One of the key differentiators between Strategic Sourcing and Tactical Purchasing is the decision to invest up-front in spend analytics and opportunity profiling. This crucial planning step provides a holistic snapshot of where money was spent and the results associated with that expenditure. Done properly Spend Analysis (SA) focuses the organization and prioritizes scarce resources towards opportunities that best meet the future needs of the business.

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I found two great articles yesterday in the Wall Street Journal that caught my attention. One article focused on Airbus’ epiphany to redesign their manufacturing process in “Hit by Delays, Airbus Tries New Way of Building Planes.” This is a must read as it is a classic lesson on how Supply Chain Management is critical to either the success or failure of a global manufacturer.

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I often pose these questions to senior executives from software companies and their reaction is invariably quite amusing. If they were to ship the identical software to three different customers, would the customers have achieved totally different value from the same software if we went back two years later? If so, why is that, given that all three received the same exact software? And would any of them have achieved the intended value from the software?

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