- By Vantage Cost on January 8, 2014Read more
As a CFO, your job stability and effectiveness are directly linked to the quality of the relationship you have with your CEO.
But when a new CEO comes in to lead your organization, how do you begin to build that relationship from the ground up? Eighty-percent of the time, when a new CEO takes the reigns, he or she brings in their own preferred slate of c-suite talent, potentially leaving you out in the cold.
That means that not only do you need face time with the new leader at the helm, but also that you need to make the most of it. Recently, Deloitte surveyed CFOs for tips on communicating with their CEO counterparts. The results centered on building trust and communication (you can check out that list here). Here’s our guide for positioning yourself as an asset and teammate to your organization’s new leader.
- By Vantage Cost on December 30, 2013Read more
When most firms begin an effort to cut and contain costs, they often overlook the importance of strategic sourcing in their overall efforts.
In doing so, leaders of the efforts—often CFOs and their teams—are leaving a lot of money on the table.
“Inadequate sourcing competencies are costing mid-size firms more than $134 billion in missed supply savings opportunities annually,” according to a report by the Aberdeen Group. That means that not only are most of these companies leaving money on the table, but they’re also losing out on significant opportunities for fueling new growth.
Want to maximize your supply chain management? Then you’ll need to implement strategic sourcing. But first, here are three things you’ll need to do to prepare.
- By Vantage Cost on December 23, 2013Read more
As a CFO, you’re busy. In the wake of the Great Recession, you’ve been tasked with more responsibilities and initiatives than ever before.
When you finally have the time to catch up on tasks such as budgeting, you realize that costs are reeling out of control.
But that’s just a symptom of the problem. Actually, it’s your supply chain that’s broken.
A Cleveland State University study found that “the ability to form and manage supply-chain relationships is a critical organizational asset that can generate durable strategic advantage.” What’s more, another study found that the firms that are best at supply chain management are approximately twice as financially sound as their competitors.
Here are three common reasons why, based on more than a decade of Vantage’s work with mid-market firms such as yours.
- By Vantage Cost on December 18, 2013Read more
Across corporate America each day, we engage in 25 million meetings—and at least half that time is wasted.
Those statistics, compiled by The Ayers Group, are shocking. Much has been written about abolishing meetings. But for many of us, this would be impossible.
The most effective methods for taking back meetings that I’ve read, though, were penned by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Rumsfeld laid out eight succinct rules for managing meetings.
“Not every meeting has to be a source of dread,” Rumsfeld writes. “If you think about it, a meeting’s function is to pool an organization’s collective wisdom and knowledge in one room, making it easier for a manager to learn what his team knows that he doesn’t, and to provide guidance to all of those involved in one place at one time. Well-managed meetings can be valuable—indeed, indispensable.”
Here are three of the rules:
- By Vantage Cost on December 11, 2013Read more
Across the CFO landscape, dozens are dropping the time-honored budget document in favor of different approaches, ranging from tactics such as opting for continuous management to adopting three- to five-year spend targets.
In fact, there is a trend to eliminate the traditional budgeting process altogether, according to a recent article in CFO Magazine.
And it’s no surprise why: The budgeting process can monopolize up to 20 percent of a company’s time and managerial resources, while failing to take into account unforeseen changes in the marketplace. What’s more, most budgets fail to be based on competitive marketplace benchmarks in key categories, and are out of sync with their firm’s procurement strategy—if there is a procurement strategy at all.
At Vantage, we recognize that budgeting is an arduous process. After working with middle market companies for 15 years, we also know that establishing greater spend visibility and employing strategic procurement can breathe new life into your budgeting process.
How? By inserting two key ingredients into the budgeting mix: better, more granular spend data, and by syncing the budgeting process with strategic procurement.
- By Vantage Cost on December 3, 2013Read more
Many companies lack a strategic view of procurement.
For most, it’s a task to be crossed off a to-do list—a transaction rather than an opportunity leveraged to grow and expand their company. As a result, they miss out on hundreds of thousands—even millions—of dollars in savings each year.
What the smartest CFOs realize is that taking a more comprehensive and calculated view of procurement can transform it into actual enterprise value. They know that the right procurement strategy can create value for a company’s owners and shareholders.