Last week I spoke with Donna Wilczek, Coupa’s VP of Strategy and Product Marketing, about the mid-January announcement that Coupa had acquired Contractually, described in the press release as “a cloud innovator based in Vancouver, Canada that helps reduce businesses’ reliance on antiquated processes or inadequate technology tools to version control or redline contracts.”
In September, Procurement Leaders ran an article by Tyler Chamberlain, Coupa’s global head of spend management, on the benefits of getting a solid procurement function established earlier in a company’s growth curve.
As he stated in the article’s title, “If it ain’t broke, don’t wait until it is.” The premise is that making investments in procurement talent and technology before problems arise prevents many problems from ever arising. Supplier records that are managed well from day one never need a massive clean up. Processes that have been in place as long as anyone can remember don’t have to overcome compliance hurdles. Spend that is managed centrally never has the chance to break between direct and indirect.
Perhaps more importantly, and as I had an opportunity to discuss with Chamberlain (click here to hear the conversation on BMP Radio), procurement has control of their internal image from the outset and can build their brand around positive results rather than problem resolution. When we hear Chamberlain’s message from this perspective, all organizations and procurement teams benefit from his recommendations, not just the start-ups.
Last week, Coupa ran a three part blog series based on a conversation I had with their marketing team about the role social media plays in supply market intelligence creation. You can read them here, here, and here. This is a subject that Jeanette Jones and I touched upon in our book, Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals, but it was certainly not our focus.
While social media is a great tool for news gathering and intelligence creation, it isn’t something that was ever part of my formal training – either in procurement or otherwise. I learned how to leverage the power of social media purely ‘in the wild,’ driven by the need to grow the footprint and brand recognition for Buyers Meeting Point. I am so glad that I did, both because we have seen clear benefits in our traffic, and because now I am in a position to apply what I have learned to the work that must be carried out by practitioners.
Some days I think I eat, sleep, and breathe procurement and supply chain webinars. On a weekly basis I update the calendar. I consider the topics, the speakers, the hosts, the likelihood of promotional content versus thought leadership. I make my recommendations every Monday (on Blog Talk Radio) and share my notes on Fridays.
In 2014 I covered 29 webinars by sharing my notes on Buyers Meeting Point and through social media. They covered a broad range of subjects, including risk, talent, organizational issues, negotiation, and global supply chains. When I look back at the hits per post over the course of the year, there are 5 that stand out for getting over 1K hits each. You might think it was a simple matter of time, and there is something to that – some of our oldest event notes have over 50K hits – but these five events were pretty evenly distributed over the course of the year. They also all have unique hosts, presenters, and topics.
This week’s webinar notes are from a December 2013 event presented by Coupa and CFO.com with featured speakers from Deloitte and Blackstone Group. The event is available on demand on CFO.com and if you are interested in the content, there are two Deloitte whitepapers you can download:
- Charting the course - Why procurement must transform itself by 2020
- The Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2013
While the four trends defined by Deloitte’s John Mavriyannakis are new topics for procurement, he did offer some interesting updates, added to by practitioner commentary by Blackstone’s Scott Whitehill.
The reality of today’s 24/7 highly interconnected professional environment is that work follows us home whether we like it or not. We get emails during dinner, invites at the grocery store, phone calls during our kids’ hockey practice and text messages while we’re trying to get from one place to the next. Even when we are successful in the effort to have some kind of personal life away from the pressures of the office, we know they are waiting for us, just across the room, on that addictive little device.
In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we we'll see Jamie Clarke: a Canadian adventurer, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker who has summited Mt. Everest twice in four attempts. At first pass, you might not think that being able to climb Mount Everest would qualify him to work with procurement professionals, but in April of this year he will do just that – at Coupa’s INSPIRE event in San Francisco. I wanted to learn a little more about him, so I looked for and found a clip that shares a bit of his perspective on overcoming adversity, and, as you are about to hear, he understands the kind of challenges we face better than you would think.
This week’s featured webinar was sponsored by Coupa with main speaker Constantine Limberakis, Senior Market Researcher at Aberdeen Group. The slides from the event are available on Coupa’s website as a download. The event replay is also available here. You can also follow Constantine on Twitter: @ABG_SpendMngmt
Everyone loves the path of least resistance. How can we get to that restaurant easier, without crowds or lines? Is it possible to get my 2-year old to bed at a reasonable hour with or without a bath? Can I publish this RFP today - but it is Friday and I want to start my weekend.
If any of these are too difficult, we will avoid them all together. Stay home, order pizza to be delivered, delay the baby's bedtime routine and wait until Monday for the RFP. So why does this week's blog pick help you out?