Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

The Outlook for Metal Prices and British Steel Following Brexit


After a weekend of political turmoil in both the U.K. and for European Union leaders, focus shifted Monday back to the economy and business impact of the Brexit vote. As procurement and supply chain professionals start to assess their situations and consider the short- and long-term consequences of the decision, our sister site MetalMiner has released its preliminary analysis on where metal prices could head, what the future of British steel looks like and how the backlash against immigration could affect construction and metals production.

Procurement, Supply Chain and Brexit: Obvious and Less Obvious Considerations


What should procurement and supply chain professionals be thinking about when it comes to Brexit? This is the question we grappled with most of the weekend. We’ve grouped our Brexit analysis into two categories: obvious and less obvious considerations. And a big hat-tip to Peter Smith at Spend Matters UK/Europe, who has been covering Brexit and some of these ideas already (see some his posts on the topic here, here and here).

How Millennials Are Driving Technology Adoption

on-demand workforce

One of the most well-known characteristics of millennials is how comfortable they are with technology. Their ability to use, apply and understand different technologies quickly often sets them apart from other generations in the workforce. Their demand for up-to-date technology is putting pressure on companies to change or update certain business processes and will likely encourage many organizations to adopt advanced technology solutions and improve efficiency and collaboration in the workplace.

Brexit Roundup: 6 Implications for Procurement


The U.K.’s decision to leave the E.U. roiled markets Friday, pummeling the pound and sending commodities linked to economic growth into a slump. As the dust clears and businesses start to consider the long, uncertain road ahead, Spend Matters has gathered its live coverage from contributors in England to explain the top six implications for procurement and supply chain organizations. Stay tuned throughout the week for expert analysis on the impact to direct materials purchasing, sourcing and supplier management considerations and much more.

What Have We Done: A Letter from England


Greetings from a slightly stunned U.K., which Friday morning felt like a guest waking up with one shoe missing, a hangover and a vague sense that something bad happened at the party last night. Something very bad. Procurement folk will be scrambling already to work out what exactly the U.K. voting to leave the E.U. means, and the whole Spend Matters team will have more analysis to come.

Manufacturers Investing in Automation Due to Supply Chain Pressures


Global supply chains are becoming increasingly “digitized,” as companies improve business processes and operate more efficiently using new technologies. Suppliers are investing in more advanced technologies and buying organizations are implementing more advanced solutions to procure goods and services. Manufacturers, specifically, are feeling the impacts of the growing digital world. A recent survey of manufacturers by the MAPI Foundation shows supply chain pressures are driving automation activity in the manufacturing industry.

The Rise of the Platform is Procurement’s Future


Many of us here at Spend Matters are getting sick and tired of hearing “platform-this” and “platform-that.” We’re sure you are, too. Part of the problems is just semantics. In reality, many "platforms" aren't really platforms at all. As recently pointed out by Andrew Karpie, lots of tech vendors just label their solutions as “platforms” for marketing purposes. This begs two questions: What really is a platform, and why are software companies pulling the proverbial wool over eyes?

Software Buyers Need More Than Just Software Selection Advice

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Michael Shearer, director of marketing operations at SelectHub.

The software market is awash with vendors and platforms for every business function you can think of. And there are thousands of people and businesses looking for the right feature/function fit. In fact, more than 300,000 organizations in the U.S. are in the market for various types of small business and enterprise software.

Software at the Core of Digital Design: Design-Centered Procurement (Part 3)

procurement technology

In our last installment of this series on design-centered procurement, we discussed the importance of good design in products, the design of the supporting supply chain and the design of the supply management function. We used the example of a car design and contrasted the good design of a Tesla compared with the design of the ill-fated Pontiac Aztek. But consider replacing the word “car” with “procurement system.” Traditional software development for procurement applications (or any packaged applications software, for that matter) looks uncannily like that of the Pontiac Aztek. “Feature 500” lists are developed that not only address incremental customer functionality requirements but also throw in new “bells and whistles” designed to keep up with the competitors’ software features, and the preferences of IT industry analysts who put providers on simplistic 2x2 quadrants. Yet the software itself doesn't necessarily align to the procurement outcome of driving business value from better supply management (and demand management as part of this). Why? Here are the biggest issues that we see and how to address them.

LinkedIn, Microsoft and SpendLead — Social Media Principles Enter the Corporate Software World


The timing was really quite extraordinary. I sat down to write this article about our recent webinar — all about social media and collaboration in the context of procurement — and as I started it, the notification about Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn popped up on my news feed. Microsoft has paid $26 billion, which is not bad for a business with a patchy profit record.

Lessons from Global E-Invoicing Leaders Mexico and Latin America


The 2016 e-invoicing report from Billentis points out how many Latin American countries now have considerably advanced e-invoicing markets. Mexico, specifically, is identified in the report as global leader for e-invoicing, with more than 5.4 million taxpayers issuing e-invoices for goods and services bought in the country. We reached out to our e-invoicing expert in Mexico, Xavier Olivera, who serves as editor for Spend Matters Mexico and Latin America, to share his insights on the Mexican and Latin America e-invoicing market.

10 Supply Chain Areas Needing Gene Therapy: Supply Network Information Models — The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 4)


In the previous post in this series, I began outlining 10 supply chain provider areas that could benefit from the infusion of a robust supply network information model. In this final installment in the series, I highlight the remaining provider areas, the convergence in supply chain intelligence and analytics and look at x potential providers that span multiple adjacent services and solutions sectors in business process outsourcing (BPO), management consulting, supply market intelligence, business intelligence, content management and others.