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Mmm…Canned Meat: Sourcing Stories from Sample Testing Land

Posted by Jason Heffelfinger on Sep 29, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Before or After

When Intesource completes sourcing events for our customers, we try to encourage them not to stray too far from the normal process they use today.  We still want them to participate in collecting the information internally to ensure we are going out to market with the most up-to-date information available.  That way, we do not have a “garbage-in, garbage-out” result.

When sourcing items from either new sources of supply or going out to market on a new product offering, it is very important to require the supplier community to provide samples.  Every organization needs to continue to complete their due diligence no matter the approach to sourcing, and sampling a suppliers product offerings is absolutely key to a positive outcome.

Deciding when to review samples can be a bit of a balancing act.  Most of our customers want to know when the bidding starts, that everyone participating can supply them the exact items being requested.  This is completely understandable.  However, this can also be a tall order when there are scores of suppliers for the category being bid.  The last thing you want to do is impact your stakeholders’ already very busy day by having them sift through mountains of samples.  We are trying to make the sourcing process easier through process and technology, not more cumbersome.  So, making cuts of suppliers who do not pass the basic requirements collected through a request for information (RFI) questionnaire is a good way to start thinning the herd. 

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Topics: e-Sourcing Best Practices, About e-Sourcing

Strategic Sourcing—the myth, the legend, the hero

Posted by Tracie Rohn on Jul 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

We have heard this buzzword “Strategic Sourcing” more times than we can count on all of our fingers and toes but the truth is this—in the procurement world this one phrase you don’t want to forget or ignore. What does it all mean? What myths about strategic sourcing exist? What accomplishments has strategic sourcing achieved that could be seen as legendary? And of course everyone loves a hero—why is strategic sourcing the hero you need in your organization?  

The Myth:

Lowest Cost is ALL that matters.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy, About e-Sourcing

When Your Sourcing Program Falls Short of Expectations

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Apr 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM

You’d be right to say that eSourcing tools are everywhere these days. And many are quite good. eSourcing technologies, specifically eAuction tools, have quickly gained popularity due to their incredibly effective ability to lower a company’s cost of goods and services, and the subsequent positive impact to the bottom line.

But as quickly as organizations brought eSourcing tools in-house, significant challenges arose. The implementation of eSourcing with the self-serve platform has failed to live up to the lofty promises of providers for three main reasons:

  1. Lack of executive support (more on this here and here)
  2. Attempting to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach across all categories
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Topics: e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Successes, About e-Sourcing

eSourcing – Building a Relationship

Posted by Julie Watson on Apr 7, 2016 8:01:10 AM

Benefits of Buyers and their eSourcing provider working together

Sourcing Managed Services RelationshipsAre you satisfied with your current eSourcing process?  Do you feel you are getting the most from the relationship with your eSourcing provider? 

As most think, the benefit of using an eSourcing provider is to get quality goods at a competitive rate. However, there can be (and we would argue – should be) more to the working relationship between buyers and their eSourcing provider.   

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Topics: e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Strategy, About e-Sourcing

Celebrate the Good and the Bad of Your eSourcing Program

Posted by Jason Heffelfinger on Mar 3, 2016 8:00:00 AM


It is difficult to celebrate a bad experience or a perceived loss.  However, focusing too much on both the successes, as well as the failures of your eSourcing program can often times get you bogged down in analysis paralysis.  You might dwell on what is seen as a failure, or become completely blinded by the success of a category, that you fail to see the bigger picture

A sourcing process or program is just that, a total program.  In the overall evaluation, micro managing each category with their wins or loses is not productive.  In some cases, it is difficult to even define what would be considered a success or failure.  Instead of focusing on increasing efficiencies and developing a better understanding of your categories (including the supplier community), you may get derailed by instead focusing on misinterpreted negatives such as a sourcing event that came out flat with no savings.  Without a broader view of what success means, it may feel like the outcome was a loss. But was it? 

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy, About e-Sourcing

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Managed Sourcing

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Feb 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

You’ve heard by now, and probably seen first-hand, the benefits that can be derived from a holistic, strategic approach to sourcing -- cost avoidance, time savings, process efficiencies, and increased productivity – which in turn can make a big, positive impact on company margins, profitability, working capital and cash flow.

But did you know the business value a company sees from its sourcing program can be multiplied when implemented with a managed services partner? While less common in the procurement world today, industry experts predict the managed services market will nearly double by 2019 reaching $193.34 billion.

A few things you might not know about a managed services approach to sourcing that can prove to be hugely helpful when navigating today’s market challenges:

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing Technology, e-Sourcing Strategy, About e-Sourcing

2015: Our Top 10 Most Read Blogs by Sourcing & Procurement

Posted by Michelle Fombelle on Dec 29, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Who doesn’t love the end of a year? The conclusion of the year bring both a reflection on the period past and a hope for the year ahead. I love the thought of what the future holds. But nothing quite wraps up a year like looking back on all the amazing things that happened – the time spent with loved ones, the adventures, and the new experiences.

I also relish all the ‘best-of’ lists that signal the end of a year is near. While I glance through these lists, I realize the sheer number of things I’ve missed throughout the year. We are often so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t even notice all the things we’ve overlooked. It’s a great chance to catch up!

If you’re afraid that any of the eSourcing Society's most useful sourcing blog posts might have slipped by you, maybe this will help. These are the top 10 most read posts of 2015.

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Topics: About e-Sourcing

One Strategy to Leverage the Cogs in the eSourcing Machine

Posted by Alanna Pashley on Dec 10, 2015 10:07:07 AM

Oftentimes, when you hear the term eSourcing a reverse auction is the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, a reverse auction is only one piece of the eSourcing pie. eSourcing encompasses a range of tools – from a RFx to contract management to supplier relationship management - that help stakeholders not only get the best price, but also find the right supplier. Today's article will explore the happy marriage between the reverse auction and the RFx.

By nature, a reverse auction is focused on price. Although there are reverse auction strategies that can (and should) be used to challenge vendors to deliver the optimal product or service beyond price, by beginning the process with a Request for Information (RFI) and/or Request for Proposal (RFP) stakeholders are able to first focus on important elements beyond dollars and cents.

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing Technology, e-Sourcing Strategy, About e-Sourcing

Results in sourcing through partnership

Posted by Tracie Rohn on Nov 13, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Successful sourcing requires more than a tool. It’s been well documented that many organizations that have eSourcing software don’t use it, or use it very little. That’s why we at Intesource have always taken a different approach. We partner with our customers -  guiding them every step of the way.

As a member of the Client Services team, I have daily interaction with both buyers and suppliers. It’s this visibility to both sides of the process that has given us an edge in becoming familiar with what it takes to make an eSourcing event successful.

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Topics: A Day in the Life, e-Sourcing Best Practices, About e-Sourcing

Back to basics: A bit of friendly sourcing advice

Posted by Lindsay Bernacchi on Oct 22, 2015 8:00:00 AM

It might seem obvious to some or even simple but the process of gathering information and running a reverse auction, RFI or RFP can be daunting sometimes, especially if you are new to the process.

Some eSourcing providers offer support and guidance throughout the entire process. For example, the Intesource Professional Services Team is available to help and make the project as easy as possible.

I’d also like to offer up the following friendly advice to assist any buyer in running a successful eSourcing event.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Best Practices, About e-Sourcing