I found Patricia Moody's recent article on technology adoption at HP, Caterpillar, and Datacraft Solutions in Supply Chain Management Review incredibly informative. In the piece, Moody profiles both basic and advanced Spend Management technology applications. For example, the article details how HP is using risk management analytics to balance "critical cost factors against projected market conditions" in volatile commodity areas. The software enables HP to "keep their place in line without paying long-term premiums to suppliers ... by [playing with] different scenarios. Simulating market swings takes some of the risk out of buying over long-term contracts; risk management software helps planners lock-in reliable supplies of key commodities from great suppliers without giving away the store." The article also cites other technology usage examples at HP including e-sourcing and should-cost analysis. If you're curious to learn what types of Spend Management technology market leaders deploy, it's worth spending a few minutes to take a close read of the article (incidentally, the above link is to a wire version with a few formatting issues -- the actual article is not yet available on the Supply Chain Management Review site).