Best Practices for Government Procurement

By:  Dan Warn

Every procurement executive wants to deliver savings, effectively manage strategic supplier relationships, and accelerate procurement cycles- all while proving their value to both internal and external stakeholders. And while risk and mandates are still important considerations in government procurement, cost containment and resource optimization are the top concerns on an executive’s agenda.

The question is how do procurement executives act on this? Here are five best practices to consider:

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Managing Your Supply Chain in the Face of Multi-Channel Retailing

By: Mickey North Rizza

Lately, the retail landscape has been evolving so rapidly that it seems as though markets can barely get used to one way of selling, when a whole new form of commerce erupts. Cue multi-channel retailing: the game changing phenomenon that requires a seamless customer experience across all of a retailer’s selling channels.

As multi-channel moves from innovation to necessity, CPOs have been forced to rethink how their supply chains are organized. Networks have been scrutinized carefully to determine the best ways and places to store inventory, as well as ship it at breakneck speeds. Continue reading

What if Billy Beane Was a CPO?

Procurement lessons from Moneyball

By Paul Martyn, VP of Supply Strategy at BravoSolution

For starters, he probably wouldn’t be as famous as he is today. That’s just the reality when comparing Major League Baseball to procurement.

But we’d bet that he’d still be a winner – and likely, a revolutionary CPO.

Take note of the teams still alive in this year’s MLB playoffs: The Royals, Orioles, Cardinals and Giants.  None of 2014’s five highest-spending organizations remain (we’re talking about you, New York, Boston and LA.).  And only one of the remaining four – the St. Louis Cardinals – ranks in the top 10 for payroll.

His best-selling book and hit movie aside, Billy Beane’s famous Moneyball philosophy continues to have a real and lasting impact on Major League Baseball.  That’s obvious.  What’s less obvious: the practical procurement lessons hidden in Billy Beane’s Moneyball philosophy – and how CPOs can take action today.

Here are the top six CPO best-practices from Bill Bean: Continue reading

Get On the Same Page with External Stakeholders

This is the second blog in our new series called “Get on the Same Page” where we discuss tips, techniques and benefits of better aligning with the groups of people that procurement comes into contact with every single day. Stay tuned and let us know what challenges you’re facing!

Procurement teams are stressed – this isn’t news to anyone. Budgets and employees are stretched thin, and procurement can barely look up from their to-do list without something else being added on. With all of this commotion, relationships and communication with external stakeholders, such as customers and investors, often get cast to the wayside, causing a vicious cycle of even more stress and chaos.

However, communication is one of the core tenants of business, and cannot be forgotten. Taking the time to cultivate relationships with external stakeholders can foster innovation, efficiency and savings – satisfying more people in the process. Continue reading

CPO Seminar: 8 Takeaways for Public-Sector Procurement Transformation

By Alan Dowless

Our last two posts looked at the spend management dilemma facing the U.S. government and how the UK Government Procurement Service tackled a similar challenge of their own.

The main takeaway: With a glaring need for more transparency and public cries for a stronger procurement system, U.S. federal procurement teams need to completely transform their approach to tracking, analyzing and managing spend.

Transforming procurement operations, however, is no easy task. Last week, David Shields, the former managing director of the United Kingdom (UK) Government Procurement Service, led a seminar on this very topic to a select group of government Chief Procurement Officers and Senior Procurement Executives in Washington D.C. Here are David’s top eight tips for getting started: Continue reading

Get On the Same Page with Internal Stakeholders

We’re starting a new blog series called “Get on the Same Page” where we’ll discuss tips, techniques and benefits of better aligning with the groups of people that procurement comes into contact with every single day. Stay tuned and let us know what challenges you’re facing!

Who’s your internal advocate?

If you draw a blank on that question, it’s time to start making some changes.

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Spend Management Lessons from the UK

By Alan Dowless

U.S. federal procurement teams – as discussed in our last post – have come under immense scrutiny for failing to provide transparency into government spending.

While this situation has many layers, two primary issues stick out: missing information and poor data quality. In fact, despite publicly-stated goals to be more transparent, a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that USASpending.gov is missing a whopping $619 billion in spending.  And of the data that was actually recorded, less than 7% can be confirmed as accurate. Continue reading

Spending Transparency: Government Missing $619B!

By Alan Dowless

Know who you’re paying, how much and for what. It’s one of the most basic principles of procurement.

And if you’re in the public sector, be transparent.

While most government procurement professionals would agree wholeheartedly with both of these statements, in the case of the U.S. federal government, intent is not translating into action. Continue reading

Stop, Listen and Learn: Improving Relationships with Suppliers and Stakeholders

Have you heard the phrase “it’s just business” tossed around? Every time that I hear someone say that, it makes me pause. What does that even mean these days? That we can be rude, burn bridges, worry about no one but ourselves and forget we have a business to run? That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success.

Even in the work place, we’re all humans interacting with each other, and business relationships? Well, at the end of the day, they’re still relationships with an eye on profitability. Continue reading

The Secrets to Becoming a Highly Effective Procurement Team

Most procurement teams want to impact operating margin, returns and earnings-per-share, but very few (less than 7%) have the resources and plan in place to do it.

Steal a page from the winning playbooks of the procurement organizations that are driving financial performance and profitability today; here are a few secrets of success:

The procurement department can make a big impact on the success of the company by delivering financial performance that improves operating margins, returns and earnings-per-share every quarter.

But how does a procurement team achieve this? What distinguishes a highly effective procurement department from the rest? These secrets will help the purchasing team achieve profitability and growth that all members of the organization will enjoy. Continue reading