Author Archives: Jason Busch

About Jason Busch

Jason Busch is the founder and Managing Director of Azul Partners (a media, publishing and advisory firm with ownership and management interest in a range of ventures). He started Azul Partners in 2004 after leaving FreeMarkets. The firm now controls the largest and most influential set of B2B, procurement and supply chain media and research resources online, reaching millions of readers and members each year through diverse properties including: Spend Matters, Spend Matters Plus/PRO, Spend Matters UK/Europe, Spend Matters Netherlands, MetalMiner, Public Spend Forum, Trade Financing Matters and Healthcare Matters. He is also active as a partner in Spend Matters Group, an advisory firm, which works with companies and private funds on transactional advisory and due diligence in the procurement, finance and supply chain areas. Jason is known for his role in shaping (and shaking up) the analyst, media and technology industries. He spends most of his time working on new ventures, helping put together strategic investments and buyouts for companies & private funds, and of course, continuing to research, write about and lecture on procurement, finance and supply chain topics that capture his interest. Prior to Azul Partners and FreeMarkets, Jason worked in consulting and merchant banking. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Analysis: Accenture’s Vision of Supply Analytics Will Be Difficult to Realize

- August 3, 2015 8:37 AM | Categories: Analysis, Analytics, Procurement Strategy & Planning

supply analytics No one can argue with the notion that the merger of spend and supplier data – not to mention other data sets – into a common environment for reporting and even predictive analytics will be game changing for procurement. In fact, this is the vision behind Accenture’s argument around the future of supply analytics in its paper Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One. But I believe that what Accenture is arguing for will actually be quite difficult to achieve. In this analysis, I consider a few of the reasons behind this. In short, supply analytics, as Accenture argues for it, is an outstanding vision. But accomplishing this data and insight nirvana will be anything but easy.

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A Perspective on Sourcing Operations and Compliance From Honeywell’s Camille Batiste

- July 31, 2015 11:32 AM | Categories: Analytics, Conferences, Industry News, Procurement

sourcing operations On Thursday at the Institute for Supply Management Metrics conference, in Philadelphia, Camille Batiste, vice president of sourcing operations and compliance at Honeywell, gave an engaging talk on procurement measurement and metrics. At Honeywell, her organization, sourcing and procurement, also owns operational excellence, which manages reporting as part of its charter. While much of the talk engaged the audience in an interactive manner, Batiste also shared both historical and current metrics she recommends for using to measure impact of procurement on the organization. Historical metrics include many focused on delivering costs savings. But there are also more valuable metrics procurement can deploy, Batiste argues, that can help tie its success directly to business success.

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Supply Analytics Will Become Routine, Predictive: Accenture

- July 31, 2015 8:13 AM | Categories: Analytics, Supply Management, Technology

network You won’t get any debate from us that supply analytics must form a key basis of future procurement technology investment. But whether supply analytics, as Accenture defines it in its recent report, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, becomes as routine as the authors argue is open to debate. A lot will have to happen to make this vision a reality. What Accenture describes is complicated and daring. It’s also going to prove, perhaps, the most challenging tech vision suggested in the paper to realize.

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Exploring Investment Drivers for Global Supply Chain Risk Management

supply chain risk management AGCO’s story is fascinating – and will provide great business case fodder for manufacturers looking to build the case for investment themselves in such programs. But what are the business drivers for companies making investments in such programs today? At the core, companies are changing, silos are breaking down and stakeholders are collaborating 
as never before. As a result, a new concept is emerging: global supply chain risk management (SCRM).
 Quite often, the decisions to invest in SCRM are often driven more by the fear of negative press – and of course regulatory penalties – than the opportunity to make the supply chain more resilient and maintain top-line revenue and market share, even in the case of a supply chain upset.

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Spend Matters Analysis: Accenture’s “Virtual Company Mall”

Accenture analysis In Accenture’s most recent study on procurement, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, the authors suggest the “virtual company mall” will provide the wrapper for the core of a firm’s shopping and tactical buying experience – i.e., how frontline users – and perhaps even procurement – shop for and purchase goods and services. It’s a clever thought to suggest that a single toolset – or more likely a single interface for users – will form the basis of a shopping system. It’s also clever to call it a mall, since within a mall, much like the future buying system the authors describe, there can be different branches or anchor stores as well as all of the individual merchants in smaller spaces that sell their wares. Yet for this analogy to work, a lot of elements need to come together.

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Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 6 – The Standard Contract Management Platform

Man looking at tablet Today we continue our Plus series on contract lifecycle management, an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle or source-to-pay process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. Today, we discuss the “should-have” features of a contract management platform. While not absolutely required, usability and performance will be significantly affected by the absence of any of these features, and most industry leading contract management solutions will support the majority of these capabilities to some extent. Of course, practitioner priorities will always determine “must-have” versus “should-have” weightings, but we simply break it out for convenience based on how we see organizations prioritize and sequence solution functionality selection and implementation. For most organizations, it’s okay if a few features here are missing, but if too many of these features are missing, then the organization should consider very carefully whether such a contract management solution is right for it, unless the capability is present in another platform currently in use by supply management or the solution is essentially free. In this post, we highlight our list of should-have capabilities.

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E-Invoicing Discovery Questions: Where to Begin

- July 29, 2015 8:07 AM | Categories: Finance, Invoicing, Technology

Question Mark in Money Putting in place an electronic invoicing program requires more than putting in place an e-invoicing system. Business drivers, supplier development programs, internal responsibilities, as-is/expected processes and process change and a range of other internal and external factors outside e-invoicing technology itself all should factor in the discovery process to create a set of requirements and needs specifications. In the Spend Matters paper Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits, I explore a list of questions that procurement and accounts payable (A/P) organizations should answer as a first step. Organizations interested in these types of questions will find the research brief, available temporarily for free download, quite valuable both in defining an optimal program and also in explaining to peers how e-invoicing fits with procurement, A/P, treasury, supply chain and related technologies and programs.

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Accenture and the Future of Procurement Technology: The Virtual Company Mall

Virtual company mall In Accenture’s daring report, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, the authors spend a bit of time exploring the future of procurement technology. In fact, they suggest 5 areas that are likely to augment or replace today’s current tech investments. One of these technology areas Accenture describes as “the virtual company mall.” In Accenture’s words, the virtual mall will comprise a cloud-based set of pre-approved private and public “shops” from which internal customers can select goods and services, supported with business logic that guides their purchasing based on policies, preferred suppliers and contracts. But what will it take to for this virtual supplier mall to become a reality?

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Spend Matters 50/50: Transcepta – A Provider to Watch in 2015

- July 28, 2015 3:57 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Transcepta is one of our 50 Providers to Watch. We will be highlighting 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) from our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs. Some providers prefer to keep a low profile as they grow. Such is the case of Transcepta, which has even taken a low profile approach to sales. It works with channel partners such as Oracle and SciQuest, which leverage its e-invoicing and supplier network capability with their own purchase-to-pay (P2P) solutions. While you may not have heard of Transcepta, if you are considering an e-invoicing or supplier connectivity solutions that touches on all the core bases, we promise: It will be worth your while checking them out.

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Beyond Transactional P2P: Exploring Buy-Side and Sell-Side Trade Financing Techniques For Supplier Early Payment

- July 28, 2015 8:10 AM | Categories: Finance, Procurement Financials, Trade Financing

explore When it comes to the intersection of purchase-to-pay (P2P) and financing options, there is no shortage of available techniques to address early payment programs to suppliers. As David Gustin notes in the Trade Financing Matters research paper, Accelerating Early Payment: Techniques and Approaches for Accelerating Cash in the Supply Chain, these techniques can be generally segmented into buy-side and sell-side categories. Buy-side approaches suggested include: p-cards, dynamic discounting, static discounting and reverse factoring, 
commonly called supply chain finance. Further, “On the buy-side, large and mid-sized corporates want to optimize payment terms and maximize 
their working capital, while not punishing suppliers by making sure they have options to 
liquidate their receivables. Buy-side solutions require an approved invoice from the company to release cash.”

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Examining the Future of Procurement Technology: Accenture’s Take on 5 Key Solution Areas

future Earlier this summer, Accenture published one of the most inventive and daring pieces of research on the future of procurement to date: Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One. Based extensively on interviews with procurement organizations as well as some of the best minds within the firm, it’s anything but the conservative white papers that often come out of consultancies. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s daring – and very daring for Accenture! Authored by Kai Nowosel, Kris Timmermans and Abigail Terrill, the paper argues that procurement will fundamentally change in structure, integration and digital enablement. Central to the argument of how the new procurement organization will operate is an evolution of technology.

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Spend Matters 50/50: Tradeshift – A Provider to Watch in 2015

- July 27, 2015 3:50 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Tradeshift is one of our 50 Providers to Watch. We will be highlighting all 100 companies (50 to Know, 50 to Watch) in our 2015 Spend Matters Almanac over the span of 100 days. Practitioners are encouraged to browse the categories listed in our Almanac to find the provider that best fits their needs. Every so often, a provider comes along that seeks to do something truly revolutionary. At first, some of us usually dismiss it – we want to see the proof rather than the vision. But slowly – and usually it is slowly – the vision sometimes becomes reality. Such is what appears to be happening at Tradeshift, the provider we believe has absolutely the best, and right, vision for building a transactional connectivity operating system between buyers, suppliers and partners.

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