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.


Transcepta: A Procurement Technology “Best Kept Secret” — Year-End Tech Review

e-invoicing

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. Today we’re highlighting a company in the e-invoicing space.

Transcepta, a closely held business, was founded over a decade ago. Throughout this time, the provider has focused on building and expanding its global supplier network capabilities to support vendor onboarding and e-invoicing efforts, including most recently in the invoice discounting and trade financing areas.

ISG SpendHQ: A Spend Analysis Tool Built by Sourcing Professionals for Sourcing Professionals — Year-End Tech Review

analytics

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. For the rest of this week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

SpendHQ, a spend analytics product born out of its parent company, Insight Sourcing Group (ISG), originated as an answer to many of the challenges its consultants faced in the field. Today, SpendHQ has evolved into a full-featured analytics platform that has the distinction of being one of the few spend analysis tools that was built by sourcing professionals for sourcing professionals, and it looks at procurement data the way these professionals want to see it. SpendHQ was built by people who knew exactly what kind of analytics they needed to identify everything from surface-level to buried savings opportunities.

When Procurement Takes Up 66% of Front Page News

newspaper

Yesterday, I was waiting for the train at the Farnborough station with my U.K. colleague Peter Smith, who had just picked up his daily paper (The Times) from the newsstand. Reading over his shoulder while waiting for a Southwest Train (perhaps the only on-time one of the week), I could not believe what I saw: two (of three) front page stories centered on procurement!

The Procurement Trifecta for a Trump Presidency

Oval Office

News of the Trump presidency was arguably the largest trade (and policy) shot heard round the world in decades. Earlier this week, we discussed a range of issues that can potentially affect the broader economy –– not to mention procurement and supply chain organizations and, in particular, manufacturing. Yet two additional areas warrant additional study, not as standalone policies per se (at least for one of the two areas) but in situ conditions arising from a Trump presidency: infrastructure spending and the U.S. dollar.

In addition to the previous considerations explored in Part 1, our analysis considers these additional items in the context of three concrete procurement tactics organizations can take: improving their capability to support total cost modeling/landed cost models; investing in supply chain risk visibility; and approaching commodity strategy and commodity management in new ways. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides key analysis, talking points and actions steps for procurement and supply chain organizations to understand the impact of a Trump presidency on their firms and where they can start 2017 from a position of knowledge. It also offers recommendations for technology areas and technology vendors for consideration given these broader issues, including direct procurement technology suites, commodity management solutions, supplier network/connectivity solutions (direct spend), analytics, and supplier and supply chain risk management.

DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Commentary and Summary Analysis

VMS

It’s hard to dispute the data. Companies are increasingly buying all kinds of services, including those that do not neatly fit a common profile (parts, components or even outcomes, such as “power by the hour,” in the case of manufacturing outsourcing). Yet today’s procurement solutions are designed primarily to support either the purchasing of materials (direct and indirect) or targeted types of services procurement spend (namely, contingent workforce).

Today, many procurement organizations, such as Coupa and SAP Ariba customers, are putting large percentages of services spend through indirect procurement systems. These solutions are not yet specialized in influencing, capturing and managing all aspects of the sourcing, buying and supplier management lifecycle for services. Moreover, from a depth perspective, vendor management systems (VMS) tend to have functional gaps across the source-to-pay continuum in supporting statement of work (SOW) and freelancer management needs, compared with source-to-contract suite capability or specialized tools.

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot on DCR Workforce provides an objective SWOT analysis of DCR and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to DCR Workforce and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering DCR Workforce as a potential vendor. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at DCR Workforce as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 offered a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

BravoSolution: The Globalist of Procurement Tech Providers — Year-End Tech Review

MBO Partners

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

BravoSolution is perhaps the most international of all procurement technology suite providers. The Chicago-based firm delivers a core source-to-pay (S2P) suite (consisting of modules that can be individually or collectively licensed) that includes spend analysis, sourcing, sourcing optimization, supplier management, savings tracking and contract lifecycle management (CLM) along with advanced category sourcing technologies targeted at the transportation, packaging, facilities and MRO categories.

The Trump Effect: Trade, Policy, Commodities and Procurement in 2017

White House

The election of Donald Trump will undoubtedly have an unexpected impact on the domestic and international procurement, supply chain and trade communities. Perhaps the even bigger surprise will be in how much of the grassroots rhetoric from the campaign actually becomes reality in 2017 when President-elect Trump takes office. Reversing previous executive orders and issuing new ones, as opposed to pursuing a legislative approach to change, is a faster route to creating shorter-term impact, but also potentially less effective in the long term.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an overview of some of the most important trade, policy and commodity inputs to what a Trump Presidency may bring. It provides a procurement and supply chain perspective on likely changes that we need to be aware of as practitioners, as well as select wild cards that are important for consideration. The second installment of the series will also include suggested strategies, tactics and technologies that organizations can deploy to minimize business risk and disruption moving into this expected area of change.

Scout RFP: The E-Sourcing Upstart Focused on User Experience — Year-End Tech Review

digital

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

The founders of Scout RFP launched their firm with the goal of making e-sourcing solutions accessible and less cumbersome. Since the launch of a basic but simple-to-use RFP solution in 2013, the Scout RFP team has quickly built out the core of an e-sourcing suite, adding e-auction, savings tracking and supplier (information) management. Flash-forward only three years, and Scout RFP today positions its solid mid-market solution against the leading best-of-breed vendors in this segment of the market, with capabilities even larger firms may want to use.

DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses

supplier management

This vendor research series focuses on DCR Workforce, a provider of services management/ procurement technology solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering DCR Workforce. In the context of the solution set, we noted that Smart Track is somewhat different than the typical monolithic VMS solution, for a number of reasons. These include: one, the modularity of the Smart Track platform which utilizes an SOA (services oriented architecture) model and allows separate modules to be implemented on their own, according to the client use case; and two, the strength of the SOW/Services Management module, which was the lead product at the time of DCR’s market entry.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores DCR Workforce’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor to enable their services procurement technology requirements. It also offers a pros/cons critique of the user interface. The remaining parts of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

HICX: A Robust MDM and Supplier Management Toolkit — Year-End Tech Review

supplier network

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

HICX, a London-based firm founded in 2004, has served the North American market for the past decade. It may not yet be a household name in the procurement world, but this could change as the importance of master data management and supplier management increases, and smaller (but still large!) companies begin to make investments in the area.

GEP: Solution Review & Analysis

apinan/Adobe Stock

GEP (formerly Global eProcure) is an integrated procurement solutions and services firm that offers managed services (including full BPO capabilities), transformation services (i.e., consulting) and its own internally developed source-to-pay (S2P) technology suite. The combination of these individual capabilities from a single provider, especially as they become increasingly synergistic, makes GEP truly standalone in the industry. Ultimately, the company made the strategic decision to develop its own native source-to-pay cloud platform suite (“SMART by GEP,” released in 2014). It’s a strategic bet that procurement organizations of varying sizes want the agility and depth of a single provider that can flexibly assemble a solution of technology, managed services and transformation services to support their dynamic needs. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the GEP solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.