Category Archives: Commentary

Ask The Expert Webinar This Friday! Join Us For a Discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility

- March 24, 2015 8:48 AM | Categories: Analysis, Ask the Expert, Commentary, Learning / Research

1129140-2590-D31A-402A89DD1F58ACC9 Can corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives ever be financially sound? Do they always require a steady inflow of new money to stay afloat? Join Spend Matters Vice President of Research Thomas Kase this Friday at 10:30 a.m. CST for our Ask The Expert webinar to see how this can be done in a financially sustainable way. All Plus and PRO Spend Matters members are welcome to sign up.

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Please Stop the Kvetching Over Early Pay Programs

- February 12, 2015 6:12 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, Supplier Management

finger-hand-lens-1338 Ellen Leith’s post in Procurement Leaders, Stop Paying Suppliers Late And Offer Them Choice, which I recently commented on earlier in the week, features the usual business and trade media complaints over what some might think is a zero-sum game in trade financing (supply chain finance, invoice discounting, etc.). Find out why I think Leith is dead wrong when it comes to supply chain finance schemes.

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Syriza Wins in Greece – Is it the Beginning of the End for the Euro?

- January 29, 2015 2:36 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, Supply Chain, Supply Risk Management

500-bank-notes-bills-2112-723x550 The victory of left-wing party Syriza in this week's Greek elections could have far-reaching implications well beyond Greece itself, and at the extreme, could be the beginning of the end for the Euro. It is important, therefore, that anyone involved in procurement and supply chain activities where currencies have some relevance does, at the very least, keep an eye on events and thinks about the implications of the various possible outcomes following the Greek election. However, we should also note that many observers have been predicting the breakup of the Eurozone for at least 3 years now. So nothing is certain.

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Ask the Expert Webinar This Friday! 5 More 2015 Predictions for Procurement

- January 27, 2015 8:20 AM | Categories: Commentary, Learning / Research

This Friday we continue our Ask the Expert webinar series on our 20+ 2015 procurement predictions. So far this month, we have made it through 3 installments of this webinar series. On Friday, Jan. 30 from 10 - 10:30 a.m. Central, Jason Busch will talk through the next 5 procurement predictions for the new year. Register here. Best of all? This series is open to ALL Plus/PRO members AND procurement practitioners. Join us!

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What’s in Store For Procurement in 2015? Check Out Our Recent ‘Ask the Expert’ Webinars!

- January 24, 2015 8:21 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, Learning / Research

Have you been keeping up with our 2015 procurement predictions? During the last few months, the Spend Matters Analyst Team has been sharing their top predictions for the new year. And, in January, we started a special Ask The Expert webinar series going over these predictions. The webinars, which can be listened to here on Spend Matters, include an overview of the predictions and expert commentary from Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell and Thomas Kase. Check out our first 3 new year prediction webinars here.

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2015 Will be the Year of the Chief Buzzword Officer

- January 23, 2015 2:28 AM | Categories: Commentary, Friday Rant, Procurement

The 2015 prediction season is thankfully winding down. We, too, are wrapping up our predictions, many of which are really a continuation of some 2014 predictions, and, like other predictions, are updates on some trends that get extrapolated forward. We don’t fashion ourselves as “futurists,” and if we did, we’d have to incur Dr. Lamoureaux’s wrath on the topic and also on predictions in general. Anyway, prediction season is a good time for providers and pundits to invent new buzzwords that try to encapsulate a trend, but more specifically, also try to support a new concept or marketing push that they like. So, for an analyst firm, this might go something like: “Supplier Management is dead: Long Live Supply Base Management!” or “It’s time for Procurement 4.0!”

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Ask the Expert Webinar This Friday! Our 2015 Procurement Predictions Series Continues

We will continue our Ask the Expert webinars this week, focusing on our collective 2015 Procurement Predictions put together by the entire Spend Matters analyst team. This week's webinar will be held Friday, Jan. 23 from 10-10:30 a.m. Jason Busch and Thomas Kase will walk you through the next 5 procurement predictions for the new year, adding commentary and expert insight along the way. Best of all? This series is open to ALL Plus/PRO members AND procurement practitioners. Join us! Sign up here.

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Don’t Get Mad at Your Trading Partners Who Did You Wrong – Glitter Bomb Them!

- January 14, 2015 1:37 PM | Categories: Commentary

14207642551egcb Have you been harmed by a current, previous or prospective partner? Don't just get mad at them, get your sparkle on and send them some glitter! At (yes, this is a real web site), you can do just that.

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From Cuba With Love – Procurement Lessons From our Correspondent’s Visit

- December 19, 2014 2:38 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, Procurement Commentary

Apropos the recent announcements regarding Cuba, I thought I would share some pictures and my thoughts of the country from my stay in Havana in 2010. Inspired by my colleague Pierre Mitchell, I've injected some of his humorous procurement analogies along the way. Make no mistake, though, this is a brutal place to be, especially if you are Cuban, but making fun of dictators (at a safe distance) is good sport, so here we go.

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A.T. Kearney Gets it Both Right and Dangerously Wrong in 2014 ROSMA Benchmark Report

- December 5, 2014 2:41 AM | Categories: Analysis, Commentary, Procurement Commentary

We previously discussed A.T. Kearney’s recently released report titled “Building the Brand of Procurement and Supply,” which summarizes and analyzes its 2014 ROSMA (Return on Supply Management Assets) benchmark metric. In Part 1 of our analysis of the report, we described the methodology and approach of the study. Then, in Part 2, we tweaked the model to fix a bad assumption and to drill it down in a spreadsheet format that shows how the model works with example data (and the assumptions regarding each of the steps).

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Buyer Beware: Black Friday Scams to Avoid Today

- November 28, 2014 12:03 PM | Categories: Commentary, Purchasing

If you’re planning to take part in the busiest US shopping day of the year today, good luck out there. You’re likely aware of the traffic, the crowds of customers and long lines at the registers you will probably face. But did you know about the other Black Friday threats facing consumers? The scams that aim to steal your personal information and money? Staying at home to shop online may seem like the smarter (and less stressful) option today, but online shoppers may also face headaches if they are lured into one of these scams. Here are the top scams to watch out for this Black Friday - both at the store and online:

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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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