The Innovation Category

7 Tips: A Guide to Mastering Procurement Transformation

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Alex Saric, Ivalua's chief marketing officer.

As the role of procurement continues to evolve, a new approach is required. Leaders are transforming their organizations with a new mindset, new processes and new technology. Having worked with hundreds of leading organizations as they transform procurement, I’d like to share these seven tips for procurement managers that should serve them well.

An Introduction to Sourcing Business Intelligence (Part 2): The Leap from Sourcing Analytics to Supply Intelligence [PRO]

data analytics

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO research series, we defined and explored the concept of sourcing business intelligence (BI), an emerging focus area for an increasing number of procurement organizations. Sourcing BI is not a “tool” like a spend analysis application module or a general purpose BI tool — like the visualization tools Qlik, Tableau or Sisense. Rather it is an enabling approach to sourcing, supplier management, total cost modeling/should cost analysis and related initiatives like clean sheeting that focus on the ability to incorporate increasingly rich external market, commodity, category and supplier intelligence with existing internal data sets, process flows and activities to enhance savings, compliance and organizational resilience.

Much of this activity is occurring within category management where managers are trying to move from historical descriptive analytics to “outside-in” predictive/prescriptive analytics that yield true intelligence rather than just subscribing to tribal best-practices sharing and generic data-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings in the marketplace.

In Part 2 of exploring sourcing business intelligence, we first will set some context about how to make the leap from sourcing analytics to broader supply intelligence. “Supply management” is bigger than “sourcing management” — and similarly — “intelligence” is bigger than “analytics.” By understanding this evolution, it helps us set up a deeper discussion into how artificial intelligence relates to analytics — with an immediate focus on sourcing, but a longer-term focus on broader spend/supply.

ADP and the Future of Work (Part 2) — Innovation R&D, Acquisitions [PRO]

interest rates

In Part 1 of this PRO series, we laid out ADP’s business characteristics, its market and financial strength, and its increased investment in innovation R&D as a backdrop and foundation for its pursuit of its future of work strategy. In this second part of the series, we examine the significant technology developments and recent strategic acquisitions that make up key execution components of the strategy. Part 3 will bring the pieces together to describe this strategy and what it may mean in a broader industry context.

ADP and the Future of Work (Part 1) — The Foundation [PRO]

Spend Matters’ coverage of ADP — the global payroll, human capital management (HCM) solution and HR managed services provider — had been infrequent since mid-2015, when ADP sold its procure-to-pay business to Oildex. That made sense since Spend Matters tends to focus on technology and innovation from the procurement perspective, and (given ADP’s traditional focus on internal employees), there was not even much of a link to the contingent workforce area.

But that changed in early 2018, when ADP acquired the freelancer management system (FMS) WorkMarket, and it soon became clear that something larger was brewing at ADP. In fact, we have since looked more closely and found that the company is not only executing a strategy to address needs related to the growing freelancer or independent contract workforce (ICW) — but it also is making a great leap forward in rolling-out a leading-edge core technology platform for its payroll and HCM solutions and services, something that will no doubt play a role in the company’s freelancer/ICW, agile total workforce and overall future of work strategy.

The future of workforce sourcing, engagement, management and compensation is that of human capital management as well as payment “platforms” and digital ecosystems that bring together businesses (large and small), ecosystem technology and services partners and, last but not least, workers of different generations, localities, economic strata and types of work arrangements. That includes dynamic arrangements: part-time or temporary employment, on-demand intermittent gigs or moonlighting, and freelance/independent contract worker engagements.

In this three-part PRO brief, we will provide a refresh on ADP and how it is strategically addressing the “future of work” head-on. Part 1 will provide a summary overview of ADP and how the company has been strategically investing in innovation and technology to address the future of work. Part 2 will identify and discuss significant technology developments and recent strategic acquisitions, key execution components of ADP’s future of work strategy. Finally, Part 3 will bring many of the pieces together to form a picture (or more accurately, a sketch) of how ADP is moving forward to address a future of workforce management that is increasingly digital and decentralized, and where the needs and expectations of client businesses AND workers are already diverging from those that were stable for decades.

Key to Supply Chain Innovation? Early Adopters of Technology Do Well, Study Says

SciQuest

With disruption upending every segment of business over the past decade, it may not be surprising that new research ties technological innovation to high supply chain performance. A 2018 web survey by Adelante SCM and BluJay Solutions found that over 80% of companies that identified as “innovators” or “early adopters” of new technologies also ranked their organization’s performance as slightly or significantly above average.

With Business Up But Politics Volatile, Uncertainty Is the New Certainty for Procurement

Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at TYGES International.

Life should be good for procurement professionals these days, if conventional wisdom is to be believed. Companies are hiring, spending and facing growth-related opportunities/challenges not seen in almost two decades. There’s renewed confidence with the business-friendly policies, and there’s a sense that a 4% GDP growth can be the new normal for the U.S. economy. But reality is not quite as rosy. From vitriolic trade negotiations to overnight tariffs, sanctions and currency fluctuations, companies are facing levels of volatility not seen in decades.

Intelligent Trade Finance: The Road Ahead

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Biji John, product manager, trade finance, at Finastra.

The trade finance industry is undergoing a unique moment of transformation. There is a virtuous circle between how the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution will enable trade financing, and how this in turn will power the innovation and adoption of these technologies in “Industry X.0.” In our last post, we explored ways in which AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform how trade finance is done. Here we explore some of the hurdles that banks face on the road to true intelligent trade finance, and provide some practical examples of banks that have overcome these challenges and serve as prime examples of intelligent trade finance in action.

Sponsored Article

Procurement Benchmarking in the Era of Big Data

Let’s be honest: most benchmark reports promise much but deliver little. They often start with good intentions but focus on high-level best practices or rely on survey questionnaires to gather their data. Benchmarks can take weeks or months to develop, and even then they are often discarded if they can’t give concrete action points to procurement. At the same time, we live in the era of big data. Perhaps you’ve heard that more data has been created in the last two years than all of the previous human history. As data becomes the oil of the fourth industrial revolution, why wouldn’t we put all this data into action?

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

Why Procurement Must Prepare Today to Use Cognitive Software in 2050: Insights from LevaData’s 2018 Cognitive Sourcing Summit

digital

Just as it’s unlikely that most people will be regularly using self-driving cars any time before 30 years from now, procurement is probably not going to be widely using AI-based “cognitive” software within the next five or even 10 years. But that doesn’t mean organizations should sit around waiting for the technology to come to them. The talent, technology and operational strategies procurement leaders choose today will determine whether or not they are capable of using artificial intelligence-based software in the future. In fact, failing to prepare for the use of cognitive technology today could mean procurement is unable to use those tools even when they have become widely adopted, putting the business far behind its digitally mature competitors.

Debunking the Myths of Optical Character Recognition: What It Is and How It Affects Accounts Payable

e-invoicing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Justin Holden, vice president of sales, Yooz North America.

OCR: Another one of those technical buzzwords that we’re hearing a lot about these days. It’s of particular interest in fintech (another new buzzword that stands for “financial technology”) and even more specifically in accounts payable. But what is it? More important, what isn’t it? And how does it make a difference in the accounts payable (AP) workflow?

Forging a Cognitive Future for Procurement: LevaData Kicks Off Second Annual Cognitive Sourcing Summit

platform

Spend Matters is on the ground in Santa Clara, California, today for the 2018 Cognitive Sourcing Summit. Hosted by LevaData, an emerging provider of e-sourcing software, the event, now in its second year, brings together leading procurement professionals to examine trends in strategic sourcing, with an emphasis on how artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way organizations approach this foundational process. While LevaData plans to expand upon several of the themes it first explored at its inaugural Congnitive Sourcing Summit, in October 2017, we will also be looking to hear about the latest updates to the vendor’s platform, as well as the results of some relevant research about procurement’s readiness to effectively use AI-powered technology.