Best of Spend Matters: Guest Contributions

We're thrilled with the amount (and quality!) of guest content we've received this year. From several new regular contributors to new and innovative ideas from those who have been with us since the beginning, the thought-sharing and best practice knowledge out there just keeps growing. Here are some of our best guest posts from the past couple months:

"Ain't No Half-Steppin": Why You Should Still Be Focusing on SRM -- If someone had told my young self hearing Rod Stewart's classic "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" for the first time that I would, over three decades later, write an article about Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and somehow tie in Rod's graceful lyrics, I would have simply ignored them and popped the cassette tape back in. But from today's perspective, it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for me to do. Here's how.

The Sexy Side of Strategic Sourcing: Complex Categories -- I read last week's guest post by Mike Fuller Ain't No Half-Steppin": Why You Should Still Be Focusing on SRM, and I'm sorry to say, Mike, but I completely disagree with you. Rod Stewart's song and video 'Da Ya Think I'm Sexy' is NOT sexy. I've always been partial to Marvin Gaye myself, and when given the opportunity to source a complex category I find myself exclaiming "Let's Get It On!"

What the Dallas Cowboys Can Teach Us about Purchasing & AP -- As the NFL lockout continues and the hoopla of the NFL Draft has died down, there's not much football left to talk about except memories. Surprisingly, the misaligned relationship between purchasing and accounts payable takes me back to the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys. I couldn't help but think of a legendary football story after reading one of Spend Matters' concluding recommendations in their most recent Compass Research report "A Foundational Look at P2P Technologies." It says that companies pursuing a P2P system should "make collaborative decisions with finance (including accounts payable) to address both the up and downstream components of the P2P lifecycle." Following the unceremonious firing of Dallas Cowboys coach and football legend Tom Landry, new owner Jerry Jones hired University of Arkansas head coach Jimmy Johnson. Many doubted that the pair (both notorious control freaks with fiery demeanors) could work together to turn around the tarnished silver and blue.

What Does "Innovation" Mean in Terms of Outsourcing? -- When the invitation to an Innovation Day run by the National Outsourcing Association appeared in my inbox a couple of months ago, I didn't think twice about registering. As a word, innovation is alluring, it promises to reveal secrets and give you a peek into the future. As a subject it regularly crops up at our events and in conversations with practitioners so I was interested to hear what NOA members, both end users and suppliers, were doing.

Deciphering Procurement Systems and Tools (Part 1 -- Key Trends) -- Through much of the recent global downturn, procurement groups worked with a tailwind of corporate spend mandates, deflationary pricing, and a supply base hungry for business. They were able to meet their goals by focusing on realizing the savings that those advantages enabled. Transformational procurement initiatives and the development of advanced procurement capabilities were, in most cases, put on hold. Projects related to new systems or improvement in procurement technologies were among the first casualties.

Healthcare's Big Data, Big Spending Problem -- The healthcare industry has a data problem -- a big one. Compliance requirements, in addition to the sheer volume of patient, clinical and research data, has made healthcare a hotbed for Big Data. But just what is Big Data? Wikipedia defines it as the following: Big data are datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing. This trend continues because of the benefits of working with larger and larger datasets allowing analysts to "spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime."

Sheena Moore

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