I should know – I lived through a very painful and protracted software audit at my current company, Russell Investments, an audit that lasted over eight months from start to end. While the software provider (who I will not name) was completely within their contractual rights, I learned a lot from the experience and would like to share that experience with you – so you can learn from what we did right, and what we did wrong. For the purposes of this blog and my presentation at SIG’s Western Regional SIGnature Event, I will call this software provider “Skynet,” but rest assured the real name of the company is one you would easily recognize.
Software audits never happen at a convenient time. Our situation started in late November 2018, near the end of our fiscal year. Our various business groups were scrambling to get their purchase orders approved and issued by year-end. Any remaining budget dollars were being used to get a head start on the next fiscal year.
Skynet sent a letter to our CFO saying that we had been “selected” to receive a software license review. The word “audit” was never used in the letter. Audits are highly profitable for software companies – companies can operate within their contractual rights, as audits have a high ROI. Why? Because most clients do not have a firm grasp on the number of software licenses purchased or deployed (either on-prem or in the cloud).
While enrolled in SIG University's Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) Program, Wendy Hsu was able to immediately apply what she learned and contribute her expertise toward sourcing a third-party risk management tool to develop her organization's Third Party Risk Management Program.
In the C3PRMP program, students focus on best and emerging practices to identify, assess, manage and control third-party risk throughout the lifecycle of relationships, and learn how to align risk fundamentals and frameworks with risk culture to develop the essential tools and controls for effective governance.
In more ways than one, the learning opportunity with SIG University’s Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program was more than coincidental. Earlier in the year, I had chosen the C3PRMP program to fulfill my 2019 Individual Development Plan objective. Little did I know that by July I would be fully engaged in assisting my manager to source a suitable third-party risk management tool and develop a project plan to implement our future Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) program. While the timing of my taking the certification program couldn’t be better, the challenges ahead of my company’s TPRM program (which will soon be called Key Vendor Management Program) couldn’t be greater given we are a young company still in the process of shaping our risk culture and standardizing our vendor review process.
Wendy Hsu, Sr. IT Procurement Consultant, Venerable
The pressure for companies to solve society’s most pressing problems is growing exponentially, fueled by the gravity of looming issues such as climate change or social inequality. While the majority of companies have already defined their corporate commitment and social impact objectives, many leaders are struggling to implement strategies that actually achieve their aspirations. Considering that 78% of executives believe their companies are failing to deliver on their social impact pledges, there’s a dire need for companies to drive social innovation across each department and generate positive social change through their day-to-day operations.
Amid the changing business landscape, companies are required to achieve two core objectives: generate profits and elevate corporate social responsibility. Due to procurement’s immense purchasing power, more executives are turning to their CPOs to drive innovation and sustainability – all while generating tangible impacts that benefit the communities they operate in. Here’s how procurement leaders can achieve these objectives and simultaneously generate new business value by adding social impact into their sourcing and procurement process.
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Benchmark & Optimize Your Spend Strategy
Gain exclusive access to a chapter highlight from Coupa’s annual benchmark report, where they look at 3 KPIs across the source-to-contract process to gauge your organization’s progress and optimize your spend strategy.
Vision is a funny thing. Until relatively recently, humans were at the mercy of circumstance when it came to sight – if you had 2020 vision, you were lucky, but if not, you had no choice but to hope for the best. Then, glasses, telescopes and microscopes were invented. Then, flashlights. Suddenly, we could see very near and very far, and even in the dark. With the right tools, our world was transformed.
Similarly, visibility in business is transforming with technology. In the past, we used notebooks and spreadsheets to transfer information. Today, we’ve seen customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and human capital management (HCM) software take off and transform the level of visibility within the business, allowing for unprecedented impact. Now, it’s Sourcing’s turn to transform and break free of spreadsheets and cumbersome legacy tools.
VSP Global Looks to Transform Sourcing
At VSP Global, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits provider in the United States, this sourcing transformation was a key priority. VSP serves over 77 million members by focusing on quality and affordability in eye care insurance, high-quality eyewear, ophthalmic technology and connected doctor-patient experiences.
To continue delivering the best results for their members, VSP Global set out to transform the way it approached the procurement process to drive better business outcomes, increasing stakeholder collaboration and visibility across the enterprise. The procurement team aligned on prioritizing four specific processes:
Stan Garber, President and Co-Founder at Scout RFP
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is creating the next largest divide not only between people, but also between organizations. Taking full advantage of AI requires a two-pronged approach by any enterprise. First is to identify the business processes that can gain most from the introduction of AI. Second is to treat AI as a key component in any reengineering effort with quality data as one of the highest priorities.
Since one key beneficial attribute of AI is that it can replace tedious, low-value human tasks, it is important to target processes that enable staff to focus on other higher-value areas. The perspective of pragmatically tackling routine processes first is echoed in research presented by Harvard Business Review, which provides a useful construct by defining three types of AI: one applied for automation, another for delivering insight, and a third for customer engagement.
Data Science: the Key to Successful AI
Greg Council, Vice President of Product Management, Parascript
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The 2019 GEP Outlook for Procurement and Supply Chain Management is now available. This indispensable report reflects views of the industry’s best thought leaders and category experts — equipping you with procurement strategies and other essential tools to prepare you for a successful year ahead. Download your copy today!
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In 2019, global supply chains are focused on technology and innovation. Today’s global supply chains are often complex, with many moving parts. However, procurement professionals are facing increasing pressure to manage them with efficiency and transparency. Creating a successful supply chain requires building a sustainable foundation. Though technology mobilizes supply chains to compete faster and better in today’s global economy, having a strategy to optimize your talent is just as important. Technology that gives business users more autonomy and security are reflected in a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.
Based on my experience, many businesses have separate initiatives that fragment their supply chains and could benefit from pooling resources and aligning different stakeholders to the same common goals with the use of technology. For example, many businesses have separate supplier diversity processes. They have supplier diversity experts who don’t collaborate with their larger procurement teams. Sourcing and procurement professionals are often incentivized differently and often don’t communicate nor see eye to eye on the same overall strategy. With collaboration, your organization can streamline its supply chain and build a stronger foundation for process-driven results.
In today’s market, you can no longer ignore the rapidly changing landscape of digital transformation. Companies that are reluctant to embrace the technologies that bring better visibility and security to supply chains risk being left behind. To avoid that fate, here’s what companies can do in 2019 to improve supplier diversity and overall supplier relationship management process.
Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer at ConnXus
Shopping, buyers, shopping carts, savings, back office, JUST STOP DUMBING US DOWN!
As many of you know, my passion is to help elevate the sourcing industry to receive the attention, seat, respect (and yes, pay) that it deserves. So why do sourcing professionals keep self-sabotaging by using the term BUYER to describe ourselves? The only time this is a sexy title is perhaps if you are the buyer of fashion who attends runway shows and hobnobs with designers. Buying is what I do when I “shop,” like for groceries. We as sourcing professionals are NOT shopping.
So onto my next pet peeve, why do we have cute little icons that look like grocery carts to check out within our tools? Yes, it makes it seem like an easy process when pushing it out to our internal customers, but it connotes “shopping,” which, as we have just discussed, we are not doing. We are selecting items from a carefully sourced category after a lot of thoughtful processes have taken place. Why can’t we use an icon that better showcases the importance of this role?
The SIG Peer2Peer (P2P) program allows members to access benchmarking insights and best practices on topics specific to their needs. Using the Peer2Peer resource, members can leverage the experience of other industry professionals by posing questions to the greater SIG community on issues they are facing within their organization. Members use the forum to locate resources, source providers, seek advice on hot topics and share their lessons learned.
Below are the latest Peer2Peer inquiries. You or someone on your team may know the answer to one of the questions below. If you do, please take a moment to help a SIG member from the buy-side. You may need their help one day, too! To submit your own Peer2Peer inquiry, get in touch and we’ll pose your question to the SIG Community.
This buy-side member is re-writing their procurement policy and revamping their process for the requested addition/approval of a new supplier. They are seeking best practices for procurement policies, specifically covering the following topics:
What spend does/does not require a PO?
What are the consequences for procurement policy violations? For example: Committing company funds without a PO or contract.
How are violations to the procurement policy enforced?
What is the process for requesting a new supplier add? Who reviews/approves/denies this request?