How many of you have heard of an English rock band called the Faces? Even if you haven't, I suspect you know who Rod Stewart is, and maybe even Ronnie Wood of Rolling Stones fame. That's who comes to mind as I reflect on my first month here at Green Cabbage - the worldwide leader in spend analytics.
First, a little of my history. I joined GC recently after roughly 40 years as a technology professional and leader, all of which on the customer side, helping organizations select, deploy, manage and maintain technology supplier solutions to achieve better business outcomes. I worked in many different industries including heavy manufacturing, distribution and logistics, retail and public utilities. The bulk and most recent of my years at a large sporting goods retailer who completely transformed their technology footprint from a best of breed packaged software shop in the early 2000's, to a mostly custom software portfolio just before and during the pandemic to completely differentiate themselves from the competition. The common denominator though, across all my customer experiences, is that we spent millions, in fact tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars, on 3rd party software products to make it all work, but rarely knew if we were getting a fair deal.
So back to Rod and Ronnie, and the Faces… what do they have to do with technology? Well, Faces released a song called Ooh La La in 1973 with Ronnie on lead vocals (re-released as a single by Rod in the late 90's). It was a great song, and still is… I personally prefer the original version that ranked in the top 250 (#246) on Rolling Stone's (the magazine) "Top 500 Best Songs of All Time". The lyrics describe a dialogue between a grandfather and grandson, with the elder man warning the younger about the perils of relationships with women. But whether we're talking about personal relationships, or business relationships with technology vendors, I think the chorus rings true, lamenting: " I wish that I knew all I know now, when I was younger".
You see, over all my professional years, when I was buying software, hardware, professional services and everything that goes with it, I really had no idea whether I was getting a good deal. Sometimes I felt like I won, but many other times, I suspected I was leaving money on the table, if not just getting outright taken to the cleaners. But there was never a sure way to tell, having only to rely on my gut instincts, and some historical data/information from prior contracts or loosely relatable competitive information.
Since joining "The Cabbage", I can't help but hear Ronnie and Rod singing in my head about how much better I could have done had I been equipped with the knowledge of the GC experts, as well as their over 1.25B+ micro-sku data points, and scores and scores of supplier relationships that allow seemingly unachievable discounts get approved at record pace. You've heard the old adage that "Data is King", which I fully embrace, but pair that with incomparable relationships, business acumen and market intelligence and how can't you come out on top.
And given now that I am a relatively new grandfather, albeit to a granddaughter vs. grandson, I can't wait to impart my knowledge to her and others that will hopefully come along. How better to help them succeed in life (or business) than to share knowledge of our experiences and learnings so they don't make the same mistakes we made.
Take my advice, consider reaching out to Green Cabbage for a no cost introduction and consultation that may truly keep you from learning the hard way. The names and logos may change, but the Faces will always remain the same. Thanks Ronnie and Rod!
Written by: Dave Lammers Executive Advisor, at Green Cabbage