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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

7 Indispensable Tips for Procurement Success we learned from the Experts

Posted by Michelle Fombelle on Sep 23, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Earlier this week we hosted Innovation ’16 Best Practices in Spend Control – our annual conference, where industry experts provided attendees with a lot of great information to take back to their management and procurement teams.

At the event, several top experts in sourcing and procurement came together for a panel discussion. With the panelists varied backgrounds shining through it made for an interesting panel discussion. The group  – David Golub the President of Golub Consulting Solutions, Dawn Tiura the CEO and President of Sourcing Industry Group and Jimmy LeFever a Research Director at PayStream Advisors – talked about what they consider the most valuable tips for sourcing and procurement success.

Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Education, Education, Education

This is education of yourself, your staff and top management. If we are not constantly learning we’re behind. Look to the news, conferences, category experts…maybe even twitter. Just keep learning – things are changing faster than ever before and it is imperative to know what’s new and trending. Education goes beyond industry knowledge however, you need to educate those in your organization on the sourcing process and solutions leadership endorses.  Which leads to number two…

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Topics: Intesource Events, e-Sourcing Best Practices, Innovation Conference

Communication in Procurement: Back to Basics

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Sep 15, 2016 8:35:00 AM

Fast Company’s Gwen Moran recently published an article entitled 8 Ways To Put Anyone At Ease; Eight strategies for being more approachable and fine-tuning your communication skills. Although we talk a lot on this blog about the importance of communication; both with stakeholders (Boosting Buyer Buy-In and Leveraging Sourcing & Procurement's Forward Thinkers) as well as with leadership (When Your Sourcing Program Falls Short of Expectations and What's Holding You Back? 4 Sourcing Strategies for Success), this article got me thinking about the importance of how we present ourselves to others in the most basic of ways.

Everyone agrees that there has been an evolution of sorts - the stakes are higher and procurement plays an important role in the organization. Success is based, in part, on our ability to influence, persuade, and affect those around us. If we’re successful in these areas our odds have having a meaningful impact on the success of the organization increase substantially.

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Topics: Motivational

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

Five Quotes to Inspire Procurement Success

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Aug 25, 2016 8:30:00 AM

We love to help our clients come up with new ideas and ways to procure the items they need. To get there, sometimes it’s helpful to look to the musings of great minds for inspiration.

We’ve pulled together a few thought-provoking quotes that remind us of procurement and motivate us to reach our goals.

  1. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."- Albert Einstein

Success in procurement no longer stems from simply cutting costs, managing supply, and periodically improving your processes. To really make an impact and thrive in the midst of external market pressures, procurement teams need to go deeper by capturing new revenue, driving high impact financial growth, and proving their role as a major competitive weapon for the organization.

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Topics: Motivational

Conference: Changing How You Approach Spend Control

Posted by Michelle Fombelle on Aug 19, 2016 8:15:00 AM

Each year we host executives and procurement pros for a day and a half event packed full of education and networking (so much networking). This year's event is a little different. It's still an intimate gathering of like minded people, but we've expanded the educational side to encompass all things spend control. Innovation '16 is now a partnership of PROACTIS and Intesource! 

Join us September 18-20 in the valley of the sun (A.K.A. Scottsdale, Arizona) at the Hotel Valley Ho. We have some great speakers and fun networking functions lined up.

This conference is all about you! Who wouldn't want to attend an event where the focus is on them? Our goal is to provide anyone who oversees, or is involved in, the procurement process with a meaningful educational experience while you make new friends (or as we call them in the business world - new contacts). 

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Topics: Intesource Events

Your Annual Event for Sourcing and Procurement Inspiration

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Aug 11, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Pack your bags and get ready for what attendees say is one of the best events they attend.

We know nobody likes attending conferences featuring sales pitch after sales pitch. That's why Innovation '16 is different - just world-class learning and networking.

Innovation '16 brings together finance, procurement, and executives to stimulate new ideas.

  • Leverage your spend control, sourcing and procurement solutions to achieve greater bottom-line value
  • Get inspired from other like-minded procurement and finance professionals
  • Collaborate and connect with peers and industry experts on best practices
Scottsdale in September 
Innovation '16 will be held September 18-20, 2016, in old town Scottsdale. Executives and practitioners should bring their teams to collaborate, learn, and grow. You'll hear from a distinguished group of speakers, including:

Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of Sourcing Industry Group (SIG), SIG University, and Outsource, has over 26 years of leadership experience, with the past 22 years' focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. In 2007, Dawn joined SIG as CEO, but has been active as a speaker and trusted adviser since 1999, bringing the latest developments in sourcing to SIG members. Don't miss this opportunity to hear Dawn talk on Crossing the Divide between the CFO and CPO

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Topics: Intesource Events

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