Why standard contract terms can be bad for you

KateVitasek_100.jpgBy Kate Vitasek

If your company is like most, it promotes 'boilerplate' contracts or, at a minimum, pushes for standardised terms, such as contract length, warranties, a 30-day termination of convenience clause or 90-day payment terms. While this may make your lawyer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) happy, Russell Korobkin suggests that using standard contract clauses is a bad idea.

5 core drivers for end-to-end procurement automation

SubhroSen_100.jpgSpeed to value can be elusive but it is of vital importance for any organisation.

Many procurement organisations realise the increasing pressure to maximise savings and accelerate delivery timelines. But they also want to mitigate supplier risks. Altogether, legacy manual processes and age-old frameworks compel procurement leaders to rethink their strategy.

Subhro Sen, from procure-to-pay solutions provider Zycus, discusses five core areas where digital procurement transformation augmented with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) are driving value for organisations who are seeking fast-paced growth while trying to keep ahead of the competition.

This Halloween beware the scary, old-world CPO

TaniaSeary_100.jpgWith Halloween just past, it is time to consider whether your boss is scarier than your average ghoul or if your career is in the grip of a scary, old-world Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and thus doomed to wither...

Tania Seary, Founding Chairman of three companies specialising in the development of the procurement profession - The Faculty, The Source and Procurious - takes a look.

3 roadblocks to implementing AI in procurement

SammeliSammalkorpi.jpegBy Sammeli Sammalkorpi, VP: Customers and Co-founder of procurement analytics solutions provider Sievo

In late 2017, MIT's Sloan Management Review (in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group) seemed to confirm what most in procurement had long inferred. Our expectations for artificial intelligence (AI) are well out of proportion with our preparedness.

In short, we are fond of talking the talk, but almost totally unfamiliar with walking the walk. The abovementioned survey of more than 3 000 executives found that, while 85% expected AI to help "obtain or sustain a competitive advantage", less than 39% had any sort of AI strategy in place. Just one in 20 had "extensively incorporated" AI into their organisation's service offerings/day-to-day processes.

Technology and procurement management in SA - it's about more than just disruption

ProcurementManTech_100.jpgOver the last half-decade or so, technology has become increasingly more disruptive within the procurement industry. Across various offerings, you are promised the next big thing in procurement management that will help you save time and money and, ultimately, improve the way your organisation approaches the end-to-end procurement process.

However, an effective procurement solution is more than simply a means to cutting costs and improving efficiencies within an organisation - particularly in a country such as South Africa, with complex compliance and legal requirements.

Procurement perspectives: a procurement career pursuit is worth it

StephenBauld_100.jpgIrrespective of what you think about the way in which private- and public-sector procurement is conducted, the ultimate objective is the same. Creating 'value for money' is the most commonly used term among purchasing individuals.

Government procurement expert, Stephen Bauld, has spent half his career working with private-sector organisations and the other half working with various government agencies. He has come to realise that all procurement people strive to get the best deal that adheres to the policies and procedures of the organisation that they work for. In this month's SmartProcurement, Bauld takes a closer look at a career in procurement.

Behavioural procurement: a cognitive approach to people (soft) skills

DavidLoseby_100.jpgBy David Loseby

Behavioural procurement (BP) is a sub-field of behavioural economics and concerns itself with the application of behavioural science, social science, decision science and applied cognitive psychology to commercial activities.

For years the profession has talked about soft skills (I prefer to call them people skills) without a clear definition of what exactly soft skills are, and what should be applied and to what extent in a comprehensive and integrated way. The harsh reality is that the practice of applying soft skills is neither soft, simple nor easy and has often been neglected in terms of training and developing professionals both formally and informally.

Equally, it is clear that the four principal components in the context of supply chain and procurement activities, such as contract management, supply chain management and supplier relationship management, should embrace:
1. Process
2. Systems
3. Data
4. People

However, while 1, 2 and 3 can be delegated, the people component cannot.

Autonomous procurement: the next evolution

JamesMarland_100.jpgBy James Marland, Global Vice President, SAP Centre of Excellence for Spend Management

Welcome to the world of autonomous procurement, where procurement professionals are augmented by machines and can focus on strategic relationships which require human creativity and empathy.

October PMI up, but demand and output on the decline

PMI_Economy_150.jpgThe seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 48.1 index points in October 2019, up from 45.1 index points in September 2019.

The October level was slightly higher than the average of 47.3 recorded during Quarter 3 and in line with the average of 48.3 points recorded during the first nine months of 2019.

The October PMI release incorporated updated seasonal adjustment factors for all of the seasonally-adjusted indices.

Four of the PMI's sub-components improved from September, with only Inventories moving down.

Dollars and cents: what are we really saving?

DiegoDeLaGarza_100.jpgBy Diego De la Garza

It might have started with dollars and cents, but what should procurement really be saving now? It is time to shift the dial.

Manufacturers: what is in your procurement toolbox?

SammeliSammalkorpi.jpegDriven by fierce customer demand and global competition, today's manufacturers are scrambling to deliver the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost. To remain competitive, manufacturers are turning to technologies, such as 3D printing, robotics, cloud computing, intelligent automation and advanced analytics (among other emerging technologies), to revolutionise every business aspect, from sales to the supply chain.

But with the benefits of digitisation and automation now abundantly clear, it is quickly becoming the norm across industry, leaving many manufacturers on the hunt for their next big competitive advantage. Many are now turning to procurement. Sammeli Sammalkorpi, VP: Customers and Co-founder of procurement analytics solutions provider Sievo, maintains that "the function presents a significant, untapped opportunity to leverage spend insights to drive a new wave of competitive advantage, owing to the fact that the function sits at the core of manufacturing operations".


 

 

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