Author Archives: Jason Busch

About Jason Busch

The closest thing to a household name in procurement and supply chain, Jason has led the charge as an advocate, futurist and evangelist since the 1990s. Initially at FreeMarkets and then an adviser to Ariba and other firms, Jason branched out on his own to establish the Spend Matters brand (parent company: Azul Partners), which emerged to become the largest news and information portal covering the sector. Over the years, Azul Partners has expanded this digital portfolio to 12 affiliated properties including leading titles such as Spend Matters UK/Europe, MetalMiner and Public Spend Forum, making it one of the largest independent B2B digital media firms. Jason divides his time between research, speaking, corporate finance advisory and mentoring dozens of firms and procurement organizations in the industry. Prior to Azul Partners and FreeMarkets, Jason worked in consulting and merchant banking. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Personal investment disclosures: Azul Partners, Inc., Public Spend Forum, LLC, Remitia Ltd., RJSL Group LLC, Sigaria Ltd., Spare to Share, LLC, Spendata LLC, SpendLead, Inc., Spend Matters Europe Ltd., Spend Matters Group, LLC.

Why Services Firms are Finally Developing Successful Procurement Technology Applications — and Why You Should Sometimes Consider Them

big data For well over a decade, consultancies, business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, managed services providers (MSPs) and other services firms in the procurement ecosystem have tried to develop procurement technology solutions that can stand on their own. Just about all of these early efforts were either failures or just never could be properly sustained and supported as standalone software products (i.e., something beyond a captive internal tool like spend analysis used as part of service engagements or pre-sales diagnostics). Examples include AT Kearney, FreeMarkets, Mitchell Madison and Silver Oak Services Partners. It was easy to recognize the inherent conflict between the billable hour (and solution objectivity) and the investment and expertise to run a software business. But the times have changed for services firms. Not only are some firms developing solutions that can compete on the basic feature and function software level, but the solutions now don’t necessarily walk out the door when the consultants wrap up an engagement. Rather, they are retained in areas such as sourcing, analytics, services procurement, supplier management and even procure to pay (P2P). This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief explores what has changed to enable this, where and how services-centered firms are building applications (and in certain cases, managed services that involve software) and some of the challenges that firms still face in commercializing their technology efforts — and tips for overcoming them. It also highlights three examples of services providers that developed innovative procurement technology solutions in different areas, either within their current structure or inside new organizations run or owned by the same principals.

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Supplier Risk and Compliance as a Managed Service: Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) The rise of managed services is expanding the pie for supplier management, enabling procurement, finance and supply chain organizations to benefit from supplier information and to drive compliance without having to think about software, supplier enablement or direct licensing agreements with individual providers themselves. Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS) is one such provider taking a managed services approach to supplier compliance and management in a manner that can be cost neutral from the start to procurement. As our Spend Matters PRO analysis of GRMS continues (see the first installment in this series here), we offer perspective on how GRMS’ capabilities compare to and complement supplier management technology platforms and other providers, as well as general strengths, weaknesses and recommendations that potential users of this supplier risk management and compliance managed service should be aware of. We also provide perspectives on the business needs of organizations that are most likely to be a good fit for GRMS, a provider that as of January 2016, had more than 225 customers.

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Make Procurement Great Again!

- February 8, 2016 6:01 AM | Categories: Conferences, Industry News, Procurement Commentary

Global Procurement Tech Summit

I decided to have some fun this week and change my Skype handle to “Make Procurement Great Again.” It has generated far more of a response than I could have imagined, and, yes, I admit to having a twisted sense of political humor. But "The Donald" may have a point. We do need to make procurement great again, and like Trump, we need to inspire the voting masses who would otherwise not get involved in politics, those with their own set of issues that they believe go unheard by mainstream leaders.

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Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS): Supplier Onboarding, Risk and Compliance as a Managed Service

Global Risk Management Solutions Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS), a managed services provider (MSP), has carved out a valuable niche targeting procurement organizations that want maximum assurance that the suppliers they are doing business with truly are who they say they are — and that they meet customized requirements for doing business with the company in question. Complementing other supplier management tools and source-to-pay suites as well as specialized supply chain risk management solutions, GRMS focuses on areas of supplier compliance that many organizations shortchange on an ongoing basis. Fueled by a supplier-funded revenue model and an outsourced data aggregation and validation service that is global in scope, spanning onboarding, regulatory compliance, environmental health and safety, risk management, diversity data and more, GRMS has kept the financial and business process adoption barriers to their offering low for procurement organizations. This two-part Spend Matters PRO Research brief provides an overview of the GRMS managed service compliance solution and how it can complement related supplier management, compliance and risk technologies (e.g., Hiperos/Opus Global, Aravo, Lavante, HICX, Ariba/SAP, SciQuest, Emptoris/IBM, Ivalua, Zycus, GEP, riskmethods, Resilinc) and information providers (e.g., D&B, BvD, Ecovadis) – as well as the overlap it has with other supplier management managed services providers like Achilles, Browz, PICS Auditing, Deloitte and Helios.

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The Latest on Nipendo: Direct Materials Support, A New Dynamic Portal and Customer Recommendations

- February 5, 2016 2:10 AM | Categories: eProcurement / Procurement, P2P, supplier networks, Technology

p2p deployment Innovation lurks in the shadows of legacy e-invoicing and supply chain connectivity approaches, threatening to completely change how we communicate procurement, sales and supply chain information with partners — and even internally. And Nipendo, which we have previously explored in depth here and here as well as an Intel case study here and here, is at the forefront of this radical shift. In this second half (see the first installment) of this update on Nipendo, based on a half-day session looking at the latest from the provider at its R&D center in Israel, Spend Matters details some of the enhancements this disruptive provider is bringing to supply chain connectivity.

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Nipendo: Capabilities and Use Cases that Make Supplier Networks Look Like Green Screens

- February 4, 2016 2:11 AM | Categories: Invoicing, P2P, Solution Providers, Technology, Trade Financing

Nipendo There are few technology companies that are doing anything terribly creative when it comes to connecting buyers and suppliers on a transactional basis outside of basic e-invoicing, aside from various tricks involving the onboarding of vendors and enabling downstream activities such as early payment and trade financing. But one vendor stands apart when it comes to pushing the limits of what buyer/supplier connectivity means today by redefining electronic data interchange (EDI) and going far beyond the basics of invoicing alone in a supplier network environment. The provider in question, Nipendo, is exciting on multiple levels, although its reputation has not yet caught up with its capabilities (something we’re hoping to help them remedy with our coverage). One can look at Nipendo as a new type of infrastructure-as-a-service (iPaaS) provider such as MuleSoft or DellBoomi, except one more narrowly focused on trading partner connectivity (primarily involving procurement, suppliers and potential financing partners). In late December I ventured to Israel and took a detour from my trip to spend half a day at Nipendo’s headquarters and explore the latest from this disruptive provider. This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a functional, product and company update to our past coverage of Nipendo, including a look at the provider’s new portal interface.

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Why the Selection of Your P2P Vendor Affects the Total Cost of Software and Implementation

sourcing technology So far in this series looking at factors impacting the success of P2P programs, we’ve considered such areas as the shifting landscape from on-premise software to cloud solutions as well as six key factors impacting the true costs of deployment. This research brief explores why the selection of your P2P vendor is likely to have a material impact on the costs of the software solution and its implementation beyond just subscription/license fees. It also provides summary observations for organizations selecting and rolling out e-procurement and P2P solutions. Finally, it is important to realize that no two situations are similar. We invite Spend Matters PRO advisory clients to contact us to discuss their selection and deployment situation and considerations as early as possible to avoid unnecessary costs and headache down the line.

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Supplier Management in 2016: Onboarding, Risk Management, Development and More

supplier management Supplier management is a catch-all description for a set of activities and technologies that are often carried out in silos across an organization. From accounts payable-centric onboarding (also known as enablement) of new suppliers to risk management activities with a supply chain focus, to strategic development centered on joint cost takeout and innovation led by cross functional procurement and non-procurement teams, supplier management has grown to encompass a wide range of initiatives and numerous individuals both within and outside the organization.

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Direct Procurement in 2016: Manufacturing, Commodity Management, Supply Chain and More

direct materials sourcing There are many who would argue that direct procurement is procurement. Yet I typically define direct procurement, in the broadest sense, as referring to the sourcing, buying and management of ingredients, materials, parts, components, assemblies, packaging and related items, and services associated with “spend” that is accounted for under costs of goods sold (COGS) from an accounting perspective.

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6 Factors that Impact the Cost, Hassle and Heartache of E-Procurement and P2P Deployments

- January 27, 2016 2:21 AM | Categories: eProcurement / Procurement, P2P, Technology

p2p deployment In this research brief, we explore the specific elements that impact the costs and hassles of P2P implementations and ways of controlling them — or at least managing expectations upfront. What’s perhaps most valuable in our findings is that these six elements don’t just show-up during the course of a given implementation — they’re often visible up front if you know where to look. And they can even prove to be leading indicators of trouble to come before you even sign a contract with a vendor. In short, if you know what potential roadblocks to look for up front, you can minimize or avoid unnecessary costs and hassle down the e-procurement road. Here’s how.

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Taulia Breaks Its Marketing Silence, Announces Q4 Momentum and More

- January 26, 2016 1:18 PM | Categories: Accounts Payable, Finance, Technology, Trade Financing

Taulia Q4 results Taulia reported record fourth quarter results Monday, with new bookings growth up 219%. The financial supply chain solution company said the new customers it gained in the fourth quarter will add 50,000 suppliers in 71 countries, as well as $65 billion in spend to the existing Taulia platform. Additional milestones for Taulia in Q4 included making more than $50 billion in financing available to suppliers across the globe and retaining its 100% customer renewal rate.

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Procurious and SpendLead: Social Collaboration is Finally Taking Off in Procurement

- January 26, 2016 8:20 AM | Categories: Innovation, Procurement Strategy & Planning, Suppliers, Technology

social collaboration Over the past few weeks, I’ve caught up with two upstart players specializing in the social collaboration sector for procurement. These two providers could not be more different. One, Procurious, is very much a private Facebook/LinkedIn-type model for procurement practitioners to network with themselves and share ideas, practices and more. The other, SpendLead, is centered on managing new types of supplier information and driving procurement interaction with a firm’s current and potential suppliers, as well as and supplier interaction with current and potential buyers.

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