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 supple 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.

Apple’s Tim Cook – A Courageous Step

- October 31, 2014 1:25 PM | Categories: Commentary

Yesterday, Tim Cook officially shared what many in the Bay Area tech scene knew already – that he was gay. The announcement should be meaningless for the supply chain and procurement profession, but it is not. Simply put, while throughout our careers we have seen passionate pleas beyond government mandates to drive supplier diversity programs as well as significant recruitment programs internally that emphasize racial inclusion and diversity, it is our view that the operational side of businesses – procurement, supply chain, accounts payable, etc. – generally remain far less accepting, at least publicly, of an openly gay and lesbian workforce in comparison to other areas of the business.

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Spend Matters Celebrates 10 Years!

- October 31, 2014 10:21 AM | Categories: Breaking News, Featured

1371431232nzlq9 Spend Matters is celebrating its 10 year anniversary Monday, Nov. 3. We’re having our local team and a few friends join us at one of our favorite Chicago haunt for a pint or 2 (or 5). It’s nothing terribly formal – consistent with our overall approach to things. But 10 years is a big milestone, and I sometimes find it hard to believe we’ve been at it this long.

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When Savings Kills: How a 1-inch Change is Costing Trinity Millions

- October 30, 2014 6:25 AM | Categories: Cost Management, Purchasing, Supply Risk

file0001647280363 Earlier this month, we heard how Trinity Industries, the maker of many of the guardrails installed along America’s highways, will be fined hundreds of millions of dollars for making and installing defective guardrails without the federal government’s knowledge. How did this happen? How is it that so many of these supposed safety devices were modified and manufactured without meeting federal standards and then installed on the sides of so many roadways across the country? And, what is the price to the public for these dangerous devices?

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Exploring the State of the Independent Worker: A Key Services Procurement Component

- October 29, 2014 6:31 AM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning, Survey

iphone-macbook-air-man-164-525x350 MBO Partners recently released its annual “State of Independence” report covering independent workers. Independent contractors, whether they work part-time or full-time in this manner, are an increasingly overall component of services procurement programs that are looking to tap specialized skills or take advantage of alternative labor and project-based delivery models (although one that is often not given enough attention relative to the staffing and SOW ecosystem).

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Exploring MBO Partners – Putting the Freelancer First to Capture Contingent Spend Beyond Staffing

- October 28, 2014 6:35 AM | Categories: Analysis, Spend Analysis

In this two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, Jason Busch, founder and managing director of Spend Matters, explores MBO Partners in detail. We will be offering a look at how the provider has historically worked with the independent consultant and small firm supply community and how it is ramping up its efforts to serve the other half of this freelancer equation – corporations themselves consuming these services themselves. The analysis covers MBO’s scope of services and technology capability, solution roadmap, fee/pricing models and value added services offered to buyers and suppliers – and how MBO fits in the VMS and broader services procurement technology ecosystem.

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Procurement and Payments: Why Getting Smart on Bitcoin Matters More Than You Think

- October 28, 2014 2:23 AM | Categories: Accounts Payable, Price Forecast

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My colleague David Gustin recently posting a fascinating column on Trade Financing Matters titled Comparing SWIFT, Paypal and Bitcoin – and why this matters! that should be required reading for all procurement, accounts payable or treasury executives considering the impact of new financing and payment mechanisms within the supply chain. David suggests we should be paying closer attention to firms such as Bitcoin, not just based on their share of B2B activity today but rather what their underlying models and infrastructure could signal about the future.

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Is the Politburo in a Tizzy Over Reshoring?

- October 27, 2014 6:11 AM | Categories: Commentary, Reshoring

file0001731552231 When it comes to creating a harmonious society, the Communist Party in China pays far greater attention to fundamental economics than most western countries do. Keeping GDP growth above certain levels is not juts a goal – it is religion for the politburo’s economic planners that know that the country is held together by growth and economic improvement at all levels, not ideology. Given this foundation, the questions that this blog from Supply Chain Management Review raises are fascinating indeed.

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Sourcing Event Complexity – Thinking Through Event Size Limits (Part 2)

- October 23, 2014 6:31 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain

SONY DSC Earlier this month, I commented on Michael Lamoreux’s recent post in which he suggested that we should all “go big” when it comes to including as much coverage and complexity as possible in single sourcing events by leveraging sourcing optimization technology. His post is fabulous – but as I said earlier, Michael is channeling positive thoughts about most companies ability to even take advantage of the basics around sourcing event complexity (most aren’t even 10% of the way there to being able to push the limits of technology).

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Thinking Through Event Size Limits – Courtesy of a Sourcing Optimization Guru (Part 1)

- October 22, 2014 6:48 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain, Technology

1368590906514fn When I worked at FreeMarkets in the early days before the advent of self-service sourcing tools, we used to think events with over 500 line items (grouped into half a dozen or so lots) were large. The items and the groups we lotted them into were generally part of the same category or families. At the time (15 years ago), we were using sourcing technology that was incredibly rudimentary compared with the power of tools that are available today that leverage the ability to conflict different bids from suppliers based on flexible submission capability. Moreover, bids can now cascade across different supply chain elements including raw material costs/requirements, transportation costs, value added steps, etc., and we can bring them together in a common event. It raises the question: How big is too big for an event?

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2015: A “Banner Year” for Invoice Discounting

- October 22, 2014 2:13 AM | Categories: Analysis, Invoicing

Invoice discounting is about to hit the afterburner with significant program acceleration inside existing accounts as well as new program implementation and adoption in 2015. In the second installment of this two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer and managing director along with David Gustin, managing director of Trade Financing Matters, explore 10 reasons for this growth. Part 1 of this series included reasons 1-5. In Part 2, we cover reasons 6-10.

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Supply Ecosystems: Creating Value For Shareholders and Members

- October 21, 2014 10:19 AM | Categories: Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

14012721461s5gf The notion of collaborative “supply ecosystems” is one that puts the notion of traditional competitive supply chains on its head. For those who are curious, this paradigm is being posited by Penn State’s Christopher Craighead, Auburn University’s David Ketchum and the University of Tennessee’s Russell Crook in a forthcoming journal article in which they suggest that one of the elements that members of supply ecosystems will have to follow are balancing the “dual goals of creating value for themselves as well as other ecosystem members.”

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Supply Ecosystems: Leveraging Skills and Knowledge

file0002120440786 One element behind the concept of “supply ecosystems,” a new supply chain paradigm argued by Penn State’s Christopher Craighead, Auburn University’s David Ketchum and the University of Tennessee’s Russell Crook, is very much alive today, albeit at the early adopter stage. This point is that within supply ecosystems, “each organization’s knowledge and skills must be leveraged across the entire ecosystem.”

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