Author Archives: Guest Contributor

Guar Gum Prices Rise 45% in a Month

- June 1, 2015 2:23 PM | Categories: Commodities, Guest Post, Price Forecast

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jara Zicha of Mintec. Guar gum is one of those ingredients in food that most people don’t really know about. The gum is actually a powder that is produced from guar seed and extensively used in food industries as a stabilizer, emulsifier or thickener. It can also be used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals but the majority is used as a drilling aid in the fracking of shale to retrieve gas and oil.

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Online Marketplaces: Using Consumer-Inspired Technology in the Business Procurement Process

- May 30, 2015 7:10 AM | Categories: Guest Post, Innovation, Procurement, Sourcing, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Amanda Taylor, marketing manager for Sharing economy tactics have taken the consumer world by storm. You can easily rent someone's apartment in New York City or catch a ride from an Uber driver in Denver. Consumerism is becoming a collaborative, yet fluid process, backed by technological advances. Considering that 78% of the US population age 15 and older are currently making purchases online, it's safe to say consumers are well versed in the use of technology to make everyday purchases. Amazon has even unleashed its “dash button,” which allows Amazon Prime members to automatically reorder common household items by pressing an actual physical button (hopefully strategically positioned away from children and pets).

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Procurement’s Vulnerability to Natural Disasters

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Diptarup Chakraborti, AVP Marketing, Zycus. As a result of efforts to reduce costs, increase service levels and improve product quality, our supply chains now cover a greater a geographic distance than ever before. While the decision to outsource and shift production away from traditional, high-cost economies in the US and Western Europe reaped significant cost benefits, they have also left organizations open to a far greater risk with regards to the stability and vulnerability of their supply chains. Never before has supply chain risk sat so physically far away from those that are meant to be managing it. Our increased reliance on global sourcing as an avenue of competitive advantage means that our organizations now carry a far greater exposure to the impacts of natural disasters.

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RFID and the Supply Chain: How the Technology Is Increasingly Being Used By Procurement

- May 28, 2015 2:02 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supply Chain Visibility, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jeff Freedman, CTO at ESM Solutions. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one of the major technologies that will become ubiquitous in the supply chain and is poised to have a dramatic impact. RFID technology has actually been around since the 1970s, but it has only started to have a real effect on the supply chain within the past few years, and its use is expected to increase as a means of tracking goods and assets.

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How to Keep Costs in Check

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Gregg Spivack, Director of Client Services, NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. has always pushed the envelope – first with its cloud-based CRM application that brought SaaS into the mainstream, and then with its ambition to define a new era of cloud computing. That ambition has clearly paid off. Last week, the company reported profits that beat market expectations. CEO Marc Benioff commented: “Salesforce has surpassed the $6 billion annual revenue run rate faster than any other enterprise software company, and our current outlook puts us on track to reach a $7 billion revenue run rate later this year.”

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John Nash’s Footprint on Procurement

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Alan Holland, founder and CEO of Keelvar. John Nash’s research contributions inspired advances in auction theory that have progressed the fields of e-sourcing and procurement and will continue to influence future developments in sourcing optimization. This piece highlights why his contributions are important to our industry. John Nash and his wife recently died in a tragic car accident. His contributions to mathematical techniques that underpin strategic analysis in many disciplines such as economics, politics, artificial Intelligence and evolutionary biology are well publicized. This piece takes a look at how his contributions influenced auction theory and, in turn, were fundamental in the development of e-sourcing best practice.

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Crude Oil Prices Rise 40% on Lower Oil Rig Count

- May 25, 2015 2:32 PM | Categories: Commodities, CSR, Guest Post

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Avneet K. Deol of Mintec. For months now, crude oil has been making headlines as the price fell from $107 a barrel in June 2014 to a staggering $44 a barrel at the end of January 2015, a fall of nearly 60%. Prices have rallied since then, rising by 38% to reach $60 a barrel in the last week of May. So what was the cause and effect of this sudden drop? Crude oil is a crucial feedstock to a wide range of products, although the greatest demand is for fuels including plastics, chemicals, medicines and refined gases. The price of crude oil then has a huge impact on many day-to-day products. The reduction in production costs and fall in demand for biofuels has affected many commodity prices, from metals to grains, to plastics to shipping.

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GSA Schedule 70: The Federal Government’s Amazon

- May 22, 2015 2:36 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Public Sector, Spend Management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Dan Warn, VP at BravoSolution. Last year Congress passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), designed to expand the amount of federal spending data available to the public. The federal government is now under tremendous pressure to improve spending transparency, cut costs and be more efficient than ever. For many agencies, attaining these goals might feel like a considerable undertaking, however, it’s also an opportunity to look for a better, more strategic approach to procurement.

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New Purchasing Technology: Using Tools That Delight Rather Than Distract

- May 21, 2015 2:17 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi. Before smartphones, many mobile phone models required you to push big, bulky buttons in order to dictate an action on your phone’s screen. There were no touchscreen capabilities. There were few graphics. There were few bells – and even fewer whistles. Today’s phones can render beautiful images from Internet sources and advanced digital cameras. They make it possible to voice chat, text chat and video chat. They can store vast amounts of music, video and photo files. Digital personal assistants can input or retrieve information from your phone for you, or they can search the web on your behalf.

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Strategic Sourcing in Developing Countries

- May 20, 2015 2:35 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Sourcing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Heather Towt of The Hackett Group. The increased focus on strategic sourcing in response to ever-shrinking margins is not a phenomenon specific to the developed world. Throughout the developing world, companies in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shifting from transactional-based purchasing and tactical sourcing to a strategic sourcing model. While the goals of strategic sourcing (cost savings, improved performance, risk mitigation and improved supplier relationship management) remain the same across geographies, unique challenges arise when sourcing in developing countries. Besides the usual suspects of language barriers, differing cultural norms and complex financial issues, several additional challenges should be kept in mind when sourcing in a developing country.

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What Are You Really Measuring? Effectively Managing Supplier Performance

- May 19, 2015 2:20 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Supplier Management

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jim Kiser of GEP. You can't manage what you don't measure. This is an old adage that is still pretty accurate today. Really, if you don’t put in place the criteria to measure something you don't know if it is improving or getting worse. Managing for improvement in today’s business climate is essential, and with regards to supplier performance management, you have to measure to see what is improving and what is not.

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US Plastic Prices Pose Problems

- May 18, 2015 2:16 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Price Forecast

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jo Allen of Mintec. Polyethylene (PE) is the most commonly used plastic in the world, with a wide range of applications and uses. After several years of steadily increasing prices, the fall in the crude oil market last year spurred on price reductions in global ethylene and polyethylene prices, with the US market following suit. However, since February, prices have once again begun to climb back up following global supply shortages. The main types are high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE).

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