Using Data to Tame the Tail in Financial Services

The long bear market of 2017 and 2018 is giving way to a less certain 2019. Now, more than ever, it’s important for financial services organizations to work as leanly and intelligently as possible. With trade wars, a government shutdown, and cooling tech stocks all contributing to market uncertainty, this is a great moment to address the importance of in financial services. In many respects, procurement departments in banking, insurance, and asset management perform the same function as their counterparts in other industries. They are tasked with mitigating risk and delivering value to their organization by strategically managing supplier relationships.…


Procurement: The Trusted Advisor

Procurement is an often misunderstood department that offers a great deal of strategic value to a company. By utilizing technology and data to improve outcomes in their organization, procurement fosters trust and creates value for internal stakeholders. However, many departments still struggle to be seen as a trusted, go-to adviser. To change the narrative, procurement must develop a plan to build their internal brand, find champions and communicate their value. Develop Relationships Procurement is widely regarded as a department that exists solely to slash budgets and cut costs, but they are also in place to determine how companies can make…


My First Week as a Fairmarkit Co-Op

Last week, I started my first official Northeastern co-op at Fairmarkit, and one of my first orders of business was to create a blog about my experience and the company culture. Fairmarkit is a tail spend management SaaS startup. For those that don’t know, tail spend is generally defined as the 80% of transactions that account for 20% of a company’s net spend (small, infrequent purchases). Tail spend management is something that most companies haven’t historically addressed and as a result are wasting a lot of time and money. Our software automates the tail spend management process, saving buyers money…


3 Traits the Best Procurement Managers Share

The best procurement managers lead from the front, listen to their team,  and are extremely good at explaining “The Why.” Like many of my past blogs, I felt today would be a great day to the write the next Tail Spend Series blog 40,000 feet up on our way back from a customer onboarding engagement in Ohio. Quick sidenote, our team was 100% saved by TSA precheck to catch our flight. For anyone that doesn’t have it, I highly recommend it. For this article, I want to talk about the different leaders we’ve meet with over the past 2 years…


Strengthening CPO-CEO Collaboration

Focused on producing results that bring value to their company, procurement is a very important department within the infrastructure of an organization. Because procurement plays such an integral role in a company’s success, it is incredibly important that the CEO and CPO collaborate in order to increase productivity, cost-effectiveness and innovation. The core function of a procurement team is to keep costs low by ensuring purchases for the company are valuable. However, this does not mean that the department must be limited in its projects. With the help of the CEO, a procurement team can actually create some very innovative,…


Procurement Practices That Foster Innovation

Most people assume that a career in procurement is all about cutting costs and slashing budgets. This perpetuates the misconception that procurement is It seems like a field where there is absolutely no room for creativity. However, this narrative is not only untrue, but can actually hurt the success and innovation of an organization. In order to understand how a procurement department can be a source of innovation for a company, the idea that a procurement department exists solely to save a company money must be changed. A procurement department should be in charge of making sure money is spent…


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…