Author Archives: Spend Matters Analyst Team



Identifying And Responding to Risks Faced By A Global Workforce: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 2)

What do companies need to be aware of when managing corporate travel and a global workforce? Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase, who has experience working abroad and is our main source for T&E management, started this PRO series discussing the amount of risk a company faces when deploying workers around the globe, how much money a company should allocated to risk mitigation and what is required under duty of care provisions. You can check it out here. Here, in Part 2, Thomas continues this analysis of travel risks and corporate obligations.

Understanding “Duty of Care” When Managing Corporate Travel: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 1)

travel

Vendors hawking T&E software that spans travel booking and expense management claim that it is not just about policy compliance, but that it is also about the risk management benefits of actually seeing where employees (or contractors) are and, in the event of an emergency, being able to provide support as quickly as possible. Enabling this level of visibility and guidance is not just good business practice; there is also a legal angle to it, which varies country by country (e.g., the menacing sounding “corporate manslaughter law” in the U.K.). But in certain cases, T&E software companies (e.g., Concur) might engage in a bit of fear mongering as a sales tactic, as well. The stick prompts many to action more effectively than any amount of carrot.

The risks exist, of course, and in this Spend Matters Plus brief we provide a primer on managing travel and the global corporate workforce, including the requirements and limits of duty of care provisions, as well as what procurement needs to know and how far it should consider going both as good business practice and under the law. 

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 5)

One of the most important elements of tackling marketing spend is executive buy-in, which requires aligning the vision of the CMO, CPO and CFO. In fact, don't do anything until you force this to happen. Above all, ensure that your CPO is well briefed, and don’t let this person destroy your credibility by going into meetings with the CMO with the usual procurement speak. Take the time to get your CPO genuinely interested in the topic as a means of furthering his own interests and even career. For example, in a CPG or retail company, all executives can further their interests by knowing more about marketing. In general, some might call this attaining “stakeholder buy-in,” since there may be stakeholders who are critical decision makers but are not C-level. You get the idea.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 4)

marketing

Today we continue our exploration of best practices and strategies for attacking marketing spend with the importance of training; a return to the potential benefits of decoupling creative from production; and the necessity of cultural sensitivity to bridge the gap between marketing and procurement teams. Missed the previous installments of this series? Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 before reading on!

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 3)

Torchlite

Our first takeaway: focus on media value. Media is often the largest spend in the marketing budget, and the real challenge is to not look at how to reduce the price point of media buys, but how to develop methodologies to measure the value of media specific to the strategic requirements of the brand and business. As we’ll soon explore in more detail, technology and analytics beyond generic spend analysis is key to understanding media value.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 2)

The next topic we must address in considering the basics of attacking marketing spend is potentially the most sacred of all: agency selection. In considering how best to engage in this area, it is important to consider the costs of both sides going through the process. For agencies, the costs to manage and respond to an RFP can be quite high. Some agencies estimate their total cost at around $200,000 per RFP — on average!

Granted, the bulk of this expense comes in the form of soft costs. But the undertaking is considerable, and carefully vetted among agencies. This point is important to emphasize: agencies are quite picky about the clients and projects they bid on. We hope the following example, based on how one West Coast-based agency approaches RFPs, provides insight into the best means of engaging the right set of firms.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 1)

Torchlite

Like MRO, packaging and logistics, the marketing category straddles the boundary between direct and indirect spend. And we all know (or so marketing folks claim) that it has a substantial impact on sales — allegedly, at least. The direct commercial impact is notoriously difficult to assess, although the new breed of analytics-driven spend analysis tools targeted specifically at marketing spend (e.g., cross-channel, competitive insights, etc.) and campaign performance can help. But put these in the agency parking lot for a minute. We’ll get into them later in this analysis and series.

For now, let’s focus on the marketing category as one among many — what makes it unique, what makes it similar and what are important trends.

Legal Sourcing and Billing: Category Sourcing, Maturity Models and Services Procurement Linkages (Part 2)

forced labor

Legal spend is a bit different than other categories in part because it cuts across all aspects of the business and the lines between “make” and “buy” can be drawn differently based on customer, need and timing. The fundamental challenge in this regard is that legal spending must be aligned with sales (customers), procurement (vendors), finance and operations (products) to deliver the right level of value. If it’s seen as a siloed compliance function, legal is doomed to languish as a subperforming cost center. In considering legal sourcing maturity, it’s essential to keep this in mind.

Legal Sourcing and Billing: Category Sourcing, Maturity Models and Services Procurement Linkages (Part 1)

UpCounsel

Around 2005, while working for Procuri, one of the authors of this article was involved in a large legal services e-sourcing project (with reverse auction at the end) for a Fortune 10 firm that spanned law firms across the U.S. At that time, we included a substantial amount of spend segmentation into the event. From my experience and research, we were one of the first to engage in a procurement legal sourcing effort of this magnitude.

Procure-to-Pay (P2P) SolutionMap℠: 8 Vendors Ranked by Practitioner Persona

Huzzah! The rankings and comparative graphics for the third and final solution area — procure-to-pay (P2P) suites — of our SolutionMap℠ Q2 2017 report have finally arrived. With these last 6 'quadrant'-like comparisons, the Spend Matters Analyst team has now provided a holistic look at a number of technology vendors providing e-procurement and invoice-to-pay solutions, as well as procure-to-pay suites.

What You Need to Know About SolutionMap

  • Participating vendors are scored both on Solution Capability and on Customer Value.
  • SolutionMap features vendor rankings based on common procurement organization “personas” (more below).
  • The SolutionMap will be updated quarterly to actively reflect market developments.
  • SolutionMap graphics and high-level summaries are available for free and we encourage you to re-post and share them with your network.
  • If interested in digging deeper into the back-end data and listings of typical user requirements, vendor selection tips and background on the vendor rankings, subscribe to Spend Matters PRO for full access.

What Say? Personas?

No two procurement organizations are alike. Each has its own “persona” that reflects not only its own value proposition and engagement approach, but also the stakeholders it serves. The same principle holds true of procure-to-pay (P2P) application providers. Each has a persona that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments.

Procurement organizations should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. Here are our six personas:

  • Nimble
  • Deep
  • DIY
  • Mega
  • ERP Wrapper
  • Industry

More detail on these in the full article — log in or sign up for FREE below.

The Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap – Q2 2017



Access the additional 5 graphics by persona (including an all-in-one PDF) and a summary of the personas' key criteria in the full article.

Vendor Summary Report: Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap℠ Q2 2017

This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of procure-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q2 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring e-procurement and invoice-to-pay solution providers individually (including an expanded set of providers in each area).

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest procure-to-pay providers, specifically Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Pool4Tool, SAP Ariba, Vroozi and Zycus. We will be adding additional providers for the Q3 and Q4 2017 updates (as well as in 2018 and beyond).

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a solution and customer value perspective. It provides a breakdown of solution scoring for each vendor on the category level (e.g., catalog management, shopping/requisitioning, ordering/order management, receiving, supplier network, configurability, technology/architecture and services, invoice structure/capture, invoice collaboration and compliance, additional invoicing technology components, financing/payment, supplier network, configurability, technology/architecture and services). It also provides insight into how customers scored procure-to-pay vendors (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation).

Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth tech reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI, and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).

While Spend Matters does not recommend that existing and potential customers of providers use technology and customer scoring alone to shortlist or evaluate technology providers, the insight, along with SolutionMap’s persona-based ratings, provides a point-in-time perspective that may be useful as either a starting point in an evaluation or a contributing factor to a formal software selection process.

More detailed information on comparative technology subcategory-level scoring can be found in individual Spend Matters PRO SolutionMap Vendor Analyses (publishing in April 2017). Spend Matters reserves its most granular level of scoring and analysis for its practitioner advisory clients, and we invite procurement organizations to contact us for more information.

Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) SolutionMap℠: 10 Vendors Ranked by Practitioner Persona

This particular SolutionMap charts a select group of invoice-to-pay (I2P) solution providers. It is part of our Q2 2017 SolutionMap report, also featuring e-procurement solution providers and procure-to-pay suites (coming next week).

What You Need to Know About SolutionMap

  • Participating vendors are scored both on Solution Capability and on Customer Value.
  • SolutionMap features vendor rankings based on common procurement organization “personas.”
  • The SolutionMap will be updated quarterly to actively reflect market developments
  • SolutionMap graphics and high-level summaries are available for free and we encourage you to re-post and share them with your network
  • If interested in digging deeper into the back-end data and listings of typical user requirements, vendor selection tips and background on the vendor rankings, subscribe to Spend Matters PRO for full access.

The Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap – Q2 2017

Access the additional 5 personas (including an all-in-one PDF), a summary of their key criteria and more detailed info in the full article.