The Infosys global supply chain management blog enables leaner supply chains through process and IT related interventions. Discuss the latest trends and solutions across the supply chain management landscape.


January 19, 2018

Maximo Can Do Supply Chain - Unveiled!

When it comes to IBM Maximo, the first impression everyone gets is a Work and Asset Management (WAM) solution. This being true because of the rich WAM features, Industry specific solutions and Add-on solutions offered by IBM Maximo. Primarily because of this reason, IBM Maximo has been featuring in the Gartner's Leaders Quadrant for so many years. As much Maximo has been famous for its WAM capabilities, it was also known for its limited Supply Chain capabilities especially till version 6 and 7.1.

Having both Supply Chain and Work & Asset Management on one package is beneficial for customers. It means lean team for support, no complex integrations for high volume transactions (Issues, Returns) with ERP System, faster implementations, less training and less licensing cost. However due to Maximo's limited Supply Chain capabilities it was often integrated with an ERP system for even basic supply chain features like Inventory Management, Replenishment, Purchasing, Contracting & Invoicing.

Continue reading "Maximo Can Do Supply Chain - Unveiled!" »

September 30, 2017

Achieving Compliance To Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)

Back in 2011 when U. S FDA's FSMA act (Food Safety Modernization Act) was signed into a law, it was a termed as a sweeping reform in the food safety laws as the focus totally shifted from 'Reaction' to 'Prevention'. There were seven rules under this act. One of them was titled FSVP - Foreign Supplier Verification Programs. It was touted as a very bold rule aiming to do a number of things which were never attempted before with respect to the food safety norms in the US.  As expected these norms resulted in a slew of initiatives from food retailers across USA to get compliant with the rules.

Continue reading "Achieving Compliance To Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)" »

June 23, 2016

Supplier Diversity Reporting in Utility Industry

An year of perseverance, hard work, intense discussions and night outs has come to an end and the results, I would say, have been impressive. In fact, the go-live for this transformational ERP program was the smoothest one I have witnessed in my 10 year long career. The client was from utility industry located in Las Vegas & had a customer base of approximately 2 million including residential, commercial and industrial customers .They provided natural gas service to parts of Arizona, Nevada, and California. The program was to modernize the financial and supply chain systems along with providing a robust reporting solution which would not only meet their reporting needs but also cater to the various regulatory reporting requirements of the utility industry. I was very closely involved in various aspects of developing a reporting solution for the client and the area of reporting which caught my attention was 'Diversity Reporting'. In this blog I will try to explain what Supplier Diversity Reporting is all about and how we addressed these reporting needs for our client.

Continue reading "Supplier Diversity Reporting in Utility Industry" »

September 2, 2014

Contract Assessment and its dependency on solution implementation !

The importance, awareness and complexity of streamlined contract management processes have been increased over the last few years. Many organizations have started moving to automate their contract management processes to streamline their intra organizational and vendor collaborations. Best-in-Class organizations are those who have established the "paperless contract" approach for managing procurement contracts.

Once an organization decides to implement contract management solution, the next step is to start with assessing leading market solutions and select the best one depending on its various parameters, features and capabilities of the solution. But how do you ensure whether the features you are going for will be really used or needed, to build in-house contract management system or whether contracting processes defined in the organization can be addressed by the selected solution, what could be the gaps, if any and what if solution cannot meet key requirements within contracting & procurement business processes???

Continue reading "Contract Assessment and its dependency on solution implementation !" »

December 31, 2012

The Learning from the 2012 Holiday Buying Season: Balanced Investments in Online and Physical Supply Chain Fulfillment Capabilities

Guest Post by

Bob Ferrari, the Executive Editor of the Supply Chain Matters Blog, and a periodic guest blogger on the Infosys Supply Chain Management blog.

This commentary is the third and final follow-up to this author's series of Infosys Limited Supply Chain Management guest commentaries related to the 2012 holiday buying season and its implications on industry strategies and technology investments. My guest commentary comes at the end of December as the early indicators from the 2012 surge holiday buying period already point to yet another set of significant learning for global retailers.  In 2011, I closed my holiday surge prediction posting with a message that the importance of balancing online commerce tools and product offerings with advanced backend fulfillment intelligence processes would prove critical.  In my initial Infosys commentary on this industry topic in mid-November, I opined that 2012 would add the realities that more supply chain complexity, market uncertainty and the effects of supply disruption are going to make this season ever more challenging.

Continue reading "The Learning from the 2012 Holiday Buying Season: Balanced Investments in Online and Physical Supply Chain Fulfillment Capabilities" »

December 18, 2012

Indicators from the 2012 Holiday Buying Period Point to Significant Change and Fulfillment Challenges

Guest Post by

Bob Ferrari, the Executive Editor of the Supply Chain Matters Blog, and a periodic guest blogger on the Infosys Supply Chain Management blog.

This commentary is an interim follow-up to this author's previous Infosys Limited guest commentary: Headline for the 2012 Holiday Buying Season- Overcoming the Challenges of Fulfillment Complexity.

Thus far, initial indicators reflected in individual consumer actions during the current 2012 holiday buying season provide for some perspective as supply chains reach the peak of activity this week. 

Continue reading "Indicators from the 2012 Holiday Buying Period Point to Significant Change and Fulfillment Challenges" »

October 8, 2012

One Place for all Types of Business Contracts across Enterprise

In today's Contract Management world Organizations are looking to have one system which can maintain contracts for both Buy side business and Sell side business, a single repository which meets all business and compliance requirements relevant to the Contract. So now the questions arises which CLM product does support such kind of an architecture which also integrates with other ERP applications, SAP CLM is one of the best breed CLM product which meets the slated requirements that organizations are looking for.

Like all major CLM products, SAP CLM's major focus is on buy side functionalities to have a streamlined contract creation, review, approval, and renewal processes, reducing the cycle time. But today many organizations are looking for having sell side contracts built in the CLM product to

1) Streamline contract creation, review, approval, and renewal processes, reducing total cycle time
2) Having one system for sales contract, eliminating redundant IT and administrative costs.
3) Having contract renewals so that the revenue is captured. Generate incremental revenue through sales of service plans or add-on products
4) Use standard templates which are designed by the business, enforcing higher levels of consistency and business governance through all levels of selling.

But the major challenge is having both these types of contracts built in one system. Here is my perspective of how this can be done be done in SAP CLM. In SAP CLM there is a concept called "context" which is used to segregate the master data and configuration within a single E-Sourcing instance.   There are three levels of contexts - System Context, Enterprise Context, and Company Context.  The majority of master data and resource localization related to sell-side contracts are managed at the Enterprise Context level.     Thus, if you would like to segregate master data (e.g. suppliers / customers / material masters) for Procurement and Sales organizations, you can define two separate enterprise contexts (one for Procurement and another for Sales) and configure resource localizations within each enterprise context.

This will allow having a completely segregated work area for each group within a single instance.  The following are two commonly used implementations of the contexts to manage procurement and sales contracts.
1) System Context:    Procurement and Sales share all the master data and clause / contract library content.   -->  Localize resources to a neutral terms   (e.g. Business Partners, Contract Managers, etc.) 
2) System Context with 2 Enterprise Contexts:   Procurement and Sales contracts are completely segregated.  -->  Localize resources within each enterprise context.   (Procurement Enterprise Context -->   Buyer, Suppliers, etc.)   (Sales Enterprise Context --> Sales rep, Customers, etc.)

My approach would be to go with the second option

Both the buy side and sell side processes are different as the departments are separated within the organizations and they utilize different systems to obtain the same outcome. So for both the departments to achieve common goal they need to have one system. But from the compliance perspective the challenge is to have Data Isolation so which data do we want to be segregated if we have to have one system for both buy side and sell side.

1) All the reports which brings Business intelligence that will provide management with the right operational and strategic data to make better decisions
2) Screen layout and workbench structure would be different
3) Email messages that are sent to the each business groups would be different
4) Treatment of business partners would be different
5) Agreement templates would be different to govern and manage adherence to approved standard terms and conditions.

But by providing one system the top executive level visibility into every contract can be enterprise-wide.

July 30, 2012

Oil operators and Oil services firms - time to dissolve 'internal walls'

I recently came across an interesting write-up from consultancy firm, Arthur D Little, on how a few Oil majors have re-structured their E&P ops by combining three divisions - Projects, Technology and Procurement (PTP). Calling for the emergence of a new organizational form, the paper highlights how today's battles' - increasing size and complexity of oil projects with a majority of them going over budget and exceeding schedule targets; skills shortage; and resistance to new technology adoption - can be countered by dissolving a few internal walls. The challenges gripping the industry can be effectively tackled by "...integration of all relevant Projects (including Drilling), Technology (including R&D) and Procurement units into one single, integrated global division which is then tasked with the full burden of delivery".



Continue reading "Oil operators and Oil services firms - time to dissolve 'internal walls'" »

May 25, 2012

SAP acquired Ariba, what does it mean for the on-demand, procurement and SAP world?

When a colleague forwarded the news of SAP (finally) buying Ariba past midnight India time on Wednesday ( ), my first response
was roughly on the lines of "better late to the dance than allow Oracle to steal your partner". That said, the "Ariba on the bid block" has been now a since-2006 story ever since Oracle kicked up some serious acquisition dust during the Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, Siebel years. With IBM acquiring Emptoris and folding it into the Smarter Commerce theme, all eyes in the procurement world was on Ariba.

Over the past few years, I've watched Ariba's stunning repositioning as a serious on-demand player (yes, cloud hadn't become so fashionanble in 2007-08) with a lot of admiration, though as an SI, this meant a steadily eroding revenue pie. I've always felt that this was one good management case study of charting out a strategy and staying true to it, in spite of quarter-on-quarter setbacks.

Continue reading "SAP acquired Ariba, what does it mean for the on-demand, procurement and SAP world?" »

May 30, 2011

HazMat in SCM Needs to Worry About New Tech Impositions!

During the last couple of weeks, I have been associated with the brainstorming around how best to manage Hazardous Waste or Material (HazMat) for a major US retailer. The client management team is focused on having a solution that covers HazMat of all kinds across the enterprise since that is the core KPI of the department. Most of our initial discussions have been around two threads:
1. Understanding our Point of View on Reverse Logistics (RL) since HazMat typically need to flow in the opposite direction of the regular product supply chain flow
2. Figuring out whether SAP EHS solution is the best bet versus IBM Sterling Commerce RL capability and IBM Maximo's work management capability.
Personally, I wasn't too keen on going for either of these approaches.

Continue reading "HazMat in SCM Needs to Worry About New Tech Impositions!" »

January 4, 2011

SAP SRM and PLM integration

Recently we received a requirement for showcasing our credentials in SRM-PLM integration space, with the experience of being a part of the team who executed this assignment I would like to share the same with the functional and technical feasibility of the carryover of business turnaround especially the round robin procurement process in engineering projects. With this integration it gives leverage to the purchasers with a good sight for negotiating in a competitive environment

Continue reading "SAP SRM and PLM integration " »

October 29, 2010

Crunching Procurement Cycle Time Through Business Workflow Optimization

Business workflow plays a vital role and is one of the time consuming step in procurement life cycle. Shortening procurement life cycle has multi-faceted benefits such as faster procurement request processing, shorter procure-to-pay cycle time and processing cost, avail ling early payment discount enabling efficient working capital management, enhanced customer-supplier business relationship. Crunching procurement cycle time requires special attention in business workflow optimization and reduction in approval time.

Continue reading "Crunching Procurement Cycle Time Through Business Workflow Optimization" »

October 22, 2010

Sourcing from China: Part-1: Testing your fishing skills: stages of your sourcing maturity

Sourcing is growing as the main highest growing profession in China. Even though the volumes are low but the growth factor of these professionals at above 20% is the highest among all professionals in China. But for companies to start sourcing from China, they need to go through a 3 stage journey to finally fully integrate China as an integral part of their sourcing decisions. Check out the stage where your company fits in, and you will know how much road is required to me covered to reach the final destination. But many would agree that sourcing from China is not a destination but a journey, as new challenges emerge as the progress continues. Sourcing from China is like fishing.... If you don't agree read on

Continue reading "Sourcing from China: Part-1: Testing your fishing skills: stages of your sourcing maturity" »

September 16, 2010

Managing procurement for Projects

With variety of projects going all around, it is becoming very difficult to track procurement activities. Projects with varied nature like Investments, Marketing, Customer Projects, Services and IT Projects have different tasks and their tracking of procurement tasks is different . Procurement experts view:
"Project procurement management begins at the point when the new project is initiated and detailed decisions are starting to be made as to what portion of the project will be performed with one's own staff, and what portion will be sent to another company for performance."

Continue reading "Managing procurement for Projects" »

September 9, 2010

How to set your Safety Stock Policies?

Every distribution warehouse in supply chain network holds inventory and has some safety stock maintained. How much safety stock or inventory should be kept at each warehouse is the topic I am going to address in this blog. In fact my focus will be on one common mistake that is made in the process of setting inventory and safety stock norms.

Continue reading "How to set your Safety Stock Policies?" »

August 27, 2010

Reaping Benefits from Supplier Performance Management

Recently I attended one seminar on supplier performance management (SPM) wherein the audience seemed to have mix reactions on the topic have penned down some of my  thoughts on the same. With inorganic growth in many organizations tracking supplier's performance at global scale is becoming a new challenge.

Continue reading "Reaping Benefits from Supplier Performance Management " »

July 8, 2010

Would SCM be a differentiator in your Apps Portfolio?

Dennis Gaughan of Gartner in his blog dated 29-Jun-2010 wonders whether its time for corporations to rethink their enterprise applications portfolio strategy ( Well, I think organizations are thinking about it all the time, sometimes when they do their annual planning and are reminded of the morass in their application landscape and sometimes thanks to M&A (esp for financial institutions) forcing them to look at what to sunset and what to fold in.

Continue reading "Would SCM be a differentiator in your Apps Portfolio?" »

July 1, 2010

Contract Negotiations - The Trust & Technology factors!!

If government policies dictate supply chains, Contracts are the essential glue that keeps the supply chains chugging. After-all, without a contract in place, no sane buyer and supplier is going to transact for long. For the past two months that I have been swamped in contracts - one recently signed with a client and the second one currently under intense negotiations with a product vendor - I have realized how painstaking the negotiation process can be; particularly when the stakes are high, when uncertainty prevails due to complexity of work and geographical barriers and when you do not have a past relationship.  

Continue reading "Contract Negotiations - The Trust & Technology factors!!" »

May 25, 2010

Is Service procurement a Big Challenge?

I was in a discussion with one of the customers for ERP Implementation and their main focus in implementing the procurement module was to achieve savings and the concern area that they identified was Service Procurement, so that thought created some anxiety in me why customers have started thinking on Service procurement to have an insight how service procurement can be managed.

Continue reading "Is Service procurement a Big Challenge?" »

April 19, 2010

Reducing Healthcare costs - Digitization of Patient Records

Ever had a look inside the records store-room of your physician? When I got a peek into the record room for my healthcare physician sometime back, I was overwhelmed with the sheer amount of physical files and paper I saw. Took me back to my visits to government offices in India a long time ago, when paper files were almost ubiquitous in the recordkeeping stores, and the musty smell of paper was all pervasive. Recordkeeping in India since then has moved many echelons ahead, and computers have replaced those physical files.

Continue reading "Reducing Healthcare costs - Digitization of Patient Records " »

March 9, 2010

Negotiating one of the key skills for procurement professionals

Apart from being skilled and experienced in managing relationships with suppliers and managing the resulting relationships in the same region, but Negotiating with suppliers in various global regions can bring unexpected challenges that can sabotage negotiations and relationships can challenge those are strong in domestic markets

Continue reading "Negotiating one of the key skills for procurement professionals" »

February 7, 2010

Et Tu Toyota …

Reading about the Toyota Accelerator Pedal recall (around 2.3 million vehicles to quote a figure), one can’t help but wonder how a company with its squeaky clean quality and safety reputation, a temple of learning for supplier collaboration processes, could falter on such a grand scale.

Continue reading "Et Tu Toyota …" »

January 28, 2010

...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: “The Implementation: What's the sandwich filling? ” – Part 4

In my previous Blog, I discussed about the Roadmap and the project kick-off, in this blog I would like to elaborate on what we actually crafted, “As a Solution for Plan Driven Procurement” and also the future functionalities fitment into the procurement landscape.


Continue reading "...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: “The Implementation: What's the sandwich filling? ” – Part 4" »

December 22, 2009

Part one – Strategic Cost Reduction: What is strategic about cost reduction?

Last year brought in difficult times for everyone. From individuals to small, mid size and large global companies’ echoed one sentiment – reduce costs to survive.  We saw large scale layoff’s as knee jerk reactions. Not sure why companies saw their people costs as the first level opportunity to tackle and their only scope for survival.  Buyers were beating down their suppliers to get the best price against target goals, 10% per annum over their scope of supply or haggling over the increasing the payment terms, not realizing that the suppliers were also going through the same issues on liquidity crunch. Net result, suppliers went bankrupt and along with them the entire industry started collapsing, e.g. automotive industry.

Things have started turning around now and we felt it was time to take the learning’s from these experiences and reactions to prepare a strategic response approach to the situation. Surely we need not wait for the next recession but get started on a systematic process of quick wins, tactical  and strategic initiatives that can keep the organizations going strong at all times.

Continue reading "Part one – Strategic Cost Reduction: What is strategic about cost reduction?" »

November 23, 2009

Part Two: SRM is Real

In my last blog “ Do we really understand SRM ( Supplier Relationship Mgmt)?” we defined Supplier Relationship Management" as a collaborative win-win business discipline of strategically managing the supplier engagement process to maximize the potential value of those relationships by providing seamless integration capabilities for smooth harmonized operations and aligned business goals with the partner supplier community”.

We had some valid questions coming up from the readers of how to address SRM in a bilateral relationship where the supplier is also a customer , how do we define a metrics model to track we are realizing what we planned etc but there were some very fundamental questions that needed answers to ensure the rubber meets the road. I have put my thoughts here to a couple of them for I believe this is essential to get to a solution which addresses this vision

Continue reading "Part Two: SRM is Real" »

November 20, 2009

Customer benefits in Centralized Purchasing: A Case Study

Continuing from my previous blog, that described challenges and advantages through centralized purchasing, I would like to discuss this concept further with a real world example.Through centralized purchasing, the organization transformed its decentralized purchasing operation into a centralized structure so as to leverage its annual spend with suppliers.

Continue reading "Customer benefits in Centralized Purchasing: A Case Study" »

November 13, 2009

Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and the Procurement Function: Let Us View Compliance as an Opportunity

SOX, better known as Sarbanes Oxley is as dry as “the desert”, nevertheless I’ve seen people resulting in tears trying to hide a yawn whilst attending a SOX seminar. ….Don‘t laugh at me, that’s what you’d feel to sit through seminars or sessions related to it, that’s what public opinion is. I remember such a session where, I was the host …lets not get to the crux of “that initiative”, We’ll for me it was positive, Ram Bhaskara had me initiate working on the topic & as a follow-on Gopi GR pumped my enthusiasm to begin research on the SEC’s (Securities Exchange Commission) strategy and requirements for Sarbanes Oxley and the procurement function.
I don’t want to repeat the shady state of affairs that affected Enron and others, that’s a stale tale.

Continue reading "Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and the Procurement Function: Let Us View Compliance as an Opportunity" »

November 2, 2009

Part One: Do we really understand SRM ( Supplier Relationship Mgmt) ?

I like statistics ……..Because it makes me think

1) 62% of Supply Chain operations did not have an accepted definition of Supplier Relationship Management in their organization

2) 50% of the companies having implemented SRM applications do not know how to measure the benefits of these initiatives.


I was equally confused as many others in the supply management function, of the various terminologies that are used interchangeably for the same sourcing and procurement processes e.g. supply management , supplier relationship management , strategic sourcing , spend management , supplier performance management .

Continue reading "Part One: Do we really understand SRM ( Supplier Relationship Mgmt) ?" »

October 23, 2009

Leveraging Centralized Purchasing for Customer Benefits

The inherent challenges on the supplier side coupled with the need for a cost effective procurement model poses major challenges for the procurement team in meeting their targets.

Continue reading "Leveraging Centralized Purchasing for Customer Benefits" »

October 14, 2009

...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: “Roadmap -> SRM Journey Kick-off” – Part 3

In my previous blog, we discussed the Road mapping exercise in detail, in this blog we will discuss on what the Roadmap meant for them and how the SRM Journey was kicked off.

What it meant to the team and the gigantic tasks that lie ahead of their face for the days to come. It’s not necessary that every kick-off meeting calls for a champagne burst or a Donut offering or even a free lunch”, for most it starts with a Heavy meeting instead of a heavy meal. There is so much already on the platter to digest, that we have barely the time to breathe in these agile project situations.

Continue reading "...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: “Roadmap -> SRM Journey Kick-off” – Part 3" »

September 18, 2009

...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: “Sign-off the SAP SRM 7.0 Road mapping exercise for an Enterprise” – Part 2

The prelude blog of SRM 7.0 was a fair enough curtain raiser to demonstrate our intentions.
In this blog we will focus on what exactly goes in during the “Road Map exercise”, the length and the breadth of the exercise.
i.              Roadmap Scope Definition
ii.             Questioning the holy cows
iii.            Intent for a BPR (Business Process Re-engineering) initiative, YES / NO
iv.            Identification of an SRM council
v.             Pre-Blue Printing (powered by Workshops)
vi.            Revisiting the Roadmap Scope definition
vii.           Roadmap review and Sign-off
Most of these look repetitive, but believe me, these in itself are a masquerade if not dealt with properly.Lets try and understand what we do in each of these phases and the Exit Criteria for the exercise.

Continue reading "...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: “Sign-off the SAP SRM 7.0 Road mapping exercise for an Enterprise” – Part 2" »

August 27, 2009

...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: Is your On-boarding business case ready for the Roadmap exercise? – Part 1

SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay. Shoulders high, collars up, head upright……. Here we go!!!!!!!!!! This 101 introduction blog is to set the context of SAP SRM road mapping exercise for an Organization that could be either stable / under crisis or even pushed with heavy cost reduction projects with IT landscape rationalization. In such bad weather it becomes very important for us to understand the emotions of a DECISION MAKING TEAM that could use an Application Framework to provide a 911 support to a falling business.

In the blog sequel 4 and above we will get into the Nerve of the Solution and evaluate the business benefit of every functionality, Scenario that’s delivered. Again re-instating, “Every Dollar Saved in Procurement -> Contributes to every dollar earned in Revenue”

Continue reading "...SAP SRM 7.0 is here to stay, available to Leverage your SRM footprint: Is your On-boarding business case ready for the Roadmap exercise? – Part 1" »

July 1, 2009

Beware! Do not mix Procurement and Marketing

Much has been said, written and debated about Procure-o-marketing. My friends in the procurement community have advocated the advantages of introducing procurement concepts in marketing. This  group in procurement community has seen marketing spend with skepticism and disdain, as an overhead which needs curtailment. So, all these talks of Procure-o-marketing have come as a “novel concept”. The million dollar question, (and this is not figurative alone…)  Is a natural “marriage’ of the two enterprise entities possible? I strongly advocate NO.

Continue reading "Beware! Do not mix Procurement and Marketing" »

June 25, 2009

Part I: Winning over this "Tsunami" called Global Recession

Apply the balm where it hurts  the most ...In the first of part of the blog series here, we are trying to understand the global economic problem through the the view that matters most for organizations , the lens of "Free Cash Flow", a measure of liquidty and business performance that most organizations operate on. In the interest of keeping this discussion focused, we have limited the point of view around the "procurement and supply management" processes and response strategies , but is well applicable across all operations . As we may still be getting over the worst of this " Tsunami " , wish if all of us could share the experiences and the survival stories for the benefit of the larger supply management community .

We keep getting lashed by these heavy waves of destabilization at frequent randomness, from Katrina, to Avian flu, to global recession and while we were still struggling on these, as if not enough, now the Swine flu. The USP of all these are that we don’t know what, when and how this hit us, when we were least expecting. It takes a good toll of all of us. The good thing about this is that it wakes us all from the slumber and complacency to make us take note and innovate.

The current economic crunch is one such great "Tsunami "which has jolted all the greats and spared none.

Continue reading "Part I: Winning over this "Tsunami" called Global Recession" »

June 5, 2009

Buyers & Suppliers - Time for redefined win:win practices

I just read Justin’s blog on “hammering suppliers on price”; Prof. Rob has a very valid advice for companies on early warning signs of danger from suppliers.

Hammering suppliers on price and payment terms “now” vs. “long” term relationship, is a very important aspect in risk management. When there is a financial crunch in the buying organization, their sales are hit and their bottom-line is impacted.... suppliers, as partners or extended community to their organization, are expected and should also be a part of this tough journey. (Hopefully, this is only for few more months) So "renegotiating price" and change in the DPO with the business partners are inevitable. But to what extend?

Continue reading "Buyers & Suppliers - Time for redefined win:win practices" »

April 22, 2009

DNA Therapy for Strategic Cost Reduction in Supply Chains

My recent hunt for stem cell banking information in South India got me excited on a subject of high interest in the biomedical world. Stem cell therapy is the latest medical wonder discovery and supposed to be a cure for 70 odd complex maladies of humans, especially interesting because till late these ill’s were supposed be hard to win over with the conventional medical treatment methods - treatments which were more focused on treatment of the symptom or providing a patch solution for the life threatening diseases, not usually a permanent cure.

DNA is the building block of all life and living on this planet. They are the smallest finite elements which determine the characteristic and personality of any individual. DNA or gene therapy gets to the root cause of the problem. They provided the paradigm shift in medical treatment from the symptomatic treatment of the yesteryears to treating or correcting the diseases cells at source.

What has DNA therapy got to do with Supply Chain Management?

Continue reading "DNA Therapy for Strategic Cost Reduction in Supply Chains" »

April 17, 2009

Reduce your TCO with migration to SRM MDM Catalog

How to optimize and to what extent? This is the need of the hour and terms that has been and will always be of interest to the CPO and CFO desk. It isn’t very difficult to conclude whether a catalog migration project is a “must do” for SRM customers, we will learn how the SAP on SAP advantage will benefit them from a TCO standpoint.In this blog I will discuss on my experience with a successful catalog migration project for a health and Beauty retailer and how it benefited the operational procurement team.

Continue reading "Reduce your TCO with migration to SRM MDM Catalog" »

March 31, 2009

Supplier Consolidation Vs Sourcing

In a Sourcing team meeting at a client I recently worked for, a senior Sourcing Manager lamented that instead of “Sourcing” they were merely consolidating suppliers. A pretty insightful statement! And it is true for many organizations where the central focus of “Sourcing” is just to achieve greater volume leverage during negotiations, and using that leverage to get a better purchase-price from a subset of incumbent suppliers. This pure ‘purchase-price reduction by supplier consolidation’ approach does have its merits, but is this what sourcing is all about?

Continue reading "Supplier Consolidation Vs Sourcing" »

March 9, 2009

Is there confusion with SAP SRM suite positioning after acquisition of Frictionless commerce (now rebranded SAP E-Sourcing)? – Part 2

In my last blog, I discussed on the confusion with the Frictionless acquisition by SAP, now I would like to share the difficulties that I see to convince customer to have both these applications operational in the landscape.
Why is it difficult to convince customers to have both these applications operational in the same landscape?
-          Frictionless commerce (now SAP E-Sourcing) has overlapping functionalities with SAP SRM which happens to be its core SRM solution
-          Customers already using SAP SRM, would need a strong business case to convince CPO desk for SAP E-Sourcing licenses
-          Integrate the applications, as they don’t talk to each other still.
-          What is the ROI for such an integration
-          Is there a customer base that will really look forward to integrate these 2 applications  

Continue reading "Is there confusion with SAP SRM suite positioning after acquisition of Frictionless commerce (now rebranded SAP E-Sourcing)? – Part 2" »

Is there confusion with SAP SRM suite positioning after acquisition of Frictionless commerce (now rebranded SAP E-Sourcing)? – Part 1

The last 7-8 months have been the most demanding phase for SAP to position the SAP SRM suite offering.
As a consultant, I am still trying to understand why this acquisition? Am trying to logically place these questions to arrive at an answer
Whats the confusion?
SAP SRM (version 5.0 and lower) was always ranked low in comparison to what “best of breed” offers for Sourcing and Contract management functionalities.
However, to overcome this, they acquired Frictionless commerce (now rebranded SAP E-Sourcing) to bridge this gap. They had a strategy to sell it as an On-demand solution only they have been successful in selling the on-demand solution. But they realized the need to make the on-premise solution available for customers who where skeptical in parting with data, but however the On-premise solution brought with it major confusion, leaving the suite offering with heavy questions, reasons stated below.

Continue reading "Is there confusion with SAP SRM suite positioning after acquisition of Frictionless commerce (now rebranded SAP E-Sourcing)? – Part 1" »

October 6, 2008

Black and White of Green Procurement – role of procurement professionals

Following up on my original post here, today I offer a look at the role Sourcing and Procurement can play in greening up the supply chain. These range from simple tweaks and easy to adopt changes to full-blown initiatives. Borrowing a leaf from McKinsey’s survey on Green supply chain (synopsis captured in SC Digest here ), it is evident that procurement’s success in reducing the carbon footprint depends largely on their ability to influence their suppliers. A disclaimer before I delve further: contrary to what the title suggests, this is not a tell-all list; there are bound to be additional innovative ways to save the environment; all ears for your views


Continue reading "Black and White of Green Procurement – role of procurement professionals" »

September 1, 2008

Overcome procurement challenges resulting through business expansion (M&A) - Part 1

Business expansion and growth, nowadays, through mergers and acquisitions are inevitable – Fact: 42 FORTUNE 1000 corporations were acquired in 2007, biggest buyout frenzy since 2000. Apart from managing the risk of workforce events and re-structuring (Human Resource Harmonization) caused by M&A, organization begins the journey with – “quickly integrate mergers and acquisitions into my enterprise processes and systems”. Talking about process consolidation and IT integration, Sourcing and Procurement processes and systems cannot be left behind. Please remember - Saving $1 in procurement equals $15 to $20 in revenue.

Continue reading "Overcome procurement challenges resulting through business expansion (M&A) - Part 1" »

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles

Infosys on Twitter