Author Archives: Josh Stancil

BLOG POST: 5 Strategies to Maximize Your Office Equipment Savings

5 Strategies to Maximize Your Office Equipment Savings

by Morgan Doty, Insight Sourcing Group’s office equipment subject matter expert
 

If Office Supplies is a category that you commonly source, the five tips below will help you maximize your savings and drive the most value when sourcing this category.


 

  1. Leverage your spend. Office Equipment and Business Services pricing is driven by volume more than any other variable. The ability to leverage the combined spend of over 100 members (via a group purchasing or consortia program) is likely to help any company improve their pricing. In addition to improved pricing, consortium members benefit from improved agreement terms and detailed SLAs that ensure best-in-class service levels.
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  3. Develop and implement a demand management strategy. Once a competitive deal is in place, many companies stop and move on to the next project, overlooking the significant savings located just “below the surface”. By leveraging technology based tools, leading companies are able to implement various monitoring and controls to reduce demand and drive additional savings. For example, simply visibly monitoring users’ print activity can yield over 10% in additional savings. Similar cost reduction opportunities exist through defining policies on B&W vs. Color usage, Duplex vs. Single Side Printing, Print Release processes, and many other easily implementable protocols.
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  5. Optimize your fleet. It is important to not only consider whether you have competitive rates for your printing equipment, but also whether you have the equipment in place that is best suited for your environment. One of the fastest ways to drive savings is through the removal of desktop devices. Due to poor efficiency and high toner costs, desktop printers are cost prohibitive to use and maintain. Security tools available on more cost effective Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) are able to reduce the necessity of most desktop devices.
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  7. Evaluate opportunities to insource print. With improvements in production printers leading to higher quality and lower costs, clients are often surprised at the results of a make vs. buy analysis on their outsourced print. In addition to a reduction in print costs, additional savings are available through an elimination of rush charges and obsolete inventory as clients can move to a print on-demand model for much of their previously outsourced print.
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  9. Identify opportunities to improve adjacent processes. In addition to equipment and related services, consortium members have access to competitive pricing on things like Records Management, Accounts Payable Solutions, Mail Center Services, Managed IT Services, Document Workflow, and many more. Services and solutions in these areas can help to drive benefits through increased efficiency, reduced print, and improved service levels.

 

New VP to Lead Accelerated Growth of Firm’s Consortia Business

Insight Sourcing Group Names Jay Black as Vice President of GPO Practice

 
ATLANTA,  Georgia  — April 5, 2017  Insight Sourcing Group, the largest boutique consulting firm in North America focused on cost optimization and procurement-related services, is excited to announce and welcome Jay Black who has joined the company as Vice President to lead its rapidly-growing consortia business.

“A consortia strategy is a valuable asset for any procurement organization looking to drive rapid savings in targeted spend areas,” said Tom Beaty, CEO and founder of Insight Sourcing Group.  “We’re excited to have Jay on board to help guide this rapidly growing sector of our business. He has an incredible track record of helping companies of all sizes implement and deploy group purchasing programs, and I know he will deliver the same success for Insight Sourcing Group’s customers.”

“I am incredibly excited to join the leadership team at Insight Sourcing Group and energized by the market opportunity resulting from the strategic investments, innovation, and client-centric execution inherent in this organization,” said Black. “Specific to group purchasing, we are uniquely positioned to deliver a best in class product that delivers long term value for our clients and supplier partners through the integration of our already successful GPO and the award winning spend visibility and category management powered by SpendHQ.  Couple this with our strategic sourcing, procurement transformation, and enterprise energy solutions, and you have something very special and relevant that fuels our clients’ success.”

Jay has over 16 years of experience in value creation for his clients.  He joins Insight Sourcing Group from CoreTrust, a group purchasing organization (GPO) for large corporations and private equity firms with multiple enterprise portfolios, where he served in both domestic and international operations roles.  Prior to CoreTrust, he managed the partnership between Sprint and some of the countries largest healthcare providers, leveraging GPO relationships and implementing cost-reduction measures.

To learn more about the consortia programs offered by Insight Sourcing Group, click here.
 


About Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is the largest boutique consulting firm in North America focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of our team, our tremendous focus on client results, our entrepreneurial and innovative approach to the space, and for our ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients of all sizes and over 50 Private Equity firms.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5 – 15% for direct spend categories, 400 – 600% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods measured in months.

Insight Sourcing Group offers consortia programs for Office Supplies and Janitorial Supplies, Office Equipment and Advanced Services, Auto Rentals, and Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Supplies.

AJC Names Insight Sourcing Group a Top Workplace in Atlanta

Insight Sourcing Group Lands #4 Spot in Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s 2017 Top Workplaces Survey

 
ATLANTA, Georgia — March 27, 2017 — Insight Sourcing Group, an Atlanta-based boutique consulting firm focused on cost optimization and procurement-related services, announced today that it has been named one of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top Workplaces in 2017.  The firm is ranked as the #4 top company with less than 150 people, making this Insight Sourcing Group’s third consecutive year ranking in the top 5 small workplaces.

In addition to being named the #4 workplace, the firm also received special recognition for showing that efficiency, quality, and excellence in execution are hallmarks of the company.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of Atlanta’s Top Small Workplace,” said Tom Beaty, CEO of Insight Sourcing Group. “We have built a unique culture that attracts and retains great people. We are humbled by the fact that our turnover is well below the consulting industry average of 15-25% per year, and in fact last year, our voluntary turnover was 0%. After many years of high staff retention, we have many team members who joined us out of college five, eight, and even 10 or 11 years ago and remain with us. For a firm whose product is its people, this consistency and depth of expertise brings extraordinary value to our clients.”

“Despite receiving awards like this one, we always strive to enhance and build upon our culture and this year is no different,” Beaty said. “We have recently launched an effort to create a world class leadership development program for our team members that will be unique among firms of our size and innovative compared to larger firms.”

Almost 60,000 metro workers participated in the survey. They were asked to respond to a set of statements using a seven-point Likert scale. Each statement was tested to ensure a high correlation with how metro employees rate their workplaces. This was calculated by correlating the statement responses to a control question that asked each employee to rate his or her workplace on a scale of zero to 99.

The resulting top 150 list consists of 25 large companies (500 or more employees), 50 midsize companies (150-499 employees) and 75 small companies (149 or fewer employees). Another 15 companies are honored as WorkPlace Achievers — they scored high enough to meet national standards but not high enough to crack the top 150.

To view the complete list of Atlanta’s Top Workplaces, click here.


About Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is the largest boutique consulting firm in North America focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of our team, our tremendous focus on client results, our entrepreneurial and innovative approach to the space, and for our ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients of all sizes and over 50 Private Equity firms.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5 – 15% for direct spend categories, 400 – 600% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods measured in months.

Inc. magazine has ranked Insight Sourcing Group among the fastest-growing private companies in America every year since 2008, making it one of the few firms to be listed 9 years in a row as of 2016. Insight Sourcing Group was also recently named the #1 Boutique Consulting Firm To Work For in the US in 2016 by Vault.

BLOG POST: Procurement Analysis Drives Post M&A Savings

Procurement Analysis Drives Post M&A Savings

by Bill Pumphrey, Vice President at Insight Sourcing Group

Procurement—the process of leveraging deep data analytics and a disciplined strategic sourcing approach to optimize the purchase of goods and services—is often an area of under-investment during the first steps of the M&A process. When two companies merge or come together through acquisition, optimizing procurement synergies can be one of the most important strategic levers for driving rapid and long-term EBITDA improvement.

Typically, a merger or acquisition will increase the combined companies’ volumes, and therefore leverage, for common expenditure areas. Even two companies in different industries will have similar indirect expenditures, such as spending on selling, and on general and administrative areas common to most companies, such as technology, office products and temporary labor.

Even if both companies currently have world-class pricing and contracts, a material increase in volumes will typically drive significant savings opportunities. In some cases, the combined volume will elevate the new entity into a “national account” or other higher status with the supply base, which often opens the door to more aggressive pricing and better service.

When two well-known mattress manufacturers merged through a private equity transaction, an apparent “synergy homerun” was complicated by the fact that the two companies had different manufacturing processes that were not going to be integrated in the near term. One had an automated stapling process and the other used labor with stapling power tools. Both utilized the same global supplier although they bought different fastener products (stock keeping units).

Through a rigorous sourcing process, the combined entity saved more than 10 percent on this strategic multi-million-dollar category with no change in supplier, service or quality, and both continued to buy unique products. By prioritizing this as a first-wave effort, the savings generated an early win and helped fund other mid-term strategies, such as sales and marketing integration. Unfortunately, many companies struggle internally with procurement optimization due to three major challenges:

  1. Poor spend visibility. Procurement data is surprisingly poor and many companies have a limited understanding of their annual expenditures, except for the largest areas. As a result, self-reported volume figures are notoriously inaccurate, resulting in a risk of understating volumes and sub-optimizing savings, or of overstating them and creating a negative relationship with the selected suppliers. The issue lies in the fact that most CFOs will look at the relevant GL codes to report spending volume. However, general ledger coding does not align well with procurement needs because it does not capture all spending for specific sourcing categories.There is no way to effectively manage expenditures you cannot see. The right way to enhance spending visibility is to take a relatively simple accounts payable report from each company and organize the vendors into categories that reflect the supplier markets.This produces clear category-level data that enables development of a full Ebitda improvement strategy and road map.If this project is performed manually, this can be a very time consuming and a monumental task that produces less than optimal results. The highest levels of spending visibility are best achieved using a software automation tool that is specifically designed to consolidate and normalize spending data from multiple financial systems, and then converting GL code-orientated data to sourcing-ready data.
  2. Lack of understanding related to detailed current spend. Many companies lack insight into line item costs and the mix of products or services they use with their suppliers. Achieving optimal results requires a detailed analysis of target expenditure areas including quantitative and qualitative aspects. As a result, a whole host of benefits accrue, including the ability to level the playing field with suppliers who spend a lifetime in their industry.
  3. Internal resistance and organizational misalignment.  Even if senior executives are well aligned with the equity sponsors in an M&A transaction, the greatest obstacle for results-focused sourcing is often resistance from mid-level stakeholders. These managers may be comfortable with current suppliers, enjoy leading the selection process or have subjective beliefs about why change would be detrimental. Barriers are thrown up to senior leaders who do not have the analytical data to verify or overcome these technical objections, elevating the sense of project risk.The key to success is to bring objectivity and a thorough analysis to an otherwise emotional or anecdotal argument. Executives need clear decision support data to navigate internal challenges. Most internal stakeholders want to do the right thing, despite initial fears and concerns. A process that brings these concerns to the surface early, makes them heard and works to address them will often win over reluctant managers. If not, the overwhelming weight of facts and logic is difficult for them to argue against without looking unreasonable.

There are several other notable challenges but all can be overcome using a robust solution that engages the stakeholders from each company and allows them to be part of the decision-making process. A best-in-class process can also overcome the supplier skepticism that sometimes accompanies new programs and can otherwise create sub-optimal results.

Companies should not overlook this opportunity to drive improved earnings through strategic sourcing and procurement transformation, especially post-M&A, when the timing is optimal for a significant improvement. The recommended approach is to partner with a company that has extensive experience and is focused exclusively on strategic sourcing and procurement transformation.

The level of procurement talent and sophistication varies widely by company, and many organizations lack the expertise to deliver rapid value from a procurement perspective. Even if the most strategic procurement leaders are already in place, they often struggle with project overload, or they lack the right team or tools to optimize procurement within an M&A environment. In most cases, choosing the right consulting partner to bring dedication and expertise will rapidly accelerate the use of procurement as a strategic lever within an M&A environment.

Companies can use the following approach to accelerate procurement-related synergy capture:

  1. Perform a spend analysis for each separate entity to provide visibility to quickly understand the spend profile for each company. This low-impact effort creates a clear framework for opportunity evaluation because each company can be compared, which ultimately will help identify and develop strategies for savings capture and create a clear framework for opportunity evaluation.
  2. Gather supplier contracts for both entities for targeted spend areas to perform an in-depth assessment that identifies:
    • Contracts and constraints that might hinder near-term consolidation
    • Pricing and payment structures
    • Performance and service level requirements
    • The ability to assign contracts
    • Commitments, penalties and relevant complexities
  3. Use a side-by-side analysis to immediately reveal leverage opportunities. When combined with the results of the contract evaluation and client input, an organization will better understand:
    • rioritization of post-merger opportunities and quick hits
    • Estimates of savings and target timelines
    • Sourcing strategies by opportunity
    • Potential contract concerns and challenges
  4. In conjunction with the side-by-side assessment, assess each company’s procurement organization, people, process and technology to help a strategic partner recommend and execute best practices.

One of the key reasons for selecting a partner is to obtain and leverage the key market intelligence and industry-best service levels from a wider and deeper level. This reason alone will drive a significant difference in the return on investment for the earnings improvement program.

Whether you choose to implement these strategies alone or with the help of a strategic partner, focusing on procurement optimization is guaranteed to be the fastest way to drive Ebitda-related earnings improvement.

BLOG POST: Is Technology Making Procurement Professionals Lazy?

Is Technology Making Procurement Professionals Lazy?

by Doug Fullenkamp, Director at Insight Sourcing Group

While the title of this article may be a bit harsh, I’ll bet it strikes a chord for most procurement professionals charged with creating greater efficiency and value within their supply chain or procurement organisation.

 

Raise your proverbial hand if you have implemented the latest and greatest technology only to realize your worst fear: a lack of adoption.

With the promise of new and better procurement technology at every turn, we optimistically dive head first into a procurement transformation with the hope that it makes an impact on bottom-line savings, increases inventory turns, decreases maverick buys, reduces supplier risk, improves compliance to existing agreements and increases spend visibility. At least, this is the promise of the countless Procure-to-Pay, eSourcing, catalog management, contract management and spend analytic solutions.

If you are even more optimistic, you have begun to explore the potential advantages of Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Machine Learning with the hopes of furthering your strategic advantage over your competitors.

These are all noble goals and certainly worth pursuing. However, there is no easy button or silver bullet.

While all of this technology can be powerful and take your procurement function to the next level of maturity, it is only successful when complimented by good, old fashion human intelligence.

Here are some key things to consider when adding, using or replacing existing procurement technology:

  1. Begin with the end in Mind.  We are all guilty of blindly following our GPS systems I once found myself unwittingly following my GPS to the base of a river waiting for a ferry line to take me to the other side. However, there was a small problem, the ferry was shut down due to bad weather and I was late to my appointment.  If I would have taken the time to view the suggested GPS route, I would have realized the flaw in the computer logic and could have avoided the mistake and made my appointment on time.The same could be said for spend analytics systems. If you blindly follow UNSPSC or SIC codes, you may unwittingly develop a spend cube that requires extensive rework every time you prepare for a sourcing event. If you fail to do the rework, you will likely pursue a negotiation strategy which limits the potential competition by including too many or too few suppliers or leaves out segments of relevant spend.Therefore, take the time to view the route. More importantly, know your destination.
  1. Avoid the dangers of over-complicating.  More astute procurement professionals may be compelled to move towards more sophisticated technology which may be overly complex for the issue you are trying to solve. If you are trying to get adoption across your organisation versus a subset of power users, then make sure your specification is fit for purpose in order to maximise the impact across the organisation. Broad adoption is highly correlated to ease of use and buying a “spreadsheet on steroids” will likely mean you need an analyst to answer every executive’s question about your procurement spend.One of the great challenges procurement leader’s face is that they are often compelled to use procurement tools affiliated with their ERP provider. Most of these tools were born during the days of “Feature Wars” where more and more complexity was added to the tool until it became almost unusable without heroic manual effort. Where leaders have the influence to pull it off, they should explore best of breed, built for purpose tools.
  1. Rely on your technology partner and make sure they have practical experience.  When you go to a procurement technology conference or begin to engage technology providers (assuming you have decided against developing a solution in house), you will find a host of providers ready to support you. It is easy to get overwhelmed and confused. Consider testing your technology provider on their level of expertise in procurement. Surprisingly, few architects of these technologies have a procurement background and their “academic approach” is often reflected in the tools which may work perfectly in theory but struggle in the real world.

Procurement technology can provide dramatic improvement to an organization. However, without the right level of human guidance, your technology might lead you into a river.

Firm Named a Best Place to Work by Atlanta Business Chronicle

Insight Sourcing Group Named to the Prestigious List for Ninth Consecutive Year

 
ATLANTA, GEORGIA. – September 9, 2016 – Insight Sourcing Group, the premier management consulting firm focused on cost-optimization and procurement-related services, today announced that it has been recognized for the ninth consecutive year on the 2016 Best Places to Work list, published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle, in partnership with Quantum Workplace, surveys the metro area’s employers and employees to find those that have discovered how to become one of Atlanta’s Best Places to Work.

“This is our ninth straight year being named a best place to work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and it is truly an honor,” said Tom Beaty, founder and CEO of Insight Sourcing Group. “At Insight Sourcing Group, we make it a priority to hire great people and provide them with an environment where they can grow in their careers and have a lot of fun along the way.”

To view the complete list of Best Places to Work, click here.


About Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is considered one of the premier management consulting firms focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services in North America.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients and over 50 private equity firms. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of its team, its tremendous focus on client-results, and for its ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5-15% for direct spend categories, 842% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods of less than 90 days. Insight Sourcing Group has also developed a market-leading Spend Visibility technology called SpendHQ®, which provides on-demand Spend Visibility to drive Strategic Sourcing results and ongoing analytics to measure performance and compliance.

 

 

Insight Sourcing Group Makes INC. 5000 List for 9th Straight Year

Consulting Firm Joins Elite Group That Have Made the Inc. 5000 List for 9 Consecutive Years

 
ATLANTA, Georgia – August 25, 2016 – Inc. magazine today ranked Insight Sourcing Group for the ninth straight year on its annual Inc. 5000, the prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The Inc. 5000 list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment: its independent small businesses.

Insight Sourcing Group, the leading management consulting firm focused on helping its clients achieve total cost optimization through procurement-related services and best practices, appears on the list for the ninth year in a row having posted a three-year sales growth of 77%.

“2016 marks our ninth straight appearance on the Inc. 5000 list starting with our ranking as the 227th fastest growing company in 2008. As the company founder, this is truly an honor and point of pride for me personally,” said Tom Beaty, CEO of Insight Sourcing Group. “Sustaining growth at this level for a firm of our type requires strong long term client relationships and a great team that delivers consistent results. We are fortunate to have both in abundance.”

The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 23) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433 percent.

“The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Editor-in-Chief and Inc. President Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great — usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows.”

For the full 2016 Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies, click here.


About Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is considered one of the premier management consulting firms focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services in North America.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients and over 50 private equity firms. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of its team, its tremendous focus on client-results, and for its ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5-15% for direct spend categories, 842% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods of less than 90 days.

Insight Sourcing Group has also developed a market-leading Spend Visibility technology called SpendHQ®, which provides on-demand Spend Visibility to drive Strategic Sourcing results and ongoing analytics to measure performance and compliance.

Insight Sourcing Group Ranked Again As One of Vault’s Best Consulting Firms to Work For

Firm Ranks as #3 Best Boutique Firm, #17 in Overall List

 
ATLANTA, GEORGIA. – August 25, 2016 – Vault.com has once again named Insight Sourcing Group as one of its top consulting firms to work for in the 2017 Consulting 50. The firm ranked #3 for Best Boutique Firm and #2 for Relationships with Supervisors, and #17 on the Overall Top 50 list (which includes some of the world’s largest consulting firms). Other top areas of recognition included Innovation, Satisfaction, Work / Life Balance, and Firm Leadership.

“We are constantly striving to make Insight Sourcing Group the best consulting firm there is,” said Brent Eiland, Executive Vice President at Insight Sourcing Group. “We’ve made it a strategic priority to ensure that our people have a healthy work / life balance; have the utmost confidence in our senior leadership team; have an environment that challenges and grows their capabilities and talents, and truly feel like our firm is a great place to work. Being ranked so high on both the Best Boutique Firms list and the Top 20 overall list is validation that we have achieved those goals.”

The rankings are based on the results of Vault’s annual Management and Strategy Consulting Survey. A record 17,139 consulting professionals of all levels assessed their peer consulting firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige (respondents were unable to rate their own employers and rated only firms with which they were familiar). Consultants also rated their own firm’s quality of life in such categories as firm culture and compensation, among others. For the purpose of the Vault Consulting 50 Ranking, a weighted formula was used to combine findings from both prestige and quality of life rankings to create one “Best to Work For” category.

To view the full list of 2017 rankings, click here.

To learn more about career opportunities at Insight Sourcing Group, visit our online career center here.


About Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is considered one of the premier management consulting firms focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services in North America.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients and over 50 private equity firms. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of its team, its tremendous focus on client-results, and for its ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5-15% for direct spend categories, 842% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods of less than 90 days.

Insight Sourcing Group has also developed a market-leading Spend Visibility technology called SpendHQ®, which provides on-demand Spend Visibility to drive Strategic Sourcing results and ongoing analytics to measure performance and compliance.

Consulting Firm Ranked on Supply & Demand Chain Exec‘s SDCE 100 List

The SDCE 100 spotlights successful and innovative transformation projects that are delivering bottom-line value

 
ATLANTA, Georgia – June 15, 2014 – Insight Sourcing Group announced today that it has been named to the 2014 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100 for the seventh consecutive year. The SDCE 100 shines a spotlight on successful and innovative transformation projects that are delivering bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the different functions that comprise the supply chain.

The customer project that earned Insight Sourcing Group’s place on the prestigious list was their work with Aaron’s Inc., a $2.2 billion specialty retailer of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories that operates more than 2,000 stores in the US and Canada. Aaron’s finance team was tasked with optimizing costs, but lacked a centralized, strategic procurement function to identify and achieve savings. Insight Sourcing Group was engaged to perform a spend assessment to identify opportunistic categories, quantify savings potential, and develop sourcing strategies.

Additionally, Insight Sourcing Group deployed its proprietary spend visibility tool, SpendHQ®, to continually track and monitor savings following completion of sourcing campaign. Projects by supply chain solution and service providers’ were chosen for helping customers and clients achieve supply chain excellence in terms of ambitiousness/scope, creative application of technologies/solutions/services used, and extent of business results/impact. The full list on ranking can be found here.


About Supply & Demand Chain Executive Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. For more information, visit www.SDCExec.com.

About Insight Sourcing Group Insight Sourcing Group is the leading procurement and sourcing strategy firm in North America, helping its clients improve earnings by reducing procurement-related costs. Working with senior executives, purchasing teams, and other stakeholders, ISG drives savings by providing strategic sourcing expertise, implementing procurement best practices, and increasing spend visibility. With hundreds of satisfied customers and thousands of sourcing projects completed, ISG has developed a reputation for delivering significant impact on companies’ profitability.  The company’s spend visibility solution, SpendHQ, helps clients maintain these savings by making it easier to track internal compliance, while also bringing greater clarity to future sourcing decisions.

BLOG POST: Your Procurement Data is Holding You Back

The Ugly Truth: Your Procurement Data is Holding You Back

by Tom Beaty, Founder & CEO of Insight Sourcing Group

Organizations across the world tend to suffer from “bad” procurement data. Given the extraordinary investments companies have made in ERP systems and procurement technologies, poor procurement data is stunningly common.

Basic spend visibility is “table stakes” for any procurement organization as you cannot manage what you cannot see. After all, spend visibility is the gateway to opportunity identification, compliance management, vendor management, spend trending, savings tracking, and a host of other levers for value creation and sustainability.

One telling indicator of this fact is that many private equity firms are starting to use spend data quality within a portfolio company as a measure of the quality of the procurement organization itself. In other words, an organization without a handle on its data, almost by definition, cannot execute at a high level.

Even if such an organization were world class, how would you prove it without clear data? As a result, many leading private equity firms are buying spend visibility solutions for the companies they own.

Spend analytics solutions have been around for many years yet some companies that own them still struggle. Many waste time and energy manipulating data when they have much higher value opportunities to pursue.

The traditional spend analytics systems suffer from an over-reliance on automated categorization and a lack of procurement expertise. They would work perfectly in a perfect world but they stumble in the messy reality that exists in most companies. They are undone by noncompliance, data entry errors, fragmentation of data across multiple systems, and death by a thousand other cuts.

The solution to the problem, for better or for worse, seems to require companies to take their data outside of native systems and to do the “pick and shovel work” to clean it up. First, companies need to normalize the vendors to eliminate duplicates and to consolidate to a standard naming convention for the purposes of the spend analysis.

Companies should then move away from complex organizational schemas such as UNSPIC which was designed for other purposes and apply a categorization structure that reflects the way supply markets are organized. This typically requires only 100-150 subcategories for indirect spend, for example, for most companies. Compare this to the 200 to 1,000 some companies struggle through in order to structure their spend data. This complex web of fractional categories is unwieldy and ultimately, ineffective for core procurement requirements.

Once the data is well organized, companies should create a “back map” connecting the new, ideal data, to the old disorganized data. For example, all original vendor names should be linked to the new version and then paired with the appropriate category or categories so that in the future, the data can be refreshed easily. And finally, companies should take their most advanced sourcing and procurement professionals and identify the analyses and views of the data that drive the greatest value. These should be embedded into an analytical tool such that each time the data is refreshed, these insights and views can be automatically, or at least quickly, generated.

Many of the current systems would work perfectly in a perfect world. Unfortunately, the procurement environment is utterly prone to nuances and challenges. A simplified approach with a heavy dose of expertise is required to release procurement professionals to do what they do best.

ISG Named One of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms by Forbes

Forbes ranks Insight Sourcing Group in its annual list of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms

 
ATLANTA, GeorgiaApril 20, 2016 — Forbes has once again named Insight Sourcing Group as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms, an annual list ranking management consultancies that provide cross-sector business with the best guidance.  Clients ranked Insight Sourcing Group high in several functional areas and industry sectors including Operations, Supply Chain Management, and Chemicals / Pharmaceuticals.

To compile this list of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms, Forbes collaborated with online statistics provider Statista. To be considered for this list, companies had to fall into one of the following categories: “classic” management consultancy firms, IT consultancies, advisory branches of auditing firms, and consulting branches of agencies.

Firms were sourced for consideration through lists of associations, consulting directories, competitions, and company databases, as well as through the PR and marketing departments of 50 large management consulting firms.

The survey of 1,316 management consultancy clients was conducted between January 21 and February 4, 2016. Executives participating in this survey were asked to recommend consultancies on a list falling within industries and functional areas in which they have worked with a consultancy in the last four years.

In each industry and functional area, consultancies were then sorted into starred categories according to the number of total recommendations received from colleagues and clients. Consultancies are alphabetized within each starred category. Those with very few recommendations were excluded from the list.

To see the complete list of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms in 2016, click here.

 


About Insight Sourcing Group

Insight Sourcing Group is the largest boutique consulting firm in North America focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of our team, our tremendous focus on client results, our entrepreneurial and innovative approach to the space, and for our ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients of all sizes and over 50 Private Equity firms.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5 – 15% for direct spend categories, 400 – 600% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods measured in months.

Inc. magazine has ranked Insight Sourcing Group among the fastest-growing private companies in America every year since 2008, making it one of the few firms to be listed 9 years in a row as of 2016. Insight Sourcing Group was also recently named the #1 Boutique Consulting Firm To Work For in the US in 2016 by Vault.

 

Insight Sourcing Group Named Atlanta’s #2 Top Workplace

Firm Named the #2 Top Place to Work in Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 
ATLANTA, Georgia – March 22, 2016 – Insight Sourcing Group is pleased to announce that it has been named the number two small workplace by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in their 2016 Top Workplaces ranking. In addition to claiming the number two spot on the small companies list, the firm’s founder and CEO, Tom Beaty, received special recognition as the Best Leader among small companies.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the top places to work in Atlanta. It is my belief that if such amazingly talented people choose to join us in the quest to build the premiere firm in our space, than it is my responsibility to invest in them and to ensure they are happy, fulfilled, and intellectually challenged,” said Beaty. “And further, if we are able to attract and retain individuals who are not only talented but are also just “good people”, our clients will ultimately benefit. This simple recipe for building a great business has worked for us beyond any expectations I might have held when the firm was born in my basement 13 years ago.”

The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the complete list of Top Workplaces on March 27. For the complete list of Top Workplaces, click here.


About Insight Sourcing Group
Insight Sourcing Group is considered one of the premier management consulting firms focused exclusively on Strategic Sourcing and procurement-related services in North America.

Founded in 2002, the firm works with senior executives and procurement leaders to accelerate Strategic Sourcing savings, increase Spend Visibility, provide category intelligence, and implement procurement best practices. Insight Sourcing Group has worked with hundreds of corporate clients and over 50 private equity firms. The firm has developed a reputation for the collegiality and high caliber of its team, its tremendous focus on client-results, and for its ability to consistently deliver strong outcomes.

Typical client results include 20% average savings per indirect spend category, 5-15% for direct spend categories, 842% first-year return on investment, and project payback periods of less than 90 days.

Insight Sourcing Group has also developed a market-leading Spend Visibility technology called SpendHQ®, which provides on-demand Spend Visibility to drive Strategic Sourcing results and ongoing analytics to measure performance and compliance.

Inc. Magazine has ranked Insight Sourcing Group among the fastest growing private companies in America every year since 2008, making Insight Sourcing Group one of the few firms to be listed seven years in a row. Insight Sourcing Group was also recently named the #1 Boutique Consulting Firm To Work For in the US, and the #2 Most Innovative Consulting Firm in 2015 by Vault.

About WorkplaceDynamics, LLC
Headquartered in Exton, PA, WorkplaceDynamics specializes in employee feedback surveys and workplace improvement. This year alone, more than two million employees in over 6,000 organizations will participate in the Top Workplaces™ campaign—a program it conducts in partnership with more than 40 prestigious media partners across the United States. Workplace Dynamics also provides consulting services to improve employee engagement and organizational health. WorkplaceDynamics is a founding B Corporation member, a coalition of organizations that are leading a global movement to redefine success in business by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.