The Industry News Category

Commodities Roundup: Aluminum Cools, Department of Commerce Reveals Section 232 Recommendations to Trump

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what matters. Here's the latest.

E-Procurement 2018 Trends for Practitioners and Providers: An Overview

For a consumer of information, there’s something magical in coming across “predictions,” whether they’re about the weather, which team is going to win Super Bowl or something even more exciting (to us) — trends in the e-procurement market. But that’s the thing about magic: it often has no substance. That’s why the Spend Matters analyst team focuses less on predicting the future and more on sharing analysis gained from research and engagement with practitioners and providers.

Commodities Roundup: China to Offload Excess Aluminum, LNG Price Holds Steady Despite New Supply

aluminum

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what matters. Here's what happened this week.

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.

Resilinc EventWatch Data: Factory Fires and M&A Activity Rank as Top Disruptive Events

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Resilinc recently released its 2017 EventWatch Supply Chain Disruption Annual Report, and the top two disruptive event types by a significant margin were factory fires and explosions and mergers and acquisitions. The report is based off the 2017 data collected by Resilinc’s EventWatch software, which monitors and analyzes global events that are potentially disruptive for supply chains and then alerts customers. In 2017, EventWatch published on average five bulletins a day.

Coupa R20: Incremental Disruption in Action [PRO]

The Spend Matters analyst team recently spent some time going through a deep dive demo on Coupa R20 and found it to be a solid incremental product release. But in this brief, we wanted to discuss the “revolution through evolution” we saw in addition to the new product details that we cover. Coupa’s product releases are now running about three times per year, and it’s refreshing to see more than 500 clients quickly moving through these releases. Such is the promise of SaaS, right?

R20’s main improvements are focused on services procurement and community-based intelligence, which allows users to extract insights from the B2B data generated within the Coupa buyer and supplier base. The disruptive aspect of R20 is twofold: its attempt to tackle the big nut of services procurement with Services Maestro and its efforts to derive intelligence from its installed base through what it calls "community intelligence."

This last trend is really the most disruptive aspect of what’s happening in digital value chains. It changes the provider value proposition from serving up “empty apps” that process the data of a single customer enterprise to one that provides a collective intelligence derived and captured from mass adoption of cloud-based tools that generate the data used to drive key insights.

There are some potential risks that companies face, however, when platform providers attempt to monetize (directly or indirectly) proprietary commercial information between buyers and sellers. Just as Facebook is not really free to the users who themselves are the “product” sold to advertisers, there’s a similar effect happening with suppliers who can use business networks for free but whose data is aggregated and repackaged in ways they aren’t necessarily aware of.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we explore these topics and more, as well as share our initial thoughts on some of the more interesting features in R20.

Professional Development in Procurement: Rationale and Strategies

One reader who wrote in to Ask Spend Matters last year posed an interesting question that fell outside of our editorial team’s wheelhouse: “What are the most pressing professional development needs for sourcing and procurement professionals today and for the next five years?” While we’ve fielded many of the procurement strategy and technology-focused questions we received, we thought our friends at MRA Global Sourcing would be perfectly suited to provide a compelling answer to the above. Read their response below!

With shifting market conditions, technological advancement and other factors, the procurement function is changing rapidly. If supply management professionals and their companies don’t keep pace, they’ll be at a serious disadvantage. As procurement evolves, so do attitudes toward professional development, and the way workers build their knowledge base. Let’s examine the state of professional development, and what’s on the horizon.

Icertis Raises $50 Million in Series D Round, Plans to Invest in AI Capabilities and Global Expansion

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Icertis announced Thursday it has raised $50 million in Series D funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $96 million. This funding round was led by Meritech Capital Partners, with PSP Growth and Cross Creek Advisors also taking part. In the near-decade since its founding in 2009, Icertis has become a leader in the contract management market, counting around 50 customers in the Global 500 and about 100 customers in the Global 5000. Moreover, as of Q4 2017, Icertis ranks top in Spend Matters Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) SolutionMap. The provider is a solution leader and a value leader across all four SolutionMap personas.

Healthcare: Fix What’s Broken vs. Repeal and Replace

These days especially, there’s an unlimited supply of hotly politicized topics perfectly suited to make sure we talk past each other — and learn nothing. Healthcare provides numerous examples. For example, President Trump got a rise out of the Brits last week tweeting barbs at its beloved National Health Service (NHS), a topic which, by his own account, he knows little about. Trump zeroed-in on a recent NHS protest and sparked a backlash saying that the “NHS is going broke and not working.” The protest he referenced, interestingly enough called “NHS in crisis: Fix it now,” was organized by the People's Assembly and Health Campaigns Together. The movement is supported by most all of the U.K.’s largest unions.

Preparedness for Data-Driven Procurement Lags Among Manufacturers, New Study Finds

The term “digital transformation” — whether applied to procurement or another field — is bandied around frequently, but as far as the average company is concerned, that transformation is still not in the near future. In a survey of more than 100 senior executives, LevaData found that although nearly all of them agree that data-driven procurement is critical to value creation, cost reduction and efficiency, only half think that their own procurement teams are ready to make use of predictive tools.

Healthcare Matters Merges with the Mothership

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Healthcare Matters is merging with Spend Matters to allow healthcare procurement and supply chain professionals to find industry news, updates, relevant insights and knowledge in a central location on a single site. Healthcare Matters content will now be found on spendmatters.com under the header Healthcare Supply Chain Management.

Creating a Legacy at SAP and Beyond: Where Barry Padgett Plans to Lead Ariba

The new year has brought procurement professionals an increasingly complex technology landscape to keep track of, and several new names to remember, too. One of those names to know is Barry Padgett, who took over as president of SAP Ariba in January.

Succeeding Alex Atzberger, now president of SAP Hybris, Padgett stands at the helm of a business network that connects more than 3 million buyers and suppliers transacting $1.6 trillion annually. As he begins to leave his mark on the cloud software giant, Padgett sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Jason Busch, managing director, SolutionMap and strategic advisory at Spend Matters, on where he hopes to lead SAP Ariba in 2018, what customer areas he’s targeting and the biggest lessons he has learned about creating a platform business.