Search Results for: sourcing

Accenture Spend Trends Report: Logistics Market Intelligence – “Get Local” and More

Jason Busch - August 26, 2014 10:30 AM

Accenture's Spend Trends Report from Q2 (published in October) covers a number of macroeconomic areas impacting procurement and supply chain costs while also diving into a number of category-specific trends. One area the research brief explores is the logistics market, offering a global perspective on it and opportunities for savings and procurement improvement.

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Accenture Spend Trends Report: Category Intelligence For Marketing and Spanish Speakers

Jason Busch - August 27, 2014 6:30 AM

For far too many companies, marketing is a category that is actively managed by key suppliers (e.g., agencies of record) rather than the organization itself. It’s one of the last “hold out” areas in which vendors typically have access to far better insight on performance and ROI than the organization spending money in the area. This is already changing, however, in larger companies, especially in CPG, retail and high-tech, as procurement leads and more analytical CMOs regain control and influence from the creative types that previously ran the show on what was all too often a solo basis.

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Do Marketing Services Buyers Have the Best Jobs?

Peter Smith - August 27, 2014 2:30 AM

If I had to choose a spend category to be responsible for, what might that be? Well, I recently met someone who has what might just be my dream procurement job. Richard Kirstein runs Resilient Music, based in London. It is a small advisory and (in a sense) procurement outsourcing firm that advises and helps their clients buy music rights. So when you see a TV advert, or some fancy YouTube viral video campaign for a trendy fashion or drinks brand, and there is some music playing in the background, someone has purchased the rights to use that music.

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Accenture Spend Trends Report: Energy Prices and Upward Cost Pressure

Jason Busch - August 25, 2014 6:23 AM

As we continue our coverage of Accenture's Spend Trends Report, we turn our attention to the topic of energy prices and cost pressure. A number of Accenture’s findings are actually quite similar to a longer-term perspective we presented in a recent Spend Matters PRO research brief titled "Will the Cost of Energy Increase? On Statistics from the US Energy Information Administration." As Accenture notes in their analysis, energy prices are continuing on a long-term up-trend with short-term pullback and volatility along the way, albeit with a underlying long-term inflationary undertone.

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Lower-End Sourcing Tools: When to Just Say No (Part 3)

Jason Busch - August 19, 2014 10:42 AM

So far in this series, I have written about both the strengths and some of the limitations of basic sourcing tools – and when organizations should consider using them as opposed working with those that really do specialize in supporting more advanced sourcing organizations and sourcing requirements. Another key area that I’ve observed again and again in my research (including both public and private sector) in the case of more advanced tools is when organizations must have sourcing applications reflect heavy levels of governance and process based on regulatory or other requirements.

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Accenture Spend Trends Report: The Drivers of Category Trends Start with Economics

Jason Busch - August 13, 2014 10:31 AM

Who says that former sell-side analysts on Wall Street can’t do something better with their lives – like helping millions of procurement and supply chain managers make more informed decisions? My old friend and colleague Mark Hillman has shown there is hope for former financial minds that want to make a difference to industry. Mark recently joined Accenture after his former employer, Procurian, was acquired, and is leading up market intelligence efforts. One of this first public reports was released in early August. The Q2 edition of Accenture’s “Spend Trends” is a great piece of research that stands far above the type of analyses that knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) firms would charge clients a fee to deliver.

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An Interview with Corporate Ink’s Amy Bermar, Part 1: What to Know Before Hiring a PR Firm

Thomas Kase - August 12, 2014 2:30 AM

Many public relations firms get fired after two or three years – hardly an ideal track record. With procurement more involved than ever, it’s time to look beneath the covers and boost the odds – not just the budget – in your favor. Thomas Kase interviews Corporate Ink's Amy Bermar, who has been on all sides of the agency pitch – selecting, winning, and losing. In Part 1 of this two-part interview, Amy talks about what companies should know before hiring a PR agency.

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An Interview with Corporate Ink’s Amy Bermar, Part 2: How to Approach a PR Agency Search

Thomas Kase - August 14, 2014 10:27 AM

This is the second in a two-part series on how to shop for a PR firm. Thomas Kase talked to Amy Bermar, president of Corporate Ink, a PR firm focused on supply chain clients, who shared some insider knowledge from her experience on all sides of the agency pitch -- selecting, winning, and losing. Read on for her tips on how to conduct a successful agency search.

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Lower-End Sourcing Tools: When to Just Say No

Jason Busch - August 7, 2014 10:26 AM

In the first installment of this post, I considered the applicability of lower-end sourcing tools and when they’re most likely to be a good fit for organizations and under what scenarios. Today, as I continue this analysis, I’ll take the other side of the argument focused on when these tools can even do more harm than good, starting first with one of the biggest issues with e-sourcing technologies in the first place – the most valuable features all-too-often sit on the shelf, rarely if ever to be used by procurement organizations.

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When Receivables and Payables Financing Meets Bean Counting

Jason Busch - August 4, 2014 10:24 AM

My Trade Financing Matters colleague David Gustin has spent quite a bit of time over the years investing the accounting treatments of various trade financing schemes (from dynamic discounting to approved trade payables financing). Yet what’s most curious about this area is that we shouldn’t accept the current state of various accounting treatments (e.g., rebates vs. non-rebates and balance sheet impact) as gospel. Regulators and the Big 5 alike are still exploring the area in more detail.

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Attention Retailers: 13 Ways to Fund New IT Projects in 2015 (Part 2)

Guest Contributor - August 6, 2014 2:32 PM

As I discussed last week, this time of year is a slippery slope for retail IT and sourcing professionals. They don’t have as much time as they’d like to get ahead of the IT and budget challenges that will greet them as soon as the holiday retail season is over. But rest assured – those challenges will be waiting for them in Q1 2015, including finding the funds for new IT projects that will increase margins and competitive differentiation. Here are four more areas where IT overspending is occurring within most retail organizations. By taking a hard look at these areas, retail IT and sourcing professionals can turn overspending into funding – often millions of dollars that can be repurposed for IT innovation.

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Lower-End Sourcing Tools: Accentuating the Positive

Jason Busch - August 5, 2014 9:04 AM

In a new series of posts considering the commoditization of the basics – and why this can seem like a good or bad thing depending on perspective – I hope to share both sides of the argument concerning the bifurcation of the e-sourcing, commodity management, and related technology markets into truly simplistic and more highly advanced tools (and not much in between), with both groups of providers supporting efforts with varying success in helping procurement organizations source and manage risk more effectively. Today, I’ll start with accentuating the positive of lower-end tools.

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Webinar Replay: Check Out Last Week’s Recording on Supplier Collaboration in Strategic Sourcing!

Kyle Fitzsimmons - July 24, 2014 6:49 AM

Did you miss our webinar last week on supplier collaboration in strategic sourcing? Fear not because it is still available. Check out the recording of “Supplier Collaboration in Strategic Sourcing: an Oxymoron?” while it is still here to listen to! Thomas Kase (VP of Research) and Pierre Mitchell (Chief Research Officer) have also written a paper that provides helpful background if this topic is one of particular interest to you.

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New Downloadable Paper Delves Into Sourcing, Supply Chain

Kyle Fitzsimmons - July 22, 2014 2:22 AM

Get the Spend Matters viewpoint on sourcing and its transformation into supply chain with a new, downloadable paper from Jason Busch (managing director). "When Sourcing Becomes Supply Chain" enforces the notion that data-driven analysis in procurement is essential and already underway. This movement can benefit organizations and businesses from various industries, and the paper digs deeper into the continuing outcomes that can be expected when sourcing and supply chain become one and the same.

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Attention Retailers: 13 Ways to Fund New IT Projects in 2015 (Part 1)

Guest Contributor - July 30, 2014 2:42 PM

This time of year is a slippery slope for retail IT and sourcing professionals. With much of their effort going to preparing for the holiday retail season, few have time to think about the IT and budget challenges that will be waiting for them in Q1 2015. So, what can retail IT and sourcing leaders do now to make sure they have the funding available to take on next year’s innovation challenges? One best practice is to formally identify – and eliminate – overspending, which frees up existing budget dollars to be re-purposed to unfunded projects. Here are the first four (of 13) specific places to look for overspending. A structured and focused approach to optimizing pricing, licensing, and business terms across your IT portfolio can free up millions of budget dollars.

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Price of Charcoal (Just Another Part of the BBQ Supply Chain)

Guest Contributor - July 28, 2014 2:44 PM

I hosted a quick poll within the office recently, posing the question: “What do you associate with summer?” The responses were varied, ranging from Wimbledon to extended daylight hours to grass stains (cricket). However, one thing that was pretty universal across the team was that summer means barbeques and sunshine. If you were to ask most people what makes a good barbeque, they will probably say good food (when it’s black it’s done!), great company, plenty of drinks, and a spell of excellent weather. If you were to ask me, I would in all probability answer: charcoal burning; functional design; solid construction; and stylish looks. Let's look at that first element.

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Shipping Rates in the Near Term: Weak Demand, Oversupply, and Post-Panamax Ships

Guest Contributor - July 24, 2014 2:24 PM

The shipping markets have been depressed over the past few years, reflecting a combination of persistent weak demand and over capacity. In order to succeed or even survive against this backdrop, carriers have repeatedly tries to implement general rate increases (GRIs). However, most of these have failed to hold, due to the intensive competition in the market and weak price discipline among carriers. Consequently, carriers have shifted their focus to the challenge of how to cut costs. One approach has been to build bigger ships to achieve cost competitiveness. In particular, the growth of large, so-called Post-Panamax ships has been accelerated by the expansion of the Panama Canal project

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How to Cut Software Maintenance and Support Costs (and Fund IT Innovation)

Guest Contributor - July 23, 2014 2:39 PM

The cost just to “keep the lights on” in IT has grown exponentially over the years. Recent studies show that an average of 72 percent of the enterprise IT budget goes to this area, leaving only 28 percent to fund new projects. A big chunk of the 72 percent goes to maintenance and support – and that reality isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Here are four of the best ways to cut maintenance and support costs.

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Supply Chain Cops (and Robbers): On Conflict Minerals Compliance in Secondary Industries

Jason Busch - July 23, 2014 2:37 AM

In a Sourcing Journal Online column that’s a must-read for any industry, Stephan Lamar, executive vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), frames the costs and hassle of conflict minerals legislation for the industry he represents. As he writes, “although [the legislation] was aimed at the electronics industry, which is a massive user of these materials, the broad reach of the regulation has ensnared our industry as well. For the past 18 months, U.S. footwear and apparel companies have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours in a desperate effort to come into compliance.”

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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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