Leading businesses see procurement as a value, not a function
It’s not often that a story about new supply chain management software becomes a feature in a publication as respected as The Wall Street Journal. For that to happen, the deployment of said software has to represent something much more significant or herald a trend of highly compelling proportions.
For some time, we have been talking about the opportunities for procurement and supply chain specialists to assume larger, more significant roles within their organizations. These opportunities have emerged as the supply chain has become more complex and companies grow more reliant on suppliers to fulfil their respective business promises.
Buyers Meeting Point: Webinar notes - the procurement team of the future
Buyers Meeting Point reviewed our latest webinar (the procurement team of the future) and offered some additional thoughts on the discussion, in which they discuss the complex relationship between procurement and innovation.
The Internet of Things - challenging human behaviour
The progress made by humanity in how we communicate has changed the very nature of how we behave – from the advent of the electric telegraph in the 1700s, to the internet being publicly introduced in the 1980s, to Wi-Fi in 1991.
3 reasons social media is important to procurement
I recently read an interesting article in the Financial Times that discussed how social media and big data are being used to help solve supply chain issues and improve supplier management practices at a number of large companies.
In 1596 Shakespeare wrote the Merchant of Venice - a play in which a young Venetian merchant, named Antonio, signs an interest-free loan to help his friend, Bassanio, romantically court (with lots of money) Portia, the woman of his dreams. The catch is that if Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock (the financier in this scenario) has the right to take a literal “pound of flesh”.
By now you will already be familiar with our corporate virtualization research, showing that the average company now spends around 70% of its revenues with suppliers. But what does it mean for your business, and how can you uncover the opportunities that this trend encourages?
Whilst the Deloitte list highlights some of the important issues, we’ve reached out to our own network (of client teams and readers) and come up with five additional issues that are most likely to make their way to the top of the CFO’s agenda over the second half of 2014.
At Proxima, an essential part of our work is making sure our finger is on the pulse of opinion and sentiment in our clients’ markets. It means that our advice and strategic development work is contextualised correctly within the environments in which our clients operate, which in turn enables us to find the best solutions to their challenges.
One world, one business model – the impact of globalization
We were chatting to a management thinker the other day – a former CFO, as it happens – and he said something so compelling, yet so simple, that we were stunned. “The problem with the runaway success of MBA schools is that we’re developing a global corporate monoculture,” he said. “We’re concentrating risk in similar places around the world.”
New research shows that a growing number of corporates are refocusing their procurement functions away from cost and towards strategic innovation. A sure sign that corporate management's attitudes towards procurement are shifting. (We discuss this further in our webinar). But are the smart ones just copying the companies that have always understood that this is a key source of value?
Harvard Business Review recognizes today's leaders cannot afford to downplay procurement
We are pleased to bring you the news that Proxima’s research and thinking on how commerce has evolved, and the implications for modern corporations, is now being recognized at the highest level globally.
Harvard Business Review: Leaders can no longer afford to downplay procurement
Harvard Business Review comment on Proxima's recent research into corporate virtualization pointing out procurement should be treated as a driving force for innovation and viewed as critical partners in the company’s success.
Learn how Proxima applied their catalytic thinking right across a multi-billion dollar publishing client, getting right to the heart of what mattered to our client - the level of engagement with gamers. Proxima was able to broaden the supply base which greatly reduced risk and reduced the agency cost base by over 30%, money which could be immediately reinvested in the business.
Benefits for media & entertainment companies from better supply management
With the average media & entertainment business spending twice as much on suppliers than on its own people, we thought we would share some of our industry insights on the benefits of successfully getting your suppliers under control and offer a real life example of this happening at leading video game publisher – Activision Blizzard.
As the global economic recovery gathers pace, more and more businesses are turning their sights from cost reduction to growth. How well an organization’s procurement team supports this shift will materially impact overall business performance.
Business has changed - driven by globalization, technology and changing consumer habits. Executives have had to rapidly adapt their business models, products, and distribution channels in response to these groundswell changes. But the implications of these unstoppable forces don’t stop there. Another impact is that suppliers today are providing an ever-increasing proportion of business activities, many of which used to be delivered by direct employees and internal operations.
Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 3)
Part one and Part two of this three part mini-series have covered several reasons why non-core procurement is more complex, wider reaching and changes faster than most people imagine (compared to core or direct procurement). In this post, the final in the series, we will discuss why businesses need to approach procurement in a completely different way.
Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 2)
Part one of this three part mini-series discussed how non-core procurement is more complex, wider reaching and changes faster than most people imagine. In this post, we explore three further points, namely the necessary skills, knowledge and perspectives required to effectively manage non-core procurement.
Why are businesses failing to get the most out of their non-core costs? (pt 1)
Businesses are failing to get the most out of the non-core costs. Why? Well, simply put, because procurement is failing. But the issue here is far deeper than simply pointing your finger at the team of people in procurement - in fact, we would argue, the problem lies in five very different areas, which we’ll explore below.
The Competition Commission and statutory audit – a lot of sense and sensibility – part 2
Our previous post discussed three of the seven remedies that the competition commission proposed as part of their ruling around statutory audit rotation. In this post, part two of this mini-series, Proxima's Richard James and Guy Strafford will look at the remaining four remedies and some key questions finance / procurement teams and audit committees should be asking when tendering this high profile service.
The Competition Commission and statutory audit – a lot of sense and sensibility – part 1
The verdict is in, judgement is pronounced.
The Competition Commission (CC) has delivered its final ruling on the market for statutory audit services in the UK, amending its remedies from the provisional ruling announced a couple of months back (here are our comments from July) and the reaction from the industry is generally positive.
An example of the catalytic approach in action - the container (US)
This animation explains Proxima’s concept of Catalytic Thinking, by looking at how one man thought big and used the Catalytic Approach to challenge behavior and in doing so ended up reinventing global shipping.
Corporate virtualization - 100 years in the making
2013 marks 100 years since Henry Ford was faced with the dilemma of producing his latest invention, the Model T Ford, on a large scale - in an efficient, low cost way. His answer was to invent the first mass production assembly line. In doing so, Henry Ford revolutionized the world of manufacturing. Over the past 100 years, following this monumental milestone, business has changed beyond recognition.
Today's growth is fueled more by suppliers than internal staff
Today's definition of what a 'company' is varies dramatically from person to person, business to business and country to country. However, we can all agree that a company is no longer made up of just its people, its offices and its factories.
Infographic: Ever wondered about global business’ spend patterns?
Businesses around the world have been on a journey, whether deliberate or not, of cost externalization. A significant portion of any business’s revenues are now being spent outside their own organization. What was once a labor cost, is now a supplier invoice.
How suppliers have changed Dutch management practices
To better understand the implications and opportunities of our latest research into the spending habits (and subsequent management practices around these habits) of modern day Dutch businesses, we have compared labor and non-labor (supplier) costs across the Dutch AEX25 over a two year period.
The Dutch economy is the fifth-largest economy in the euro-zone and is noted for its stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable trade surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub.
Procurement not following rules for success, time for a rethink
Every now and then a piece of fresh thinking comes out that upsets the apple cart. There's a great one in April's edition of Harvard Business Review. It references a study conducted by Deloitte, which identifies what the rules are followed by companies that are truly successful over a long period of time. The research reveals surprising results. And here is why...
Proxima helps Activision Blizzard create value and achieve sourcing success
With pressure to control costs mounting, Activision Blizzard turned to Proxima in 2012 to better manage costs, supplier and partner relationships and sourcing efforts more efficiently. And in just over a year, the partnership yielded significant savings to the business.|
Faltering growth means proactive supplier engagement is required
Something has to change. Retailers face being subsumed by the economic conditions, drawing on increasingly limited funds for reinvestment back into their businesses. But sustained sector growth seems a small dot on the horizon. There will always be the trend-buckers and those that insulate themselves from the worst of the high street maelstrom, but for everyone else, it is time to think differently about how profits can be boosted from sources closer to home.
There are nearly 4,000,000 economic statistics produced in the US every year, according to Nate Silver in his excellent book The Signal and the Noise. Choosing the ones which give the most accurate or best insight is always a challenge.