Daily Archives: December 3, 2013

E-Invoicing, Receivables Financing, and Trade Financing: Exploring the Basics of a Market Set to Explode

The team behind Spend Matters (and our parent company, Azul Partners) is thrilled to be working with a secret co-conspirator in launching a new website in the coming weeks that will tackle the booming world of P2P, e-invoicing, and trade financing (including invoice discounting and receivables financing). On this week's "Ask the Expert" webinar, Jason Busch will preview the type of content to be featured on the new site. He'll answer definitional questions on the different elements of this market, including software, supplier network, payment network, treasury and bank intersections. Even if you are new to the world of trade financing, don't despair.

UK’s Report on Big Suppliers Misses Some Big Questions

Last month, the National Audit Office in the UK issued two reports on the role of government contractors, looking at whether the central government receives proper value when it contracts out public services, and whether it’s managing its suppliers in the most effective way. The reports look specifically at four large contractors—Atos, Capita, G4S and Serco—who together did roughly $3 billion in business with the government last year. G4S and Serco have been in the news lately, with both being implicated in overcharging the government for prisoner tagging, with some estimates putting the cost at $50 million.

What the FAQ is Supplier Relationship Management?

A recent survey of leading organizations has indicated that supplier relationship management (SRM) remains one of the top priorities of CPOs at these organizations. In view of this, we have compiled a helpful FAQ for helping our readers understand this concept better. For example, what do you mean by ‘Supplier Relationship Management’? And what are some of the important things that a company needs to do to put an SRM program in place?

Fracking Leading to Sand Boom, Apple Buys Topsy Labs, Sprayable Caffeine, Cyber Monday

Fracking has created a strong demand for sand, with energy companies expected to use 56.3 billion pounds of sand this year. Yesterday's Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history, up 18.2% in online sales compared to Cyber Monday 2012. Meanwhile, Apple has made a purchase of its own: Topsy Labs, a social media analytics firm. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement, as well as cool new start-ups (read on!).

Geospatial Category & Supplier Management: Exploring Sourcemap (Part 2)

Continuing with our introduction to Sourcemap, as based on what my colleague Peter Smith wrote earlier this year on Spend Matters UK/Europe, we come to the largest real-life use case and deployment of Sourcemap. This example is Mars, which, as Peter likes to point out in his reminiscences about his first job there at the start of his career in procurement and supply chain, is still among the most advanced companies in the known procurement and supply chain world.

Rage Frameworks Part 2: The Machine Inside of Rage

We think that Rage is on the vanguard of supply-side analytics with regards to deciphering large sets of unstructured and semi-structured data for generating supplier intelligence. In today's post, Pierre explains how they do this, focusing on the former version that has a deadly simple commercial model and very attractive price point if you have less than a few hundred suppliers to track. So, how does it work? Read on.

Supply Risk Management: Exploring Demand Risk

Demand risk stems from two primary sources: fluctuations in external customer requirements, and managing internal customer requirements. In many cases, predicting overall demand and supply chain elasticity is more of an art than a science, especially in markets characterized by high volume and short product lifecycles (e.g. high tech). In all markets, though, supply managers must also understand the implications of asking for more than is really needed.

IT Strategic Vendor Management: Achieving Savings and Improving Performance in Austere Times

Federal information technology (IT) leaders increasingly face a dilemma—delivering the same or higher levels of mission-critical IT services to their constituents while managing with fewer resources and dollars. To solve this dilemma, many leaders are scouring their IT portfolios for money-saving opportunities. As they conduct this exercise, many are discovering strategic vendor management (SVM) to be a critical enabler—one that yields significant savings while also increasing effectiveness and mission delivery.

Procurian in Accenture: The Profitable Son Returns

Back in 1999, I had hung up my consulting cleats and joined AMR Research (now Gartner) as an industry analyst covering ERP and supply chain. But having done strategic sourcing and knowing its value, I was surprised to see that procurement was so poorly covered. The market was littered with indirect procurement vendors, eMarketplaces, buying consortia, and every form of dot.com imaginable, all flush with venture money.

Procurian & Accenture: Market Analysis and Initial Spend Matters Take

This morning, Accenture announced it was acquiring Procurian in an all-cash transaction valued at $375 million. Earlier this afternoon, members of the Spend Matters research team spoke to Accenture’s Mike Salvino, Group Chief Executive of Accenture Business Process Outsourcing. Mike was frank in sharing his perspectives on what the Procurian acquisition brings to customers and the broader market. Today, we’ll focus on our comparative market analysis, beginning with Mike’s observations and then providing our own commentary, including the general strengths and weaknesses of the combination.

Picking a Purchasing System that Pleases Multiple Stakeholders

Purchasing system stakeholders can include executives, purchasing managers, AP managers, information technology (IT), requisitioners, and approvers. It’s hard to pick a purchasing system that pleases multiple stakeholders. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to gain insight from the stakeholders’ point of view during the evaluation process. What do all these different stakeholders really want from a purchasing system? Here’s some helpful perspective.