Category Archives: Commentary

Upcoming Webinar to Provide Supply Chain Risk Management Tutorial


Supply chain risk management has become a hot-button issue in the procurement world in recent years. As such, AGCO, the largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery on the planet, has included risk management as part of its global procurement strategy. Join Thomas Kase, vice president of research at Spend Matters and Jan Theissen, director, strategy and methods, global purchasing and materials management at AGCO for a webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 1 p.m. CDT. Register today for Award-Winning Supply Chain Risk Management at AGCO.

Live From ISM 2015: Congrats, and Here’s a Free Spend Matters 50/50 Placard!

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Back in the day when I ran strategic marketing at FreeMarkets – it feels like an eternity ago – I remember the hilarious juxtaposition of the silly awards that various trade magazines and other groups issued that were supposedly “free.” But, of course, they were only free if you didn’t purchase any of the junk such as the use of logos, desktop awards, framed awards and related placard awards to show them off (and it was made fairly clear this was expected or at least implied by aggressive sales people). Here at Spend Matters, we’re turning convention on its head. Not only are we doubling down on the commitment to finalizing our 50/50 lists (see our “50 Providers to Know” and “50 Providers to Watch” lists), but we’re giving away the table-top award placards for free.

ISM’s Mastery Model and Musings on Supply Management Associations

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Last night at ISM 2015, I sat in on a presentation with ISM’s CEO Tom Derry, who was discussing the official launch of ISM’s Mastery Model – a new competency-based assessment and training model. It’s always good to see a CEO formally taking responsibility for communicating the rollout of a new product – sort of like the Apple launches by Steve Jobs and now Tim Cook. But, the Mastery Model is not really a “product” per se, and as Tom said, “We think this is a career standard for the industry… Our goal is make ISM Mastery Model a recognized brand.” To make something a standard though, it has to be open (unlike, say, how NIGP manages its NIGP Codes), and the good news here is that it is!

ISM2015 and Spend Matters – A View From Outside Phoenix

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Due to a last-minute change in some exciting new activities you’ll be hearing about this week on Spend Matters, I am not at ISM2015 in Phoenix, but in another city. It’s a shame, too, because I truly love going to the organization’s annual conference. This will be the first year I’ve not spoken at or attended the event in at least 5 years. But at least I have 4 great colleagues from Spend Matters who are going: Pierre Mitchell, Thomas Kase, Eric Lynch and John Conolly. If you are in Phoenix, please say hello to them, and if you need their details, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. There are a number of things I’ll miss about ISM this year...

Using Technology and Understanding Spend Management: Lessons for the CPO


This past week Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer, tackled 2 more procurement myths on our Chief Procurement Officer website. Myths Nos. 14 and 15 are part of a series of 25 (at least) myths that Pierre thinks need to be disproved. Check out the full articles: Procurement Owns Spend Management: Procurement Myth No. 15. Make sure to read up on all our procurement myths on the CPO website. Pierre plans to debunk 25 (at least) of the top and most infuriating procurement myths out there.

Procurious Big Ideas Dispatch: McKinsey’s Theano Liakopoulou on Separating Leaders From Laggards


Immediately following lunch yesterday at the Procurious Big Ideas Summit, McKinsey’s Theano Liakopoulou, a partner and procurement and operations expert at the consultancy, woke everyone up by delivering a presentation on measuring and exploring procurement value. The talk was rich with examples and metrics from McKinsey’s research. I’ll quickly share a few in this post.

Procurious Big Ideas Summit – ‘The Chefs in Your Procurement Kitchen’


As part of a quick UK trip this week, yesterday I stopped by the Procurious Big Ideas Summit held at The Soho Hotel in London. I’m not sure if anyone else who knows the history of the Soho neighborhood also observed the irony of a “procurement” event there – especially one hosted by “Procurious” – but I at least got a chuckle out of it. Venues aside – and the Soho Hotel has a truly great small conference facility – the event, being simulcast live online, kicked off with Professor/emcee Jules Goodard, a wonderful host, facilitating an icebreaker to get the audience engaged (which afforded me a pleasant and overdue quick catch-up with my conference neighbor, Mark Perera).

Hi, My Name is Spend Matters Network: I’m Mobile-Friendly

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Spend Matters is no stranger to providing the best product/solution reviews in the procurement technology space, so the inimitable analysts that make this site tick must forgive me in advance for my simplistic drive-by review of the latest advancement in the Spend Matters universe: mobile-friendliness. Spend Matters readers and Plus/PRO members, as of the last week or so, can now scan, scroll and dive just as deep into the latest research on a clean interface for mobile phones and tablets as they have on desktop devices in the past. While we continue working on the even better technological rollouts (Spend Matters Drone℠: Coming Soon!), here's a quick spin through the Spend Matters mobile site (iPhone 5 view).

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


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.

Please Stop the Kvetching Over Early Pay Programs


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.

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


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.

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

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!