Making Cents

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Procurement’s Got a Seat at the Table: Are You Ready? (Part II)

Yesterday, in Part I, I challenged the procurement profession to seize the day and act upon the opportunities presented by the recent recession to claim their “seat at the table” and prove to top management the unique, strategic value that procurement can bring to the organization. Today I want to help you make that happen!


Procurement’s Got a Seat at the Table: Are You Ready? (Part I)

Now that procurement has been given a seat at the table during the recessionary period – are you ready to seize the day and put your stake in the ground?


Complimentary Report: The State of T&E Expense Management, Aberdeen Group

Just last month the Aberdeen Group published a new research benchmark, The State of T&E Expense Management, based on survey data collected from more than 175 enterprises. The 23-page report utilizes dozens of data points, nine figures and six different tables to show that top-performing organizations are:


Katy Murray, CFO of Taleo, Talks About Spending Smarter With Coupa e-Procurement

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Katy Murray, Chief Financial Officer of Taleo recently to ask her about Taleo’s experience with Coupa e-Procurement. She was full of insight and actual experiences to share, including why Taleo chose Coupa, what Taleo’s procurement process was prior to Coupa, and which Coupa features were most useful for Taleo’s Spend Management.


Wanna Work at Coupa?

Once again, we’re expanding our development team at Coupa.  Even if we want to hire lots of people, we find best success when we bring on 1 or 2 developers at a time.  More hands-on attention which benefits everyone in the long-term.


This Just In! People Don’t Like Dealing With Expense Reports (Video)

With the Feb ‘10 release of the Coupa’s new Expense Management solution, I thought it might be enlightening to do a little field research on what the general public felt about Expense Reports.  So I took to the streets of the SOMA neighborhood in San Francisco, armed with a video camera and a simple question, “How do you feel about expense reports?” The result is this highlight video.


Back of the Envelope Calculations with Greg Tennyson of

Greg Tennyson, CPO at, gives a quick breakdown of how to calculate the savings from automating procure-to-pay transaction costs.

I recently had the opportunity sit down with  Greg Tennyson, the CPO at, and ask him how he would quantify Coupa’s value.  A self-described tech buff, Tennyson has the impressive ability to put the most erudite aspects of Procurement (and other) tech processes in layman’s terms. He can make the complex seem deceptively simple, and was able to give me a back-of-the-envelope style estimation of the savings Coupa e-Procurement can help companies achieve.


Web Updates! Coupa Cloud Spend Management Takes Center Stage with New Testimonials, Video, and Demos

Just one of the new videos on Cloud Spend Management now live on With a New Platform Comes New Media and Testimonials From, ON24, and Taleo

With the introduction of Coupa Smarter Expense Management, we moved into a whole new territory.


Coupa CEO Wows Listeners With a Crowd Pleasing Keynote at ProcureCon Indirect 2010

Last Week’s ProcureCon Indirect 2010 in Charolotte, NC had quite a few highlights. One major highlight–although unrelated to Procurement–was that it snowed in a part of the States known for its mild weather. That was big news and confounding to many local stores that closed down due the elements.


How Social Media is Impacting Procurement and Supply Chains: Personal Branding (part 3 of 3)


Today’s post is the third in a three-part series by author, PI Window on Business host, and blogger Jon Hansen. Part One of this series on Vendor Blogs can be found here, and Part Two on Interactive Intelligence can be found here.


Some may suggest that social media has very little to do with the world of procurement.  However, we are finding out that not paying attention to this increasinly important area of professional development can and often does have serious consequences regardless of your profession or area of practice.  Just ask the individuals whose expertise is in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma.


Amongst the first to be laid off in large numbers during the recession were those professionals whose very role was to drive the efficiencies and savings that were supposedly indispensable during an economic downturn. Remaining part of the faceless herd no longer guarantees job security, let alone advancement within an organization.


It is within this renewed lens that I invite you to listen to my interview with Marsha Friedman. My own thoughts on the interview follow, below.


Why Purchasing Professionals Should Care About Personal Branding

Marsha Friedman is a national radio show host, author and public relations expert. She shared the “Three Step Method to Increasing Your Profile and Exploding Your Business” from her new book “Celebritize Yourself” on my show.


One piece of advice that Marsha gave to help people to "stand up and stand out" in the ephemeral world of social media is to write a book.


While writing a book may be too ambitious a task or perhaps even a tad overkill for most purchasing professionals, the underlying message is simply this: Have you done anything to build your personal brand and community of contacts?


It has always been my belief that purchasing professionals are more than the positions they hold in a company.  As we've seen with CIOs and CFOs, the artificially established historical boundaries associated with functional silos are becoming blurred.  This means that the traditional, and in retrospect narrow, definitions of one’s duties are ceding to a more holistic or enterprise-wide understanding of many operational areas.


Considering this broader horizon, there is a growing need to effectively communicate and establish a personal brand presence with a diverse group of internal, as well as external stakeholders, many with whom the average purchasing professional has had little if any interaction.


This of course doesn’t mean ignoring the indigenous or traditional aspects of purchasing.  What it does mean is that we now have to view the world though a more enlightened lens that takes into account a bigger role on a much larger stage.


The challenge is that the stage is becoming increasingly crowded, which means that standing out and securing your future requires considerably more than just being good at your job.  Here of course, is the rub: Fear of self-promotion is the problem.


According to a recent study, “The fear of self-promotion is a condition in which even highly competent people receive far less in position, compensation and recognition than they feel they deserve. Doing the best job doesn’t always get the best rewards. Those rewards tend to go to people who promote themselves, what they’ve done and what they can do.”


Now I am not talking about getting up on a soapbox and broadcasting yourself to the world.  Telling the world how great you are will get you nowhere in a hurry.


Those individuals who are most adept at leveraging social networking and social media start off by becoming involved in a group or a community of mutual interest.  They then look for ways to make a contribution by responding to questions and sharing expertise.


In the process, these individuals build a reputation for making a positive contribution and, as a result establish their personal brand as experts in their respective areas of practice.  In short, personal branding is getting involved and delivering value to those with whom you come into contact and associate with on a regular basis. Social networking is simply an accelerater that it enables you to reach more people, and deliver more value in a short period of time from the convenience of a single location. 

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