Monthly Archives: February 2013

Procurement’s View of Outsourcing (Part 1)

This is the first of a series around the topic of “outsourcing”. I’m coming from a procurement and procurement professional’s perspective of course, but I should stress that we are not looking purely at the outsourcing of procurement services. This is intended to be relevant for all outsourcing activities. I put “outsourcing” in quotes in that that first mention because the definition of outsourcing has caused problems over the years and indeed even real experts struggle to tie it down at times. For instance, if the organisation has never actually carried out a service internally, can we talk about outsourcing? […]

Evaluating Supply Chain Risks with Single vs. Multiple Vendor Sourcing Strategies

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Joshua Nelson, Director in the Strategy and Operations Practice at the Hackett Group. During the past two decades, companies have adopted strategies to rationalize and consolidate their supplier base. In many cases, the supplier rationalization programs have created a single sourcing strategy for many commodities. This strategy has enabled companies to build stronger and more collaborative relationships that deliver a range of benefits, including: Improved bargaining power to reduce costs Decreased effort to track supplier performance and manage relationships Improved innovation and design collaboration Improved plan synchronization and information exchange Improved supplier responsiveness […]

SAP Acquires SmartOps, Ladies in Supply Chain Jobs, Procurement Lessons (from Star Wars)

SAP acquires SmartOps, which “will allow it to develop real-time supply chain applications” using HANA. Canada says there aren’t enough ladies in the supply chain sector and has launched a Women in the Supply Chain website to do something about it. Read this immediately. Don’t Come to the Dark Side: Acquisition Lessons From a Galaxy Far, Far Away. “Death Stars can't possibly be built on time or on budget, require pathological leadership styles and...keep getting blown up." Draught is taking its toll in Texas - 2,300 jobs lost at the Cargill processing plant.

P2P and eProcurement: Don’t Assume Folks Will Find What They’re Looking For (Part 3)

This post is based on content contained in the Spend Matters Compass series paper: Avoiding “Dumb Ways to Die”: eProcurement and P2P Style Adoption Scenarios to Breathe Life into Implementations. The paper, authored by Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Jason Busch, is available for free download in our Spend Matters research library. When it comes to optimizing the P2P experience, investing time up-front to find out what users are looking for in the first place is of the utmost importance. If items or suppliers can't be found with keyword or attribute searching, then a good place to […]

Procurement’s View of Outsourcing (Part 1)

For instance, if the organisation has never actually carried out a service internally, can we talk about outsourcing? Early in my career, I ran the contracting exercise and then the delivery phase as my company “outsourced” the manufacture of chocolate Easter Eggs. We talked about outsourcing the production – but in fact, we had never made those products in our own factory. So arguably, we were buying contract manufacturing services; yet it felt like outsourcing and we talked about it in that manner.

Conflict Minerals Compliance: Steel and US Service Centers

This post is based on excerpts from the MetalMiner (part of the Spend Matters Network) paper: The Definitive Guide to Conflict Minerals Compliance for Manufacturers: An A–Z Guide to Conflict Minerals and Semi-Finished Metals. Spend Matters PRO Subscribers can also click to read two more detailed technology analyses on conflict minerals compliance strategy here and here. The US steel and service center market has its own unique challenges surrounding conflict minerals compliance. Companies who must document compliance in their supply chains need to ask their suppliers the following questions: First, how will US service centers specifically address conflict minerals compliance, […]

Wallmedien: A P2P Wrapper for the Confused ERP Purchasing Masses (Part 4)

In an earlier installment in this series, we referenced the P2P passion and technical prowess of Wallmedien’s leadership. This enthusiasm comes through loud and clear in some of the analytics capability and forward look product development that Wallmedien is building, including views and business intelligence driven insights into historic buying activity. An example of this is Wallmedien’s analytics suite that allows administrators or category managers to drill down base on spending activity by shopping cart of other metrics (e.g., examining top suppliers not just in terms of dollars, but SKUs, inclusion in shopping carts, etc.) This current (production) analytical environment […]

What Marketing Analytics Can Teach Us

Part 1 I recently had the chance to catch up with Ryder Daniels, founder and CEO of Capsaicin, a specialized analytics provider that develops targeted solutions for specific categories (and delivers them in a private label manner for clients who then resell them to some of the largest Global 2000 companies in the world). In insider circles (i.e., the agency world), Capsaicin is best known for its solutions to tackle complex marketing spend by creating new levels of awareness and performance management for CMOs, marketing teams, procurement and agencies of record (we’ll explore these capabilities later in our series). When I […]

The Ground War Between FedEx and UPS

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Jon Winsett of NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom and transportation. Over the last few years, a “ground” battle has emerged between FedEx and UPS.  At the low point of the Great Recession, many shippers traded in high-priced air delivery for more cost-efficient ground delivery. Many found that these ground services could be just as reliable and expedient as the costly air services they opted for in the past. Today, growing demand for free shipping and same-day delivery services has effectively turned ground shipping […]

Watered-Down Beer, Apple Inc. Eyeing India, Safeway Seeks More Ethical Supply Chain, Flour Recall

A public service announcement Based on information from former brewery employees, a group of beer drinkers in the U.S. has filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch for watering down ten of its beers, including Budweiser. The Apple vs. Samsung race comes to India With India about to become the world’s third-largest smartphone market, Apple, Inc. is overhauling its iPhone operations in the critical Indian market in order to catch up to Samsung. More supply chain visibility Safeway vows to eliminate human trafficking and slavery from its supply chains. Everything you eat has horsemeat and/or plastic King Arthur Flour is voluntarily recalling […]

Sourcing and Procurement: Information, Data and Analytics Architecture (Part 1)

Over on Spend Matters PRO, Pierre Mitchell and I have spent quite a bit of time writing about what might seem like the dreary subject of procurement data architecture and analytics. PRO subscribers can read Pierre’s Dickensian serial below: The Trouble With Tribbles and the Problem with Portals Procurement Information Architecture Part 2: Portal Infrastructure Procurement Information Architecture Part 3: Analytics Procurement Information Architecture Part 3: Analytics (simplified architecture) Procurement Information Architecture Part 5: Workflow (System of Process) I’ve also taken a stab at the topic: What Marketing Analytics Can Teach Us (Part 1) What Marketing Analytics Can Teach Us […]

What Marketing Analytics Can Teach Us (Part 2)

Spend Matters PRO will soon publish our technology coverage taxonomy for the procurement landscape, something we’ve been hard at work creating (and debating) internally the past few weeks. In the broader area of analytics and spend/supplier information management, on a generalized basis (obviously layered with category specific nuances for marketing and other categories), we see combined capabilities coming together to help companies solve big data challenges.