While the past 12 months represent the most trying economic climate since the Great Depression with hardships experienced seemingly around every turn, from a strategic sourcing perspective, the recession can best be summed up in one word - opportunity. With commodity prices plummeting almost across the board and suppliers desperate for business, the strategic sourcing environment has been primed like never before in most of our lifetimes.

But how long will these conditions continue? Experts disagree, but most concede that the shoots of a recovery continue to become more prominent. No one can be certain of when, we will come out of this recessionary period and move back into times of economic prosperity. The question is - what have we learned? As of early 2010, unemployment is exceeding 10%, Hackett Group research suggests that less than half of these lost positions will be re-staffed meaning that enterprises will have to do more than less in the ‘New Normal’. Those who embrace this new normal state of affairs will prosper through what will almost certainly continue to be an uncertain economy.


10 Lessons Learned

Based on external research and input from Ariba customers and prospects, presented

here are 10 ways to re-examine your strategic sourcing organization. In some areas,

you may be well positioned to succeed. In others, you may have work to do.


1. Bring more spend under management

2. Reconsider “best-in-class” spend analysis

3. Align your organization with your goals

4. Expand your category coverage to include non-traditional “sacred cows”

5. Leverage automated supplier discovery tools

6. Employ information to be more agile

7. Reexamine existing sourcing tools and processes

8. Mitigate risk and manage supplier performance by implementing an

enterprise-wide supplier management program

9. Work more collaboratively with key suppliers to jumpstart innovation

10. Consider the benefits of an integrated spend management platform


Looking forward to hear your comments and thoughts.