Monthly Archives: December 2012

Best Of: Friday Rants

Happy Holidays! While the Spend Matters team is off merry making, here's some of our best content from 2012 for you to enjoy. We'll see you in 2013! From me ranting about procurement folk trying to put a price on an idea to Richard pissing of the USPS, we at Spend Matters are certainly not known for keeping our mouths shut when we have an opinion about something (but that's why you keep coming back, right?) Darwinism and the USPS -- Many of you may not know me. I'm the numbers guy behind Spend Matters. I run Spend Matters Group(Spend […]

New Category Management Approaches to IT Spending (Part 1)

Computer Weekly recently featured a great guest blog from Deloitte's Bhupinder Sandhu about how IT departments are approaching category management and broader sourcing and procurement strategies. While the full-text of the article can be found here, we'll share some of our key takeaways, beginning with a new approach to working with prime suppliers in a general contractor model for IT. Here, Sandhu observes that some companies have "recently moved from a single supplier managed service to a layered approach with a Service Integrator, managing a small cluster of vendors." Yet other strategies are also playing into current IT vendor management […]

Best Of: Guest Posts

Happy Holidays! While the Spend Matters team is off merry making, here's some of our best content from 2012 for you to enjoy. We'll see you in 2013! We're lucky to have some of the brightest and best in the industry contribute to Spend Matters. Thank you to all of our guest contributors for sharing your ongoing insight and stories! From a Former Employee: Goodbye Ariba -- Much has been written here and elsewhere about the SAP/Ariba deal, but for me the acquisition has a personal angle, having spent six years there at the intersection of marketing, solutions and communications […]

Suppliers and Ariba: Prisoners or Not?

Last Friday, we shared a competitor's perspective that "Ariba doesn't have customers, it has prisoners" – at least in the case of its suppliers. But to gauge whether or not these are willing prisoners, wanting to stay within the protected walls of a network, perhaps it makes sense to walk through a few hypothetical examples. First, let's consider the case of an "occasional" supplier of something made-to-order like business cards, stamps, or the like. A supplier like this, which does a good job of finding new customers through Ariba for a typical order size, say between $150-$250, will pay less […]

Best Of: Procurement Industry Announcements

Happy Holidays! While the Spend Matters team is off merry making, here's some of our best content from 2012 for you to enjoy. We'll see you in 2013! 2012 came with some massive industry announcements (ahem SAP/Ariba ahem), not to mention SciQuest acquiring Spend Radar, and Monitor Group going bankrupt. Here's (just some!) of our coverage of some of the major announcements: SAP and Ariba: Initial Customer and Competitive Takeaways -- It's not over until it's over. A probability exists of another bid/offer to come in for Ariba. This is just the type of shenanigans that Oracle likes to pride […]

Ariba, SAP, and Supplier Diversity (Part 4)

Please click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series. The final attribute we look to when measuring Ariba's and SAP's value for smaller suppliers is value. And here, the results will vary significantly based on how suppliers use the network for identifying new customers, transacting and taking advantage of other benefits associated with a given transaction (e.g., early payment discounting). Yet in general, we'd argue that for smaller suppliers that understand how to take advantage of the network in their sweet spot (i.e., reaching new customers and transacting in lower dollar volumes), Ariba and SAP […]

A Note to Spend Matters Employees: Boycott Starbucks on Thursday and Friday (Satire)

Team, We urge you to hold off on reaching out for that Starbucks latte this Thursday and Friday. In our neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago, we have many other choices, including local roasters/retailers Intelligentsia and Bow Truss. Please patronize them instead. Earlier in the week, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz decided to get selfishly political when he encouraged his employees in a letter to write "Come Together" on customer's cups on Thursday and Friday this week. This note is to serve in reference to the looming fiscal cliff in Washington that Schultz, of course, would like to see confronted […]

Best Of: Spend Matters PRO

Happy Holidays! While the Spend Matters team is off merry making, here's some of our best content from 2012 for you to enjoy. We'll see you in 2013! 2012 marked the launch of Spend Matters PRO. While most 6-month-olds are enjoying solid food for the first time, Spend Matters PRO is already forming complete sentences...a lot of them. Here are some of our highlights: How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 5) -- One of the most important elements of tackling marketing spend is Executive Buy-In, which requires aligning the vision of the CMO, CPO and CFO. In fact, don't do […]

New Year’s Resolutions: Food Intake Management

Today, for the first time since I left Japan a decade ago, my actual weight is what it says on my drivers license: an honest 175lbs (or 79.4kg for our readers not in the US, Burma, or Liberia). Granted, at my leanest, I did weigh in a tad less in Japan (around 77) but that was before marriage, home-cooked meals by my mother-in-law (a retired professional chef), and driving everywhere in a car. High food prices, minimal refrigerator/pantry space, and small serving portions in Japan helped, as did my weekly 15 to 20 miles of running. So, how did I […]

Wishing You a Merry Christmas – Spend Matters and MetalMiner Style

As parents, the commercialism of Christmas (and Hanukah, in our case) always gets to us. This year, our kids nearly outright rebelled when the gifts were small. Yet in a world where inexpensive toys made in factories that require transit in a container ship still rule the day – the total cost manufacturing equation for re-shoring still doesn't work for plastic junk yet – the amount of toy stuff that a family accumulates in general can be alarming. For us, a holiday season with fewer gifts and greater time together like making the kids sing songs as a family and […]

Ariba, SAP, and Supplier Diversity (Part 3)

Please click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Frankly, in looking at today's topic areas for discussion, Ariba does better than on the first one we considered: cost. Now let's talk reach and value. For reach, Ariba has one of the largest supplier networks (depending on how you count volume across different types of networks and connectivity models, other providers including GXS, Sterling, and Basware can claim to be a similar size or larger), especially in the ability to find new business versus simply push documentation tied to a transaction back and forth. Especially in North […]

The 12 Days of Christmas: Spend Matters UK Style

The 11th Day of Christmas – Potential Supply Chain Impact of Scottish Independence The Tenth Day of Christmas – Approving High-Value Consulting Assignments The Ninth Day of Christmas – Procurement in a High-Security Environment The Eighth Day of Christmas – Paying a "Fair" Price for Raw Materials? The Seventh Day of Christmas – Review of Vertical Integration Options in the Goose Egg Supply Chain The Sixth Day of Christmas – using VMS platforms to manage the contingent workforce The fifth day of Christmas – sourcing /hedging strategies for precious metals The Fourth Day of Christmas – reputational risk from inappropriate […]