Author Archives: Spend Matters Team



A ‘White Christmas Paper’ — with THE Chief Procurement Officer

Once upon a time, Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton and the UK site’s outgoing leader, Peter Smith, were asked by Trade Extensions, now with Coupa, to interview a very special customer and write a case study about the firm’s work with him. So after a magical flight, they sat down with him to learn all about the particular distribution problem he was facing this year. They learned how the Trade Extensions optimization/market informed sourcing system helped him and his business meet quite incredible seasonal demand, by engaging a wide range of distribution sub-contractors. That was done in an optimized manner, despite the great complexity of the problem to be solved.

So sit back and listen as Nancy and Peter share how Father Christmas — the Chief Procurement Officer — comes to grips with sourcing software …

B2C E-Commerce Has Some Lessons for B2B Platforms Being Built, Report Finds

As B2B e-commerce platforms try to match the level of maturity found in B2C systems, a recent report takes a snapshot of how CEOs, chief digital officers and innovation executives are investing in technology, which innovation they’re pursuing and how they’re making those decisions.

In addition to that benchmarking aspect, a trend emerges in how B2B customers want their online shopping experience to be — and they want many of the same bells and whistles that consumers get when using B2C marketplaces online.

The survey found that technology that can seem cold or off-putting — like artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) — is actually playing a role in connecting people and the products or brands they want.

Category management survey offers benchmarking in exchange for your time, insight

The category management experts at Future Purchasing have a request and an offer as they prepare their global 2018 benchmarking survey. People in procurement can give feedback to help take the pulse of the industry, and they’ll get a copy of the survey and benchmarking feedback for their company. The survey drills deep into current category management usage and patterns, and it gives CPOs and category managers concrete evidence of what works — and what doesn’t. Now, there are just four weeks left before access to the survey closes, and 10 minutes of your time is needed to give your input.

SolutionMap: 58 Procurement Software Companies Ranked (Q4 2018 Update)

Spend Matters today released its Q4 2018 SolutionMap, ranking 58 procurement software companies across 12 solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Lifecycle Management — and we're adding Coupa, Wax Digital and other new providers to the SolutionMap ranks. Click on this article to see how to access rankings for free!

Enabling Agile Supply Chain Management to Combat Natural Disasters: A Case Study of Biogen and Resilinc

As procurement professionals know, natural disasters are a question of not “if” but “when.” Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires or severe weather can quickly hobble even the best-laid supply chain plans, our sister site MetalMiner reports. Just look at the research. According to Resilinc’s Supply Chain Disruption Annual Report, disruptions roughly doubled in 2017, potentially impacting 32% of S&P 500 companies’ supply chains. The supply chain risk monitoring firm’s CEO Bindiya Vakil pointed at that data as an indication that procurement leaders can no longer stay complacent about planning for events like natural disasters.  “This should be a wake-up call for business leaders around the globe,” Vakil said in the report.

Key to Supply Chain Innovation? Early Adopters of Technology Do Well, Study Says

SciQuest

With disruption upending every segment of business over the past decade, it may not be surprising that new research ties technological innovation to high supply chain performance. A 2018 web survey by Adelante SCM and BluJay Solutions found that over 80% of companies that identified as “innovators” or “early adopters” of new technologies also ranked their organization’s performance as slightly or significantly above average.

Global Companies Shift Gears to Stay Locally Relevant in the ‘Age of Multi-Localism’

supplier network

In the 1980s and ’90s, companies gained prestige by going global. Recently, globalization has come under fire from multiple fronts, causing the locally integrated business model to become the new goal for many companies. Pressure is coming from forces such as political rhetoric creating more trade barriers, consumers’ preference for personalized, local goods, and technological advances that change the dynamics of the basic business model, so companies must turn away from strategies that focus on globally integrated value chains and focus on thriving locally in each market that they serve, according to a study released in September by A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council.

Why Supply Chains Should Put Curbing Global Food Waste at the Forefront

More than 2 billion tons of food worth $1.5 trillion could be wasted in 2030, according to the Boston Consulting Group. It’s not an unrealistic estimate considering the 1.6 billion tons worth $1.2 trillion lost just three years ago. Food waste is a concept so vast and systemic that one must go beyond the individual impact and look toward how entire companies involved in the process – from production to consumption – can actively work in a way that helps solve a global crisis while attaining tangible business benefits.

Afternoon Coffee: Kelly Services and Business Talent Group Team Up on Gig Economy, New Trade Numbers Show Gap Widens

Kelly Services announced Wednesday it has taken a minority stake in Business Talent Group, in a bid to fill an expected shortfall in the gig economy that serves top companies with BTG’s pool of on-demand consultants, experts and executives. U.S. trade figures released Thursday show the trade gap widened, and the reaction has been to downgrade estimates for GDP growth and to further gauge the effects of President Donald Trump’s tariffs. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

How Can Procurement Find Savings When Commodity Prices Are Going Up, Up, Up?

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

While going through questions that our readers have sent us, we came across one regarding how and where procurement practitioners can find savings when commodity prices are going up. The reader, a senior procurement manager, had noted that procurement’s primary task of finding savings is becoming difficult. This is an ever-relevant topic, and we enlisted the expertise of Stuart Burns, editor-at-large at MetalMiner, in coming up with some concrete tips for other procurement professionals facing this challenge. Read on!

Global E-Payment Software Helps Companies Cross Borders and Cash In, Report Finds

MBO Partners

A wealth of opportunity awaits in emerging markets around the world, and global e-payment software is helping businesses cross borders to tap into that revenue — and navigate the fiscal risks that can strain supply chains and supplier relationships, according to a report that surveyed more than 400 organizations. According to the report, 73% of U.S. companies are now making some type of cross-border payments. But writing a check and sending it to Peru or even relying on wire transfers to far-flung locales no longer cut it with businesses trying to expand globally yet stay profitable. Those methods can be slow, fraught with fraud and take up too much time for a company’s accounts payable department.

Supply Chain Disruption and Customer Viability Top Finance Leaders’ Risk Management Worries

Finance departments are struggling to manage risk, a recent report from Dun & Bradstreet finds, and many finance leaders “believe their own efforts to manage, monitor and predict risk pose a moderate to high risk to their businesses.” In order to find out how today’s finance leaders are managing risk and what their future risk management plans look like, earlier this year Dun & Bradstreet commissioned a study of approximately 1,100 finance professionals, the vast majority of whom were based in the U.S.