The Guest Post Category

The Trade War

Chinese demand

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Michael Liberty, market analyst at Mintec.

While the U.S. and Russia have been imposing tariffs on each other since the annex of Crimea in 2014, the U.S. now finds itself bickering with one of its major partners, the E.U. While the U.S. is not directly trying to affect the E.U. market, the implications of it increasing tariffs on aluminium and steel imports will be felt worldwide.

4 Reasons Why Procurement Teams Are Choosing SaaS


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Eric Christopher, CEO of Zylo.

The role of procurement has changed drastically in the last decade, mostly due to the introduction of SaaS and other cloud-based delivery models that have completely changed the way organizations select and deploy technology. In the past, procurement teams sent out lengthy RFPs and reviewed all of the responses, often requiring weeks or months of evaluation before they presented their findings and recommendations to the executive team or other internal stakeholders. As the SaaS delivery model for software was introduced almost two decades ago, the procurement team has shifted its focus and priorities. It’s had no choice but to adopt the SaaS way of doing things, which also means adopting a more expedient process for internal evaluation of new technologies.

The Volatility of the Rubber Market

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

In 2016, I spoke about how rubber prices were bouncing back after falling to a seven-year low caused by weak demand. This was true as tight supply and increasing demand saw prices stretch for a year, until the beginning of 2017, where history appears to have repeated itself. Thai rubber prices have been falling throughout 2017, losing 50% of their value between February and November 2017. So why did this happen after a promising 2016?

4 Ways Law Firms Can Evolve Their Procurement Strategies Beyond Savings

forced labor

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Clay Fox, senior director at HBR Consulting.

New technology and regulations, increased client scrutiny into risk management protocols and interest in supplier diversity programs, along with expectations around improving law firm operations and internal controls, have all spurred recent changes in law firms’ procurement functions, making one thing clear: procurement’s value can no longer be judged by savings alone. As we navigate the early months of 2018, law firms looking to set themselves apart in the market need to think well beyond the status quo. By focusing on four key areas in 2018, procurement can prove that its value extends far beyond savings.

How to Minimize Exposure Risk in a Global Food Supply Chain

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Megan Ray Nichols, a freelance writer covering STEM topics.

We all live in a global society now — a reality that includes, to a greater extent each year, our entire world’s food supply chains. If you and your business represent some of the critical pieces in this vast and interconnected ecosystem, you need to know you’re doing everything possible to insulate yourself, your product and, perhaps most critically of all, your end users from all types of risk that may introduce themselves along the way.

Valentine’s Day: Strawberry and Chocolate Prices

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Rutika Ghodekar and Corrina Hutchings, market analysts at Mintec.

If you search online for romantic foods, chocolate covered strawberries are top of nearly every list. They are a great snack to share with your partner or with your friends over a movie while you share a bottle of champagne to celebrate love and friendship. They are indulgent without ruining all that hard work you’ve been doing for your New Year's resolutions to work on your waistline. But will they break the resolution on saving those pennies? Let’s take a look at what’s been happening in our favourite Valentine’s commodities.

Data to Dollars: How Data Monetization Drives Business Transformation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Pedro Arellano, vice president, product strategy at Birst, an Infor company.

Your department, and entire company, produces vast amounts of data every day. Early on, you may have harnessed enterprise data to improve internal operations and achieve new efficiencies. Perhaps your company has embarked upon a digital transformation journey driven by data. But there is a new opportunity that will distinguish the leading companies from the laggards: monetizing your organization’s data by developing and delivering commercial data products.

Global Prices for Poppy Seeds Rise in a Challenging Market for Czech Farmers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jara Zicha, senior market analyst at Mintec.

Prices of Czech poppy seeds currently sit around €2/kg, almost double from the same time last year. Not surprisingly, prices have been increasing in other destination markets as well, up 90% year-over-year in Germany and also rising in the US, by around 20% y-o-y. Prices in Turkey are currently up 30% y-o-y. Turkey is slowly shifting from blue poppy seed to white poppy cultivation, aiming its exports mainly at the Indian market. So why have prices risen so much?

Success with Value-Based Design: Identifying Critical Factors of a Key Value Indicator (KVI)

AnyData Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Paul Staelin, senior vice president of go-to-market for business intelligence and analytics at Birst, an Infor company.

Value-based design (VBD) — a methodology that uses analytics to drive meaningful results — has proven to have a great impact on a company’s bottom line. When it comes to VBD, the most important metric for any group of people within a company is the key value indicator (KVI). This metric is often used to evaluate the group manager’s performance, resulting in great reward or potential termination. Once KVIs are identified, they are then arranged into a value plan, which is later addressed and tracked via an analytics solution.

US Cotton Prices Shoot Up, Following a Rise in Demand

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

US cotton prices have been on a rollercoaster ride in 2017, ending the year on a high. Last April, we looked at whether this could be the end of high cotton prices. We concluded that yes, cotton prices should fall as latest figures showed rising US cotton planted area for the 2017/18 season. Our expectations became reality, as prices fell throughout the year until recently, when cotton prices rose 22% since the beginning of November, reaching high levels last seen in 2014.

How Relevant is Personality to a Negotiation?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan O'Brien, CEO of Positive Purchasing. 

There are many personality traits that can both help and hinder a negotiation: a fear of failure, a desire to win or even our own sense of self-belief. Of course it’s not just our thoughts and feelings that are affected by our personalities — they also drive our behavior and make us unique. Personality has a big role to play in any negotiation, as it influences how we see the world and make decisions. This, in turn, drives how we behave. If some or all of our personality is shaped by early environment and through education and experience, it would explain why there is such a thing as culture-specific behavior.

US Coal Struggles to Leave its Mark

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Jonathan Stokes, market analyst at Mintec.

When Donald Trump ran his presidential campaign in 2016, he did so with the pledge that he would transform the US energy market, cementing America’s place as an energy-providing superpower. The foundation of this new energy empire would be built similar to the industrial revolution, based on coal. While the rest of the world moved towards a cleaner future, would America be taking a step back?