Author Archives: Peter Smith

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

- June 30, 2015 2:15 PM | Categories: Featured, Solution Providers

Vortal 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. Vortal is a Portuguese software firm specializing almost entirely in the public sector (although as we will see, it also works directly with the suppliers to the government sector). Portugal was one of the first countries to mandate government bodies to use e-sourcing (advertising of contracts and communication of documents at least) in Europe, which gave the firm a good base to grow its domestic business and then use that as a platform for expansion.

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Where Do ‘Procurement Ethics’ Policies Go Wrong?

Image of business contract on background of two employees handshaking The recent events around FIFA and the allocation of football (soccer) World Cups raise some major issues around ethics, corruption and behavior in business and indeed in life generally. While at the moment we are talking about allegations in the main rather than proven facts, it is clear that large amount of moneys have been used to try and influence the voting behavior of the delegates who decide which country will host the World Cup events. That hosting is now very lucrative for the country involved, and the huge value of media rights for the event also provides incentives for fraud and corruption. But how does this relate to procurement organizations? Over the years, we have seen a lot of procurement ethical policies that were not fit for purpose. So given the current focus on this topic, we thought it was worth sharing a few of the common problems that we’ve seen with such statements and are suggesting ways to improve them. We share a handful of the most common issues and how to avoid them.

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BravoSolution To Become Single Platform S2P Provider

sea-dawn-sky-sunset-large As part of our continuing coverage of BravoSolution and its BravoConnect event that we’ve been attending, CEO Jim Wetekamp took us through the new BravoAdvantage platform, which not only enhances functionality in current Bravo products, but also focuses on a supplier management-centric approach called "supplier value management" (SVM) that is at the core of its platform. But, the bombshell that was quietly dropped (in a good way) was the news that Bravo is expanding beyond its current focus of sourcing and supplier management and working on adding P2P to the source-to-pay (S2P) space.

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In May, The Flowers Were Blooming, But Our Spend Matters Stock Portfolio Was Not

- June 8, 2015 2:43 AM | Categories: Finance, Procurement Commentary, Solution Providers

SWE2OO4DW6 As we are approaching the midpoint of the year, we might want to start looking at just what is happening to the procurement software market, certainly in terms of the quoted companies that represent “our” sector. At the end of May, it is a sorry story for our portfolio of procurement-related stocks, and an even sorrier one for 2 of our 3 intrepid Spend Matters stock pickers. This Spend Matters Plus article provides an update on how the month of May fared for our notional Spend Matters Stock Portfolio of 24 companies quoted on various stock markets and that operate in some extend in the procurement solutions sector. Hint: May didn’t go so well…

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The Spend Matters Industry Portfolio: Our Intrepid Stock-Pickers Limp Into Spring

- May 11, 2015 2:33 AM | Categories: Uncategorized

QA2UI38DJP This is all beginning to sound like a broken record, as the 3 Spend Matters stock pickers show that you should listen to us when we talk about procurement strategy and technology – but perhaps not when we talk about which firms’ stocks in our market you should buy! Yes, April was a dismal month for myself, Jason Busch and Nancy Clinton in terms of our virtual/ imaginary stock portfolios that we chose at the beginning of the year. We picked 24 firms, large and small, for our overall portfolio that contains publicly quoted businesses that operate in the procurement solutions market. Indeed, it was not a good month either for the overall portfolio, which dropped some 3% even though most global markets picked up slightly (1%-3%) during April. Global markets are around 6%-8% up on the year so far, but our portfolio still fell, which suggests some industry specific factors at play.

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cloudBuy: An Enigma Wrapped Inside a Puzzle, Wrapped Inside a…Cloud?

DGGRJ554B0 Cloudbuy, then called @UK PLC, was floated on the AIM stock market way back in 2005. The firm focuses mainly on spend analytics and electronic marketplace provision, although there is some legacy business too (more on that later). Since that flotation, the business has had a checkered existence. The shares were issued at 60 points, raising about $11.7 million, and at one stage fell back into single figures as annual results consistently showed losses and limited revenue growth. More capital has been raised along the way, the last tranche of $5.87 million last October, which helped drive a share price revival – it hit 40p late last year. It then halved to under 20p recently, only to recover to around 30p over the last couple of weeks following the announcement of its 2014 results.

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Should CPOs Use Consensus Decision Making? Not Necessarily, Says Latest Research

69TMH4ITIE Is consensus decision making the right approach for CPOs and other executives in leadership positions? Maybe not, according to some recent academic research. The headline finding from the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is that people tend to regard the views of other members in a group equally, regardless of competence. This "equality bias" then prevents them from making optimum decisions as a group. And, while consensus decision making is seen as a positive approach that motivates staff and helps to get buy-in from our teams and stakeholders in a business context, it may not make the best sense for procurement organizations.

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Basware Acquires Procserve – Exclusive Interview with Basware CEO Esa Tihilä

- April 13, 2015 2:39 AM | Categories: Finance, Industry News, Invoicing, M&A, Supply Chain, Technology

Tower Bridge at night Last week, Finnish technology firm Basware announced it will acquire Procserve, which is headquartered in London. According to the stock market release on the acquisition news, (Basware is quoted on the Finish stock exchange), “The acquisition price is approximately EUR 25.9 million. In 2014, the net sales of the acquired business amounted to approximately EUR 9.6 million.” Procserve has a strong position as a provider to the UK public sector, particularly with its marketplace technology, having grown from what was initially an early in-house venture into e-procurement by the UK government itself. Esa Tihilä, CEO of Basware, was in London recently to meet and present to the Procserve staff and explain the vision for the future. I was able to catch up with Tihilä as he headed back to Heathrow Airport.

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Spend Matters Stock Portfolio March 2015 Report – Some Big Gains, Some Big Losses!

- April 7, 2015 2:43 AM | Categories: Finance, Procurement Commentary, Vendor Snapshots

4SGERWWL1U So here we are, 25% of the way through the year, and our stock portfolio challenge is heating up, just like the weather… well, depending on which country you’re in as you read this, of course. March was a decent month for our overall portfolio, which managed to get itself almost exactly back to where we started in the year. It now sits less than 1% up on the 3 months to date. That portfolio includes 24 firms that have a procurement angle to their business; from giants like IBM and Infosys, to minnows such as Access Intelligence or Rosslyn. Read on to see how our individual firms performed.

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The Novice Investor Trounces The Experts! The February 2015 Spend Matters Stock Portfolio Update

- March 5, 2015 2:13 AM | Categories: Finance, Vendor Snapshots

TAM2OYHWFJ The month of February has probably had less written about it than any other month. In the northern hemisphere anyway, it is often cold and gray, the time when we all get a bit sick of winter and long for the first stirrings of spring. And (dubious lead in there), it has been a bit of a gray month for the stock portfolios of 2 of your esteemed Spend Matters commentators, while stock markets generally have been far from gloomy. The month wasn’t great for our overall procurement stock portfolio, which includes 24 firms that have a procurement angle to their business; from giants like IBM and Infosys, to minnows such as Access Intelligence or Rosslyn. The overall portfolio was up a couple of percent on the month, but is down 1.6% on the start of the year. That is disappointing for our sector, given the stellar start to the year that most wider stock markets have seen.

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Procurement Organization and Structure – Why It Matters For CPOs

- February 24, 2015 2:42 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning

6F1FE6B0BE I spoke earlier this month at a half-day workshop event organized by Oracle and Enrich. The topic was “Future-Proof Procurement – what does the future-proof structure and strategy look like?” In particular, my session looked at the issues around how we structure the procurement function, particularly in large, complex organizations, and how that relates to strategy, culture and operating model. Why does the structure of procurement matter? And how do you design an appropriate structure that aligns with the wider organizational strategy, culture and goals? We answer these questions.

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SNCF Sees Savings With Sievo: A Procurement Case Study

- February 19, 2015 6:21 AM | Categories: Analysis, Procurement, Savings Tracking, Technology, Vendor Snapshots

calculating-calculation-calculator-3305 A Spend Matters UK case study looks at how SNCF implemented the Sievo software that helps organizations track, measure and manage savings and the benefits the company has seen since. If you are interested in procurement savings, the case study is well worth 10 minutes of your time.

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