Category Archives: Conferences

Is a Woman the Next CPO of Your Procurement Organization?

Women in Procurement

Gender diversity in the c-suite doesn’t just benefit women, it significantly contributes to a company’s bottom line. Yet the gender gap looms large in many corporations and specifically in the supply chain and procurement industry. We discussed this issue yesterday in our initial coverage of the Gender Equality in the C-Suite and Board Room symposium, which took place in Chicago this week. One message from the conference was clear: diversity pays — it leads to better financial returns, better performance, investor interest, innovation and a better company reputation.

Underrepresentation and Future Advancements: ISM Women & Leadership Conference Coverage (Part 2)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest event coverage from Barbara Ardell, vice president at Paladin Associates.

Women make up just 5% of CEOs at large corporations in America. This is something Elba Pareja-Gallagher, founder of the nonprofit ShowMe50, is trying to change. Elba was one of the speakers at the ISM New Jersey Women & Leadership Conference. Her presentation, Understanding the underrepresentation of women in Senior Leadership, hit on the following stats.

Becoming a Leader and Addressing Barriers: ISM Women & Leadership Conference Coverage Part 1

Spend Matters welcomes this guest event coverage from Barbara Ardell, vice president at Paladin Associates.

ISM’s New Jersey Affiliate hit a home run last week with its seventh annual Women & Leadership Conference. The conference drew 100 women (and a handful of men) representing a range of industries, ages and experience. Although primarily a regional conference, it was a top-notch, national-quality conference with attendees from as far away as Calgary, Canada. Overall, it was an upbeat event with a wealth of thought-provoking content

Trade Extensions — Brainstorming How to Accelerate the Adoption of Sourcing Optimization

Trade Extensions

At the Trade Extensions customer event today in Chicago, a number of attendees, myself included, voiced their opinion on how to tailor sourcing optimization technology to meet their future needs and to drive adoption. Since Trade Extensions is on the cutting edge of sourcing optimization, as are many of its customers, the suggestions were fascinating indeed. Curiously, many thoughts center on areas around the technology rather than the core solution itself.

Trade Extensions Customer Event: From Bicycles to Airplanes

Trade Extensions

Sheena Smith, vice president of client services, and I will be covering the Trade Extensions U.S. Customer Event, focused on the topic of “managing complexity,” live throughout the day. (Expect some additional analysis and commentary later in the week.) We won’t be mentioning customer names but instead will share a blinded and aggregated view of what advanced procurement organizations are doing with Trade Extensions.

Final Thoughts From Zycus Horizon: It’s All About the Customer

Zycus Horizon

The more time I spend in and around technology companies, the more I am struck by the dichotomy of vendors that tend to fall into two camps regarding R&D and technology investment. To wit, there are those that spend nearly all their time listening to customers to guide investment decisions and there are those that take the opposite approach by focusing on disruptive innovation that they believe customers will want to consume.

Siri, Procurement and Natural Language Search: Zycus Horizon 2015

big data

When building out broad capabilities, vendors often fail to play to their core strengths across the range of capabilities on offer. Zycus is hoping not to make the same mistake as it incorporates capabilities from the artificial intelligence and auto-classification technology that it pioneered in procurement going back well over a decade ago in the spend classification area. Leveraging and extending these capabilities, Zycus is building natural language capability into procurement-centric search. Think of it as Siri for corporate procurement.

A Common Supplier Portal Vision at Zycus Horizon

supplier portal

Rework should be a supplier’s middle name. In today’s procurement technology world, suppliers are expected to log into multiple portals to check on invoice status, inquire about payments, register their interest in working with organizations, collaborate around performance management and development initiatives and more. Through both its application and supplier network vision, Zycus is hoping to tackle some of these inefficiencies today by providing a common portal for suppliers to work with buying organizations.

ISM-NJ Holds Annual Women in Leadership Conference Next Week


On Oct. 15 and 16, the New Jersey affiliate of the Institute of Supply Management will hold its seventh annual Women & Leadership Conference, a unique event focusing on women in the supply chain and procurement industry and featuring presentations by female corporate and procurement leaders. The conference will discuss the underrepresentation of women in senior leadership positions as well as feature presentations on topics such as salary negotiation and a panel discussion on professional and personal advancement.

Plunging Into and Analyzing the Solution Roadmap at Zycus Horizon

Zycus Horizon

Suite is the word of the day at Zycus Horizon 2015. As Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’ CEO, put it earlier today during his keynote, the “integration of operational and strategic procurement is critical.” Zycus’ suite vision is a bit different from competitors that tend to emphasize modular strengths. In contrast, Zycus emphasizes integration over the sum of the parts and the underlying stack-level innovations that tie it together in new ways.

Aatish Dedhia Comments on Vision, Roadmap and More at Zycus Horizon


Earlier Monday morning, Zycus CEO Aatish Dedhia shared his firm’s vision and product roadmap in a speech that could have been taken in one of two ways by the audience. On the one hand, Aatish came off as highly conservative, offering almost a “fast follower” perspective on building out his firm’s suite of products on a modular basis that sounds identical to peers. But on the other hand, Aatish dove into the core of Zycus’ technology and innovation outside of simply modular areas by showing the “how” and not just the “what.”

Zycus Horizon: Walking Drunk, Procurement and More


Early this morning, I landed in Atlanta, on route to the Zycus Horizon event, held at a resort in Reynolds Plantation, Georgia, outside of the city. Horizon is Zycus’ annual customer event, and the majority of speakers are Zycus customers, using everything from Zycus’ original spend classification solution to its modern modular source-to-pay suite. Zycus puts a tremendous amount into this event every year, and I’ve had the pleasure of attending it going back to the inaugural conference.