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Look outside the Box: Stretch Your Advertising/Marketing Dollars

Posted by Tracie Rohn on Sep 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Let’s say you were challenged to solve a complex math equation with a paper and pencil or you could solve the equation with a computer program that would provide results more quickly that you could manually—the method you choose to get to the final solution is somewhat of a no-brainer—you choose the easiest, fastest and most efficient route to solve your problem.

I think it’s safe to say that just about every organization has advertising/marketing spend included in their annual budget.  As an example, in 2015 Grocery Retailers averaged about 2.5 billion dollars in advertising expenditures. How can you ensure your organization is managing that spend most effectively and efficiently? 

Advertising and marketing are an integral part of any organization and the challenge for Marketing Professionals becomes coming up with new and creative ways to stretch those dollars on a daily basis.  

Imagine if you had a way to streamline some of your day-to-day operations and could focus your attention elsewhere.

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Topics: e-Sourcing Strategy, e-Sourcing Successes

Sourcing Strategies for Sustained Success

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Sep 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM

This post originally appeared in March of 2015 after Innovation '15, our annual user conference and procurement best practices pow wow. 

Now, as we inch closer toward our Innovation '16 gathering, attendees can get a taste of what they have to look forward to. {HINT: It's not too late to register!)

Without further ado!

We just wrapped up Innovation 2015, our annual sourcing best practices conference. There were a ton of terrific business leaders in attendance, including executives from top companies such as Rite Aid, Wegmans, The Container Store and Meijer, along with industry thought leaders from The Nielson Group, Spend Matters, The Ferrari Consulting & Research Group and Lunney Advisory Group

A lot of insights were uncovered and shared at Innovation. For all the details, the conference recap is a must-read! In the meantime, here are some highlights from the conference focused on the right strategies for success.

The global supply chain is being impacted by a variety of factors, and it’s up to procurement leaders to not only ensure their organizations are aware of these forces, but also leverage them to create positive business outcomes.  Which trends should procurement and sourcing executives pay attention to?

  • Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever, demanding quality, responsibly-sourced products and niche options, which is forcing organizations to change how they manufacture, source, market and sell goods and services, since catering to these demands require extensive visibility into the supply network.
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Topics: e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Strategy, Innovation Conference

Leveraging Sourcing & Procurement's Forward Thinkers

Posted by Jason Heffelfinger on Aug 4, 2016 8:30:00 AM

It's common to run into a bit of resistance when trying something new. And it's no different with eSourcing. New process can be viewed by some stakeholders as an invasion or challenge into their specific areas of expertise.

The common body language seen in these interactions include suspicious looks and crossed arms. These buyers feel, rightly so, that they are the best at what they do. Oftentimes statements from buyers like the following come up during these initial conversations and confirm their apprehension:

“So how can you help me? “

“I already get the best price.”

“I can't get the same items; I'll have to compromise for a better price.”

“You'll make me award the business to a vendor other than my incumbent.”

“I'll have to pick the low quote provider.”

All valid concerns. And these are just a handful of the misconceptions that surround eSourcing.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy

Mission Impossible: Adding Capacity to Procurement without Expanding the Team

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Jul 28, 2016 8:15:00 AM

To say procurement teams today are busy is a large understatement. Facing high expectations from the c-suite, ambitious cost savings and innovation goals and the looming reality of potential supply disruptions and noncompliant suppliers, teams have a lot on their plates. As procurement’s scope of responsibility grows, it can be challenging for teams that stay the same in size to keep up with mile long to-do lists and simultaneously find the time to be a strategic partner for the business.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy

Optimizing eSourcing Through Adoption in 10 Steps

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Jul 14, 2016 8:30:00 AM

First off, let's all agree that eSourcing is unparalleled in its ability to return amazing ROI, as evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of large companies have eSourcing tools.

But just because an organization has an eSourcing tool doesn't mean they're using it to its fullest potential. And many aren't. Adoption issues plague eSourcing programs, but the organizations that are able to overcome these challenges reap huge rewards.

So what's coming between companies and eSourcing success? In the simplest of terms it comes down to one thing - fear of change.

How do you overcome fear of change? With information, education, and by providing proof and reassurance along the way that this uncomfortable period of 'newness' will all be worth it in the end.

When evaluating an eSourcing solution the implementation and management of the program should be top of mind - right along with feature functionality. 

The 10 program management essentials outlined below cover both the strategic and tactical ways to build adoption by making the process clear, repeatable, and overall less intimidating. 

  1. Category Discovery: Review all areas of spend to determine the best opportunities for eSourcing savings. Repeat this process annually.
  2. Implementation and Project Plan: Create a detailed blueprint outlining key personnel, program goals, and a plan of attack for achieving those goals.
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Topics: e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Strategy

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

Transparency to Freight Costs through eSourcing

Posted by Teresa Yost on Jun 9, 2016 8:10:00 AM

We truly enjoy the partnerships we’ve built with our clients.  It’s through these relationships that we learn about the day to day challenges our users face.  Periodically their pain is our gain - meaning that sometimes we’re able to assist by developing additional functionality to further assist them in their procurement duties.

A friendly interview

Let me introduce you to Jeff Abramson.  Jeff oversees supply chain and purchasing for a chain of barbecue restaurants owned, operated and franchised throughout the U.S. states and Canada.  His company has been an Intesource partner since December 2013. 

Late last year Intesource received a request from Jeff asking Intesource to assist him and his team in automating their manual process for gathering freight charges offered by their suppliers.  Their current process was cumbersome and time consuming. 

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

5 Lies Your Supplier May be Telling You

Posted by Jason Heffelfinger on May 19, 2016 8:10:00 AM

Are you in the potentially dangerous place of not knowing your supplier community? As a spend owner you have the responsibility of knowing not only who’s out there, but perhaps equally important - having an understanding of their ability to meet your unique requirements and expectations. I get it – you’re busy, the marketplace is constantly changing and evolving – it’s tough to have a good handle on future potential suppliers. Especially when you’re happy with your current vendor. But be wary of the following tactics your current vendor might be employing to keep you in fear of switching to another, potentially better supplier.

Exclusivity: Has your vendor made it perfectly clear they are the only one who can provide the product/service you need?

Your incumbent probably can honestly claim they know your business best, but they may take it one step further and say they can't be touched when it comes to the quality of their products and/or the service they provide. However, you'll often find if you truly understand the supplier community, there are vendors that can either match or improve on what you're receiving today. And frankly, it’s on you to verify those claims. An additional benefit of sourcing a category thoroughly and frequently - it'll likely raise the bar of your existing supplier. They have everything to lose in trying to keep your business.

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Topics: e-Sourcing Strategy

Making Sourcing a Strategic Supply Chain Asset

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Apr 29, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Companies that have mastered management of their supply chain have a distinct advantage over the competition. Just a 1-2% decrease in cost has a material bottom-line impact. So whether your organization falls into the mastery category, room for improvement, or somewhere in between - standing still is the surest way to fall behind the competition.

Sourcing, specifically, can create a significant advantage when companies think about leveraging the function as a strategic asset, rather than just a tactical means for securing savings.

Examples include:  

  • Improving Customer Satisfaction with unique and innovative new products, supporting the creation of an exceptional customer experience, or passing on savings
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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Strategy

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