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.

From Letters of Credit to Approved Invoice Financing

- January 27, 2015 9:55 AM | Categories: Analysis, Finance, Invoicing, Trade Financing

Letters of credit (L/C) are a traditional financing and risk management tool often used in cross border trade. As a primer on them, my colleague David Gustin writes in a recently published paper, “On-Demand, Event Triggered Finance With Network Models – A Game Changer?,” that “when suppliers don’t offer open terms, traditional trade finance payment instruments like letters of credit (L/C) are typically used, especially in international trade.”

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Catalog Management to the Rescue! Vroozi’s smartOCI Extends ERP Into Indirect Spend Without P2P

Most companies have a wide range of technology solutions that support their purchasing function (e.g., e-procurement, spend analysis, contract management, supplier management, sourcing, etc.). In many cases, typical Fortune 500 procurement organizations have invested in multiple solutions in a single area. (Yes, the myth of a single integrated suite is greatly overrated even in cases when a firm deploys a single suite). But one area where many organizations standardize on a single provider or fail to fully make the right set of investments is catalog management, which is more often the case in North America. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Xavier Olivera, director and lead P2P analyst, explores Vroozi’s smartOCI solution and how a robust catalog management approach and buying front-end can extend ERP procurement capability into the indirect area without necessarily having to use a specialized e-procurement or P2P toolset.

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Beyond the Approved Invoice: How B2B Networks Can Enable Event-Triggered Trade Finance

- January 26, 2015 9:56 AM | Categories: Analysis, Invoicing, Learning / Research, Trade Financing

From a financing perspective, having an approved invoice from an investment grade corporation is the equivalent of having an emotionally intelligent and highly responsible son or daughter graduate from Harvard Business School or Wharton. The combination of factors is a strong predictor of a successful financial outcome in the future. But few of our children will achieve all of these elements together – the same is true of all of the individual triggers available for trade financing as well.

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Spend Matters Launches Chief Procurement Officer Site

- January 26, 2015 6:44 AM | Categories: Procurement

The team here at Spend Matters is thrilled to announce the introduction of our latest site within the Spend Matters Network. Simply called “Chief Procurement Officer,” and hosted here at Spend Matters. It is a new site for CPOs, procurement leaders and their teams so we can address a few market needs. Read more about it!

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Getting the Most From Consulting Firms and Engagements – The Evolution of the Operations, Procurement and Sourcing Consulting Market (Part 4)

- January 26, 2015 3:06 AM | Categories: Analysis, Services and Indirect Spend, Sourcing

Today we wrap up our "Evolution of the Operations, Procurement and Sourcing Consulting Market" PRO series, written by Jason Busch, founder and managing director, and Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer. In this installment, Jason and Pierre share the best strategies to get the most from consulting firms in the current climate of the procurement and operations areas. They share a number of best practices they have observed by “smart” consumers of consulting services.

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P2P and ERP Integration: New Requirements, Evolving Tactics

- January 23, 2015 6:12 AM | Categories: ERP, Learning / Research, P2P

file000898499863 Without tight ERP linkages, the value of e-procurement and e-invoicing systems is greatly diminished. The Spend Matters P2P research team recently teamed up to write the white paper, Cloud P2P Deployment: A How-To Guide to SAP and ERP Integration with eProcurement and Beyond, which delves into strategies and tactics for making P2P and ERP integration work.

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Beyond Approved Invoices: Using a PO to Trigger Financing

- January 22, 2015 10:03 AM | Categories: Analysis, Finance, Invoicing, Trade Financing

1350658030t6lus While invoice discounting is getting nearly all of the attention today at the intersection of P2P, business networks, supplier networks and trade financing, might a purchase order (PO) actually be a better event trigger? The answer, if you can mitigate risk, is: absolutely. Financing off a PO allows, in theory, a significantly greater term over which to finance (and gets cash into the hands of suppliers more quickly).

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Deloitte’s CPO Study: Changing Chief Procurement Officer Behavior

- January 22, 2015 6:20 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Commentary, Procurement Research

Deloitte’s 2014 CPO survey helps to validate a number of evolutionary trends (e.g., decreased focused on savings) that those close to the procurement market are seeing. But it also goes a step further by exploring the different behaviors that top CPOs are engaging in. We’ll be exploring these behaviors and related findings from the analysis – as well as providing additional commentary – in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, I asked Deloitte’s Brian Umbenhauer, principal and US sourcing and procurement leader, and Ryan Flynn, principal, to share some of their perceptions on the study.

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Becoming a Smarter Services Customer – The Evolution of the Operations, Procurement and Sourcing Consulting Market (Part 3)

- January 22, 2015 2:45 AM | Categories: Analysis, Sourcing

In Part 3 of our series examining the evolution of operations, procurement and sourcing consulting, we turn our attention to maximizing value and becoming a smarter services customer. This topic is especially critical when practice utilization (percentage of hours billed as a percent of total available hours of employee bench capacity) is near all-time highs given the current market conditions where purse strings have been slightly loosened to execute the backlog of post-recession activities (e.g., ERP upgrade projects, procurement training, "souring wave n+1" activity, etc.). Previously in this series, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch explored growth rates within firms, the battle for consulting talent, the rise of new practice areas as well as threats and opportunities for the sector.

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Uber for Business: Features We’d Like to See Today (and Tomorrow)

- January 21, 2015 2:04 PM | Categories: Analysis, Travel

Earlier this week, Spend Matters provided background coverage on the various components of Uber for Business – a packaged, targeted T&E solution for employee ground transportation. In the story, we also explored usage/adoption trends for Uber for Business and partnerships since Uber launched the offering in July of 2014, including its integration with Concur, the leading T&E provider by market share. But what might Uber for Business offer in the future? Here are some ideas that the Spend Matters research team came up with that we’d like to see embedded in the toolset for corporate travel.

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Deloitte’s CPO Study: Top Takeaways and Separating Out Top-, Bottom- and Mid-Tier Performers

We continue our initial exploration of Deloitte’s 2014 CPO survey today, sharing more takeaways from a recent interview with 2 of the study’s architects, Deloitte’s Brian Umbenhauer, principal and US sourcing and procurement leader, and Ryan Flynn, principal. The conversation brought a number of not-so-surprising findings to light – and at least one zinger.

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Uber and Business Travel: Hailing a New Era of Corporate T&E

- January 20, 2015 2:29 PM | Categories: Analysis, Travel

Source: Uber Most consumers (and procurement team members) who use the popular Uber app to get around outside of work hours are probably are not even aware that the rapidly expanding and sometimes controversial firm is growing just as quickly in the business market. Even more so, we bet fewer Spend Matters readers are aware Uber is integrating into corporate travel and expense (T&E) ecosystems, including Concur (now part of SAP). Other T&E vendors include Deem, Coupa, Databasics and Expensify, which Uber has not yet partnered with (Concur has dominant market share within T&E today). Aside from Concur integration, here is a summary of what is included in the Uber business offering (called Uber for Business), which launched in July of 2014.

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