Category Archives: Commentary

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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Spend Matters Reaches 10,000 Posts!

- September 5, 2014 2:42 AM | Categories: Commentary, Spend Humor

In scientific notation, 10,000 is written as 104 or 1 E+4 or 1 E4. It is the square of 100 and the square root of 100,000,000. If you were to draw a polygon with 10,000 sides, it would be called a myriagon. Ten kilometers (aka Sheena’s favorite distance to row and one of Jason’s least favorites to run) are equal to: 6.2 miles, the side of a square with an area of 100km2, and the radius of a circle with area 314.159 km2. Why are we dorking out over the number 10,000? Because this, what you are reading right now, is Spend Matters’ 10,000th post to go live on the site.

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Why SAP Should — Or Should Not — Buy Concur

- September 3, 2014 4:50 PM | Categories: Commentary, M&A, Solution Providers, Travel

Earlier today Thomas Kase (VP of research) shared some quick comments on the rumors that SAP is thinking about buying Concur. This Spend Matters PRO article is the in-depth analysis. "Say it ain't so" is what first came to mind, not that Concur is either shoeless or cheats. There are of course positive aspects to the acquisition as well. Thomas expands on the pros and cons of such a deal, as part of his advice to Concur's shareholders and customers.

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The $6 Billion Question: Is SAP Buying Concur?

- September 3, 2014 3:58 PM | Categories: Commentary, Industry News

According to media reports, Concur is being courted by acquirers like SAP. Does it make sense for SAP to buy Concur? What is the strategic fit between the two companies? Hint: we are skeptical, and we can see better homes for Concur (ahem, exits for Concur’s management) than joining SAP.

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Zara’s Supply Chain Blunder – In Time for Fashion Week

- September 3, 2014 2:30 AM | Categories: Commentary, Industry News, Supply Chain

Zara bag Zara, that darling of the fashion world with the most innovative speed-to-market business model, invented the concept of “fast fashion.” The company has received heaps of praise for its innovations that have allowed it to reach more than $20 billion in revenue (see here, here, and here). And, let’s face it, the clothing chain has a lot to offer, particularly if one craves the latest looks. I have shopped there many times. But I can’t say that I will again because of a recent “blunder.”

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Strategic Sourcing and Driving Spending with Small Businesses Don’t Have to be in Conflict

- September 2, 2014 2:28 AM | Categories: Commentary, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Management

Regardless of whether it’s public or private sector, I would argue that the basics of strategic sourcing (i.e., aggregate and consolidate spending with fewer suppliers to create leverage in negotiations and more strategic relationships overall) are in conflict with the drive to encourage supplier diversity. But they don’t have to be. Here’s why: strategic sourcing does not only have to focus on demand aggregation and sourcing strategies based on driving down price with tier one suppliers.

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Marking Labor Day with a Summary of Labor-Related News from 2014

- September 1, 2014 9:42 AM | Categories: Commentary

Bratislava In the 120 years that Labor Day has been a federal holiday, it has morphed from a day celebrating the blue-collar working class to a handy if inaccurate marker of the end of summer. As for Spend Matters, instead of the usual programming, here is a run-down of significant news relating to labor from this year.

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Comments from Readers: Air Canada’s Friends and Foes

- August 29, 2014 10:30 AM | Categories: Commentary

plane A week ago, Spend Matters' Jason Busch wrote a rant about Air Canada Rouge after traveling on the airline’s discount service on his way back from Italy. He later shared some pictures from his flight, which showed gum stuck to the plane’s carpeted floor, a messy lavatory, and grime, food particles, and even hairs (eww) in nooks and crannies of the plane. Needless to say, this post garnered a lot of comments from our readers - some thanking Jason for the warning, others defending Air Canada. Here’s a review of the feedback we received in this edition of our Comments from Readers column. Read on to see what people had to say.

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Prediction: USA 2020 – Will We Have Any Major Corporations Left?

- August 29, 2014 6:30 AM | Categories: Commentary, Friday Rant, Innovation, Outsourcing

Maybe it’s not so much a question of “will we,” but should we have any major corporations left in the United States come the start of the next decade? I’m speaking of corporations headquartered in the country, that is.

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Purchases: Don’t Take Supplier Ethics Too Seriously, Let Them Buy You a Cup of Coffee

- August 29, 2014 2:00 AM | Categories: Commentary, Friday Rant, Supplier Collaboration

In my years of researching and assessing sourcing sophistication and approaches inside procurement organizations from around the globe, I’ve noticed there’s a universal bent – except perhaps in the most corrupt developing markets – to begin to discourage biases to/for one supplier or another in the sourcing process at the early stages of procurement maturity (after, let’s say, a base “stage zero”).

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