Author Archives: Taras Berezowsky



E-Procurement, The Chicago Way

Chicago

Depending on whom you ask, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration may not have the best track record for providing transparency to the public, even though his official communications channels — and even the Mayor himself — like talking it up. The latest stop on the Transparency Train, as it happens, is right up Spend Matters’ alley: an announcement that the City of Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services (DPS) will adopt a new e-procurement approach to do better business with its myriad vendors and suppliers.

Managing Your Tail Spend on Amazon Prime Day (Good Luck)

According to a recent study, about 47% of organizations' total spend is unmanaged. Zycus surveyed 725 procurement leaders and found that even though just over half of them considered their total spend under management, only 19% considered spend management to be a "key focus area" over the next year. But of course, cost savings remains a priority, based on the report's findings. Also, tail spend is still a nagging issue. And although platforms such as Amazon Business have made it their mission to help solve some of the issues above, man are those hard to focus on when Prime Day comes around!

Announcing “Ask Spend Matters!”

What have you always wondered about procurement — but were afraid to ask? The editors at Spend Matters have never stopped wondering about what procurement means for all of us and how it is defined as a profession — but going down rabbit holes is only fun until you run out of air. Enter Ask Spend Matters, a new series where you, the reader, tell us what to investigate and report about procurement. How do you submit your question? The process is simple.

Cannabusiness Developments: Mexico, Canada and the Amazon(.com of Pot)

With one research firm estimating North American sales to reach $22 billion by 2020 — with already an estimated $46.4 billion in N.A. black market sales last year, according to this article — a lot is riding on the supply chain keeping up with legislation and vice versa. We also continue to find new-to-us SCM technology platforms coming out of the e-commerce marketplace woodwork. We had a chance to catch up with Rob Fess, Director of Marketing at Tradiv, who underscored certain perspectives highlighted in our cannabusiness series, as well as viewpoints contrary to the experience of other U.S. cannabis marketplace participants.

Cannabusiness: The Riskiest Legal Supply Chain in the World?

Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, it’s still federally illegal. For that reason, states that have legalized cannabis for medical — and especially recreational — consumption have had to implement considerable systems of regulatory compliance for businesses to follow.

The Salesforce.com of Bud: Putting Some SaaS into the Marijuana Supply Chain

pot

As we introduced in the first part of this series, marijuana purchasing managers have long been putting up with managing orders, inventory and supplier relationships the old way. Faxes, texts, emails, Excel spreadsheets and even corkboards littered with Post-It notes were all fair game. But it wasn’t helping the buyers at the dispensaries or retail shops advance strategically. Enter SaaS platforms to save the day.

Legal Recreational Marijuana: How to Manage a Brand New Supply Chain

The relatively recent votes to legalize either medical or recreational marijuana in seven new states during the November 2016 election — California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada (recreational); and Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota (medical) — have opened our eyes to the vast opportunities for players on all ends of the supply chain within this young industry.

Here’s How You’re Going to Get Supplier Risk Ratings in Less Than 10 Years

Imagine you're strolling along — or perhaps your self-driving vehicle is spiriting you around the new megacity in which you live — in the year 2025, while doodling around on your iPhone 15 (still unsafe while driving? or would that be cool by then since you're not actually driving?) At any rate, while you're checking a push notification on LinkedIn telling you to congratulate your college roommate who just got a new job at The New Facebook, the supply risk technology that your procurement organization uses is also using LinkedIn; only behind the scenes. For example, as you tap out a "Congrats on the gig, bro," an AI bot lets you know that LinkedIn has been sensing defections at a strategic supplier you have a relationship with. On its own, perhaps no big deal — but synthesized with other data, the picture being painted is the new normal for supply risk management.

Inside the Executive Suite with Jose Varela, CPO of 3M: Cognitive Computing Pointing the Way Forward

Jose Varela, vice president of global sourcing for 3M, took the time to chat with Spend Matters about how one of the global industrial leaders in innovation sees the challenging sourcing and risk landscape both today and into the future. (ICYMI, here’s Part 1.)

What’s clear is how the maturity of the overall organization and the forward-thinking nature in 3M’s DNA result in streamlined collaboration, both internally and with the company’s myriad suppliers — more than 100,000 around the world.

But how is Varela’s organization using technology — procurement tech and otherwise — to compete with the big boys in 2017 and beyond? And how hard does he have to work to prove the value his procurement organization provides to his boss?

Inside the Executive Suite with Jose Varela, CPO of 3M: More Sunny Days in St. Paul Ahead?

As he looked out his window at the sunny spring day in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, Jose Varela seemed upbeat and rather excited about where sourcing operations are headed for what was once known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company — better known today as 3M. Perhaps that’s because he’s somewhat of a newbie. “I’m new to sourcing,” Varela said. “I’ve been in this position less than a year.” He’d previously been a managing director with 3M Brazil, where there were undoubtedly many more sunny days outside his window than he encounters in the Great White North.

2017 Best Practice Predictions: Disrupting E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay with Technology

How important is technology to procurement? In a word: quite. And it’s not as if there aren’t enough to keep tabs on, running the gamut from cloud, B2B connectivity, user-designed solutions, analytics and artificial intelligence/machine learning — many of which are already influencing today’s cutting-edge offerings. To help practitioners wrap their heads around it all, the Spend Matters Analyst Team has penned a new report, "E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay Disruption: 'Best' and 'Next' Technologies," that shares summary insights into the technology, product and functional levels of “best” practices today and tomorrow’s “next” practices for procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions.

Been Stuck in a Cave? Well, ICYMI: Spend Matters’ P2P SolutionMap

Unless you’ve been stuck in a cave, sheltered from procurement and supply chain industry news for the last three weeks, you may have noticed Spend Matters’ rollout of the Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap — comparative rankings of technology vendors offering e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and procure-to-pay suite solutions. To help quick-guide you through the SolutionMap, we’re offering you a couple Choose Your Own Adventure-style options.