Preparation for negotiations has long been something that we as procurement professionals know is vitally important, but all too often we’re stuck in the weeds with firefighting and process-related administrative work to do what we should be doing.

Add to this the difficulties we also face in obtaining the necessary market data.

  • Maybe your organisation has stopped subscribing to commodity price data channels because the subscriptions are too expensive
  • Or you’re new to a category and you don’t know how to pull this data.
  • Perhaps your predecessor stored the Excel spreadsheets on his/her C drive or on some far flung corner of Sharepoint that you’re not aware of.

We’ve all been there.

Time is scarce and access to the necessary knowledge isn’t always straightforward. In today’s episode, I interview Kent Ledgerwood, VP of Customer Success at LevaData. They’re a company who are facilitating easier access to supplier data to help buyers in their negotiation preparation, as well as more general risk management assessment activities related to sourcing and supplier management.

Using Cognitive Market and Supplier Intelligence to Cut Negotiation Prep Work: Kent Ledgerwood from LevaData

2:53

I start off by asking Kent whether he believes it’s true that Sales typically know their customers better than Procurement knows their suppliers, and what we can do to catch up and level the playing field.

4:48

We go on to discuss how size of company may still impact overall perceived buying power. However, it no longer necessarily means better access to market intelligence and certainly doesn’t mean ability to act faster.

6:43

Kent explains how there is a sweeping change of collaboration in diverse industries between buyer and customer, in order to become more innovative, maintain margins and be faster to market. Democratisation of data and the ability to open up is changing the way business is done.

8:51

Will this trend happen faster in certain industries than others?

9:59

We discuss to what extent having perfect knowledge of the market and of the supplier can assist a negotiation preparation, and why AI will still rely on the human at the other end and their ability to be able to interpret the data to facilitate them in making informed decisions.

11:26

How “big data” can give you the insights to how your organisation is performing in relation to not only the market, but also compared to other peer companies in the same industry?

13:49

What are the limitations of what a machine can provide vs. where does the human knowledge of the Commodity / Category Manager come in to complement this augmented intelligence?

16:03

How cognititve data can assist with New Product Introduction (NPI) through its analysis a Bill of Materials (BoM) to ensure that pricing can be optimised in real time in collaboration with both Engineering and Procurement.

18:23

We look into how intelligence of actual costs in the marketplace can ensure speed and effectiveness in sourcing, and how this can also avoid unsubstantiated budgets driven from financial controllers without the benefits of market insight.

21:22

Risk management is the buzzword of late, but no platform will completely eliminate all of your potential supply chain disruption. We explore the benefits as well as the limitations of this, as well as looking deeper into 2nd and 3rd tier vendors and how they can be analysed to spot potential risk.

24:54

Certain geopolitical risks are easier to predict vs. less predictable risk such as the emergence and rapid spread of Covid-19. I ask Kent to what extent good data is necessary in order to provide the necessary intelligence in the context of risk to your supply chain. His answer is surprising and unexpected…

How to connect with Kent:

LevaData website

Kent’s LinkedIn profile

Kent’s email address

How to connect with James:

James Meads Consulting website

James’ LinkedIn profile

Book a Call with James

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