This two-part Spend Matters PRO Research brief considers why payment analytics are becoming more important as part of a holistic approach to examining procurement, supplier, accounts payable (AP) and treasury data, as well as driving new payables financing and general trade financing strategies. Spend Matters Managing Director Jason Busch – who, in his own words, is certainly guilty of approaching analytics from a “procurement” and “spend” perspective rather than diving deep on payables datasets – brings the goods in this piece.more ▸
Last week, in the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO update on Verian, one of a small group of dominant P2P players in the North American middle market today, our analysis explored the technology provider’s progress in the market, including the latest on the firm by the numbers and its overall transition to a SaaS business model. We also provided a checklist to help organizations assess whether Verian is a good fit for their specific P2P needs. As our analysis continues today, Jason Busch, Managing Director, Spend Matters, turns his attention to the highlights of Verian’s latest release – Version 14. In the final installment, we will share additional industry-specific scenarios Verian can enable and provide a comparative analysis with Coupa in a chart to help companies begin to understand how these two providers are really approaching P2P from the opposite ends of the spectrum, yet at least in some cases are targeting a similar market – and, of course, which types of organizations are most likely to gravitate to one provider or the other.more ▸
With each passing year, there are fewer categories in which supply chain transparency (including visibility into total cost at different tiers) is not rising – often considerably. But the lumber industry is one in which total cost transparency is blurred through an intermediary-led brokerage model that has evolved little for over half a century. Woodbrowser is hoping to change this. With the support of one of FreeMarkets co-founders, Sam Kinney - probably one of the most authoritative experts on real-world market mechanisms and market design (and, in full disclosure, a friend and mentor) - Woodbrowser is hoping to shake up the economics of the lumber market.more ▸
It’s not every day that a tech analyst gets to South Carolina (except those focused on agricultural yield improvements or manufacturing). But last week, after a meeting in Charlotte, I had the chance to drive down to Verian’s headquarters (for the first time) to meet with the management team. It was time well invested, and I thought of an interesting metaphor that helps to better understand the provider while making the trip through back roads and farmland to Verian’s modern headquarters – still considered to be in the Charlotte, North Carolina, metro area. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Managing Director Jason Busch provides an update on Verian, including what types of procurement and AP organizations should shortlist this provider, as well as the back roads they have to building out capability that continues to delight and surprise in a manner as impressive as – but truly different than – Coupa.more ▸
Accenture Spend Trends Report: MRO Category Intelligence – Not One Category, Not One Opportunity (Part 1)
For many companies, maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) represents a single (and large) area of procurement spend – often one which is rarely as proactively managed as it could be ( likely resulting in great savings on certain items and price gouging by suppliers on other SKUs that make up for all the savings in other areas). But MRO is not a single category. It spans everything from janitorial and cleaning supplies to fasteners and electrical products. But MRO typically has one thing in common – the majority (if not all) spend goes directly through distributors which may (or may not) perform value-added activities rather than to manufacturers.
We’ve covered MRO extensively on Spend Matters as of late, including taking a closer look at how to segment MRO spend and appropriate sourcing strategies in different areas. We’ve also looked at Amazon’s potential in the market, among other areas. See our list of related research at the end of this post for our most recent thoughts on the topic.more ▸
Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is taking place in San Francisco from Sept. 28 to Oct.2. It typically represents one of the best chances of the year for analysts to peer behind the covers of Oracle’s products and informally talk to both customers and Oracle employees at length. It lets us reach outside of our existing research/advisory client base. Earlier this summer, Spend Matters had a collective update from each of the product groups representing the different Oracle brands most focused on the procurement sector – PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle Procurement Cloud. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the highlights of what we learned.
You will also receive our initial analysis, subject to additional commentary following Oracle OpenWorld. This initial Spend Matters PRO brief, written by Jason Busch, managing director and founder, Pierre Mitchell, managing director and chief research officer, and Thomas Kase, vice president of research, explores the latest happenings with Oracle E-Business Suite Advanced Procurement including Purchasing, Endeca Extensions, Sourcing, iSupplier Portal, Supplier Hub, Supplier Lifecycle Management, Procurement Contracts , Mobile and related product areas. We’ll also touch on the new Oracle Project Procurement application.more ▸
Accenture Spend Trends Report: Insurance and Risk Category Intelligence – Exploring the Total Cost of Risk
Procurement’s historic role in many companies is based on waiting for activities and requirements be tossed “over the wall” by the business as product and service lines, as well as taking action only when internal requirements change or are added (e.g., tracking new information such as diversity status, risk, environmental, and regulatory compliance areas, etc). Yet staying passive is a recipe for sub-optimizing sourcing and total costs results in new or changing areas given the time pressure to execute on activities when a new trigger occurs. One such area that is explored in the Q2 Accenture Spend Trends Report is the changes within insurance and risk management.more ▸
Earlier this month, Spend Matters published a story highlighting Auto News’ coverage of supply chain and procurement localization at Magna International. On the surface, supply chain localization seems simple – work with local suppliers in the areas where you do business globally. Supply chain localization is far from easy – in fact, its requirements and practices are often incongruous with some procurement and supply chain trends leading to greater centralization of efforts and management.
Moreover, without the right structure and design – not to mention technology – the supplier localization efforts can overwhelm individuals (e.g., category managers) tasked with global oversight of specific sourcing and related supplier management efforts.
So what enablers can procurement and supply chain organizations turn to as they move toward localization given this context? There's a bunch. Read the full post to find out what they are.more ▸
Auto News recently reported that Magna International, one of the top three auto suppliers based in Canada, has been rethinking its supply chain of late, noting that “local strategy and efficiency improvements as key cost-saving measures within its supply chain.” In particular, supply chain localization was one of three trends within Magna’s supply chain identified by Carrie Van Ess, vice president of procurement for the Americas, at a recent industry briefing. Van Ess said a new supply chain model is emerging in which “goods are produced, sold and consumed in the same geographic region,” according to the article.more ▸
In scientific notation, 10,000 is written as 104 or 1 E+4 or 1 E4. It is the square of 100 and the square root of 100,000,000. If you were to draw a polygon with 10,000 sides, it would be called a myriagon. Ten kilometers (aka Sheena’s favorite distance to row and one of Jason’s least favorites to run) are equal to: 6.2 miles, the side of a square with an area of 100km2, and the radius of a circle with area 314.159 km2. Why are we dorking out over the number 10,000? Because this, what you are reading right now, is Spend Matters’ 10,000th post to go live on the site.more ▸
There’s a storm of “new" finance brewing on the horizon. I’ve even seen it myself as a business owner. On the supplier side, new lenders (and investors) are emerging and taking the place of traditional banks in the areas of receivables financing (and payables financing on the buyer side). It’s often far easier to work with these types of providers than it is traditional banks to gain access to working capital. In one personal example, and 40 hours of paperwork and meetings later, one large U.S. bank focused on growing its SMB market agreed to put in place a paltry line of credit (albeit at a good rate — just over prime).more ▸
Yesterday, Tungsten announced its acquisition of DocuSphere, a niche provider of accounts payable automation and integration technology that largely flew under the radar of most finance and procurement organizations in the sector (its entire 2013 revenue was less than some of the larger accounts payable automation deals that have been completed in recent years). e can largely conclude that the acquisition was done for two reasons: first, to extend Tungsten’s product capability outside of e-invoicing and supplier connectivity, and second, to bring additional volume onto the Tungsten network.more ▸