Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Problem with Portals

First, you have to define what the heck you mean by a "supplier portal." Is it the web page and custom functionality you construct to coordinate all supplier interactions? Is it just a place for suppliers to check on payment status, do PO flips, and do some self-service data maintenance? Companies are all over the board in their definitions, and so are the technology suppliers who serve them. Having a supplier portal vision/strategy and an overall procurement information architecture is really important. It helps procurement and IT get on the same page so that they can better support the internal stakeholders, the suppliers, and themselves!

COPE Will Outshine BYOD in 2013

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Scott Kraege, director at MOBI Wireless Management. Bring your own device (BYOD) programs have gained significant traction within enterprise mobility programs. But several companies and IT departments are finding that security is a leading issue with managing BYOD programs. As the BYOD conversation begins to die down, the next wave in enterprise mobility trends – COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) – could soon dominate the discussion. COPE is best broken down into two phases. The “corporate owned” portion assists companies in keeping their networks and information secure, one of the biggest issues faced […]

Jobs Council Shutdown, Late Tax Returns, Facebook Spend ROI, MNR on Chicken Wings

Gotta have those wings. Super Bowl 2013: Chicken Wings Are Still a Favorite Despite Supply Issues and Higher Prices -- It’s Super Bowl Time and chicken wings are in demand.  An age-old tradition is more expensive this year because of a long and severe drought that hit the Midwest this past summer (2012).  The drought destroyed fields and increased crop prices, causing chicken growers to reduce production. Uncle Sam is getting into some early pay discounts…? Your Money: Expect to pay for fast tax refund -- For many people living paycheck to paycheck, a big fat federal income tax refund […]

Public Sector Backwardness in Sourcing and Cost Management (Part 2)

Earlier this week, we began to explore the absurd nature of public sector sourcing requirements that require guidelines and handbooks spanning thousands of pages but force arcane (and often archaic) sourcing approaches and tools on users. OJEU requirements in the UK are a perfect example of this. If you want simple proof about the backwards nature of European public sector sourcing, ask how many purchasing-focused civil servants are trained and/or required to use the advanced sourcing / optimization capabilities resident in two popular tools, Emptoris and BravoSolution, which are commonly used by top performing procurement organizations in the private sector […]

E-Sourcing Provider Selection: ERP vs. Best-of-Breed Recommendations

Given the importance of taking a use-case approach to evaluating sourcing technologies based on individual organizational requirements, maturity and characteristics, we suggest procurement organizations to avoid jumping to any permanent conclusions based on the cursory analysis in this paper, whether or not a particular ERP sourcing solution is a better fit than a best-of-breed toolset. There are certainly arguments to make for both solution types – and even for deploying more advanced sourcing capabilities alongside an ERP-centric sourcing deployment. However, there are still key takeaways that are worth considering in the context of this incomplete look beyond the ERP sourcing […]

What You Will NOT See From Spend Matters in the Future

In procurement, as in other areas, sometimes it's as important to talk about what you don't do (e.g., being a personal buying concierge of tactical stuff) as what you do. So, here are some things that you should expect NOT to see on Spend Matters: Boring and non-value added reading. The biggest cost for busy professionals is the opportunity cost of time wasted on something that doesn't stick. We'll strive not to put out the usual yada yada yada. To quote Shrek, "ogres have layers.” So should good writing. I'll personally strive to offer a little something for everyone. If […]

Leadership in IT Sourcing

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Jon Winsett, CEO of NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom and transportation. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Peter Bregman, a renowned CEO consultant, best-selling author and frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Fast Company and Forbes. What I like about Peter is that his leadership insights are powerfully simple. When asked what sets great leaders apart, he shared two concepts that really hit home – especially for leaders in IT sourcing:  Great leaders have the ability to create space […]

Tesco Drops Horsemeat Supplier, Student Debt Worsening, Smog Driving Air Purifier Sales

“Breach of trust [was] simply too great” Horsemeat Scandal: Tesco Drops Supplier Over Horsemeat in Value Burgers – After all the bad publicity over the discovery of horse DNA in Tesco’s beef burgers, the retailer has decided to drop Silvercrest, its former supplier. Tesco is also embarking on a comprehensive system of DNA testing on its meat products to make sure that in the future, beef burgers are truly made of beef. Student debt worsening Half of Student Loan Holders Deferring Payments – A new study has found that the weak job market is contributing to more than half of […]

Coupa E-Invoicing Analysis (and the Organization Controversy it Might Bring!)

But at the moment, Coupa has chosen a no-fee path for suppliers. As such, any organization evaluating Coupa for e-invoicing (and broader P2P, since Ariba and other network fees can start with PO transmittal), should build a total cost model to understand what they’re getting into either way. If Coupa e-invoicing is more expensive up-front (which it might be based on pricing models we’ve seen compared to others), it may likely be materially less once supplier fees are factored in.

Advanced Supplier Management Lessons: Data, Data and Data

This post is based (in part) on material contained within the following Spend Matters Compass series paper: Beyond One-Off Initiatives and a Virtual Vendor Master – Advanced Use Cases for Supplier Management. One of the most important lessons that companies often learn (too late) when deploying a supplier management automation toolset is the importance of understanding data silos and internal processes first – before even thinking about technology. Moreover, there’s no point in paying consultants to discover them for you – on what is all too often a one-off basis. Part of legwork that comes from finding, documenting and understanding […]

What You Wanted To Know About Supplier Networks But Were Afraid to Ask

Later today (at 12:00 PM CST), I’m participating in a Spend Matters webinar with Dell’s Kevin Turner titled: 3 Ways to Earn Loyalty and Profit from Your Suppliers: Lessons from Dell. It’s not too late to sign up. Click here for the background on what we’ll be featuring. And here’s a sneak peak at some of the points that I’ll be addressing during the discussion: Networks aren’t like enterprise software or cloud apps today One size does not fit all – apples-to-apples comparisons are hard Networks can enable a step-change in on-boarding, transactional, management and sourcing efficiency or they can […]

Spend Matters Network – Your Gateway to Greater Purchasing and Procurement Wisdom

The Spend Matters family of sites publishes in excess of 25 articles, columns, research briefs, and papers each weekday, and our current roadmap (including global expansion and deeper commodity coverage) is to double that number in the next twelve months. Yet our research has found that there’s surprisingly little single visit overlap between the readers of our sites. Most of our readers only occasionally (if that) visit another Spend Matters site -- and the feedback is that it’s difficult to quickly find new information of interest without resorting to multiple visits or an RSS feed/reader. In other words, jumping around […]