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Is win-win in supplier relationships impossible? Andrew Cox thinks so, we’re not so sure

Peter Smith - April 14, 2014 12:01 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

David Atkinson, ex CPO and now one of the most thoughtful advisers and thinkers in our business,  tweeted a link to a fascinating  white paper the other day. I don’t know how ‘new’ it is, but its message is timeless, so it seemed worth highlighting here and starting a discussion perhaps. “The Problem with Win-Win” was written by Professor Andrew Cox, ex Birmingham University, procurement guru, founder of IIAPS (International Institute of Purchasing and Supply) and Chair of its Advisory Board. As so often in the case of material from him, it is aimed to stir the procurement pot, provoke […]

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How has E-Sourcing Changed? An Interview with Scanmarket Founder Ole Nielsen

Jason Busch - March 24, 2014 3:05 PM

A few weeks ago we conducted a written interview with Ole Nielsen, the founder of the Danish e-sourcing provider Scanmarket. In 2008, Ole moved to Atlanta in order to increase the company’s presence in the American market. Before that, Ole had been living in Hamburg, doing the same for the German market, so he is particularly well-suited to discuss how e-sourcing has evolved in the recent past and compare adoption and use in different markets. Check out Part 1 of the interview!

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NASA, or Need Another Sourcing Act: Too Much Choice is Not a Good Thing

Jason Busch - March 3, 2014 9:01 AM

Sometimes “choice” in procurement is precisely what not to give to practitioners. This is especially the case as we consider the latest scandal to envelop NASA, who failed to implement a strategic sourcing and spend analysis program (see here and here) that provided even a modicum of leverage and visibility into spend within the agency. One “excuse” the agency provided was the numerous options for procurement that were available.

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NASA, or Need Another Sourcing Act: Flying Blind Without Spend Visibility

Jason Busch - February 27, 2014 10:15 AM

In the first installment of this series, we framed the backdrop of a scathing audit report of NASA’s failure to implement a strategic sourcing program. As we continue to explore what happened at NASA procurement, it is important to step back in time to 2005, when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum requiring the establishment of a strategic sourcing program spanning NASA and other agencies and departments. As part of this strategic sourcing requirement, NASA and other agencies and departments would have to conduct regular spend analyses to gain an understanding of their overall spend, trending, and leverage/aggregation opportunities.

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The Real Meaning of NASA: Need Another (Strategic) Sourcing Act

Jason Busch - February 26, 2014 6:29 AM

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is in the hot seat again. And it’s not for once more failing to bring new space and defense programs in on budget (or an aborted lift-off for that matter). This time, NASA has failed at something far more basic: implementing a strategic sourcing program that ensures accountability for total spending (approximately $15 billion annually). NASA’s Office of Inspector General recently released a damning report on the agency’s wasteful spending practices resulting from a lack of strategic sourcing.

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Direct Materials Procurement Technology: Help Wanted (Excel Need not Apply!)

Jason Busch - February 3, 2014 10:08 AM

Directworks, a software provider specializing in direct materials sourcing and related solutions, recently release a survey based on an analysis of over 200 discrete manufacturing organizations (you can read the highlights on the Directworks blog). In our view, the results show just how far procurement organizations need to go in a manufacturing organization to use specialized tools and capabilities to mirror the level of results they’ve gotten from indirect and services procurement investments. Indeed, non “people and process investments” in direct spend represent the last frontier of new procurement investments in specialized technology.

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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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Effective presentations – you’re speaking for the audience’s benefit, not yours, says Seth Godin

Peter Smith - December 9, 2013 10:31 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

When we talked about procurement skills recently, we stressed the need for a blend of technical skills, behavioural skills and – for many procurement roles – specific category skills. One area that we might define as sitting at the intersection of behavioural and technical skills is communication. Some of what makes a good communicator is arguably “behavioural”, whilst there are definitely elements that have a basis in tangible skills, and can be taught and learnt, so we might define as ‘technical’. And one aspect of communication where I do think procurement has made some good strides in recent years is […]

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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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Crossflow Payments – another Supply Chain Finance player takes to the field

Peter Smith - November 6, 2013 4:45 AM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

The world of e-invoicing, supply chain finance (SCF) and related areas has gone crazy over recent weeks. The OB10 / Tungsten venture, Tradeshift announcing that they had $3 Billion to support supply chain finance, Oxygen getting real traction in the UK public sector, Basware and Mastercard linking up… Then we started getting information about another apparently new player in this market, Crossflow Payments. Actually they have been around for 3 years, but not specifically offering SCF, and it was only in September that they launched their new service and broke into our consciousness. So I went to meet their Chief […]

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An Interview with the Sunlight Foundation on Transparency in Public Procurement

Guest Contributor - October 21, 2013 4:45 PM

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve discussed reports by the Sunlight Foundation—a nonprofit aimed at increasing government transparency—focusing specifically on transparency in public procurement. You can read our thoughts on their state of local procurement survey. Sunlight also came up with a set of guidelines for open data in procurement, which includes suggestions for how to share information on the procurement process and the participants in the procurement, as well as ways to make the info most useful. With the foundation doing so much work in procurement, I thought it’d be good to get Sunlight’s Developer Kaitlin Devine and Research Fellow Alexander Furnas on the phone to talk about some of the common issues in procurement transparency, and how we can fix them.

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Basware and Mastercard- another new supply chain finance and payments option

Peter Smith - October 10, 2013 12:31 PM - Available @ Spend Matters UK/Europe

It’s all going off in the payments, e-invoicing and supply chain finance world! We’ve had the OB10 / Tungsten announcement, rapidly followed by Tradeshift and their link with CapitalAid to provide supply chain finance, then the MasterCard / Basware link up. We’ve also seen the emergence of Crossflow Payments – and more on that to come shortly, following a very interesting chat I had this week with their founder, Tony Duggan. But let’s go back to MasterCard / Basware, as we didn’t give that much coverage when it happened.  Here’s an extract from the press release. “MasterCard and Basware will  […]

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