I had some airport time this week to catch up on my online procurement reading: publications, blogs, analyst sites, etc. The last time I wrote about what we read online (and in print) was years ago, and let me just say that a LOT has changed in that time. For one, Procurement Leaders has established itself in the UK and now the US as arguably the best periodical. I enjoy every issue and from my side of the Atlantic, it's clear they're not just attempting to fill a void left by the departure of Purchasing -- they're carving out an even bigger niche, including solid online-only content and blogs I actually look forward to reading (e.g., those of Paul Teague). I hope with the Procurement Intelligence Unit, which is now part of the Procurement Leaders family (previously it was a separate organization), that they extend the content further into geographic, category and vertical analysis based on the solid work the PIU is doing.
Aside from Procurement Leaders, I also have a soft spot for Supply Chain Management Review, which survived the Reed shake-up by spinning out along with a handful of other publications (while Purchasing was left for the grave). SCMR has periodically covered procurement issues, but the broader supply chain themes they tackle (e.g., a great piece recently by Pierre Mitchell on analytics and procurement as well as a similar but broader-themed one by Deloitte last year) should be required reading for anyone touching corporate spend or supplier management in any capacity. My hats go off to the SCMR team for providing a level of editorial guidance and rigor in identifying contributors that really have something to say. I have no doubt that at least one piece from SCMR per year will become a true classic -- perhaps not as famous Purchasing Must Become Supply Management but certainly a permanent addition to the practitioner's and consultant's toolbox.
There has been a big shakeout in the blog world these past couple years. Aside from publication blogs (e.g., Procurement Leaders), there are fewer independent blogs worth reading. Michael Lamoureux of Sourcing Innovation (AKA, The Doctor) is still great, but he's now also dedicating some of his time to a cool start up outside of just covering the sector plus his other consulting/advisory activities. Michael is a content machine and some of what he produces is really thought provoking. It's worth reading his site at least weekly to scan through the headlines to see what pops. I learn something all the time from Michael.
I really like the work Pete Loughlin (Purchasing Insight) has been up to in the P2P space as well. Pete's only problem is that the world would benefit from him writing more. He has great insights and he's building a valuable set of content. The more Pete can make time to dedicate to his site, the more that all P2P practitioners (eProcurement and e-invoicing) will benefit. I read every new post and you should too, provided you care about P2P.
Another part-time infrequent blogger is Duncan Jones of Forrester (see Forrester blogs). Duncan's posts are always entertaining and quite insightful, much more so than what you'll find elsewhere in the media world or blogosphere. Duncan has a keen eye, sharp wit and a casual way that make for an approachable analyst who you can tell enjoys the combined art of researching, crafting a story and putting words on a page. This is a rare skill set in the analyst world, as most expert researchers aren't the best communicators. Duncan is both. Along the same lines, I also enjoy Aberdeen's Constantine Limberakis. He is constrained in what he is usually able to share because of Aberdeen's set publication model, yet on his blog, the real Constantine and his voice shine through. If you're in the sector and you're not consulting with Constantine, you should be. Forget the legacy of the Aberdeen brand. Constantine is the real thing -- and a great guy as well.
Of course there is also Andrew Bartoloni and Vishal Patel at CPO Rising (and Ardent Partners). Andrew is proof there is life for analysts upon leaving bigger name firms. The independent path can be great in the freedom it allows to cover the sector. Andrew has built a stellar personal brand for himself and is a more influential voice independent of a bigger firm than he was while working for Aberdeen. His stuff is fresh and unedited (and I mean that in the best possible way). His voice and knowledge shine through in his writing and research.
There are many others we read as well here at Spend Matters, Spend Matters UK/Europe, MetalMiner and Healthcare Matters. In the future, I'll share some additional other must-read sites and the individual voices behind them.
But in the meantime, I'll close this post with a quick note about the need to take out the cattle prod and hope a publication (and online site) can do better. Someone should give Supply and Demand Chain Executive a kick in the you know what to do more than it has in recent years, going beyond what I believe have become useless awards, among other things. The online content is the most wanting. In my personal view, the legacy that Andrew Reece created does not deserve to be tarnished any further. But the good news is the brand could be brought back to life. However, unless more is done to drive the content forward, I would encourage folks in the community not to put their names to an award which has come to mean all but nothing to folks in the know. Let's hope they get their mojo back again. We could use 'em.