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Jason at Coupa Inspire – and What He Found There

Nancy Clinton - May 2, 2014 12:05 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

Two weeks ago our US founder and CEO, Jason Busch, attended and delivered a keynote speech at Coupa Inspire, the firm’s annual user conference in San Francisco. The event was very well attended and provided a good insight into the company, its solutions and its strategic direction. Jason issued regular pre-, during and post-conference analyses of events, discussions and speeches, and now that we are all comfortably back to our daily work routines sandwiched between the bank holidays, we thought we’d round up those reports and give you some quick links to the original, more in-depth analysis of his discoveries. […]

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See Jason Busch and Kevin Brooks Reenact the Founding of Spend Matters

Sydney Lazarus - April 18, 2014 1:11 AM

The photo in this post, featuring Kevin Brooks (now Chief Marketing Officer at FoodLink), Jason Busch, two glasses of beer, and two ordinary napkins, is not a perfect reenactment of the founding of this blog, but it comes pretty close. As the story goes, Jason and Kevin came up with the idea of Spend Matters over drinks, and Kevin had Jason write down the idea on a cocktail napkin.

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What Makes Public Sector Spend Analysis Different: Motivations and Process Requirements (Part 2) [PRO]

Jason Busch - July 23, 2014 11:21 AM

Building a successful public sector spend capability requires similar core capabilities as found in those sold to the private sector, as well as additional ones. But more so than simply checking the feature/function box as a vendor – or in software/solution selection processes as a user – implementing the right public sector spend analysis approach requires taking a slightly but critically different mindset compared to what is tried and true in the private sector. In Part 2 of this Spend Matters research series (see the first installment here), Jason Busch, founder and managing director, continues to explore what these unique motivations, requirements, and approaches are.

The final installment of the series (Part 3 – forthcoming) will continue to profile one of the specialist vendors in the sector, Spikes Cavell, which appears to have cracked the code on what federal, state, and local organizations most value in understanding their expenditures, reporting on activities, and tying data to actual programs to drive better constituent outcomes. There are clearly lessons in this regard for public sector procurement organizations and overall leadership (employees and elected officials), other technology and solution providers expanding their public sector presence, and, surprisingly perhaps, the private sector as well.

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Alcoa Subsidiary to Pay $384M in Bribery Case, Roaches Found (Again) at California Chicken Plant

Sydney Lazarus - January 9, 2014 12:46 PM

Alcoa World Alumina LLC, an Alcoa subsidiary, is pleading guilty to paying bribes to Bahrain and will pay $384 million in the case. Parent firm Alcoa is not being charged. The cold snap may be mostly over, but several energy providers are increasing their retail electricity rate as they struggle to meet demand in the midst of a cold winter. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.

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What Can We Learn from the Founding Fathers’ Bill of Rights in Drafting a Procurement Bill of Rights?

Pierre Mitchell - December 5, 2013 7:13 AM

I thought it’d be good to go back to the ‘source code’ for much of its inspiration – the US Bill of Rights. It’s a document that is relevant globally as well as within an enterprise context for governing procurement processes internally and with external providers. Let’s touch on a few, which I will obviously simplify and even take a bit of license with, so bear with me. And don’t start pulling out your pocket versions to throw at me (which you can’t anyway).

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ProcureCon and Marketing Services Procurement: What We Agree On, What We Don’t [Plus+]

Peter Smith - June 24, 2014 3:21 PM

Peter Smith of Spend Matters UK/Europe attended the recent ProcureCon marketing event in London and found it to be a success in terms of number of delegates, sponsors, and quality of the sessions and subsequent debates. In this article for Spend Matters Plus, Peter discusses the state of marketing services procurement and breaks down the areas where speakers were in agreement and the less clear-cut issues. Not a Plus subscriber yet? Contact us to inquire about a free 30-day trial.

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On Better Business Negotiation with Suppliers and Clients (Don’t Forget Empathy)

Guest Contributor - June 24, 2014 2:33 PM

Every quarter, our company has a guest speaker talk to us about a variety of topics – all with roots in inspiration, innovation, and community. This quarter our speaker was Nimesh Patel, or Nimo to his friends. Nimo’s message was quite simple: spread love through your acts of kindness, compassion, inclusion, and empathy. While there were many thoughts that flew through my mind while hearing him speak, I found myself wondering how I could apply this in my negotiations. I am expanding negotiations to include discussions with suppliers and clients (internal and external). What can I possibly do to include the elements I mentioned above with the equation used in my negotiations?

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How CPOs Can Manage Stakeholders to Drive Successful Strategic Initiatives

Guest Contributor - June 5, 2014 2:34 PM

In our discussions with CPOs, they often seek to change the perception of the procurement department within their enterprise and present it as being strategic to their C-suite peers. Based on a recent Hackett Group survey, only 25 percent of stakeholder executives said that procurement was viewed as a valued business partner, though 76 percent of procurement executives said that expanding procurement's scope and influence within their organization was their most important goal. From these studies and conversations with CPOs, we have found that a primary roadblock to successful procurement strategic initiatives is having well-managed, supportive stakeholders who support procurement's value proposition (and initiatives) within their organization.

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Apple Reports on Conflict Minerals in Its Supply Chain, Amazon Business Practices Criticized for Monopolizing

Sydney Lazarus - May 30, 2014 12:41 PM

Apple Inc. reports that third-party audits of 17 out of 21 suppliers have not found conflict minerals. The remaining four suppliers have yet to be audited. And James Patterson is the latest bestselling author to criticize Amazon’s business practices for monopolizing bookselling and numerous other sectors, calling it “a national tragedy.” Friday Latte brings you the latest and lighter procurement and supply chain news.

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Thoughts on Bill McDermott’s SAP Keynote at Sapphire Now 2014 – eBay, Ariba, Fieldglass, and More

Pierre Mitchell - June 4, 2014 10:32 AM

I watched yesterday’s live keynote by SAP CEO Bill McDermott and found it both entertaining and curious at the same time. I’ve never seen Bill live and he is like an East Coast version of Larry Ellison. He is obviously a charismatic leader, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can also be a consensus leader to unite the various cultures within SAP. You can still watch the whole keynote, but I thought I would give you an abridged version of the quotable quotes and some quick observations. But the main message? SAP emphasized their focus on simplicity and plans to "beat complexity."

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What’s new in Procurement? Not a lot, suggests New Jersey in the 1920s

Peter Smith - July 17, 2014 12:01 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

So, Chief Procurement Officer. You think you’re pretty clever, don’t you? With your aggregated sourcing strategy, category management, centralised shared services infrastructure, internal stakeholder engagement process. All very modern, cutting edge, and of the moment. Well, I’ve got news for you. Somebody got there before you. A long time before you. Thanks to Christopher Lonsdale, who runs various procurement related Masters courses at Birmingham University, for sending us two documents recently. He was carrying out a literature review for a project and came across historical reports relating to centralisation of purchasing, although they both go somewhat wider than that really. […]

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Maude survives, Kerslake doesn’t. And you’re mad if you want to be “Government CEO”

Peter Smith - July 21, 2014 4:31 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

So Francis Maude, our UK “Minister for Procurement” survived last week’s Cabinet re-shuffle, unlike many middle-aged men, moved to make room for a new cohort of woman. Great news for the Daily Mail who can devote pages to discussing exactly what shade of beige tights Liz Truss is wearing. My local member of parliament, Michael Gove, was the centre of attention, being demoted and moved out of the Education position where he has been radical and controversial. We predicted that Maude would survive, as a man very much on top of a complex brief, and as we said a week […]

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What Really Drives Valuation For Technology Companies These Days? [PRO]

Jason Busch - June 11, 2014 2:21 AM

We’ve always found the subject of valuation for technology companies a curious topic, one that we could probably bore too many people with during cocktail hour conversations. Last fall, we wrote about the topic of valuation in the Spend Matters PRO brief Procurement Vendor Valuation, M&A, and IPOs: Recent Deals and 2014 Forecast, touching on many of the elements in valuation play right now. But this analysis says little for the fact that we appear to have a market at the current time that is bifurcated between certain vendors (e.g., Fieldglass) worth 8-12X topline revenue (or higher in the case of certain private investment rounds) and those like Intesource and Iasta which are going for less than two times their topline. In today’s Spend Matters PRO research brief, Group Managing Director Jason Busch and Spend Matters Group Managing Richard Lee offer up a perspective on what elements appear to be driving valuation and multiples in this market beyond the basics of SaaS and related valuation drivers in the procurement, supply chain, and finance areas.

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Looking at Supply Chain Risk Like an Insurance Provider: Evaluating Risk Elements

Jason Busch - July 17, 2014 9:39 AM

FM Global recently released their Global Resilience Index of countries covering supply chain risk elements associated with geographies. As they call it, the index is “an equally-weighted composite of nine core variables that affect business resilience to supply chain disruption.” In other words, the study is not just about supply chain risk itself, but the ability of countries (and organizations) to withstand the shock of supply chain risk.

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Tips on Speaking to a Procurement Audience: Give Up the Slides, Please [Plus+]

Jason Busch - April 10, 2014 2:30 AM

Whenever I have a big speech to give, I usually spend a few weeks preparing, or at least going through in my head, a planned outline. Like many presenters for whom public speaking did not come naturally to start, I’ve often found myself relying on slides to guide my talk. They’re a type of crutch, if you will. But in recent years, in the rare cases that I’ve been forced to present without PowerPoint, I’ve found the audience was far more engaged – probably something about a lack of 12 point Helvetica fonts and multiple takeaway arrows per slide, I suppose.

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Mobile Procurement and the Streamlined Purchasing of Hospital Supplies

Guest Contributor - May 1, 2014 2:36 PM

In the past, if the hospital room ran out of supplies, nurses like Sam would have had to visit the storage room unit with the hopes that it was well-stocked. If he found the items he was looking for, the process would take about 15 minutes. If not, then he would spend nearly 30 minutes (or the equivalent of one patient visit) filling out order forms and talking with hospital administrators. Now, thanks to their mobile procurement platform, Sam and his colleagues are all able to streamline this process. Equipped with a tablet, they are able to quickly enter and locate items, checking their availability against current inventory.

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Tips for Making Your Financial Close Count

Guest Contributor - July 17, 2014 2:46 PM

At many companies, most of the time effort and scrutiny of the close process is sharply focused only on its final stages—"last mile of finance"—and then only on specific steps within it. Organizations use multiple ERP features that assist with consolidation, software packages that perform some reconciliations, and workflow monitors that provide checklists. However, spot automation like this at the very end of a profoundly corporate-wide activity—such as the financial close—can only offer so much.

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Payplant offers cash starved App Developers an early pay solution

David Gustin - July 17, 2014 3:12 AM - Available @ Trade Financing Matters

Payplant got their start when a few tech entrepreneurs (Ronjon Nag, Neerav Berry) sold their app development business to Blackberry. In the course of their software development days, Payplant noticed how difficult it was for app developers to stay in business, since the majority of their expenses are expensive contract labor (programmers) who can quickly walk off the job if not paid on time. The founders saw a need to accelerate payment for these vendors and now have been operating for over a year (yes, filling an unmet need). Like any of these new ventures, you have to ask a […]

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Friday Parody: Accounting For R&D In China — Internal Politburo Memorandum Found

Jason Busch - December 17, 2010 2:12 AM

Spend Matters has found an inside source close to the Chinese politburo (one of the rumors circulating in intelligence circles, which is not true mind you, is that we managed to smuggle out a secure red phone and stick it right in the middle of the office). Regardless of our methods, burn after reading … the following was intercepted and translated by our staff in the past week … To: Politburo Members From: The Big Red Accounting Team It has recently come to our attention that the world has become keenly aware that China’s collective R&D spending is increasing. In […]

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Coupa and Alibaba.com — Partnership Analysis, Implications, and User Recommendations [PRO]

Jason Busch - April 16, 2014 9:53 AM

Earlier today, Coupa announced it was partnering with Alibaba.com, a company that was once really just a directory service for global suppliers. It has since become as diverse in its holdings (if not more so) than eBay. The purpose of the partnership seems straightforward, but Spend Matters has found that Alibaba overplays its own usefulness in the Fortune 500 as it markets to Chinese suppliers. Alibaba’s supplier listings, catalogs, and directories might be more useful for smaller buying organizations. Potential users of integrated search services connected with source-to-pay applications would do well to consider a number of factors to gauge the actual usefulness of the relationships. Read on for these recommendations, as well as our detailed analysis of the deal.

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