Category Archives: Conferences

Supply Chain Insights: Robotics and Automation – Prepare For Operations, Procurement Disruption

- September 17, 2014 10:30 AM | Categories: Conferences, Technology

Tom Bonkenburg, head of European Operations for St. Onge, a privately held consultancy focused on supply chain strategy and logistics, gave us perhaps the most critical observation in his presentation at the Supply Chain Insights conference – why we haven’t seen more ASIMO-type automation – when he cleverly brought in an aspect of Moore’s Law that is relevant to automation. This “law” states that the price paid for a given level of computing power will be cut in half every two years – which in turn means that we are on the verge of attaining price-competitive robotics (versus humans) very soon. So which industry leaders are making this possible? This Spend Matters Plus research brief explores the potential for robotics- and automation-led disruption to forever change global supply chains and procurement – and why (and what) we should pay attention to today to get smart on the topic.

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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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Supply Chain Insights Global Summit – Initial Thoughts

- September 15, 2014 10:23 AM | Categories: Analysis, Conferences

It’s time to share my thoughts from the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit event in Scottsdale, Arizona. Lora Cecere, the founder of Supply Chain Insights, is clearly well connected in the industry (her years at AMR must have helped build up a Rolodex) as well as respected – she has done a good job of bringing together chief procurement officers and other senior procurement management from several industries. There is also solution providers here – predominantly S&OP and analytics tools, and I think several of the providers we usually write about here on Spend Matters should consider attending for the quality of the content and the audience.

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ProcureCon and Marketing Services Procurement: What We Agree On, What We Don’t

Peter Smith of Spend Matters UK/Europe attended the recent ProcureCon marketing event in London and found it to be a success in terms of number of delegates, sponsors, and quality of the sessions and subsequent debates. In this article for Spend Matters Plus, Peter discusses the state of marketing services procurement and breaks down the areas where speakers were in agreement and the less clear-cut issues. Not a Plus subscriber yet? Contact us to inquire about a free 30-day trial.

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Beeline Analyst Panel: Exploring SAP and Fieldglass – Like Bug Spray and Sunblock?

- June 18, 2014 10:50 AM | Categories: Commentary, Conferences

Earlier this morning, I participated on an analyst panel during Beeline’s customer conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, along with Christopher Dwyer (Ardent Partners), Diana Gabriel (Staffing Industry Analysts), Christine Ross (an analyst extraordinaire and 15-year Forrester veteran who is now having fun on her own), and Ben Walker (Brightfield Strategies). Front and center in questions from Beeline and the audience was industry consolidation and the elephant in the room: SAP’s acquisition of Fieldglass.

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Beeline Customer Conference Dispatch: Getting Into the Mind of the CIO

At Beeline’s customer conference yesterday, Bob March, the company’s CIO, presented a short but captivating talk on getting into the minds of CIOs. This is a topic of critical importance for procurement. As user interfaces evolve, as mobile goes mainstream, and as best-of-breed application usage proliferates (including apps that users can download directly), the role of IT is changing dramatically inside companies. And procurement has an opportunity to partner with IT rather than just select and use SaaS applications that skirt outside its purview.

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Exploring the VMS of the Future – Beeline’s Take

- June 17, 2014 1:59 PM | Categories: Conferences, Industry News, Solution Providers

During his opening keynote at the Beeline customer event today, Doug Leeby, Beeline’s President and CEO, shared a number of thoughts on where Beeline is headed as well as his views on the future of services procurement technology. A central part of his argument on the future of the VMS was how it will deliver a total talent matching/management system beyond simply acting as a platform of the management of contingent labor. In short, Doug said, “We want to have a singular focus on our end game which is about talent.” But it’s also imperative to remember services procurement “is a people business and always will be.”

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Beeline Customer Conference Update: “Growing 40%” and “Not For Sale”

- June 17, 2014 9:20 AM | Categories: Conferences, Industry News, Solution Providers

Doug Leeby, Beeline’s President and CEO, kicked off Beeline’s 2014 Customer Conference this morning by sharing a few facts about the event and his organization, as well as a broader vision for competing and serving customers in a consolidating landscape. This year, Doug noted 36 companies are represented in the audience. Beeline’s MSP and staffing partner ecosystem is out in full force as well – KellyOCG, Tapfin, Pontoon, Randstad, Sourceright, Vendorpass, Allegis, Volt and parent company Adecco are all in attendance.

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Is “Fairness” a Reasonable Basis for Price Negotiation and Supplier Management?

- June 17, 2014 2:25 AM | Categories: Commentary, Conferences, Supplier Management

At a recent ProcureCon Marketing event in London, many agencies and buyers opined that “agencies need to make a fair return” from their work with clients. Speakers suggested that collaborative, strategic relationships were unlikely to be developed and sustained if the buyer is continually attacking the agency's margin. One impressive speaker said, "There’s nothing wrong with an agency making profit margins of 10 or 15 percent, just as a major FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) client with strong brands would look to make." This leads up to the sixty-four million dollar question - what exactly is “fair”? Peter Smith, Executive Editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe, discusses the subjectivity of the definition of fairness and how it plays into supplier management.

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SAP and eBay – Opportunity Knocks, But Who’s Really There?

At yesterday’s SAP Sapphire conference, SAP announced a seemingly fascinating partnership with eBay. Ariba users will be able not only to search the supplier directory and hosted catalog content within Ariba Spot Buy on the Ariba/SAP Network, but will also be able to search for items on eBay’s marketplace and then add those items to an SAP shopping cart – very similar to punching out to any other type of website. It’s not clear if the eBay site is really acting like a mega supplier and syndicating catalog content into the Ariba marketplace (and the interface is made to look very eBay-like), or if it is a double punchout of sorts. So, what’s really happening here with this announcement? What is the value to Ariba/SAP, to eBay, and to the practitioner? Here’s my take on the nominal value of this deal to the players.

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Thoughts on Bill McDermott’s SAP Keynote at Sapphire Now 2014 – eBay, Ariba, Fieldglass, and More

I watched yesterday’s live keynote by SAP CEO Bill McDermott and found it both entertaining and curious at the same time. I’ve never seen Bill live and he is like an East Coast version of Larry Ellison. He is obviously a charismatic leader, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can also be a consensus leader to unite the various cultures within SAP. You can still watch the whole keynote, but I thought I would give you an abridged version of the quotable quotes and some quick observations. But the main message? SAP emphasized their focus on simplicity and plans to "beat complexity."

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Viva the LVH – A Hilton No More!

- May 16, 2014 9:09 AM | Categories: Conferences, Friday Rant, Travel

Las Vegas, where ISM's annual conference last week was held, has become a bifurcated hotel city of ultra luxury and ultra stank and dirt (it’s always been filthy outside, but in the case of lodging, the middling places are getting dirtier and dirtier). However, it’s not terribly expensive to opt out of the places that have not seen a capital expenditure too recently, especially if you plan ahead. The Spend Matters team stayed for less than the cost of a typical Marriott in pre-paid rooms (thank you, Expedia) at the Wynn Encore, a hotel that is just about as over the top as any top-line Asian hotel chain (Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, etc.). It was a true treat for less than $200 per night.

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