As I've told Doug Smock on many occasions, there is no -- and I mean no -- replacement for good reporting in the trades. I don't care how good blogs get, how popular analysts become, or how interested the traditional business press gets in certain topics -- good trade reporting of procurement and supply issues will always remain invaluable. That's why we're all fortunate that Doug -- who used to edit Purchasing -- has continued to crank on stories and maintain his outstanding reporting relationships with senior practitioners and providers alike. Recently, Doug had the chance to sit down with Rion Needs, American Express' Chief Procurement Officer and the leader in charge of the purchasing operations division, about his organization's strategy both internally and externally as a provider.
Among other things Rion reveals in the interview is Amex's plan to offer a leveraged buying model with its catalog. As I read into it, think of it as an offering that incorporates a pre-populated hosted eProcurement application with negotiated contracts. But what remains unclear to me is the revenue model here. Will Amex, like GPOs, skim a margin off of suppliers, or will they charge buyers based on a percentage of their spend amount in a similar way to outsourcing models? I supposed we'll have to wait and see.