Category Archives: Commentary

Finally, GM Realizes Europeans (and Others) Like to Buy German Products, Especially Cars

- November 14, 2014 6:36 AM | Categories: Commentary, Friday Rant

While in business school, together with 5 other students and the dean, I was given the opportunity to have lunch with GM's then-CEO Jack Smith (GM CEO between 1992 and 2000), and I asked him why GM wasn't using its German brand better. I brought up an example from Japan – where I had lived up until a few months earlier and where GM was actively promoting its full-size vans at the time. Sales of these absurdly large, gas guzzling, and dubious reliable vehicles must have been negligible. I never saw one on the roads. I suggested GM leverage Opel, which already is the right size for the market.

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Apple’s Tim Cook – A Courageous Step

- October 31, 2014 1:25 PM | Categories: Commentary

Yesterday, Tim Cook officially shared what many in the Bay Area tech scene knew already – that he was gay. The announcement should be meaningless for the supply chain and procurement profession, but it is not. Simply put, while throughout our careers we have seen passionate pleas beyond government mandates to drive supplier diversity programs as well as significant recruitment programs internally that emphasize racial inclusion and diversity, it is our view that the operational side of businesses – procurement, supply chain, accounts payable, etc. – generally remain far less accepting, at least publicly, of an openly gay and lesbian workforce in comparison to other areas of the business.

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Is the Politburo in a Tizzy Over Reshoring?

- October 27, 2014 6:11 AM | Categories: Commentary, Reshoring

file0001731552231 When it comes to creating a harmonious society, the Communist Party in China pays far greater attention to fundamental economics than most western countries do. Keeping GDP growth above certain levels is not juts a goal – it is religion for the politburo’s economic planners that know that the country is held together by growth and economic improvement at all levels, not ideology. Given this foundation, the questions that this blog from Supply Chain Management Review raises are fascinating indeed.

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Even SAP’s Employees Are Asking the Question: “Why did we buy Concur?”

- October 16, 2014 10:03 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, SAP

One of our team members was at a conference this week when at the lunch table, an SAP employee was introduced to us and jokingly asked “Oh good. Maybe we can find out from you guys why we bought Concur!" We won't re-hash our pieces that we've already written, but it's a fair question from an employee who's wondering if it’s $8 billion well spent.

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MBO Partners’ Gene Zaino on the Rise of the Independent Worker (Part 2)

- October 15, 2014 6:28 AM | Categories: Commentary, Perspective

Spend Matters recently interviewed Gene Zaino, president and CEO of MBO Partners, on his firm’s recent study looking at the rise of independent workers in America. In Part 1 of the interview, Gene began to share his thoughts on key takeaways from the MBO survey, surprise findings from the report and what it means for government and tax policy. Today, we continue our discussion with Gene.

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MBO Partners Gene Zaino on the Rise of the Independent Worker: Men, Women and Surprise Findings

- October 13, 2014 10:07 AM | Categories: Commentary, Learning / Research, Perspective

I recently had the chance to ask Gene Zaino, president and CEO of MBO Partners, to share his comments and thoughts on his firm’s 2014 State of Independence in America workforce study. In this two part-series on Spend Matters, we feature Gene’s perspective on the topic.

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Oracle Goes Long on a PaaS – Now It’s Time For Some Blocking and Tackling

- October 6, 2014 2:23 AM | Categories: Cloud, Commentary, Technology

1373801757yg8lm Recently I joined 60,000 others descending on this year’s Oracle Open World conference in San Francisco and have been really immersing myself in all things Oracle, attending various sessions (e.g., rolling up the sleeves in some “hands-on labs” sessions) and talking to all sorts of customers, employees and partners. There’s so much to cover, but it’s best to start most strategically.

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Looking For More Spend Under Management? Refer to the Marketing Playbook

- October 3, 2014 3:05 PM | Categories: Commentary, Guest Post, Procurement Commentary

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post written by Mark Digman of SciQuest. I’m a “process, flow chart, build a plan and work the plan” type of person. This is not associated with marketing, which tends to be labeled or positioned as “creative types.” One of the things I like about the professionals in the procurement community is their pragmatic and often passionate approach. They drive efficiency and cost savings on behalf of their organizations. They have ideas of what they need to do – and they want to “get it done.”

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The Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – Just Like the Ryder Cup

- October 2, 2014 6:43 AM | Categories: Commentary, Industry Analysts, Industry News

We are now three quarters of the way through the year and through our 2014 stock portfolio competition between Jason Busch, representing the mighty USA, and me, Peter Smith, representing Europe. And I'm afraid, just like the Ryder Cup, it is turning into a bit of a non-contest, with Europe clearly ahead.

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SAP Buys Concur for $8.3B – A Great Deal (But Out of Necessity, Not Strength)

- September 19, 2014 8:02 AM | Categories: Analysis, Breaking News, Commentary, M&A, Supply Networks, Technology

Three members of the Spend Matters team ended up on the SAP and Concur investor call that was held just under an hour after the acquisition announcement. In the coming days, look for much more analysis on Spend Matters PRO with specific insight into how the T&E acquisition is likely to impact SAP customers, competitors and the general marketplace. But first, in the spirit of public service for investors, CPOs, IT staff, travel managers and a general procurement audience to really understand what is happening behind the scenes at SAP and with the Concur transaction, we offer some public commentary, taking the metaphor of the stage.

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Spend Matters Poll: Scotland Independence Referendum – A Nail-Biter!!!

- September 18, 2014 8:34 AM | Categories: Breaking News, Commentary, Spend Humor

Your trusty Spend Matters founder took it upon himself to poll the 24 employees of the extended Spend Matters Network in a prediction market for the Scottish independence vote – with Belhaven Ale promised as an award for those with the closest guesses to the percentage split – and the results could very well mirror that of the actual vote, with the only difference being an above 75% voting rate. Read on for the full results and colorful commentary that came along with the votes...

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Supply Chain Insights Global Summit – The Supply Chain Index

- September 16, 2014 10:33 AM | Categories: Commentary, Conferences

Lora Cecere, the founder of Supply Chain Insights, is a CPG industry specialist from the beginning, and she (and her team) are trying to come up with a better way to assessing the company value impact of well-performing supply chains. For this purpose, she has developed a Supply Chain Index. This is a commendable effort – and probably something that many outside of procurement would love to see, as it has significant stock picking investment strategy potential.

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