The Guest Post Category

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 1): Enhancing Supplier Performance

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

In this post in our blog series on developing a business case for investing in Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) capabilities, we are focusing on enhancing supplier performance and the bottom-line impact that results. (See the first introductory post here.) The goal is to dramatically reduce service issues related to quality and delivery. This enables savings to be realized from suppliers such as those in low-cost countries that need to be developed.

Crop Update for the 2018–2019 Season

GMO

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

Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the new agricultural crop fundamentals for the upcoming 2018–2019 season, and there have been some surprising results. At the end of April, there was news that shook the commodities markets following adverse cold and wet weather conditions in the U.S. throughout the first five months of 2018. Reports said that less than half of the 2018–2019 season spring crops had been planted compared to the average size of plantings for the past five years. Now that we have the official USDA figures, let’s see the influence that the weather has had on the upcoming season.

Cocoa Prices Shoot Up Almost 40%

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Corrina Hutchings, senior market analyst at Mintec. 

Chocolate is generally a hot topic, and with only a couple of months between Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, homes across the U.S. are likely to have stockpiles. Since the start of 2018, the price of cocoa beans has been increasing rapidly and does not look like it will settle soon. Prices on the ICE NY US are up 39% since the start of 2018 and 25% year-over-year, close to those prices seen throughout 2015/2016

The 6 Different Approaches to Buying and the Implications Each Holds

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

Everyone has a choice about how they buy. Within companies, this could be determined by marketplace understanding, suppliers, future needs or how important a supplier is now and in the future. However, to understand what level of “buying power” you may have, it’s important to understand what type of buyer you are.

How the Argentine Drought is Affecting the Commodities Market

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

Over the past few months, Argentina has been hit by what could be its worst drought in 30 years. The effects of the extreme dry spell has reduced Argentina’s GDP by 0.5% compared with the previous year, where agriculture accounted for 7% of the country's GDP. Although this could have a large impact on Argentina’s economy generally, this isn’t the only concerning factor. The agricultural market in Argentina makes up around 25% of exports and accounts for 7% of all employment.

6 Enterprise Software UX Trends Affecting User Engagement and the Bottom Line

ux

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Katherine James, Vice President of Sales for IFS in North America.

I see that businesses are increasingly realizing that UX correlates closely to user engagement. The implications of a successful user experience make it way more than just a satisfaction ranking. Increased workforce engagement is tied closely to improved performance, motivation and persistence, before we even get to effectiveness, time and cost savings, or the improved employer branding advanced UX applications give. All of this has to improve the bottom line. Here are six key trends that I see reshaping enterprise software UX.

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

cloud

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.