The Category Intelligence (Indirect) Category

Who’s Adopting T&E Management Software, and Who Isn’t? Breaking It Down by Industry and Revenue

Oversight Systems

If expensing that hotel stay or work lunch requires you to keep paper receipts, you are in good company. According to a report from PayStream Advisors, more than a third of employees file expenses either by mailing paper receipts to their AP department or through a combination of scanned receipts and spreadsheets. Nearly two-thirds, however, report that their organizations use a dedicated expense software tool. And as companies move along in their digital transformations, the trend in travel and expense (T&E) management is certainly away from manual systems.

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Shopping Online for Services Through E-Catalogs

We all have purchased something from online shopping portals. Can the same experience be replicated across procurement categories? Especially, when it comes to indirect services categories, which are hard to structure or commoditize? Organizations are constantly discovering ways to make the procurement process simpler, efficient and effective. There is a potential to bring a lot of contracts under managed spend instead of spot buying. Procurement managers usually spend a lot of time either negotiating for a better price or requesting services from suppliers. Catalog buying is being viewed as a solution to these procurement issues.

What Amazon Business Has Learned About Managing Tail Spend

“Amazon, like any other organization, is not immune to the challenges you all are having with tail spend.” That was Jeff Oar, head of customer success, enterprise, at Amazon Business, speaking on a recent webinar held by Spend Matters (and co-hosted by our own Pierre Mitchell). If one of the 800-pound gorillas has a tail spend problem — and we say that as politely as possible, given the fact that Spend Matters and Amazon Business joined forces on the indirect spend research study underpinning this report and the webinar — chances are, your organization is, too.

What Does The Age of Digitalization Mean for the Travel Services Buyer?

services sector

The role of today’s corporate travel manager or category manager is more demanding than ever. The manager must not only take responsibility for the travel budget, be a skilled negotiator, understand technology, leverage data and manage travel policies, contracts and compliance, but also deliver value to the organization. And of course, they must also keep the corporate traveller safe and be risk-aware. How can practitioners prepare to handle all of this and more?

Certify T&E Report: Business Travelers Go for Starbucks, Delta and Uber (But Lyft is Catching Up)

Oversight Systems

Travel and expenses management software provider Certify recently released its latest SpendSmart Report, analyzing business travel spending for Q3 2017. Lyft is experiencing impressive growth, while its ride-hailing rival Uber, as well as taxis and car rentals, are seeing declines. The data comes from 10 million business travel receipts and expenses that are processed via Certify’s system. Certify then analyzes the data by category, such as ground transportation, meals and lodging.

Taking Control of Your Unmanaged Indirect Spend

AnyData Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Scott Dever, vice president of member development at Corporate United.

Targeting areas of unmanaged indirect spend is a key way procurement leaders can deliver value and maximize savings, and ultimately extend their reach and influence. Traditionally, this unmanaged spend has challenged procurement for a number of reasons. Decentralized decision-making and fragmented buying creates a lack of visibility into spending, supplier proliferation and limited opportunities to support competitive sourcing. But increasing spend under management enables teams to realize many worthwhile benefits, including incremental cost savings, supply base consolidation and reduced risk.

Managing Employee Spend Strategically


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Guy La Corte, general manager, Americas, at Concur.

Employees have access to and are spending more of your company’s money across more spend categories using more payment methods than ever before. And for finance and procurement managers, it’s increasingly challenging to track spending in a world where employees are paying supplier invoices directly with company checks; booking and managing travel directly on their mobile devices; using their corporate, ghost, virtual, corporate or even personal cards for just about everything; and vendors are marketing directly to them with upgrades and offers. This employee-initiated spend has become the largest unmanaged spend category in almost every company’s financial program.

New Research: Using Best Practices to Maximize Travel & Expense ROI


Travel and expense management goes beyond making sure employees aren’t submitting dubious expenses like, say, $1,000 toward adult entertainment or $80 worth of drinks to keep a spouse “calm and occupied” (both of which were real expenses, by the way, as reported by Inc.). According to a new London School of Economics report commissioned by Amadeus, companies can cut the cost of processing a transaction by more than 50% by actively managing T&E and implementing best practices.

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Evolving Indirect Purchasing: Traditional vs. Real-Time E-Procurement

We live in a world that increasingly demands immediate information and results — from streaming players (Roku, Apple TV) and cell phone apps, to two-hour deliveries for online orders and voice-assisted technologies (Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri). People expect easy, comprehensive and accurate responses “in the now” for everything they do. The consumer expectations of “in the now” extend into the work environment, as well, where employees are often frustrated to find business systems and processes that fall short on the promise of delivering easy, comprehensive and accurate information on demand. Employees’ increased expectations for getting things fast and accurate is outpacing the traditional ways of doing business.

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New Ways to Achieve Unprecedented Savings on Indirect Spend

In Deloitte’s 2016 Global CPO Survey 2016 report, 74% of respondents stated cost reduction as their top priority in 2017. Also, 70% of the surveyed procurement executives cited indirect spend as a top focus for controlling and reducing costs. Recent studies have found that indirect spend can account for up to 50% of a company’s purchases, and manufacturers specifically can spend 20% or more of their total revenue on indirect expenditures. It is clear the next profound impact area for procurement professionals is in accessing hidden and unexploited areas of indirect spend.

What’s the Cost of Having a Long Supply Tail, and How Do You Determine the ‘Right’ Supply Base?


We recently put up an interactive Ask Spend Matters box so that you, our readers, can tell us about the topics you want us to investigate. One of the first questions that came in was about tail spend: “What is the cost of having a long supply tail, and how are organizations determining the ‘right’ supply base (number and percentage) as relates to spend?” As Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell put it, "This is a great question, but it’s a bit tricky to answer.” Read on to hear his reply!

Sycamore Partners to Acquire Staples: What is the Broader Strategy Here?

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners announced Wednesday that it would acquire office supply company Staples for $6.9 billion, though rumors of the deal had been swirling for a week. The acquisition comes after the Federal Trade Commission quashed a Staples-Office Depot merger on antitrust grounds a year ago, which Spend Matters covered extensively.