Author Archives: Spend Matters Brand Studio



Recovery Audits Keep Your Business Churning and Money Leakage in Check

The complexity of today’s business environment — from siloed processes and disparate technology to constant changes like mergers, staff reductions, new software implementations and vendor turnover — can leave organizations susceptible to millions of dollars in leakage, even with tightly controlled accounts payable processes in place.

Perfecting the accounts payable process for every transaction can be a costly, time-consuming exercise, one that can reduce employee productivity and slow down daily business operations.

For finance leaders, establishing a streamlined AP process doesn’t have to mean leaving money on the table. In this article we’ll explore how a recovery audit can help companies gain greater insights into their losses and discover strategies for delivering substantial sums back to their bottom line.

Shelby Group creates ‘Digital Invoice’ solution to tackle paper invoices

In procurement software projects, consultants usually play a role in tech selection, implementation or training, but The Shelby Group has taken its procurement consulting knowledge even further and created a product — one that can fill a gap that it saw when businesses struggled to deal with paper invoices in the digital age.

In accounts payable departments worldwide, it’s a common problem that paper invoices are still received from countless suppliers of varying sizes, and it’s known that digitally reading those invoices can save time and money if the clear rate can be improved.

The Shelby Group’s Digital Invoice is a powerful solution that clears a majority of invoices (both verified/complete and “close enough”) without human intervention.

How and Why Digital Transformation Will Vastly Reshape Procurement & Finance Roles

interest rates

When a business upgrades a department like procurement or finance, the goal usually involves cutting costs, improving that one department and using data to assess their past performance. But that version of business is fading quickly as automation, digitization and changing trade force companies to be forward-looking and dynamic in their use of data.

That future also promises much more visibility for companies and consumers to be empowered and make better decisions.

But in the present, executives must prepare for the digital transformation of business operations and plan for more radical change across the whole enterprise. This will require them to figure how best to invest in technology, reshape their workforce and create bold visions of the future.

Shifting to Digitization from Manual Sourcing Processes Isn’t Easy — Unless You Use Bonfire

For procurement project managers looking to overcome manual processes and engage stakeholders, digitizing your sourcing workflows can be a mammoth task.

It’s more than just using digital files like PDFs, Excel spreadsheets and email. Although they are a step in the right direction, those tools are not true digitization. Digitization is really about making a workflow that’s easier for people to use while saving time and money. It involves putting all the documents in a central, accessible source and making the whole process more collaborative with people across your company and with vendors.

Bonfire, a cloud-based provider of strategic sourcing and contract and performance management, knows your pain because it has already solved those problems.

The Digital Transformation of Services Sourcing: What It Is and Why It Matters

gig economy

Remember when you could only book a flight by calling a travel agent? Or do a banking transaction by visiting the nearest branch? Buy insurance only through an agent? Shop for a new house only by reading the local newspaper classifieds, or search for a plumber or doctor only in the Yellow Pages?

The way consumers buy services now has been massively digitized, with the enormous benefits of great selection, convenience and value for all of us. Yet most business-to-business services are bought today in the same way they were bought 20 years ago. That still largely depends on a phone call between a business stakeholder who has a need and someone they trust to broker the work. That someone is often a senior executive in a large firm, who then rallies a team to prepare a proposal that will be presented to the buyer in person.

But change is coming.

Easier-to-Use Sourcing Optimization Can Put the Power in the Hands of Everyone, Scout RFP Says

Sourcing optimization holds much promise for crunching the vast amount of data that procurement organizations increasingly face — as well as cutting costs, saving time and guiding buyers and suppliers to better decisions. But to date, the tools used for optimization have been too complex for most professionals to easily examine and understand the wide range of sourcing events presented.

That’s starting to change as procurement technology modernizes and customer-experience expectations rise.

To understand how the barriers to using sourcing optimization are dropping and to see the wider adoption of dynamic negotiation and sourcing optimization tools, we asked Scout RFP Co-Founder and President Stan Garber to shed some light on the latest developments.

“Today, we can optimize the entire sourcing process with a click of a button. We’re going from the days of manual Excel modeling and email juggling to a collaborative application that is as simple to use as an iPhone,” Garber said for this Q&A about the future of the procurement and sourcing technology.

Sourcing Optimization Should Be Accessible, Flexible: The Case for Rethinking a Misapplied Technology

Sourcing optimization can and should be applied more broadly to a variety of sourcing scenarios, bringing a simpler approach and guided exploration — designed with the everyday sourcing user in mind. With the value it can bring to categories and customers alike, why should sourcing optimization remain out of reach beyond the most complex logistics bids?

To understand how this situation arose, it helps to consider the rationale behind how first-generation sourcing optimization solutions were designed.

L’Oreal Finds the Beauty of Bonfire’s Solution: Stakeholder Buy-in and Better Supplier Relations

Every growing company reaches a point when transaction volumes overwhelm misapplied IT systems and manual business processes. When that happens and the risks rise, businesses have to begin the necessary task of identifying a better way forward. For many organizations, that means automating and optimizing the sourcing process with dedicated e-sourcing software — ideally a setup that’s easy to use and gives your company a competitive edge.

As a division of the beauty products maker L’Oreal found out, the strategic sourcing platform from Bonfire could resolve many of these issues.

Long-term ROI from Spend Analytics: 3 Places to Think Outside the Box

Spend analytics solutions often get passed over when it comes to claims of ROI. But spend analysis can provide just as much value as better-explored options like e-procurement or sourcing systems, sometimes providing ROI immediately after being turned on. Yet quick wins and short-term value are only the starting point.

To help procurement pull its head out of the past and begin to see (and plan for) the future, here are three outside-the-box areas where spend analysis can unlock new sources of long-term value.

The Past, Present and Future of the MSP Industry: A Visual Guide for Procurement

procurement consulting

As the world of work changes rapidly, so too must managed services providers (MSPs). The “same old” execution of a traditional contingent workforce program that includes VMS technology is no longer cutting it, and MSPs that fail to realize this risk being replaced by new entrants intent on disrupting the old industry model.

In a world of accelerating change, enterprises expect their service providers to be right there with them, successfully navigating those changes. Enterprises cannot compete with an eye on the past — they need value-added solutions that help them to succeed now and into the future. What does this look like? Check out the infographic below to learn how the MSP industry is evolving today and tomorrow.

Preparing Supply Chains for Climate Change: Top Risks and Strategies for Adaptation

supply chain disruption

On Nov. 23, the Trump administration released the findings of the fourth National Climate Assessment, which detailed a dire set of predictions for U.S. businesses over the next several decades.

In addition to the headline statistic projecting that the U.S. economy will shrink 10% by the year 2100 due to effects from climate change, the report, which was compiled by leading climate scientists and 13 federal agencies, warned that numerous facets of global supply chains are at risk for disruption. These include not only common problems from natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes but also breakdowns in critical logistics infrastructure, geographic shifts in resource availability and volatility in global trading relationships, to name a few.

The report paints a bleak picture, but it also offers several takeaways that can help businesses get a grip on how to understand the supply chain risks of climate change and begin addressing them. Key among these is the suggestion that material, facility and logistics planning will all need to begin adapting today to effectively tackle climate change-related effects in the near and long terms.

To help you get started, here are the top three areas that procurement and supply chain organizations should examine when assessing the risks that climate change poses to their supply chains, as well as the NCA report’s key recommendations about how to address them today.

With High Intensity Hurricanes the New Normal, Procurement Must Plan Ahead or Suffer the Consequences

As the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season draws to a close at the end of November, it’s a good time to reflect on how one of the most disruptive periods of the year is affecting supply chain risk planning. If there were one lesson for procurement to learn from the past season, it’d be this: Hurricanes are becoming more powerful and lasting longer. The last several years of intense storms (think Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence and Michael) are not anomalies but what appears to be the new normal. Businesses must therefore take stock of the new standards for natural disasters and prepare accordingly — or risk being caught off-guard.