Spend and the Purchasing vs. Procurement Debate

Both ‘purchasing’ and ‘procurement’ are terms that signify the process of acquiring goods and services that a company needs. This is the reason why many people mistakenly use these terms interchangeably. Even though they sound like synonyms, there are some important differences between them. Understanding these differences can have a bigger impact on your strategies than you might think. To help you gain a deeper understanding of these processes, let’s explain how they actually work. Procurement Rather than a name for a single process, procurement is an umbrella term that encompasses many different processes associated with acquisition of goods and…


Managing Tail Spend in Retail

Moving Toward Better Retail Procurement Running a successful business in this day and age isn’t easy for anyone, but retailers may have it the hardest. Hit with scandal after scandal, including bullying of suppliers, horse meat in beef burgers, and the use of child labor, the retail sector often makes the news for all the wrong reasons. Retailers all over the world have to deal with more than just bad publicity, though. For one, the market is evolving daily and so are the needs and behaviors of the consumers. Additionally, the rise of technology and competition coming from Amazon has…


Tail Spend: Addressing the Headcount – Compliance Tradeoff

Tail spend is spend at an organization that is not strategically managed and typically under $100K per purchase.  However, tail spend is not inconsequential, making up 20% of overall annual procurement spend. Because it comprises hundreds if not thousands of small-spend purchases and is generally not automated, tail spend is a high-touch nightmare as it involves some level of interaction with 80% of all vendors. In these blogs, my goal is to review relevant topics that our team hears from during our 40+ weekly meetings with customers, prospects, partners, advisors, and other procurement leaders.  The coverage will range from “what…


Finding Value in Manufacturing Procurement

Most companies look to their procurement departments to help keep the cost down while maintaining optimal results. This is especially important for small businesses, where even the smallest overspend can spell disaster for the entire organization. If you’re running a manufacturing business, things might not be as simple. After all, the bulk of your process depends on your inventory – machinery, supplies, and raw materials. If you suddenly started randomly cutting costs to save money, it could result in an inferior end product, which would then lead to a loss of profits. Thankfully, this problem is easy to overcome with…


The Challenges of Education Procurement

There has been a lot of talk about education reform in recent years, but all discussions invariably focus on the curriculum. While it’s true that the curriculum is in dire need of a thorough revision, the public-school system also needs to come up with strategies to save money and reduce spending in order to survive. This is where better procurement practices in education play a very important role. Wasteful Spending in Public Education Many claim that we’re better off today than we were ten years ago, but that’s not entirely true when it comes to public education. In 2007, the…