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.

Spend Matters 50/50: E2open – A Provider to Watch in 2015

- May 22, 2015 1:14 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

E2open 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. E2open recently went private, allowing it to focus more intently on customers and not have to worry about quarterly earnings. E2open started as an industry-sponsored e-marketplace in high tech back in the dot-com era, but has slowly expanded its role to become one of the pre-eminent supply chain information networks in the market.

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Deloitte’s Take: Procurement Compensation in Talent Management

- May 22, 2015 6:11 AM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement Commentary, Procurement Research

Two hands of businessmen passing a stack of dollars As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The same can be said of recruiting the best procurement talent into an organization. Spend Matters is continuing to feature excerpts from Deloitte’s recently published paper: Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People. Today we take a glance at Deloitte’s thoughts on the compensation equation. Read on to catch a glimpse at the new research paper and find out why we think compensation matters at all levels of procurement.

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I’ve Joined Twitter! Stay Tuned for ‘Less Filtered’ Findings

- May 21, 2015 8:34 AM | Categories: Industry News, Procurement Commentary, Technology

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 2.49.41 PM At Spend Matters, at least with our @spendmatters handle, we’ve admittedly done a rather superficial job at using Twitter. Yes, we tweet our stories and research. And yes, there’s even an occasional witty angle to it. But to date, it’s been a channel for Spend Matters, one that’s been secondary compared to our other editorial priorities. Perhaps this won’t change on the site side of things – and maybe it shouldn’t. But personally, I’ve decided to toss my hat into the Twitter ring. I signed up for a new Twitter handle (@jasondbusch) earlier this week and have already had quite a bit of fun with it, the way I used to when Spend Matters was bit less edited and filtered.

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Deloitte’s Take: Virtuous Churn in Procurement Should be Welcomed, Not Feared

3S8PYJ7U5O Our exploration of Deloitte’s paper Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People continues today with exploring the concept of “virtuous churn” within procurement. Looking at procurement as a “temporary home” within an organization rather than a singular career destination is essential when considering the type of talent structure and program that procurement leadership teams – ideally with the support of HR – want to nurture and build. As the paper states: “Churn can be virtuous – Formal job rotation programs for future senior leadership positions, or even senior finance positions, are increasingly putting procurement and supply chain on the rotation list. What better place to develop commercial, operational, analytical and collaborative skills all in one department?

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Spend Matters 50/50: Accenture – A Provider to Know in 2015

- May 20, 2015 12:55 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Accenture is one of our 50 Providers to Know. 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. Within the consulting and business process outsourcing sectors, Accenture, going back to its original parent, Arthur Andersen, has been able to maintain what many of us would argue is probably the strongest culture within the professional services space.

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How to Mentor and Manage Procurement Talent: A View From Deloitte

96E1A8F1CB Not enough has been written on getting the procurement talent equation right or fundamentally changing the function from the inside out. Spend Matters is continuing to feature excerpts from Deloitte’s recently published paper: Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People. Today we explore Deloitte’s views on mentoring procurement talent. As stated in the paper: “High-potential staff can become high performers
by learning both the mechanics and the art of the procurement trade. Anyone can comprehend a process, but invaluable learning can be gained by working alongside highly skilled teachers, mentors, colleagues and trusted third parties in an apprenticeship model. Top chief procurement officers (CPOs) often cite mentors who helped shape their careers and instill the importance of strong execution.

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Now It’s Time For Implementing the ‘The Big Idea’ in Procurement: Tips From Rio Tinto CFO Chris Lynch

board-cubes-game-2923 copy At the Procurious event in late April in London, Rio Tinto CFO Chris Lynch gave one of the most useful talks I’ve heard to date on implementing big ideas in procurement. We’ve previously explored his thoughts. Today, as we conclude this series, we will discuss how to implement big ideas successfully (remember, few ideas get to this stage, at least those with management- and even board-level support!). Above all, in implementing big ideas, Chris suggests keeping things simple and introducing the bare minimum of complexity into the equation, at least as those from the outside (of procurement) can see it.

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Exploring Work Market: Market Context, Customer Experience and Recommendations

Artistic-Bright-Color-100713A48553EE4C Today we conclude our analysis of Work Market by examining both the customer experience (from a user perspective) and final recommendations for those companies considering a freelancer management system (FMS) either alongside or separate from a vendor management system (VMS). In recent discussions with Work Market and other services procurement customers, we have been hearing some consistent patterns. It seems companies are hiring more non-affiliated freelancers and independent consultants, and the decision to use an “out-tasking” service or marketplace versus a mode that allows greater control and compliance from a FMS standpoint – for onsite ICs or otherwise – is often based on the category and strategic importance of the activity. Additionally, traditional e-procurement, VMS and MSP solutions are typically not up to the task or purpose-built for the effort. But the question remains: Will Work Market (independently or in a competitive environment) be a key provider to fill the void?

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

- May 19, 2015 4:57 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Proactis 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. Proactis recently made a name for itself by not only carving out a regional niche in the UK purchase-to-pay (P2P) market, but by carrying out a string of 3 acquisitions in 2014: EGS Group, Intesource and Intelligent Capture Limited. These acquisitions have expanded both the solution and vertical/industry specific footprint of Proactis.

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A Procurement Manifesto: Article 1 – Technology in Our Personal Lives

- May 19, 2015 8:36 AM | Categories: Procurement Commentary, Technology

VVSESFW1MS I spent the better part of the first few months of the year wracking my brain to distill a lot of ideas – with the input of the Vroozi team – on a new procurement manifesto that spoke to how procurement and procurement technology will change to reflect the world we are living in today. The list of articles in the manifesto (which we may expand with further input in a second edition) currently stands at 20. In the coming weeks, I’ll share each of the articles on Spend Matters and also offer up some additional thoughts as well. In the meantime, you can download the full essay here: Declaration of the New Purchasing.

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The Next Step: Getting Support for ‘The Big Idea’ – Rio Tinto’s CFO Chris Lynch Offers Tips for Procurement

FA55F3B0FC As our series featuring Rio Tinto’s CFO Chris Lynch on how procurement can contribute “big ideas” to the business continues, we come to the next step in the process of making big ideas stick: “getting support.” Here, Chris offers a number of concrete suggestions. First and foremost, he suggests finding a “big promoter” higher up the corporate hierarchy while recognizing that people at the top are “very time poor.” Because of this, it is critical to think about how this executive patron will look at the idea with very limited time. Here, procurement team members must realize that executives are “always very time poor,” so it is essential to “give them a context.”

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Field Nation Acquisition of Field Solutions: What It Means for WIP, FMS Markets

XNZTUL720T Earlier today Field Nation announced it was acquiring Field Solutions for an undisclosed sum. The transaction represents the most recent M&A activity to hit the freelancer management system (FMS) and work intermediation platform (WIP) markets, related sectors still in their relative infancy. Even though, as one proxy, we estimate the combined size of Field Nation and Field Solution on an annualized volume/revenue basis is well below what most Fortune 100 companies spend on IT each year, there is an undeniable trend in the IT area (as well as marketing/creative services, media and related segments) toward hiring a larger numbers of freelancers or independent contractors that will only accelerate on a global basis. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides both context and additional analysis exploring the combination of Field Nation and Field Solution and discusses expected market and consolidation trends in the various sub-sectors of the services procurement market – and what it all means for procurement and HR organizations alike. We ask, "What does the acquisition tell us about the emergence of 'platforms' in the contingent workforce supply chain?" Read the full article for more.

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