Author Archives: Taras Berezowsky



Q&A With Graham Wright: The Tools IBM Procurement Is Using and Why

tech

In Part 1 of our interview chat with Graham Wright, IBM’s vice president of global procurement and IBM procurement services, we had just gotten down to brass tacks on what he considers to be the hallmarks of procurement transformation for organizations today. (ICYMI, catch up on Part 1 here.) Wright was also — for once — back at home in the U.K., which is not a regular occurrence lately. However, upon a minor run-in with a hotel room doorway, he’s had to take it a bit easy. Luckily we caught up with him post-recovery. Here’s the second part of our conversation.

Q&A With Graham Wright, IBM’s VP of Global Procurement: It’s Not the 80s Anymore

When the term “global” is in your title, chances are you’re going to be a jet-setter. That’s indeed the case for IBM’s Vice President of Global Procurement and IBM Procurement Services Graham Wright, who is based in the U.K. and has been ping-ponging around the planet on behalf of the Global 100 giant for the last several years. Between meeting with clients and presenting at conferences, Wright made some time to catch up with Spend Matters about how he and IBM see the state of procurement technology within our increasingly digitalized business ecosystem.

Post-Hurricane Harvey, 3 Supply Chain Risk Mitigation Strategies to Keep in Mind

It’s a simple yet excruciating irony that in a natural disaster that dumps more than 50 inches of rain on a single region, water becomes widely unavailable for consumption — for either people to drink or factories to function — even as it floods scores of neighborhoods. So it’s no surprise that water, and the havoc it continues to wreak in Houston and other areas, is central to the issue of supply chain risk management in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Spend Matters has been covering the hurricane (see related stories below), which had been downgraded to a tropical storm soon after, and the disaster spurred a recent webinar presented by Resilinc, a supply chain resiliency solutions provider.

Hurricane Harvey Q&A: What Procurement Practitioners Should Be Doing Right Now

In this disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, emerging details about supply chain repercussions both locally and nationally have finally begun to paint a fuller picture. With Houston and its greater regional area comprising such a significant industrial hub, trucking, freight and petrochemical supply have all been frozen to varying degrees. But perhaps the biggest hit is the massive uncertainty over the full extent of the medium and long-term impact. We caught up with riskmethods' Bill DeMartino, general manager of North American operations, and Heiko Schwarz, the firm's founder and managing director, for a quick Q&A about what procurement professionals have been — and what they should be — thinking about in the wake of the disaster's fallout.

Have You Asked Spend Matters a Question and Not Heard Back? Don’t Worry — We’re Working on It!

For those of you who have submitted a question to our Ask Spend Matters program but haven’t heard from us, we wanted to let you know that even though we’re in the dog days of summer, we haven’t forgotten about your questions. In fact, we’ve taken a close look at all the questions submitted since we launched the program in early July. Our editorial team has grappled with which questions to pursue and investigate, and several have already been reported and published! Check them out within.

Trump Manufacturing Council Roundup: When the CEOs Said ‘See Ya’

manufacturing

Alas, President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative has sadly drawn to an abrupt close in the wake of the events in Charlottesville. As you’ve surely heard by now, Trump disbanded the council once a critical mass of CEOs and other business sector leaders stepped down. One day before his official decision, announced on Twitter (is there any other way?), the President tweeted one of my favorite tweets of his in recent memory.

Geopolitical Supply Chain Risk is Knocking on Your Door — Here’s What You Do

Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do? For those of you too young to remember or too old to care, this quote from “Speed,” the summer blockbuster of 1994, delivered by Dennis Hopper’s character, pretty much sums it all up. (I admit, for this 11-year-old at the time, the adrenaline rush was palpable, and with no big Marvel-style special effects!) In a different summer rife with risk — the one we’re in — the quote rings especially true.

Does Marketing Procurement Deserve a Bloody Break? Our Q&A with Tina Fegent

marketing spend

In our series Ask Spend Matters, we recently answered this question: Do other areas of procurement get as much negative press from suppliers as marketing procurement do? We had the chance to chat with our question asker, Tina Fegent, who lives near Oxford, England, via Skype as we kicked off our reporting process. Here are select excerpts from that initial conversation. (Read the full piece to see where it all went.)

Do Other Services Procurement Areas Get as Much Negative Press from Suppliers as Marketing Procurement?

Tina Fegent is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but for someone with a couple decades of experience in the marketing procurement space, Tina is officially en garde when it comes to marketing services suppliers (namely, the agencies) bad-mouthing her chosen profession. That really got Tina’s goat. So she she came to Ask Spend Matters and asked us a question: “Do other areas of procurement get as much negative press from suppliers as marketing procurement do?”

Can Procurement Save the Least Diverse Profession in the United States?

forced labor

The biggest change agent for the legal profession could be the as yet unspoken (rather than contractual) pressure from legal firms’ corporate clients, who are pushing their legal partners to go further into supplier diversity efforts. These corporations (e.g., HP, Facebook and Oracle), many of which have instituted their own supplier diversity programs, increasingly want their suppliers and partners to do the same, according to Lee Garbowitz, managing director of Procurement Managed Solutions for HBR Consulting. This helps the partners align strategically, with the ultimate goal of improving brand image and reputation on both sides.

How to Decide on Organizational Sourcing Structures, Supply Market Intelligence Sources (ICYMI)

category management

Last week, we ran two stories that have come out of our new feature, Ask Spend Matters. The feature asks readers to tell us what they’ve always wondered about procurement and supply chain, and our editors then select questions to pursue and investigate. While our first replies covered the intricacies of tail spend management and the use of big data in public procurement, last week we tackled two questions related to the sourcing side of procurement. Check out what your peers are wondering and be sure to leave us your own question!

Building Supply Market Intelligence: Which Data Sources are the Best?

Often, it’s all about how quickly one can digest something. No, I’m not talking about Joey Chestnut’s eating-champ prowess. I’m talking about market intelligence. In a procurement professional’s day-to-day, that sentiment has certainly become more widespread than ever. In fact, with time at a premium, the majority of procurement pros — from junior buyers all the way up to CPOs — are faced with this issue every day. However, it can pay dividends to approach supply market intelligence in a strategic way.