Author Archives: Tom Finn

Healthcare Needs More Mud: A Supply Chain Perspective

If ever a layman’s view of the holy war over healthcare reform had a chance to be heard, well, as a guy who’s covered the space for the better part of a decade, here goes nothing. (My disclaimer: I hold both political parties in equal contempt.) From a supply chain management perspective, there’s more fat on the healthcare bone than Arby’s latest pork belly sandwich. Origins of that old adage “doctors don’t make good businessmen” have roots in many places. But their collective decision to fully outsource their procurement and supply chain management needs (in fact, to establish healthcare’s group purchasing organization oligarchy) may be the quintessential example.

Supplier Performance Management (SPM) — Lost and Found?

What if a network of suppliers responded even more favorably to a customer that persistently and artfully manages them? Almost all of the analysts who cover the supplier performance management (SPM) solution market agree there is an incremental 5%–15% in contract savings for those who do it well (i.e., for buying organizations that apply a continuous improvement discipline to their SPM practice). Those are big numbers. So why would it appear that outside of the automotive industry, sophisticated SPM practice hasn’t caught on?

Rethinking P2P Evaluations, Implementations and Extensions Over Chicken Wings

To say that most middle-to-large-market companies now understand the business case for spend management is probably fair, but as many know well, issues remain. Eating chicken wings between flights in an airport the other day, I stumbled into a conversation with a principal from a procure-to-pay (P2P) system integration firm called RiseNow. While that may sound fishy to you, the wings were actually garlic-parmesan, and the discussion turned out to be refreshingly candid, if not a little inspiring.

Indirect Spend Management: An Easy Putt for the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) Industry

While the market for procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions has exploded over the past decade, in terms of spend coverage, several notable blind spots remain across all industries. Usually, the gaps exist in notoriously complex areas of direct. On the indirect side of the house, the holes generally manifest in purchased services. But in the case of the quick serve restaurant (QSR) industry, the coverage problem isn’t limited to a few categories — it’s the other half of the enchilada.

Jaggaer’s Merger with Pool4Tool: Taking the Contrarian Role Around Integration


Jaggaer’s merger with Pool4Tool creates a combined entity approaching $100 million in annual revenues spread across nearly 1,000 customers. That would mean about $100,000 per customer per year, which clearly has a nice ring to it. After going public as SciQuest, then private and then public again before being acquired by Accel-KKR, in May 2016, for $509 million, Jaggaer’s capitalization history is unusual. Throughout that time, the company has made numerous acquisitions that nicely cover the breadth of the source-to-pay (S2P) application space. But it has never promoted itself as a soon-to-be-finished integrated platform — no such vapor.

Coupa’s Acquisition of Trade Extensions — Sometimes It’s Better to Be Lucky

Does Coupa understand what it just bought in the form of Trade Extensions, that little sourcing optimization company from a sleepy college town north of Stockholm?

Don’t bet on it. But don’t worry, they’ll figure it out soon enough.

Several of us ruminated on the possibilities over happy hour at Coupa Inspire, so I’d thought I’d share two of the highlights, the inside (and ever-so-slightly-inebriated) analyst view if you will.

The Basware-Scanmarket Arrangement: Accelerating P2P’s Natural Heading

In a recent discussion I had with Basware, we talked about the firm’s recently announced partnership with Scanmarket. Although the provider’s comments referenced the customer benefits of its newly minted S2P capability, the people I spoke to never backed off talking about the firm’s ability to drive 100% spend coverage. It caught my attention, because in a S2P context it’s smart, especially when considering how ripe the savings opportunities are for spend categories that have never before been covered/managed/competitively sourced.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Keeping it Cool


Walking the hallways and meeting with several of Coupa’s customers yesterday, it was hard not to notice a kind of positive speculation in the air. After many months of making data acquisition a priority, resulting in a cool trillion in spend data, Coupa is using this year’s customer conference to motivate specific discussion around using those data to “unleash value.”

Coupa Inspire 2017: A Provocative Keynote

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Coupa Inspire 2017 kicked-off yesterday with CEO Rob Bernshteyn delivering the keynote. Rob’s speech was plain spoken and detailed in terms of Coupa’s product and market vision, as my colleague Pierre Mitchell wrote in an earlier dispatch. The tone of the room was reminiscent of a rock concert. Bottom line: folks were excited. The audience of more than 1,500 was engaged and Coupa’s CEO had command of the room.

Spend360: Solution Review & Analysis

data analytics

Although Spend360 is a relatively new entrant to the spend analytics solution space in North America, the company is well established in Europe. It commenced operations in 2011, and its founding team has been through previous startups in the sector. The firm’s experience is not only apparent in Spend360’s spend analytics technology but also in its ability to commercialize its capabilities. Since its North American launch in 2014, it has added 100 new clients in the region and now counts 400+ global customers. Spend360 has processed more than $1 trillion in spend, empowering it with a global category-level benchmarking and analytic capability that is competitively distinguished.

Spend360: The Spend Analysis Classification Vendor to Beat — Year-End Tech Review


This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the risk management and spend analytics spaces.

Although Spend360 is a relatively new entrant to the spend analytics solution space in North America, the company is well established in Europe. The firm commenced operations in 2011, and its founders have worked at previous start-ups in the sector. The founding team’s experience is apparent in Spend360’s spend analytics technology, as well as its ability to commercialize its capabilities. Beyond simply enabling the visualization of spending and related supply data, Spend360’s solution sets itself apart from the competition with its emphasis on classification through machine learning.