The Guest Post Category

IT and Procurement: The Ultimate Power Couple

IT

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Andrew Durlak, co-founder and vice president of operations at Scout RFP.

IT and procurement are two star players. Combine the expertise of both and you get a true power couple. It’s a proven fact that effective and collaborative synergy between the two departments pays off — quite literally. Here’s how fostering the relationship between this power couple can improve overall success for your business.

Procurement as a Blind Beginner

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Conor Weir, graduate team member at eir, and Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir.

At eir we have an exciting two-year graduate program with two defined business streams: one stream for graduates of all disciplines who are looking to build a career in business, and a second stream for finance/accounting graduates looking to complete a relevant finance or accounting qualification and pursue a career in finance. Graduates are funneled through procurement, with most of them having only a vague idea of what procurement does. The procurement team at eir has developed a tactical buyer quick stream approach to indoctrinating the graduates into a meaningful procurement role. The following story is from a recently successful participant with very impressive quantifiable contributions delivered. This is a compelling story that not only validates the eir graduate program but also provides a glimpse into the interesting and challenging world of procurement.

How Can Procurement Help in Making a Sport Franchise Profitable?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Deepesh Jethwani, consultant at GEP.

If you had a genie in a magic lamp and you were allowed three wishes, what would they be? For me, owning a professional sports team or franchise would be right on top of that list. I have been following cricket, football and tennis since my childhood, and the prospect of owning Manchester United, Mumbai Indians or Indian Aces is exciting enough to dream about. Have you also wondered about the cost of owning a professional sports team? This blog is an attempt to identify those costs and to understand how a professional sports franchise can limit costs wherever possible.

How to Get Poached for Private Equity Procurement

interview

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.

Generally speaking, private equity firms buy companies and look to rapidly improve their performance by making them lean, efficient and cost-effective before selling. No group does these things better than modern procurement teams. As a result, one of the first orders of business following the acquisition of a new portfolio company is ensuring the procurement function is staffed with “A players.” And there are specific profiles that best suit these newly formed or revamped groups, PE industry leaders have told us.

Spring Time Sees Ammonia Prices Grow

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Verity Michie, market analyst at Mintec.

U.S. ammonia prices have been on a downward trend since the beginning of 2015, reaching a seven-year low in November 2016. So why have ammonia prices suddenly started rising? In order to answer this question, we will need to look at the reasons behind the two-year-long decline.

Cocoa Market Braces for Largest Surplus in 6 Years

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post form Avneet K Deol, market analyst at Mintec.

In the run up to Easter last year, a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spend around $2.4 billion on candy, and this year is looking to be no different, with 87% of parents preparing an Easter basket for their children. So in terms of impact for chocolate sales (mainly eggs), Easter is more important than both Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Given the time of year and news that cocoa bean prices have plummeted in recent months, we decided to take look at the reasons for this.

America Needs a Bigger Closet

warehouse

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by H. Cole Hassay, economist at IHS Markit.

Americans need more space to store their goods, according to warehouse construction data. Warehouse construction rose in 2016 by 8%, coming off three years of double-digit growth as consumers continue to demand more storage space. Rising demand, along with historically low interest rates, prompted this construction explosion. Though the Federal Reserve has signaled interest rates will be rising in the near term, warehouse construction should remain positive, though less dramatic, as demand persists.

Picture Your Procurement Strategy as a Pyramid

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Conrad Smith, senior director of global procurement at Adobe.

A few years ago, a consultant introduced me to a strategy tool that changed the way I do business. The strategy we developed became the “business hierarchy of procurement needs." You may already be familiar with psychologist Abraham Maslow’s traditional hierarchy of needs. In Maslow’s model, basic health and physical safety comprise the essential day-to-day building blocks at the base of the pyramid — and the fulfillment of those needs creates the stability necessary for the understanding and fulfillment of “higher” needs, such as belonging and self-esteem, all the way up to self-actualization at the pyramid’s peak.

Why It’s Important for Logistic Category Managers to Be the Gateway to Emerging Disruptive Technologies in the Marketplace

trade

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Rodrigo Sánchez, consultant in strategy and operations management at GEP.

Procurement strategies aim to identify the service providers that can offer the products and services an organization requires at the most competitive prices. At the same time, they also need to meet the requirements established by the different departments across the company. Logistics, however, defines the strategy that will allow companies to move raw materials into manufacturing plants and distribute its finished goods across its supply chain. And all of this aims to be cost efficient. So how is it possible for procurement to identify additional opportunities for logistics, since it does not own the logistics strategy?

Dispatches from Cuba (Part 2): On Transactions and the Cuban Supply Chain

Cuba

Ginny Smith presents live science shows to schools, science festivals and other groups, and is also an author, journalist, radio and film presenter. As well as science, travel is another love, and as a neuroscientist by training, she is interested in the psychology of negotiation, which she discussed in her previous article about her recent trip to Cuba. In Part 2, she looks at queuing psychology, and touches on Cuban supply chain issues, too!

It wasn’t just navigating taxis that was a challenge in Cuba — shopping was a fascinating experience, as well. While it is often said that the English form the best queues in the world, I would disagree — the Cuban system is far better. When entering somewhere like a bank, you may think there is no queue at all, just one person at each desk and a number of others hanging around, sitting on sofas, chatting.

Predictive Procurement Gets Real

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dr. Marcell Vollmer, chief digital officer at SAP Ariba.

The physical and digital worlds have officially collided. In the old days, we’d get the morning paper delivered to our doorsteps and read it on the way to work while drinking the coffee we made upon waking up. Today, the news we care about is automatically delivered to our mobile devices and we scan it while enjoying the beverage that we ordered via mobile app to have ready and waiting for us when we arrive. We used to attend events after work to expand our professional networks. Now we link to our peers — and their peers — around the world online in real time.

3 Ways For Procurement to Prove Its Value (Other Than Cost Savings!)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Dustin Cochran, director of member development at Corporate United.

Most organizations are focused on three strategic pillars: increasing revenue, operational efficiency and retaining talent. I would say that procurement is already aligned to these pillars. Where they tend to be less aligned is with the strategy of internal departments. However, what I think that procurement professionals should focus on is better promoting how they align with these areas.