Daily Archives: January 23, 2013

Automation: An Emerging Outsourcing Mega-Trend

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Thomas Young, a Partner with ISG, a research, consulting and advisory services firm. As the outsourcing industry approaches the quarter-century mark, a new wave of outsourcing is emerging. Businesses are increasingly deploying tools, platforms and software to automate tasks and functions. As a result, while traditional outsourcing derives cost efficiencies through labor arbitrage and by moving jobs to low-cost labor centers, today's emerging model employs labor automation mainly in order to remove wages from the equation. The automation of functions and processes – which today is in early stages – will ultimately generate […]

Afternoon Coffee: Intuit Partners with Tradeshift, Samsung Rises, Virgin Atlantic Will Sell Art

Time saver! QuickBooks Online connects with Tradeshift to streamline e-invoicing -- Good news for small businesses in the UK, who will be the first to benefit from a free app connecting QuickBooks Online with Tradeshift. As a result of Intuit's new partnership, users will be able to access TradeShift's cloud platform for free and thus streamline their interactions with trade partners regarding tasks such as invoicing. How would Steve Jobs react? Samsung surpasses Apple in chip purchases -- Remember the days when Apple and its charismatic CEO seemed unstoppable? Now Samsung is proving itself to be a tough competitor, having […]

A Critical Look at Category Management (Part 2)

The first issue we’ll look at today is around the strengths and weaknesses that arise from the standardised nature of category management. Now the process and accompanying tools were largely designed and promulgated by the consulting profession and a number of the features – deliberately or fortuitously – fit the consulting model very nicely.

Coupa’s Suite: From Procurement To Accounts Payable (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1. Before delving into Coupa's approach to invoice management software, it's worth doing a quick double-click on where procure to pay software priorities stand in their overall roadmap. While a major priority for development at the end of 2012, Coupa's electronic invoicing capabilities continue to get significant product investment in 2013, even though the product is closing in on competitive parity with specialists. In addition to key enhancements in e-invoicing, 2013 priorities for Coupa's cloud platform include a range of new product offerings including social/community-oriented capabilities that are rumored to be announced at their upcoming Inspire […]

Supply Risk: Learning From Purchasing’s Demise

I recently chatted with Charles Dominick, who gave a talk at Corporate United's Synergy event in Chicago. He recently published a thoughtful post on his blog in late April that suggested Purchasing Magazine's demise can teach us something about insolvent suppliers. Charles opines, "evaluating Purchasing Magazine's demise made me realize that there are at least two different ways that companies (i.e., suppliers) approach their last days. The first is when they desperately scale back operations and lay off employees. And the second is when there's no warning at all." Purchasing's demise was most certainly in the latter camp. As Charles […]

A Spend Matters Style Revival

Something that's changed quite a bit in the past few years as we've moved from a counter-culture blog covering procurement to the largest sector publication online (still a blog, mind you, but with a bit more of a grown-up corporate attitude) is that we somehow managed to engineer all the style and personality out of the blog, at least on a regular basis. The wit that Spend Matters was founded on has unfortunately become a bit...dare we say...soulless. With Pierre now on board, we're committed to making sure that we revert to the individual voice that made Spend Matters what […]

Walmart and Suppliers: New Regulations (and Public Shaming)

To any firm with significant brand recognition, preserving the brand name is vital; it can help your your market cap more than lean and efficient operations. Witness one of the greatest brands out there – Disney – and their policy against purchasing any safety-related components from Chinese suppliers for rides in their entertainment parks. Disney's share price place would plummet as quickly as the roller coaster car that jumps off the tracks. Now Walmart has started to up their game in the Code of Conduct (CoC) area. Not long ago, they made headlines for requiring suppliers to self-assess their sustainability […]