Search Results for: Procurement

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Dr Ian George on Procurement Transformation – All One Team

Nancy Clinton - July 22, 2014 6:30 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

Continuing the theme of Procurement Transformation, we’re delighted to feature the next in the series from Dr Ian George, a senior partner and practising consultant at Agile Partners. In this post he looks at teamwork.  Taking an organisational perspective always tends to highlight the need to manage the interdependencies between various stakeholder groups. Although this approach is generally accepted as a principle of good practice, its implementation is still far more ambiguous. The strong emphasis on short-term operational problems and the ongoing love affair with departments and organisation charts tends to galvanise discrete areas of the business into action, often reinforcing the […]

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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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New Solution Providers – POD Procurement looks to save £s and peas (bad pun alert…)

Peter Smith - July 24, 2014 12:02 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

Continuing our series of new solutions providers this week, with a very new business. I was convinced that the Mars Ice Cream Bar wouldn’t sell. And when the legendary Achi Racov, visionary CTO at NatWest, showed me this thing called “the Internet” in 1997, I couldn’t quite see the point. So I am very cautious about my own ability to spot what will work and what won’t in terms of new products and innovations. Hence my caution here; we have a new solution provider and a new product for the procurement world that … I’m really not sure about. It’s […]

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Provider Strategies: Delivering Procurement Solutions and Services in Asia (Part 1) [Plus+]

Thomas Kase - July 21, 2014 10:56 AM

“Asia” is obviously an impossibly broad label, covering so many countries, with such a range of cultures, languages, and political, ethnic, and demographical issues that we have to paint with broad, sweeping strokes. That said, there are definitely procurement culture traits worth pointing out. Depending on a solution provider’s strengths and capabilities, we think the region is ready for a more serious look – consider it hedging your bets, since everybody is already slugging it out in the U.S. and Europe. So the question is, what are you doing in Asia, the region that outgrows Europe and the US at a rapid clip? In this first of a two-part series on Spend Matters Plus, VP of Research Thomas Kase gives a backdrop on regional issues to know.

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Why Procurement is likely to follow the path that Financial Trading has taken

Nancy Clinton - July 21, 2014 9:15 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

Financial trading underwent a period of seismic change in the first decade of the new millennium. Trading pits with screaming traders waving pieces of paper in a state of hysteria gradually emptied. A new order appeared in its place and the first investment banks to grasp the significance of the change made the biggest gains. This step change in trading techniques depended heavily on the new field of Quantitative Finance. The mathematics for modelling dynamic systems are complex, but for those who invested the time to better understand this complexity, the benefits were enormous as they made better informed trading decisions. In this article Dr. Alan Holland of Keelvar explores how Procurement is likely to follow a similar path.

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New solution providers – Ivalua take on the giants of procurement software

Peter Smith - July 21, 2014 12:03 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

This week we’re going to have a series of five posts about “new” solutions providers. I say “new” with the commas because they in truth range from the genuinely young and new, to the longer-established but not previously featured by us. Today we have an example of the latter category – a well established firm, but one that will we suspect be new to many of our readers. And I hope we don’t have to point out that keeping up with interesting and relevant technology developments and firms is an essential part of any procurement practitioner’s job these days. If […]

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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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NHS Procurement Atlas – useful benchmarking or completely flawed data? (Turn left at Copier Paper Junction for Toilet Roll Avenue …)

Peter Smith - July 22, 2014 3:53 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

The National Health Service today published their first spend ”Atlas”, available here. It is trailed in the Daily Telegraph by an article from Dr Dan Poulter, the junior Health Minister. “With an eye-watering £14 billion spent on hospital goods and services, better procurement practices represent a tremendous opportunity to improve efficiency and free up money for patient care… So, today we have launched a new website that begins the process of comparing the prices hospitals pay for over 100 different healthcare product lines – the NHS Procurement Atlas of Variation”. These variations, as we might have expected, are pretty large […]

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