We recently came across a Forbes piece that distilled the findings of a Forrester report on artificial intelligence into the 10 “hottest” AI technologies. As suckers for clickbait, as well as folks interested in the implications of AI for the procurement sector, we checked it out. ICYMI, here they are, according to Forbes contributor Gil Press, taken from Forrester’s TechRadar™: Artificial Intelligence Technologies, Q1 2017.
Matchmaking is an age-old practice. And as Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava will tell you, it’s a tough world out there when it comes to traditional matchmaking. The same goes for buyers and suppliers in the marketplace. Just as matchmakers once met with mothers and fathers to match their daughters to prospective husbands, businesses used to pound the pavement trying to find prospective clients, buyers, suppliers and anyone who would take a business card and put it in their pocket full of loose change and car keys.
In a related article last week, we tried to get (a little closer) to the bottom of the whole Mexico border tax issue. Although there are still two potential camps of “tax” — President Trump’s potential blanket tax on Mexican imports, and the broader Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that comes from proposed Republican corporate tax reform — procurement organizations on both sides of the border have immediate concerns.
10%. 20%. 35%. These are all numbers that the Trump administration has put on the table, at various times, as suggested levels of import tax that the administration threatens to levy on goods from countries such as Mexico if the U.S. companies importing them don’t move their overseas operations back to the States...right? Not so fast. It turns out that there are a few different things this whole “border tax” thing could mean.
It’s no secret that the Spend Matters team has been geekily excited about the procurement implications of blockchain for years — seemingly right on the heels of the Dark Web, TOR and Silk Road becoming a thing. What is far more important to the world of procurement — and for that matter, the world of broader supply chains and global trade — is that blockchain brings the potential to become as important to our technology lives as the spreadsheet, ERP/MRP systems and source-to-pay technology suites that we use everyday, as Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch puts it.
As we’ve seen and reported on Spend Matters over the past year, interest in easier-to-use, more efficient and organic B2B social collaboration platforms seems to be steadily growing. Once viewed as yet another source of risk, social media platforms, both external- and internal-facing ones, have finally proven they can help procurement folks do their jobs better.
Very recently — and rather quietly, overshadowed by talk of walls and deportations — the Mexican government made a major move that could upend North American supply chains for years to come. On Feb. 17, the Finance Secretariat announced that fuel prices in each of the country’s 90 regions would change on Saturday, Feb. 18, with daily price changes coming into place from that point forward, according to a report from Breakthrough Fuel, a global transportation energy management and advisory firm. This deregulatory move almost instantaneously introduced a new era of commodity price volatility concerns for multinational procurement organizations and their supply chains operating in or through Mexico.
A report by Trade Extensions titled “Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Manufacturers, Retailers and Suppliers” has implications for many facets of the CSR trend — from brand reputation, to ethical sourcing, to the classic “what does it mean for the bottom line?” One finding from the report indicates that the retailer is the most important entity (above manufacturers and suppliers) that U.S. and U.K. consumers think about when buying something — which is perhaps related to why the recent Nordstrom firestorm was more about Nordstrom, not who makes Ivanka Trump's clothing line or how it sells. But the survey’s more interesting findings touch on fair treatment of suppliers.
When it comes to the intersection of social media and procurement, we’re all interested in how to use it effectively, whether it’s to improve our relationships, our jobs or both. Yet at times, the magic of its use can seem elusive. More and more public-facing platforms (the Facebooks, Twitters, Snapchats) and private/collaborative ones (the Procuriouses...Procurii?) seem to crop up every day, but where to start?
Even though Spend Matters declared the "ERP vs. Best-of-Breed" debate dead way back in 2014, the issue has a funny way of rearing its head. Sure, IT organizations are still somewhat biased towards ERP suites and business units/functions still prefer BoB solutions that will help them accomplish their goals, but asking "ERP or BoB?" is fundamentally a losing proposition. Why?
Coupa made some waves earlier this week with its first cloud platform update of the year — the “sector-news pinnacle” of a very P2P-centric week here at Spend Matters. Xavier Olivera and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch also co-presented “2017: The Most Disruptive Year in P2P Ever?” last Wednesday in a live webinar, which is now available on demand.
Whether you’re looking at the services procurement and contingent workforce space, supply chain risks or the procure-to-pay landscape, it’s hard to throw a rock — or a snippet of code — and not hit some hand-wringing over digital disruption. (We’ve even ranted about it.)
Procure-to-pay, also known as P2P or the procurement/purchasing process cycle, is now front and center. Turns out 2017 may just be the most disruptive year yet for P2P technologies and processes.