The Industry News Category

Inside the Executive Suite with Jose Varela, CPO of 3M: More Sunny Days in St. Paul Ahead?

As he looked out his window at the sunny spring day in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, Jose Varela seemed upbeat and rather excited about where sourcing operations are headed for what was once known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company — better known today as 3M. Perhaps that’s because he’s somewhat of a newbie. “I’m new to sourcing,” Varela said. “I’ve been in this position less than a year.” He’d previously been a managing director with 3M Brazil, where there were undoubtedly many more sunny days outside his window than he encounters in the Great White North.

G2 Crowd’s Chicago Party: A $30 Million Funding and the ‘No Magic’ Man

I stopped by a party Wednesday that is all too uncommon in Chicago: a tech firm celebration. Specifically, I received an invitation from fellow Enterprise Irregular Michael Fauscette to attend a party celebrating G2 Crowd’s recently announced $30 million funding round, and I decided to take him up on it. G2 Crowd is Azul Partner’s (our parent company) downtown Chicago neighbor and one of the few research/analyst/tech shops in the Midwest. But unlike other tech analyst firms, G2 is taking an approach to tech research centered entirely on crowdsourcing reviews from users — and then analyzing, packaging and publishing the data in various formats.

ISM 2017: Talent, Procurement Zen and a CPO’s Warning About Technology

I attended a Q&A session with a handful of the “30 under 30” winners in supply management at ISM 2017, and all I can say is that these young professionals from firms like GE, Johnson & Johnson and Coach are indeed impressive (see some of our interviews in the links below). The competition for the designation is increasing, and the winners are increasingly interested in supply management from the get-go. In the first year of the program, only 17% of the winners came into the industry proactively with a supply (chain) management degree, but 40% of winners this year (the third year) were supply management graduates and practitioners.

ISM 2017: The Spend Slayer

At a big procurement conference, how do you get a procurement manager into your booth? The answer is simple (and somewhat sexist, I might add). Find an attractive female — maybe we’ll see a guy one of these years — and a gimmick. In the past, AECSoft, a former vendor in the space, was one that was successful in driving traffic by bringing a model — I think she was Miss Lebanon — to the conference and having her circulate around the floor and hang out at the booth. This year, Jaggaer continued this tradition with the “Spend Slayer,” an archer — or ”archerette,” if you will — who circulated around the exhibit hall with a bow.

ISM 2017: Technology Crosses the Curiosity Chasm

Aside from the provider/solutions expo, technology has always been something of an afterthought for attendees at ISM’s annual conference, at least as I’ve seen it. While a handful of sessions have addressed technology, it’s safe to say that for many of the delegates and ISM members over the years, it has been on the lower end of the priority spectrum, at least from what they plan to get out of the show. But this year something changed.

David Cameron at ISM: Heartfelt, Candid and Relevant

Earlier Tuesday, former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gave the keynote address at ISM. I tried to live tweet some of his more memorable statements (see the highlights below or the full summary @jasondbusch). Cameron’s was a heartfelt, candid and relevant talk — his first since leaving office to such a crowd, apparently — by a still young politician with a deft rhetorical touch.

ISM 2017: Highlights from David Cameron’s Keynote

The Tuesday session of ISM’s annual event kicked off with a keynote from David Cameron, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. In a speech covering various geopolitical and public policy issues, Cameron explored how the forces of globalization, automation and the environment are changing global business and the supply chain. Missed the speech? Check out some of the more quotable quotes Cameron’s keynote below, including his advice for U.S. President Donald Trump.

ISM 2017: Initial Impressions? Great!

Eved

The Spend Matters team has descended on Orlando for the ISM 2017 conference. This year’s event is shaping up to be a great one. I got in Sunday but didn’t get a chance to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World, which looked fascinating. There’s a metaphor for supply management here, I think: “How is procurement able to generate 10X returns on investment in the function? It must be magic!” Well, like Disney, it’s a lot of hard work, customer focus, innovation, creativity and technology.

The Basware-Scanmarket Arrangement: Accelerating P2P’s Natural Heading

In a recent discussion I had with Basware, we talked about the firm’s recently announced partnership with Scanmarket. Although the provider’s comments referenced the customer benefits of its newly minted S2P capability, the people I spoke to never backed off talking about the firm’s ability to drive 100% spend coverage. It caught my attention, because in a S2P context it’s smart, especially when considering how ripe the savings opportunities are for spend categories that have never before been covered/managed/competitively sourced.

50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2017

After months of debate, we are excited to reveal our 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2017. At Spend Matters, we routinely review the latest procurement technology and service offerings. This uniquely positions us to help you with your vendor selection process. The 50/50 lists are the result of intense debate, discussion and refinement among all of the Spend Matters analysts and reflect our unbiased, independent view of the organizations you should know and watch.

Improve Your Category Management Performance: Report and Webinar From Future Purchasing and Spend Matters

category management

The Future Purchasing Category Management survey and report is now in its third edition, and has established itself as the definitive piece of research work in its field. Future Purchasing, as a consulting firm specializing in “CatMan,” bring its own insights to the results. That means the final report is far from just being a presentation of the data from the several hundred survey respondents, representing organizations from many different sectors and countries.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Product Impressions and Dissecting R18 [PRO]

VMS

Today’s coverage of Coupa Inspire 2017 will go deeper than our first dispatch, as we we zero in on product. The biggest news to come out of Coupa’s customer conference Thursday was the general availability release of R18. Although “just a scheduled release” may seem boring, procurement transformations are inherently evolutionary, and the 50 major new features and capabilities were well received by the customers — and generally by us, too.

There’s more than just “evolution” to the product set in R18. In this PRO brief, we discuss the good as well as the gaps in Coupa’s latest release as we unpack the latest from the cloud spend management provider. We’ll also point to the future and explore some areas where Coupa may head later in 2017 and 2018 based on what we’ve heard from customer needs (external) and signposts around product innovation (internal), as well.