Spend Matters UK/Europe Gets Off to a Smashing Start

In the basement of a London pub filled with character -- and characters, for that matter -- Peter Smith and I officially launched Spend Matters UK/Europe earlier this week. Over twenty-five people showed up for the gathering that we had scheduled only a few days before, including a range of vendors, services providers and practitioners (including several from the public sector). The event marked the official launch of our joint effort, which intends to become for the UK and Europe what Spend Matters has become for North America. Peter and I spent a good time before and after the get together (sober, and, well ...) plotting out our content plans for the next few months, including how to bring greater context and depth to the coverage of procurement -- and to a lesser degree, supply chain -- technologies in the UK and Europe.

Our first order of business for technology coverage will be to educate both the public and private sectors in the UK and Europe about the types of solutions that many companies and governments have been missing out on. Even though basic reverse auction penetration -- or at least experimentation -- is solid in the various markets we're looking at, few organizations have spent much time institutionalizing and systematizing what we often term "strategic sourcing" processes in the US. And even fewer companies and institutions have invested to the same level as US companies in application areas like spend analysis, broader e-sourcing (including optimization) contract management, supplier performance management, services procurement, supply risk management and more advanced electronic invoice present payment (EIPP) capabilities.

Because our plan is to write to an audience of both private and public sector practitioners, Peter and I will provide basic overviews of how these technologies can work in both environments, factoring into account the nuances of the UK and other European countries and regions. We'll kick off our coverage of technology solutions on Spend Matters UK/Europe next week, with a quick look at a company called Intenda, boasting a novel approach to sourcing and broader purchasing enablement. I sat down with Intenda's leadership a few months ago and went through a detailed product demonstration. I came away suitably impressed that they've gone down a road-less travelled path, but one that is particular appropriate for complex public -- and private, for that matter -- tendering, contracting and overall administration and process management.

Since Intenda is not yet a player in the US market, I'll hold off on discussing their solution right now. Even if you're reading this post from across the pond and you haven't heard of Intenda to this point, it's not surprising. They've built a strong leadership position in South Africa (where they still maintain a development operation) that they're now just starting to become what they hope will quickly become a similar brand name within the UK public and private sectors. Aside from Intenda, we intend (sorry, had to do it) not only to look more close at other technology providers but also the general concepts underlying the different modular areas that make up the broader Spend Management arena. If you're a technology provider and would like to tell us more about your UK and European-specific offerings and approach (even if we cover you already on Spend Matters' regular site), please reach out to me or Peter.

In addition to technology, Peter and I plan to offer views and commentary on a range of procurement, supply chain and trade topics on a daily basis during the workweek. Moreover, we promise to do it in a way that both entertains and informs. In fact, one of the reasons we decided to get together originally is because we both found each other's respective sites as fun as they are educational, which we both believe explains their rapid growth and executive following relative to other similar blogs and research sites. So fasten your seatbelt. Put on your flak jacket (you never know when either of us will toss a grenade). And sit back and enjoy. We welcome your candid critiques, feedback and input.

One last thing for vendors and solution providers in the audience. From a sponsorship perspective, it's looking like we will have sold the four Lead Sponsorship slots by the end of November, if not sooner. Now is the very last chance (and this goes for potential sponsors that have already expressed interest) to snag a top spot. A number of Associate sponsorship and other opportunity remain. If you'd like to learn more -- the packages are quite different than what they are for the main site -- please get in touch.

Jason Busch

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