Category Archives: Industry News

Black Friday Spending Increases, More Consumers Opt for Online Shopping

Black Friday

Perhaps not surprising, the majority of U.S. consumers plan to do some holiday shopping this weekend. Spending on Black Friday is expected to increase compared with last year, with Americans spending about $369 each over the weekend, up 25% from 2014, according to Deloitte’s 2015 pre-Thanksgiving pulse survey. The report, released Monday, shows 57% of consumers plan to shop this holiday weekend.

9 Things Procurement Can Be Thankful For


As Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s important to reflect on all the things to be thankful for in our lives — professionally and personally. Scientific studies have shown that the more that you explicitly write down the things that make you happy and that you’re thankful for, the happier and likely more productive you’ll be. So, I thought it’d be good to consider what procurement organizations can be thankful for, and also what I’m personally thankful for.

Tim Minahan Leaves SAP (and Ariba) For Citrix – A New Chapter Begins

Tim Minahan

It’s official. While his pending departure from SAP was rumored for months, Tim Minahan, without question the single most influential marketing leader in the procurement space in the past decade, has left SAP for Citrix. Tim had most recently served as chief marketing officer for SAP Cloud and prior to that was the chief marketing officer of Ariba. Before Ariba, he started as journalist/analyst before making the jump to the “dark side” (i.e., the vendor world) as the head of marketing for Procuri — which Ariba eventually acquired.

Holiday Season Tip: Improve Communication Within Your Supply Chain Organization

supply chain

Shipping delays, inventory issues, changes in demand — such supply chain disruptions are inevitable at this time of year. Companies don’t always know what specific challenge their supply chain will face during the holidays, but they do know they will likely face some complication. Organizations must be able to act quickly when a problem arises, and that responsiveness is possible only when information flows more freely throughout an organization.

The Great Staples Carve-Out and a Possible Monster Mash-Up


In the first post of this series, I talked about procurement’s role in divestitures and more broadly in strategic planning, using the recently rumored Staples proposal to the FTC as a case study. My recommendation would be for Staples to carve out the small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment and sell it to a private equity firm that could bring an Essendant-powered supply chain that could reintermediate regional or local office products firms. But what could this be?

Procurement’s Involvement in Divestitures: The Staples Case


Procurement's role, and a supply chain group's role more broadly, should figure into the strategy as well. Any procurement organization can have a strategy that supports an existing enterprise strategy, but only a truly strategic procurement group can actually help influence the business strategy. So, let’s consider a future case study in the making and consider the situation with office products retailer Staples.

SciQuest Reverses Course – Taking Rising Stock of the “Anti-Coupa”


We’re looking forward to getting a briefing, demonstration and related update from SciQuest on its latest 15.3 release in December. Throughout 2015, the vendor has been able to cram a significant amount of contract management, supplier management and sourcing product IP from acquired assets into a common purchase-to-pay (P2P) platform stack. This now unites deep functional “upstream” and “downstream” capabilities on a single data model, an approach that brings greater consistency than almost any other provider.

New MHI Campaign Brings Awareness to Supply Chain Careers


Supply chain industry trade association MHI launched a new campaign this week aimed at sparking interest among young professionals to enter the supply chain field. Called #iWorkinTheSupplyChain, the campaign, which officially launched Monday, hopes to debunk the negative stereotypes surrounding manufacturing and supply chain careers, which are not seen as appealing to younger professionals, according to Morgan Cruz, marketing content coordinator at MHI said.

Report: ‘Diversity’ and ‘Inclusion’ Important for Talent Management


The talent gap in procurement continues to pose a challenge to the industry. Demand is high, but supply is falling. So when a company does nab a talented worker with the ideal skill set for a career in supply chain management, retaining that employee becomes even more essential. New research points to proper talent management approaches, specifically ones that include diversity and inclusion efforts, as being a successful strategy to retain talented employees.

ICYMI: What Practitioners Need to Know About Cloud Solutions, and What the WSJ Got Wrong

cloud solutions

Last week, Spend Matters Vice President of Research Thomas Kase delved into the cloud solution debate and targeted what The Wall Street Journal got wrong in a recent article on the topic. Our Plus post, titled WSJ Falls Short: What Procurement Should Do in Cloud Contracting — Beyond the RFP, got the attention of the WSJ, too, and a mention in the publication’s Morning Download News report.

Procurement Saint: What Would Thomas Stemberg Think About the Staples-Office Depot Merger?


In the heated exchanges over the pending Staples and Office Depot merger, which is still in limbo based on Federal Trade Commission review, there are two chapters not known by many, at least in detail, on the periphery of the arguments both for and against the combination: 1) why the late Thomas Stemberg, the founder of Staples, in fact started the business to begin with, and 2) that he had tried to buy the same business nearly 20 years before in the spirit of cost savings, which would be passed along to customers.

PepsiCo Fires its Marketing Procurement Team, Shifts Work to Brand Managers


In a move that will have a lot of procurement professionals looking over their shoulders, PepsiCo has eliminated its global marketing procurement team. The maker of Pepsi, Tropicana and Quaker runs one of the world’s most respected brand and marketing firms. But a push for improved speed and flexibility, essential in this age of quickly produced multichannel advertising, has caused Pepsi to reconsider a centralized procurement department's role in that effort.