Technology

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - October 21

Here's your weekly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG. 

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.

Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact On Procurement and Supply Chain

Read how GEP is breaking down some of the essential AI concepts and showcasing the game-changing applications that they believe are most relevant in procurement and the supply chain.

Hailey Corr, Content Manger

2020 Vision: Putting Sourcing at the Center of Visibility and Impact

Digital transformation increases data visibility.

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

Don’t Go It Alone – Ways to Win a Software Audit

software audit

Let’s face it: Software audits are not fun.

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 Fall Global Executive Summit, 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). 

Brett Miller, Director, Russell Investments

Artificial Intelligence Spawns the Next Largest Divide

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

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - March 18

Here's your weekly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG. 

SIG Global Executive Summit

SIG Global Executive Summits are 3-day events that are packed with the latest best practices, cost-cutting strategies, innovative processes and risk-mitigation approaches. Through executive roundtables, keynote sessions, workshops, breakout sessions and networking events, you'll hear from industry thought leaders, discover the latest innovative trends and have the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals facing similar challenges.

2019 Procurement Outlook Report

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!

SIG University Open Enrollment

Over 1,000 students from over 200 companies representing 17 countries have participated in our SIG U certification program. Don't get left behind as your colleagues further their professional growth and knowledge. Enroll today and get educated.

Hailey Corr, Content Manger

Technological Trends in 2019: A New Look at Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity Technology

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

May I vent? Let's change how we talk about procurement.

An image of four arrows pointed downwards and one illuminated arrow pointing upwards.

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?

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Join the Conversation in the SIG Community

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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.

 

Procurement Best Practices

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?

 

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

SIG Speaks to Bruce Morton, Global Head of Strategy, Allegis Global Solutions

An image of the Denver, Colorado, skyline.

Bruce is a distinguished thought leader and global innovator, with over three decades’ experience within the human capital and workforce management industry. In his current role, Bruce is involved in new services and product idea generation, sales presentations, internal and external evangelism, digital and social media strategies, and lead generation. He gives us an inside look into his role, how he acts as a key partner to the business and his outlook on the future of work.

Your CPO keynote presentation at the Denver CPO Meet and Eat is about leveraging spend management within services categories--why is this an important topic?

There is a lot of talk about spend analytics, data and how that is the future of success. Our position is that spend analytics is a wonderful tool and capability but we’ve yet to see the capability evolve beyond goods-level detail.  As procurement teams are continuing to try to find ways to better address services spend and deliver value to their organizations, we feel that there is tremendous opportunity by thinking differently about this space.

Can you share a little more about your day-to-day role and responsibilities as the Global Head of Strategy for Allegis Global Solutions (AGS)?

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

The Shifting Cyber Threat Landscape

An image of a lock followed by colorful tendrils.

With the rapid acceleration of cloud software, Internet of Things (IoT) and advancements in FinTech, the financial and technology industries saw significant increases in cyberattacks over the past year. Attackers find vulnerabilities in supply chains and software, capitalize on lax security updates and use social engineering to manipulate end-users.

As hackers become more creative in their subversive techniques, businesses need to become more proactive in educating their workforce and stepping up their cyber incident response plans. Businesses should consult with their vendors, third-party suppliers and stakeholders in every business unit to ensure continuity, mitigate risk and verify that security measures are being employed and regularly updated.    

Below are summarized findings from the recent NTT Security Global Threat Intelligence Report that focus specifically on the finance and technology sectors in the Americas, which account for the most highly targeted attack sectors in this region. Recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework are included here as well. Organizations can also look to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Incident Response Plan for guidance on dealing with and addressing cyber incidents. 

Finance and Technology Top the List of Targets

Attacks to the finance sector nearly tripled, accounting for 43 percent of attacks compared with 15 percent the previous year. Attacks targeted at the technology industry sector increased to 27 percent of attacks, up from 11 percent in the previous year. For comparison, manufacturing was the most attacked sector in 2016, with 23 percent of attacks, but has since fallen to five percent of attacks in 2017.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Manager

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