Author Archives: Peter Smith

The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – Just Like the Ryder Cup

- October 2, 2014 6:43 AM | Categories: Commentary, Industry Analysts, Industry News

We are now three quarters of the way through the year and through our 2014 stock portfolio competition between Jason Busch, representing the mighty USA, and me, Peter Smith, representing Europe. And I'm afraid, just like the Ryder Cup, it is turning into a bit of a non-contest, with Europe clearly ahead.

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CPO Insight: Procurement Transformation – Myth or Reality?

- September 30, 2014 6:27 AM | Categories: Procurement, Procurement Strategy & Planning

What does a "transformation" really take to be successful? I'm writing this from the economy cabin of a very busy London to Dubai flight, on my way to run a couple of workshops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the BravoSolution joint venture in the region, Tejari. By the time you read this, the workshop will be completed, and the topic in Dubai is Procurement Transformation - Myth or Reality? One of the reasons we chose this as a topic is that "transformation" has become an over-used expression and procurement has not been immune to its charms. In this Plus article, Pierre Smith talks about what exactly a procurement "transformation" means.

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Peter Smith (Spend Matters UK/Europe) on Procurement Lifecycle Engagement (webinar: Sept. 30)

- September 24, 2014 2:16 AM | Categories: Industry News, UK/Europe

On Sept. 30 at 12 noon UK time, software firm Zycus is hosting a webinar featuring Peter Smith, managing editor of Spend Matters Europe. The title is: How to make a “cradle to grave” contribution: connecting purchasing with the wider organization to drive end-to-end value. Register here.

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CPO Insight: Procurement Transformation – Myth or Reality?

- September 22, 2014 10:30 AM | Categories: Procurement Commentary, UK/Europe

"Transformation" has become an overused expression, and procurement has not been immune to its charms. It's hard to get far into any procurement-related publication, or report from a consulting firm, without running up against the “T” word. Virtually every managerial-level candidate now has "transformed" something in their past career. Even if it was just the process for ordering office supplies. In this Spend Matters Plus Research brief, Peter Smith, lead editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe, explores what transformation really means, and if we can agree that it does have some genuine meaning (in some cases, at least) – and how chief procurement officers (CPOs) and other procurement leaders can go about making it happen.

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A Better Month for the Spend Matters Stock Portfolio (Even Blur Group Moves Up!)

- September 2, 2014 10:28 AM | Categories: Industry News, Procurement Financials, Solution Providers

We move into the start of a new academic year in many parts of the world, children try on their new school uniforms, and summer inexorably turns into autumn. And the thoughts of procurement people turn to matters of great import – such as whether the Proactis share price can keep rising and why Hubwoo’s just doesn’t seem to move at all.

Yes, another month has gone by, and it is time to review Spend Matters' virtual stock portfolio, made up of 21 stocks in firms that have a procurement content to their portfolio. Peter Smith and Jason Busch have been tracking them all through 2014 in this Spend Matters Plus series to get a sense of where the market for firms in this industry is going. They then chose their preferred portfolios from those stocks, using an imaginary $1 million initial fund each. Jason focused on just eight firms; Peter spread his risk with 14.

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Do Marketing Services Buyers Have the Best Jobs?

earbuds If I had to choose a spend category to be responsible for, what might that be? Well, I recently met someone who has what might just be my dream procurement job. Richard Kirstein runs Resilient Music, based in London. It is a small advisory and (in a sense) procurement outsourcing firm that advises and helps their clients buy music rights. So when you see a TV advert, or some fancy YouTube viral video campaign for a trendy fashion or drinks brand, and there is some music playing in the background, someone has purchased the rights to use that music.

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Proactis 2014 Overview: A Source-to-Pay Provider Uses Acquisitions to Move Up a Gear

- August 22, 2014 1:29 PM | Categories: M&A, Solution Providers

It has been a busy year for Proactis, the source-to-pay software provider based in Wetherby, a town in the fine northern English county of Yorkshire. Of all the firms in our European procurement solution provider market, Proactis has been the busiest from an acquisition point of view – certainly compared to company size. The firm has basically doubled in size (revenue) as well as moving in new strategic directions via three acquisitions in this calendar year. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter Smith (managing director of the UK/Europe site) provides a recap on those transactions, as well as takes a quick look at their half-year figures released in a trading update on August 12th, ahead of the full results announcement.

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Insight for CPOs: How Might CEOs Address Procurement’s Failings?

- August 20, 2014 2:11 AM | Categories: Procurement Strategy & Planning, Supplier Management

In Part 1 of this series, Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, discussed the new Proxima graphic e-book titled "Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie." Peter believes that the empowerment of the budget holder and business stakeholder, giving them a greater role in the overall procurement process, and the emergence of a consequent stronger commercial capability across the organisation, will be the most significant development in the procurement world over the next 10 years (in terms of strategy and organization at least). That of course will have some major implications for procurement functions and people - but it's a topic for another day. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter gives four reasons why he is confident in his prediction.

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Insight for CPOs: Proxima Lays Out Procurement’s Failings, But Are the Answers Here?

- August 15, 2014 2:31 AM | Categories: Procurement Strategy & Planning, Supplier Management

Procurement outsourcing specialist Proxima deservedly received a lot of coverage with its Corporate Virtualization study that was published last year. As you may remember, it analysed the accounts of large firms and discovered that on average 70 percent of their revenues were spent with third-party suppliers. That was more than most of us steeped in the industry expected, and compared with just 13 percent going on staff costs. Given those statistics, that raised a whole host of interesting questions about why procurement doesn't have a higher profile. Surely senior executives can see how vital it is for that 70 percent to be spent well? Now Proxima has produced a “graphic e-book” titled “Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie.”

Spend Matters UK/Europe managing director Peter Smith was CPO for three large organisations covering both private and government sectors before he moved into advisory work and – eventually – running the UK/Europe site. In a new series for Spend Matters Plus, he will be writing regularly about key strategic – but non-technology related - issues of interest to the CPO, procurement director or other senior people in the profession. If you're a CPO but not a Plus subscriber, contact us to inquire about a free trial

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Spend Matters Procurement Stock Portfolio: Good Thing Jason Busch Has a Day Job

- August 1, 2014 9:04 AM | Categories: Industry News, Procurement Financials, Solution Providers

So now we move into the dog days of August. The UK has been sweltering, by our standards at least, in hot, humid weather, punctuated by the occasional biblical thunderstorm. And with that note of foreboding and doom, it is time to return to the Spend Matters stock portfolio challenge for the year of 2014. Regular readers will know that we identified a portfolio of 21 shares with a procurement content and interest in order to track their performance and get a sense of where the market for “our” firms was going. Jason Busch and Peter Smith then chose their preferred portfolios from those stocks, using an imaginary $1 million initial fund each. Jason focused on just eight firms; Peter spread his risk with 14. It's not been the best of months. Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, provides an update on which firms are doing well and which ones less so in the latest installment of this Spend Matters Plus series.

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LeanLinking Brings Social Media Principles to Procurement and Supply Management

We've been talking for some time on the different Spend Matters sites about how social media principles and approaches will inevitably make their way into the business and procurement world, yet progress has in reality been pretty slow. The innovative Rollstream has been assimilated into GXS, now itself part of OpenText, and seems pretty low-profile these days. However, there are signs that things are changing. Sourcemap is a more recently established firm that has an interesting approach, including some aspects of supply chain collaboration with a social media slant. Mark Perera, one of the founders of Procurement Leaders, is involved in Old Street Labs, whose new Vizibl platform is in its testing phase (we'll feature it as soon as you're ready, Mark). The platform looks to use some of the core social media principles in a business environment. And now we have LeanLinking starting to make a splash. This Spend Matters Plus research brief, by Peter Smith (managing editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe), looks at what LeanLinking has to offer and which organizations would benefit from the technology.

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The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio — Half Year Round-Up

- July 7, 2014 2:32 AM | Categories: Solution Providers, Spend Humor

We are halfway through 2014, and we're halfway through our Spend Matters stock portfolio challenge. Regular readers will know that we identified a portfolio of 21 companies with a procurement content and interest in order to track their performance and get a sense of where the market for “our” firms was going. Jason Busch and I then chose our own preferred portfolios from those stocks, each using an imaginary $1 million fund. He focused on just eight firms; I spread my risk with 14. So how was June? Relatively uneventful, if I’m honest, compared to some months when we’ve had major price movements.

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