Each year, organizations spend over $20 trillion globally on all kinds of services, according to some estimates. Services in the U.S. make up, on average, nearly 60% of organizations’ total non-payroll external spend (and that can be significantly higher in some industry verticals). The effective management of services spend has been a perennial topic of discussion (and limited action) over many years. And technology used to address complex services in an organization is not well understood.
Spend Matters and Sourcing Industry Group have partnered to field a survey of procurement professionals (CPOs, procurement directors, category managers, etc.) that is described briefly below.
The purpose of the survey is to better understand how and to what extent procurement is using enterprise procurement technology and other solutions to process and manage an organization’s service categories and with what level of satisfaction.
For this survey, the term "services" encompasses a broad range of spend categories, like consulting, facilities management, legal, temporary staffing, marketing and so on.
Despite the size of this mega-spend category, procurement leaders we talk with have agreed that most categories of services are not, to put it kindly, optimally managed and there are few best practices.
There also seems to be agreement that purpose-built technology for specifically managing different services categories, strategically and tactically, is lacking.
Andrew Karpie, Research Director for Services and Labor Procurement, Spend Matters
With the passing of the year, 2020 became more than a hindsight. We saw the emergence of human resilience and world leaders stepping up to shape a sense of leadership in young minds – be it in the area of politics, entrepreneurship or grassroots movements.
Many equate the COVID-19 pandemic to the 1918 Spanish flu. I see the similarities, but the impact today is much larger. Some basic statistics: Worldwide population in 1918 was ~1.8b, compared to ~7.8b in 2020 (4x larger). On mobility, estimates place ~23.5m travelers arriving on U.S. shores in 1918-19, compared to ~79.3m in 2020. Travel and military embankments were at close quarters in 1918, with distancing, tracing and lockdowns more the norm in 2020. On communication, wireless communication was the novel technology in World War I, limiting civilian communication to letters, postcards, newspapers, and some telephone and radio. Today, social media and the internet are primary communication modes today, with hand-held devices now reaching the farthest corners of the world.
With all this evolution in the area of mobility and communications, one would expect the mobilization of essential goods and services, inter- and intrastate communications, interlaced with the very basic of humanity, would be the norm of trade policies and corporate goals.
Padmini Ranganathan, Global Vice President, Product Strategy, SAP Procurement
Happy New Year! We kick 2021 off with sustainable procurement for executives and training resources that will elevate your team to excellence for the New Year.
Sustainable Procurement Strategies for 2021
Executives are invited to attend SIG’s next CPO & Executive Virtual Series on January 13 for open-mic discussions on sustainable procurement, enabling growth through partnership and innovation, and how to nurture talent and culture.
Sourcing and procurement professionals learned a lot in 2020: The importance of making supply chains and operations nimbler, how to digitize your processes and mitigating unforeseen risk were all key lessons. Get a jumpstart to your 2021 with a SIG University certification.
Delivered entirely online, a certification can be completed in five, six, 10 or 12 weeks depending on the area of study. Programs start in January and February. Prefer to go at your own pace? Inquire about the new self-paced option.
Future of Sourcing, SIG’s flagship digital publication, is looking for new contributors. Once you've reviewed the editorial calendar and the contributor guidelines, reach out to pitch us an article. You have the choice to submit articles on a regular cadence or you can submit whenever you feel inspired. Contributors are encouraged to subscribe to Future of Sourcing's email newsletter, which is delivered to readers twice a month.
To be able to see where you’re headed, you’ve got to look back at where you’ve been.
I just looked back at my December 2019 blog post and I was spot on, but for all the wrong reasons. I predicted that we would continue to elevate the role of strategic sourcing, broader adoption of technology, and a focus on upskilling sourcing and procurement teams.
I did not predict that a global pandemic would make the world talk about “supply chains,” albeit with a focus on toilet paper, Clorox wipes and a shortage of personal protective equipment. People came to realize that strategic sourcing professionals were the heroes who protected their sources of supply or quickly adapted to secure new sources.
While the pandemic continues to rule our lives in one way or another, we still see shortages on components for home gym equipment, bicycles and even casters for home office chairs. So, while some supply chains still have issues, many industries are experiencing a boom year and outpacing sales over any year in the past.
Looking back at the news of this year, many of us vaguely remember the Australian bushfires, and I distinctly remember racing go karts when news broke that Kobe Bryant died. I know some people were distracted by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking away from the royal life and Parasite swept the Oscars. This was all immediately non-news and forgotten quickly when the pandemic became a reality. (Personally, I am glad of one “trend” that did not last through the pandemic, which was padded shoulders and puffy sleeves.)
2020 was a great year for thought leadership sharing as everyone suddenly experienced the same issues all at once. Many of the innovations and trends we saw emerge will continue to be essential as we move to 2021. To keep you informed, we bring you a round-up of the top webinars of the year!
5 Procure-to-Pay Trends to Watch in 2020
With the new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to take a look at look at the future of procure-to-pay (P2P).
Industry-leading procurement technology has one job: providing a robust yet easy-to-use system for transforming needed goods and services into value for a company so that it can excel at its own business.
To wrap up 2020, we highlight the top 10 SIG Speaks blogs of the year. From sustainable sourcing to mastering the art of negotiation, this year has been filled with thought leadership to help weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guide to Understanding Category Management
By drilling down on spend categories, procurement can become established as a trusted advisor to the business. Check out our guide for a category management template to build your business case.
SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Anirudh Sundareshwar outlines howmanaging stakeholders is well-served via effective communication.
A generic definition of stakeholder management is “Stakeholder management involves taking into consideration the different interests and values stakeholders have and addressing them during the duration of the project to ensure that all stakeholders are happy at the end.” It is important to understand that this may not always be true, especially in projects where multiple stakeholders and personal stakes are involved.
However, it is essential to ensure that most stakeholders are happy with the project's end result or initiative you are working on. That is not accomplished only by the end result but builds up along the project's lifespan.
As we have learned, one of the most critical tenets of stakeholder management is communication. It is vital to know what to communicate to whom, when to communicate and how to communicate, especially to senior stakeholders. This is an art and not easily achievable. Even more so in the current scenario where most people work remotely and do not have the advantage of picking up cues (verbal/non-verbal) as you would have in the pre-COVID era. Stakeholder management in our world involves both internal and external stakeholders, of course.
Anirudh Sundareshwar, Director & Head of Sourcing, BNY Mellon
It is hard to believe 2021 is at our doorstep, and while the immediate future is uncertain, the mid-to long-range outlook is virtually unknown. What we thought would be a ‘two-week’ work-from-home in March, has turned into a full-blown pandemic, and with it, the uncertainty surrounding it. Now, with a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks breathing down our necks, tough times are here again.
As procurement professionals, we are, by nature, resilient. The toughest of times takes the strongest leadership and most innovative strategies. The pandemic and the consequences of it provided a proving ground for the often-overlooked sourcing and procurement team. Over the past year, sourcing and procurement became the lynchpin for many organizations’ survival, securing critical business and PPE-related goods and services to keep businesses afloat and employees protected. Throughout, procurement professionals were working tirelessly to create innovative cost savings and expense reduction opportunities when other departments went right to cutting staff and payroll.
At a time when the needs of the business are buoyed through critical sourcing and procurement activities, there is, perhaps, no more important function to a business.
Procurement Myth Versus Reality
Unfortunately, not everybody understands that. Many business stakeholders still think of sourcing and procurement as tactical purchasing and contract administrators, or bottlenecks that create delays in the buying process and upset suppliers. In reality, sourcing and procurement is really about negotiating critical multi-million-dollar contracts and finding the right supply chain partners to mitigate the significant risk in today’s market. Critical, not just in savings, but in the essential value and impact you have on the business.
SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Madison Mobley discusses how toarticulate value by utilizing hard savings, soft savings, and cost avoidance.
My first corporate job out of college was with EMC Corporation, now Dell EMC, notorious for its Sales Associate Bootcamp.
Picture seven weeks in a basement without food and water (tee hee, dead serious), and an exam every couple of days, 90% or higher to pass… Delicious.
The result? I learned how to talk technology very well – the bits, the bytes, the speeds, the feeds. And, at a time when the information age called for CIOs to reimagine how their company’s data was to be stored and protected, nothing was sexier than a storage array with fibre channel connectivity and two-factor authentication.
What’s more, I learned who best to engage at the individual contributor, mid-level management, and executive leadership levels. It was the same person(s) at every organization I prospected into 99.999% of the time for what I was selling.
Long preface short, knowing your product, knowing your ICP (ideal customer persona) and articulating that knowledge in your prospect’s “love language” made for a successful salesperson back then.
Fast forward to March 2020.
The day I joined Fairmarkit, the intelligent sourcing platform that revolutionized how all organizations buy the stuff they need (it doesn’t matter what the stuff is), I felt confident stepping into a sales role.
True, I had never sold directly to procurement people, but how different could it be?
The answer? Way different.
Madison L. Mobley, Senior Account Executive, Fairmarkit
To close out 2020, we bring you the resources to elevate to excellence for the new year.
Elevating to Excellence - People and the Business
There’s still time to register for our upcoming digital SIGnature Event on December 9. The theme for the event is People and the Business. Senior-level and above delegates will participate in an executive roundtable hosted by SAP Fieldglass to discuss managing labor spending.
Meanwhile, teams will take part in a deep-dive training session with Western Michigan University Professor Sime Curkovic and William Crane, CEO of IndustryStar, on sourcing’s critical role in accelerating innovation.
Two buy-side executive peers will open the day sharing experiences of lessons learned or stories of success. This will be followed by an interactive discussion on VUCA, an acronym that originated at the U.S. Army War College to describe the perceived state of the world at the end of the Cold War — Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Let’s come together to talk about the best technology strategies for procurement and supply chain leaders to bring to bear against VUCA as we look to 2021.
This interactive digital event will be in an open-mic, collaborative format for a personal and targeted discussion. The entire meeting will last for two hours, beginning at 2:00 pm ET.