The Procurement Strategy & Planning Category

Supplier Inclusion: Moving Beyond Spend to Measure Impact

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Brian Peters, Gilead Science’s director of procurement, and Steven Wuerth, Gilead Science’s senior manager for supplier inclusion and data analytics. 

Supplier diversity can have positive impacts on businesses and communities, but history suggests that program implementation has been difficult and, in some cases, borderline ineffective. In CVM Solutions’ 2018 State of Supplier Diversity Report, only 32 percent of respondents rated their supplier diversity programs as very effective,2 up 7 percentage points from their 2017 report3. This white paper by Gilead, a biopharmaceutical company with suppliers worldwide, contains reflections and learnings from our work to progress Gilead’s robust supplier inclusion program and to move beyond spend as “the” historical metric for supplier diversity so we can inspire and measure a broader impact.

Procurement, C-suite Often Not on Same Page About Hiring and Development, Experts Say

marketing procurement

A frequent topic in procurement is how can CPOs get a seat at the chief executives’ table, but finding that sweet spot with the C-suite can be elusive. Some of the frustration comes from procurement departments and C-suites being misaligned on how to hire the best people, a study shows. And procurement veterans at a recent APICS conference said hiring talented people and developing the current staff can help with that high-level relationship.

‘Just Coupa It’: By Buying Aquiire, Coupa Targets Google-like Search and the End of Punch-Outs [PRO]

Coupa announced its latest acquisition Monday with its purchase of Aquiire, a provider of e-procurement and procure-to-pay software. The deal brings to Coupa’s business spend management suite — which now includes support for e-procurement, P2P, source-to-pay, travel and expense management, and services procurement — many of the latest features for front-end shopping and catalog management, particularly several patents related to real-time search and third-party-hosted catalog integration capabilities. Viewed as part of Coupa’s larger strategy, however, Aquiire is just one piece of a larger puzzle that Coupa has been trying to assemble for the last decade.

The purchase of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Aquiire, along with Coupa’s own innovations in the guided buying area and the company’s 2017 acquisition of Simeno, forms the basis of a shift away from one-to-one, proprietary “punch-out”-based B2B e-commerce models and toward a streamlined, almost touchless approach to finding and buying goods and services. This entails far more than creating a friendly user experience that’s “Amazon-like.” Coupa wants to go one step further, making the search for a corporate purchase as easy as answering a question with Google: one question (sometimes auto-suggested) into the box, numerous answers delivered within the next screen, in real time, prioritized by relevance, price and desired procurement controls.

Coupa’s goal is to make B2B purchasing as easy and reflexive as everyday information retrieval on the broader web. Said another way, when you need to know something, you Google it; when you need to buy something at work, you would Coupa it. Obviously, Coupa is not going to become a verb anytime soon on the scale of Google. The key is to provide a B2B buyer-relevant search that is tuned to the “persona” of the individual buyer to quickly get him or her the needed goods and services from the preferred supply sources and buying channels.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief explores the feasibility of the “Google-like” search concept, as well as how Coupa’s acquisition of Aquiire enables it. It also touches on how Coupa’s approach to front-end shopping enablement compares with the broader e-procurement market, as well as what this means for competitors.

The Road to Cognitive Procurement: LevaData Models a New Standard for Sourcing Maturity

Most procurement groups are coming around to the idea that they need digital transformation. Yet even with a convincing case for taking an AI-based “cognitive” procurement approach to processes like sourcing, excuses about bad data and poor backing from management inevitably stop organizations from taking the first step. LevaData, like other solution providers, is increasingly trying to help procurement not just take on technology but create the roadmap for organizational maturity that leads to better business outcomes.

Want to Know Your Industry’s Risks? CSR Index from EcoVadis Takes Deep Look

risk

As customers and businesses seek better environmental practices and fair labor standards, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting has taken on greater importance for executives who could face questions about why they use conflict minerals or buy products created by forced labor. To help take a deeper look at the issues, EcoVadis has assessed the CSR reporting of more than 33,000 companies around the world. The Paris-based company is a provider of business sustainability ratings, intelligence and performance-improvement tools for global supply chains.

Tradeshift: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Tradeshift is a cloud platform that connects buyers and suppliers with the goal of digitizing supply chain relationships, processes and information, while also enabling everyday procure-to-pay activities. Its capabilities span the buying of goods and services through to financing and payment — and significant capability in between, especially in the invoice-to-pay area.

In addition to providing its own procure-to-pay modules, Tradeshift offers an open integration framework that allows other technology firms (and customers) to integrate and/or development third-party “apps,” primarily centered on supplier connectivity, transaction enablement and collaboration. Tradeshift can even integrate alternative procure-to-pay providers in cases where specific enabling capability is desired.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Tradeshift, both as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider and also as an e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology vendor. It is designed to provide facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether they should consider Tradeshift for both traditional “in-the-box” procure-to-pay requirements as well as unique marketplace/platform type digital initiatives.

Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Tradeshift as a complement to other procurement and finance solutions. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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.

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5 Essential E-Procurement Operations Capabilities

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With USMCA Done, Supply Chain Professionals Can Get Down to Work

sustainability

Procurement and supply chain professionals reacted to the new USMCA trade deal this week with relief that they now know what to focus on in a post-NAFTA landscape — and that they can begin figuring out how the pact fits with ongoing tariff disputes with China. Trade negotiators on Sunday finalized the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a new pact that will replace NAFTA. After about two years of turmoil, the deal was welcome news for supply chain professionals because it removed uncertainty from their planning processes.

Global Companies Shift Gears to Stay Locally Relevant in the ‘Age of Multi-Localism’

supplier network

In the 1980s and ’90s, companies gained prestige by going global. Recently, globalization has come under fire from multiple fronts, causing the locally integrated business model to become the new goal for many companies. Pressure is coming from forces such as political rhetoric creating more trade barriers, consumers’ preference for personalized, local goods, and technological advances that change the dynamics of the basic business model, so companies must turn away from strategies that focus on globally integrated value chains and focus on thriving locally in each market that they serve, according to a study released in September by A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council.

An Introduction to Sourcing Business Intelligence (Part 1): Definition and Driving Forces [PRO]

The problem with the term “sourcing business intelligence” is that it can have vastly different interpretations. Yet sourcing BI is a concept that we’re increasingly hearing mention of with our procurement practitioner and consulting firm clients, albeit with different names attached to it.

Not to be confused with spend analytics, the concept of Sourcing BI could prove as important to the digital procurement organization of the future as category management did in the past decade — or perhaps even more invaluable. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to the concept of sourcing BI, starting first with a definition and an overview of the trends that are driving it.