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  • Webinar Notes: The Pulse of Procurement 2015

      Top Priority ‘Others’ Although the top procurement objectives were the usual suspects (savings, efficiency, supplier performance management, compliance), Zycus also provided a chart of ‘others’. Assuming most of the responding organizations picked one or two of the usual objectives, that left room for a less common objective as part of their top three. When Zycus combined all of the top ‘other’ objectives, a very interesting picture of procurement emerged: innovation (23%), cash flow (20%), reduced cycle time (20%), revenue growth (18%), market intelligence (13%), global reach (11%), outsourcing (9%), market share growth (8%).   Addressable Spend One of the webinar attendees submitted a question about half way through about addressable spend. In the resulting discussion, the speakers distinguished between out of scope and non-addressable spend. Out of scope spend is held beyond procurement’s reach and influence (think marketing or legal), while non-addressable spend ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 04 September 2015
  • A Deep Dive into the Cost Drivers of a Direct Mail Program – Part 2

    Postage is one of, if not the most, significant cost driver for a direct mail program. Industry trends indicate that postage costs can represent an estimated 40 to 70 percent of the overall program costs. Despite knowing that postage encompasses such a large portion of the total program budget, many consider it to be non-negotiable. One of the main reasons for this assumption is because postage rates are controlled by the US Postal Service. However, as we saw with mail lists, there are ways of managing the costs associated with postage to achieve cost savings. First, let’s discuss the factors that influence postage costs. The type of mailing – postcard, letter, large envelope, etc. – will have an impact on the cost of postage. Of these mail types, postcards have the least expensive postage costs. There are a number of different classes of postage with the USPS that can be used to send a direct mail piece: priority, first class, standard, every door direct, etc. First class mail (or ...

    by Megan Connell
    Thursday, 03 September 2015
  • Three Things ‘Rock Star’ CPOs Know About Procurement Influence

    In Procurement at a Crossroads, the book I co-authored with Jon Hansen (coming out this fall), we took a hard look at procurement’s longstanding desire for a greater presence in the C-suite. For many ambitious procurement professionals, the fact that CPO is not a standard executive level position is an indication that we have not ‘made it’ yet. For me, it is proof that we have been seeking the wrong thing. Rather than chasing status, something awarded by others and affected by a number of factors outside of our control, procurement should invest in influence – and no, the two are not synonymous. It is possible to be influential without rank. There is always room for strategic movers and shakers between the traditional lines of a corporate org chart. Since Xchanging’s research was based on responses from over 800 CPOs, I took the opportunity to ask Bowen about influence. How are the leaders Xchanging spoke with, building it and maintaining it? Here are some things that procurement ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 02 September 2015
  • Procurement Perspectives Podcast: Where should procurement report?

      It comes as no surprise that there is not one definitive answer to where procurement and supply chain should report relative to each other. What I find interesting are the variables and criteria Franca shared that help an organization make sure they have the proper reporting alignment and hierarchy. The three variables I came away with after listening to Franca’s response are: The role of cost cutting in enterprise strategy The role of suppliers in the core business The line between internal operations and external services/supply The role of cost cutting is not necessarily consistent. While in small margin businesses and industries, cost cutting is procurement’s bread and butter, for other companies or industries this approach only comes up in the face of external downturns such as the ones we saw in 2008. When cost cutting is key in the long term, procurement is likely to have a higher visibility position in the enterprise. The close tie between the need to aggress ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 01 September 2015
  • My Recommendations for Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars August 31 – September 4

      Key Trends of Advanced Analytics (Gartner) September 2, 8:00am EDT and 11am EDT You have two shots at this week’s first recommended event as Gartner looks at current and expected future trends in analytics. Since knowledge – or as we more commonly call it today, data – is power, procurement should be prepared to do anything we get the opportunity to with analytics. In this webinar, Gartner will take us beyond the basics of analytics to look at advanced capabilities in technology and skill sets. I actually think it is an advantage that this is not a procurement analytics event – the more generalist the better. Looking at analytics as a broad approach will help widen our horizons about what is possible and what we need to know to harness the power.   Enhanced supplier due diligence: the implications for supplier risk management (Supply Management) September 3, 8:00am EDT While we don’t have a lot of information on this webinar, I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Sunday, 30 August 2015
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the CEO Pay Ratio

      The Good The CEO pay ratio is being touted as a source of valuable information to investors as well as consumers. In a time when the minimum wage is a regular part of the public discourse, there is interest in having a single figure that represents the difference in compensation at the highest and median levels. When procurement represents a company that is B2C, they have to be very careful about the risk of negative public sentiment. Companies may be held responsible for the negative reputation of their suppliers, especially when the partnership is high visibility. In cases such as these, procurement may want to look at the CEO pay ratio as a way of staving off potential sources of negative publicity or reputational risk.   The Bad Although there is a lot of interest in the new ratio, it is not without its detractors. Some claim that at best the ratio misrepresents how companies feels about employees, and at worst creates negative press without actually offering any ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 26 August 2015
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