Search Results for: Procurement

When the Planets Align: Procurement and Finance

Kyle Fitzsimmons - July 29, 2014 6:55 AM

Procurement and finance don’t always see eye to eye. The CPO and CFO can oftentimes butt heads when it comes to enterprise risk management, aligning purchasing and A/P and working capital optimization with cost reduction/compliance. “Procurement is from Mars and Finance is from Jupiter: How to Align Planets” is a new paper from Pierre Mitchell (Chief Research Officer) that aims to dig deeper in the procurement/finance relationship.

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The top 5 challenges for the Chief Procurement Officer

Nancy Clinton - July 29, 2014 4:30 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

We are pleased to bring you an overview of the chief findings from a recent survey of European CPOs conducted by Xchanging, the third-largest procurement outsourcing provider in the world. This post comes from Steve Trainor, Managing Director, EMEA, Xchanging Procurement Services. The life of a CPO can be fraught with complex and competing challenges. In a recent survey we carried out amongst CPOs across Europe we found that reducing spend with third-party suppliers, driving down the cost of procurement, managing supply-led risk and harnessing true innovation from the supply base remain the most significant business objectives that the CPO must address. In […]

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Mobile Procurement and the Line Manager

Guest Contributor - July 25, 2014 5:58 AM

Outside of being a full-time Red Sox fan, Bob also works at a manufacturing plant. As the line manager, Bob works long hours and often finds himself having to pop in to oversee operations in the evening or during an overnight shift. It may seem like the baseball world never comes to a halt, but Bob must guarantee that his company’s operations never do. Between both of Bob’s full-time endeavors, he’s a pretty busy man. He can’t recall how many times someone at the plant alerted him to supplies running low while he was occupied with reading sports news on his smartphone. However, he can definitely remember the moment he realized that he could conduct his supply chain needs on that same device.

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Six Sigma Sourcing (and Procurement) – A Bridge Too Far?

Guest Contributor - July 27, 2014 11:40 AM

Six Sigma, the process measurement methodology originally developed by Motorola and popularized by GE, has far-reaching applications beyond its manufacturing roots. Applying the discipline of Six Sigma to improving sourcing and procurement processes will undoubtedly produce systemic and sustainable business process improvement. But the bigger questions for procurement leaders to address in considering Six Sigma are these: What level of performance is realistic, which projects would produce the most benefit, and what enabling technologies will be required to apply the DMAIC principles (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) of Six Sigma effectively?

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NHS Procurement – so who do we blame for the dodgy spend data?

Peter Smith - July 29, 2014 12:04 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

The furore, in the procurement world at least, around the publication of NHS spend data last week has been considerable. And when you’ve got respected non-execs of major trusts writing to the Minister then we might assume this hasn’t gone away as an issue yet. The problems with the data were well described in the comments here and in our guest post yesterday. Basically, the data came just from one supplier to the NHS, which was the in-house supplier, NHS Supply Chain (run by DHL). So the Minister was criticising something that was a political construct in the first place, […]

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Getting the best from procurement consultants

Sheena Smith - July 25, 2014 4:32 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

The bosses are on vacation here in the US, so we've obviously been making the office spotless and thinking through forward looking strategy and not at all going on rollicking pub crawls (don't look at the end of this post, there will be zero evidence of pub crawls). Anyway, some work got done, and a lot of it is around research for you, dear readers, to download. Click on through for this week's happenings in the Chicago office.

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Sievo and the big question; do you really want to understand your procurement savings?

Peter Smith - July 29, 2014 7:25 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

During the recent visit by Jason Busch to London, we caught up with Sammeli Sammalkorpi to get an update on the progress of Sievo and their software, the best we know for really helping organisations to measure procurement savings as accurately as possible. For new readers, the Sievo product takes detailed spend data and then analyses it to strip out a whole range of cost drivers, in order to isolate the real effect of procurement activities. So it can for example identify and quantify currency effects, volume effects or specification changes that may not be considered “true” procurement savings. (What […]

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NHS Procurement – our senior insider goes past the copier paper and round the U-Bend

Peter Smith - July 28, 2014 12:09 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

(Following last week’s controversy over NHS procurement spend data, we’re delighted to feature a special guest post from a senior NHS procurement leader. We know who it is but they asked for anonymity for career preservation reasons!) Now that the dust has settled after the Department of Health publication of procurement data on the performance of its own contractor (NHS Supply Chain or NHSSC) we can reflect on some smart dance moves and a hatchet job well done. This administration has previous in terms of playing to the Daily Mail-reading blue-rinse middle classes (or the Telegraph in this case) – […]

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Down the procurement pub with the Bluelight portal, Boeing, Proxima, health data and Hozier

Peter Smith - July 25, 2014 7:31 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

The Museum Tavern for a working lunch with Guy Allen. Good beer selection, but £6.29 for a toasted cheese and ham sarnie (with salad) or £8.08 with chips.  Eight quid!  And you’d think you might get salad and chips for £8 but no, they remove the salad if you have the chips. A real rip-off, which pub operators Taylor Walker can get away with because the clientele is largely tourists from the British Museum over the road. (In another of their pubs down the road, the same sandwich is slightly cheaper at £5.69).  So let’s give thanks to Wetherspoons, and […]

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LeanLinking Brings Social Media Principles to Procurement and Supply Management [Plus+]

Peter Smith - July 25, 2014 2:27 AM

We've been talking for some time on the different Spend Matters sites about how social media principles and approaches will inevitably make their way into the business and procurement world, yet progress has in reality been pretty slow. The innovative Rollstream has been assimilated into GXS, now itself part of OpenText, and seems pretty low-profile these days. However, there are signs that things are changing. Sourcemap is a more recently established firm that has an interesting approach, including some aspects of supply chain collaboration with a social media slant. Mark Perera, one of the founders of Procurement Leaders, is involved in Old Street Labs, whose new Vizibl platform is in its testing phase (we'll feature it as soon as you're ready, Mark). The platform looks to use some of the core social media principles in a business environment. And now we have LeanLinking starting to make a splash. This Spend Matters Plus research brief, by Peter Smith (managing editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe), looks at what LeanLinking has to offer and which organizations would benefit from the technology.

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Managing Complexity – A Reevaluation of Energy Procurement Strategy

Guest Contributor - July 22, 2014 2:24 PM

There are few areas of corporate spend that invites as much fierce debate in strategy as the area of energy. The sheer number of purchasing mechanisms and strategies available can be overwhelming, and the advice of consultancies and subject matter experts is often contradictory. The combination of electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil is frequently one of the top five areas of indirect spend, and some organizations with energy-intensive manufacturing processes build energy expenditures into standard costs. Such a critical and complex category requires a clearly defined management strategy that is flexible enough to evolve with changing internal and external conditions.

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How Procurement Professionals can add value to business performance: sustainability and diversity

Nancy Clinton - July 24, 2014 8:15 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

In this second in a series of articles looking at how procurement can add value to business performance, Gerard Chick, chief knowledge officer, Optimum Procurement Group examines a number of key areas where procurement professionals can make a difference. In this post he looks at sustainability and diversity. In today’s business world, we face an array of challenges whose scope and complexity can make them intractable. Sustainability, once considered the preserve of the fervent few, has become a burning issue to all in business. A key sustainability theme is supplier diversity as a business benefit. Suppliers have an impact on […]

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Live This Thursday: Strategies for VMS and Services Procurement Selection in the New ERP World

Sheena Smith - June 18, 2014 6:01 AM

Don't forget! Procurement school is in session this Thursday, with Jason Busch giving a live 20-minute webinar titled Fieldglass and SAP: Prepare for SAP Dominance, or Hedge Your Bets? What is the vision of the combination? What does the Spend Matters team think of it? What are potential solution scenarios? We'd love to see you on Thursday from 1-1:30pm Central.

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Martin Kochman at the Procserve roundtable – using big data to identify procurement fraud

Peter Smith - July 23, 2014 7:31 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

We wrote here about the recent Procserve roundtable and the potential power of big data and of spend analytics in our procurement world. (And another plug for the Procserve LinkedIn group which they’ve titled “The Great Procurement Debate”). In that piece, we promised to come back to the presentation from Martin Kochman, a partner at PA Consulting. He talked about the power of big data and analytics, going well beyond the pure “how much did we spend on what with whom” procurement paradigm. For instance, new areas of interest might include looking at how key contract terms might affect value […]

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Plan for Public Procurement – Food buyers need to look at more than cost

Peter Smith - July 23, 2014 4:31 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

Public sector buyers of food will be required (in central government) and expected (in other sectors) to use a new framework that defines the evaluation criteria to be used when selecting suppliers. The new report, “Enabling a healthy future for our people, farmers and food producers” is published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Liz Truss , their Minister, has a dig against “Europe” in her Foreword (although we don’t suppose for a moment she wrote this given she only became Minister last week). “Often schools and hospitals, due to rules from Europe, feel obliged to […]

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Procurement Provider Net Promoter Study

Pierre Mitchell - July 17, 2014 11:11 AM

We’re launching the first round of an ongoing “benchmark” survey that gauges procurement provider satisfaction scores for six different procurement process areas. In each, we measure importance, level of automation, currently selected vendors (as well as current/planned technology approaches), and of course the satisfaction score used to generated a promoter score. Depending on the answers to the questions, we also ask a few follow-on questions (e.g., what were the biggest reasons for low promoter scores) and finish off with some questions on major gaps with existing provider offerings (in addition to emerging technology areas). The first 100 qualified practitioners to participate get their choice of three incentives!

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NAO on Cabinet Office Efficiency Savings – a mixed review for the procurement elements

Peter Smith - July 22, 2014 9:31 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

We mentioned the National Audit Office (NAO) reports last week on rail procurement and on their assessment of the savings figures declared by the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office. NAO goes into a lot of audit type detail in their examination of the numbers, as you might hope and expect. I gives Cabinet Office a fairly good but mixed review really in terms of whether we can trust their published data; 9 of the 14 savings areas defined by ERG are rated as “Reasonable”, five as “Moderate”. They also highlight that not all of last year’s […]

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Information Spend Matters: Procurement Should Think Twice before Cutting Paid Subscriptions

David Wyld - July 25, 2014 6:39 AM

While there are major strategic implications for media companies and society as we turn into a culture of “free” news and information, there is one group of people that still expects to pay for their information: business executives. As companies look to cut costs by shifting from paid subscriptions to free sources of similar news and information, it is likely that they will find stiff resistance from executives. While moving to free news sources might make short-term financial sense, a recent study has found that executives around the world use and trust paid media in a way that produces value for themselves and their companies.

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