Over a dozen members of the Spend Matters Network editorial, research, and ragtag commercial teams converged on Chicago this week for our first annual holiday party. After paying for the bill and seeing all the wine and other drinks consumed, I realized just how mighty our small firm had become – or, rather, inebriated on this most marvelous, celebratory night. Journalists, researchers, and analysts can certainly hold their Cabernet.
Holding the party in January was (you guessed it) a procurement decision. The cost savings was significant from both a venue and air travel perspective. Additionally, we got to have the affair in an extremely cool wine bar in downtown Chicago that we booked out for the small group – which would have been impossible the previous month. All in all, the January decision was a good one – and one I would suggest for other small firms that want to break up the winter doldrums with good cheer and fun.
We were sad not to have everyone at the party, however. Our European editorial and research leaders including Peter Smith (Managing Director, Spend Matters UK/Europe), Gert van der Heijden (Editor, Spend Matters NL) and Stuart Burns (Managing Director, MetalMiner) stayed across the Atlantic, avoiding the chill of Chicago. As did our trusty CTO, Scott Slone, who remained on the West Coast, enjoying the Bay Area weather (and his two pugs). But much of the team did converge on the Windy City.
Seeing how far this organization has come amazes me. Pierre Mitchell (Chief Research Officer) is taking our entire organizational content and research to the next level through adding structure and expertise – which our readers and subscribers will see with the launch of our forthcoming Almanac (see previews here and here). And Thomas Kase, who was recently promoted to VP of Research, is digging in and taking charge of Spend Matters research and editorial agenda – and continuing to share his wry Nordic and Japanese sense of humor with all of us.
Our site traffic is off the charts—modesty prevents us from getting into comparative specifics—from a growth point of view, although we are of course tiny compared with consumer-focused sites. It is clear from a media perspective that Spend Matters Network is at the top of this market, and then there is everyone else. From a research orientation, our subscription service, Spend Matters Plus/PRO, is really cranking on all cylinders as well, with over 300 companies signing up for access in the first 18 months.
MetalMiner has quietly assumed the mantle as the biggest metals, supply chain and manufacturing web site, and has some fascinating things up its sleeves. For example, our new forecasting service really challenges convention in the metals pricing arena. Other recent MetalMiner accomplishments include the Conflict Minerals Compliance Kit, the LME aluminum warehousing infographic, and, soon to come, the Service Centers Buyer’s Guide.
It was a great celebration last night. What this small firm has accomplished with limited resources makes me so proud – and driven to see this thing through to the next level. While we have a long way to go in certain areas, trust us, we’re working on it – yes, we recognize that our sites might not be the best organized (given the massive amounts of coverage and research we produce) but we’ll be overcoming the content overload problem this year in new ways for all fans of our free, freemium, and subscription services.
So here’s a virtual toast to all the team has accomplished and what we have in store for 2014. Lastly, if you’re not already a subscriber to our research and data services (Spend Matters Plus/PRO, MetalMiner IndX, MetalMiner Forecasting) please contact us. We’re convinced that our portfolio of premium content products is absolutely like nothing else in the market and are happy to offer free trials to those that want to invest the time to check it out. We’d also like your feedback to help us improve it further.
Please stay tuned for a great year ahead!