Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

Best ‘Ask the Expert’ Ever? PPM: The Core of an Effective Procurement Operating Model

Advice Meaning Informed Help Assistance And Support

On this Throwback Friday (#tbf, anyone?), we've thrown open the doors to our archives to bring you our second-most-viewed recording of an Ask the Expert webinar of all time. Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell takes participants through the important procurement topic of PPM in Ask the Expert: Procurement Performance Management (PPM): The Ultimate Alignment Tool - Not a Dashboard! . Procurement performance management can transform a procurement organization – but only if you know how to apply and maintain the tool or process properly. Pierre walks us through a number of steps to properly integrate PPM into your procurement organization. If you missed this webinar late last year, luckily as a Plus or PRO member, you can view the entire recording right here.

Spurious Correlations, 150% Cost Savings and How to Justify Your Next Procurement Project


Last week, I presented on a webinar alongside Tim Cummins, the founder of International Association for Contract and Commercial Management, and Ulf Zetterberg, the CEO of Seal Software. I was sharing some analysis that I did on Apple Inc.’s purchase agreement templates and how contracts sometimes can create more relationship risk than they prevent. On the risk side, I referenced a great case study that David Simchi Levi’s team at MIT performed for Ford. On the reward side, I mentioned the oft-quoted research by John Henke regarding his ‘Working Relations Index” research in the Automotive industry. What followed was a classic example of correlation being used to infer causation.

Exploring ‘Total Cost’ as a Productivity KPI for the P2P Process

Close up of a money puzzle

Total cost of ownership of the procure-to-pay process is not simply about measuring the costs associated with acquiring a P2P platform, it’s about tracking all P2P processes and managing them as a business key performance indicator. Managed well, the TCO P2P KPI can positively impact the bottom line of any business. Many organizations think that when acquiring a P2P platform, a firm business case needs to be constructed based on the total cost of the platform and high-level benefits that are reasonably achievable. But there’s actually a more effective way to think about the cost and returns of P2P technology. In this Spend Matters PRO brief, we explore this new way of measuring P2P returns and cost through a modified TCO approach.

Procurement Lessons From a Surprising Source: the 1980s

Business man and meeting table background

Big hair, leg warmers, heavy metal, John Hughes films – these are all things that immediately come to mind when we think of the 1980s. But what else did that decade bring? According to Pierre Mitchell, the ‘80s brought about a business transformation to total quality management. Pierre expanded upon this thought in a recent article published on our Chief Procurement Officer website: What Procurement Can Learn From Quality Management in the 1980s (Besides Bad Hair).

The Washington Post Launches WIP for Freelancers


The Washington Post announced Monday the launch of what it is calling The Washington Post Talent Network, a private, homegrown work intermediation platform (WIP) that will be used to manage the Post’s far-flung network of freelance contributors. In some ways, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before something like this would emerge in the news and media industry – but the big surprise here might be how.

Is Your Supply Chain Disaster-Proof?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Diptarup Chakraborti, assistant vice president of marketing at Zycus. Over recent weeks Zycus has been discussing the role that the procurement function can play in natural disaster management. In pervious articles we’ve outlined the vulnerability of modern supply chains to natural disasters and highlighted some steps that procurement teams can look to implement internally to ensure their operations are safeguarded against these destructive events. Today we’ll be looking externally to our suppliers to ensure they are best placed to manage disasters.

CXC Corporate Services Underscores Growing Need to Field and Manage Global Contract Talent


This week, CXC Global, a 22-year-old provider of contractor compliance and payments with a global footprint, launched a new entity, CXC Corporate Services, to directly engage with and address the unique needs of large enterprises managing extended contractor workforces in different parts of the world. It’s an interesting story of how the global supply chain for contingent talent is evolving, as well as a heads-up to services and contingent workforce procurement professionals who will likely be facing increasing demands to directly engage contract talent in different parts of the world.

Natural Disasters – Procurement Preparing for the Unmanageable

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Diptarup Chakraborti, AVP Marketing, Zycus. This is the second in a series of articles produced by Zycus dealing with the impact that natural disasters can have on the procurement function. Today we are looking at the steps that procurement professionals can take to minimize the impact of natural disasters on their internal operations. The threat of natural disasters is as real as it is unpredictable. Our organizations, and indeed our procurement teams, simply must understand the threat disasters pose and ensure that they are adequately prepared to deal with them. Below is a list of considerations and steps that procurement teams should look to implement internally to minimize their exposure to the harms and disruptions of natural disasters.

Buying Everything as a Service – Don’t Miss Our Webinar This Thursday!

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In an increasingly services-based economy, procurement organizations should stay on top of the latest everything as a service (XaaS) trends that are increasingly having an impact on their organizations and ultimately their commercial relationships and agreements. If they aren’t keeping on top of the latest trends with regards to buying services, whether contingent labor, SaaS, BPO/MSP, then they’re not going to really earn a seat at the table with their counterparts in IT, HR, shared services and others. As such, the Institute for Supply Management Services group asked me to do a webinar on the topic this Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT with the help of Mark Trowbridge at Strategic Procurement Solutions. Register here!

P2P Implementation: A Tutorial on What NOT to Do


We’ve covered P2P implementation extensively here at Spend Matters, but sometimes a fresh perspective is needed to fully grasp the well-rounded nature of such an endeavor. And sometimes, that fresh perspective is of the negative variety. Join us Tuesday, June 30 at 12 p.m. CDT for the webinar, Nightmare on Procurement Street: How NOT to do a P2P Implementation. Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and Xavier Olivera, P2P specialist and Spend Matters contributing analyst, will be joined by GEP for a discussion of don’ts for P2P implementation, but will ultimately arrive at a collection of tangible takeaways for you to include in your go-forward P2P strategy. Register today!

Guided Buying Needs More than an Attractive User Interface


Yes, user interface is important for any program. The user must be able to, well, actually use a tool for it to be effective. No one is arguing that. What Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters, did argue recently over on our Chief Procurement Officer website is that a "consumerized e-procurement 'guided buying' experience is more than a sexy simple user interface." In the CPO article "Putting the Steak Before the Sizzle in Consumerized B2B E-Procurement," Pierre talks about what truly makes an effective guided buying tool, as well as how to implement one. Make sure to head over to our CPO website to read the full article, or click here.

Where Do ‘Procurement Ethics’ Policies Go Wrong?

Image of business contract on background of two employees handshaking

The recent events around FIFA and the allocation of football (soccer) World Cups raise some major issues around ethics, corruption and behavior in business and indeed in life generally. While at the moment we are talking about allegations in the main rather than proven facts, it is clear that large amount of moneys have been used to try and influence the voting behavior of the delegates who decide which country will host the World Cup events. That hosting is now very lucrative for the country involved, and the huge value of media rights for the event also provides incentives for fraud and corruption. But how does this relate to procurement organizations? Over the years, we have seen a lot of procurement ethical policies that were not fit for purpose. So given the current focus on this topic, we thought it was worth sharing a few of the common problems that we’ve seen with such statements and are suggesting ways to improve them. We share a handful of the most common issues and how to avoid them.