Author Archives: Peter Smith

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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Why Xchanging Acquired Spikes Cavell: Initial Analysis

- February 6, 2015 9:38 AM | Categories: Breaking News, Industry News, M&A

Businessman hand touching M & A on virtual screen - merger & acq Earlier today, Xchanging announced it is acquiring Spikes Cavell, a UK-based spend analysis provider with operations in the US and UK, serving both the public and private sector. Spikes Cavell made a name for itself in the US market as a specialist in public sector spend analysis, but has recently started to build traction in the private sector as well. The transaction values Spikes Cavell at over 4X trailing revenue and includes both cash and earn-out provisions. Spend Matters US and UK/Europe teams will provide deeper commentary and analysis for our readers on our free sites as well as Spend Matters PRO in the coming days – but our quick take analysis suggests the following 8 key things.

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The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – January Blues for the Big Blue (and Others Too)

- February 4, 2015 2:18 AM | Categories: Analysis, Finance, Industry News, Technology, Vendor Snapshots

We came to the end of our 2014 Spend Matters Stock Portfolio analysis and competition with the year proving a little disappointing for stock market quoted firms in our industry. It was also a disappointment for Jason Busch whose personal “virtual portfolio” lost 5% of its value compared to mine, which gained13%. But we started 2015 with a clean slate and a new basket of companies including 3 new faces in quoted firms Selectica, which bought Iasta last year, Rosslyn Analytics, a London-based spend analysis firm, and EU Supply, a largely European provider of P2P products mainly serving the government sector. As you may have noticed, we are already at the start of month 2 in the New Year, so it is time to take our first look at the performance to date.

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Syriza Wins in Greece – Is it the Beginning of the End for the Euro?

- January 29, 2015 2:36 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, Supply Chain, Supply Risk Management

500-bank-notes-bills-2112-723x550 The victory of left-wing party Syriza in this week's Greek elections could have far-reaching implications well beyond Greece itself, and at the extreme, could be the beginning of the end for the Euro. It is important, therefore, that anyone involved in procurement and supply chain activities where currencies have some relevance does, at the very least, keep an eye on events and thinks about the implications of the various possible outcomes following the Greek election. However, we should also note that many observers have been predicting the breakup of the Eurozone for at least 3 years now. So nothing is certain.

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Tungsten’s Half-Year Results: Short-Term Disappointment, but Long-Term Promise

- January 20, 2015 2:32 AM | Categories: Analysis, Finance, Invoicing and EIPP, Vendor Snapshots

In an excellent article last week, Jason Busch of Spend Matters and David Gustin of Trade Financing Matters took a look at dispelling some myths about 2 key players in the e-invoicing and supply chain finance market: Taulia and Tungsten. At the very same time, Tungsten Corporation announced its half-year results (for the 6-month period ending October 2014). While this wasn’t the first announcement since the firm floated on London’s AIM market in November 2013, it was seen as important because it was the first significant report since the acquisition of what is now Tungsten Bank, and the first really to show to the investment community how the firm is doing in terms of putting together its broader e-invoicing, supply chain finance and spend analytics offering.

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