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.

EPA Clean Power Plan, MATS Rule and Procurement: Analysis and Implications

Analysis Word Shows Investigation Analyzing Or Research Earlier this week, more than 20 states and a host of industry groups officially filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan. Before that, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s new “water rule” in all 50 states. Both of these developments came after a late June ruling in which the US Supreme Court struck down EPA-directed regulations for limiting mercury and toxic emissions from coal and oil power plants – known as the MATS (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards) rule. From a procurement and supply chain vantage point, that ruling was arguably the most important decision the nation’s highest court has made in the past decade. Not only does it cut to the very heart of procurement’s mission to manage costs, but it has direct linkages with energy sourcing and category management. This Spend Matters Plus brief analyzes the implications of these three EPA-driven regulations for procurement practitioners and supply chain organizations and provides recommendations for both manufacturers and non-manufacturers on how to take action around policy and regulations.

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SIG Dispatch: The E-Procurement Catalog is Dead…

- October 29, 2015 4:51 PM | Categories: Analysis, eProcurement / Procurement, Procurement Commentary

skeleton-RIP-tombstone-1 ...Long live the e-procurement catalog (for now). The debate surrounding the future of catalog management right now is a healthy one to have. Some argue that catalogs, as configured today, are not dynamic enough to support capturing the long-tail of spend nor the frequent information and SKU updates necessary to make sure the business can buy what it needs. I am officially declaring the catalog dead ... at least it will be in the next 10 years — here's why.

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SIG Dispatch: Supplier Master Data Management on Steroids or ‘I Want to Pump Your ERP Up’

- October 29, 2015 11:48 AM | Categories: Commentary, ERP, Supplier Management

gym-weights-1416034 At the SIG summit yesterday, a large global manufacturer (that will go unnamed until we get permission) got up on stage and presented a long chapter from its procurement technology transformation effort and specifically, in detail, how vendor file/master data management (MDM) tied into it. The organization, which has grown both organically and through acquisition, has multiple ERP systems and “at least seven” different instances of SAP. We might call this a tale of supplier/vendor file MDM on steroids. But with apologies to Arnold, this is far more than just “pumping your ERP up.”

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A Modest Proposal: Recasting Auctions in Procurement, Supply Chain and Trade Financing

- October 29, 2015 8:35 AM | Categories: Best Practice, Procurement, Supply Chain, Trade Financing

auctions Looked at from an industry perspective, dynamic pricing and auction mechanisms have become the awkward middle child of procurement, supply chain and trade financing technology. What used to be the centerpiece of business models has become a secondary component of most procurement suites and technology models — or is downplayed as a feature rather than something at the core. To me, this is a shame.

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SIG Dispatch – The New Procurement: Risk and Services Procurement (Individually and Together!)

SIG logo The SIG Global Executive Summit is not your typical wide-themed procurement conference in which you’ve heard the same story or case study before. If you’ve been reading my dispatches thus far from the event today, you’ll pick up on two central themes in the SIG fall summit: supply chain/supplier risk and services procurement. I’d wager that topics surrounding these areas make up roughly around 50% of the content over the three-day event, and much of the content is deep.

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SIG Dispatch: The Supply Chain Risk Decade, Segmenting the Market and a Lunch Panel

SIG event I’m speaking on a lunch panel today at the SIG Global Executive Summit on supplier and supply chain risk management. At SIG this fall, risk is all over the agenda, including a dedicated breakout track, covering all facets of the “four-letter word” (the clever description of a session on the topic at the event), from regulatory compliance to supplier business practices to supply chain disruption. But my, how times have changed since risk first came into procurement vogue...

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SIG Dispatch – Bros & Broettes, Benchmarks, Beach Runs and More

sea-sky-beach-holiday-large I arrived at SIG’s Global Executive Summit in Huntington Beach, California, yesterday and was expecting a relatively quiet afternoon and evening. Of course, the plans were tossed out the window when I saw so many old faces from my FreeMarkets and Ariba years — past co-workers, clients, frenemies and more (the sourcing “bros” and “broettes” as I call them). After a few afternoon sessions — a surprising number covered services procurement and risk management, the two topics I’m speaking on while here — the evening was a whirlwind of catch-up conversations and hellos with my old crew and some new faces as well.

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More A/P Tech Advancements in 2015: M&A Summary and Analysis (Part 3)

- October 28, 2015 2:24 AM | Categories: Accounts Payable, Analysis, M&A, Solution Providers, Technology

M&A 2015 has proved to be a banner year so far for procurement and accounts payable technology transactions. In this final installment of our look inside a number of suite-oriented transactions so far this year, we consider the recent deals between Determine (Selectica) and b-pack, Perfect and Hubwoo and a partnership that might as well be an acquisition from a customer perspective: BravoSolution and Verian. This analysis summarizes each transaction from a customer and solution perspective, provides Spend Matters commentary on the combination and provides customer and partner recommendations.

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Analyzing Infor, Coupa’s 2015 Acquisitions with Customer Recommendations: M&A Summary and Analysis (Part 2)

- October 27, 2015 2:42 AM | Categories: M&A, Solution Providers, Technology

Business man and meeting table background With all of the merger and acquisition activity that’s taken place so far in 2015, procurement and accounts payable (A/P) organizations — let alone tech vendors, consultants, bankers, market advisors and investors — have a tough job keeping up with what it all means on a technology and source-to-pay (S2P) suite basis. Perhaps even more challenging is cutting through the vendor, investor relations and marketing rigmarole surrounding these deals. Trust us, our research team has worn the marketing, corporate development, procurement, consultant and IT hats and the level of clarity in vendor explanations of many of these recent deals often leaves us scratching our heads too. It’s reached a fever pitch of jargon. This Spend Matters PRO analysis explores the following transactions: Infor and GT Nexus, and Coupa and InvoiceSmash. A prior installment of this research brief provided general suite M&A market analysis and specific analysis and commentary on the Oildex and ADP and Tradeshift and Merchantry transactions. A final installment of this series will cover Perfect and Hubwoo, Selectica and b-pack and BravoSolution and Verian deals.

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Catch Me at the SIG Summit This Week

microphone I’m headed to Sourcing Industry Group's (SIG) Global Executive Summit this week. I will be participating in a lunchtime panel at the event and one of the breakout sessions on services procurement. Stay tuned to Spend Matters for coverage from the conference!

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What 2015 Acquisitions Mean for P2P, Procurement and A/P: M&A Summary and Analysis (Part 1)

- October 26, 2015 2:49 AM | Categories: Analysis, M&A, Solution Providers

Analysis concept 2015 has been the year of the acquisition for procurement suite vendors. M&A activity within the information technology solutions space that supports P2P processes is accelerating. This has significant implications for organizations that are currently rolling out, upgrading or evaluating solutions. It is also important for other procurement technology vendors, ERP providers, consultants, analysts and other advisors. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, we summarize and analyze a number of transactions that took place so far in 2015 (and one key partnership) and offer customer and partner recommendations for each deal combination. Today, we focus on acquisition activity between Oildex and ADP as well as Tradeshift and Merchantry.

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The Procurement Consulting Industry is Desperately in Need of a 21st Century Peter Kraljic

Modern people doing business, graphs and charts being demonstrated on the screen of a touchpad I’m somewhat amazed by the lack of sizable new entrants in the procurement and supply chain consulting market in recent years given the overall growth of the sector. I’ve been privately asked to look at market growth and market size for clients in the investment space and the growth picture, for larger firms, appears incredibly healthy, seeing double-digit compound annual growth rate practice growth, which would suggest, under many circumstances, new entrants as well. Yet that’s not happened, at least not at scale.

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