Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

Developing Strategy: Your Supply Risk Management 2016 Game Plan (Part 2)

supply risk

We continue our outlook on how to manage supply risk in 2016 by paraphrasing the adage that advises folks to think globally and act locally, and breaking it down for procurement practitioners. We began our first post in this four-part Spend Matters Plus series with a definition of the major categories of risk that an average organization is exposed to and noted how omnipresent and expensive risk is. In this installment, we dive into a risk management strategy based on global thinking and local implementation before moving on to cover risk and reward alignment as a key to adoption and a discussion of how to monitor and manage your risk management program for success in the remainder of this series.

Holiday Season Tip: Improve Communication Within Your Supply Chain Organization

supply chain

Shipping delays, inventory issues, changes in demand — such supply chain disruptions are inevitable at this time of year. Companies don’t always know what specific challenge their supply chain will face during the holidays, but they do know they will likely face some complication. Organizations must be able to act quickly when a problem arises, and that responsiveness is possible only when information flows more freely throughout an organization.

Procurement’s Involvement in Divestitures: The Staples Case


Procurement's role, and a supply chain group's role more broadly, should figure into the strategy as well. Any procurement organization can have a strategy that supports an existing enterprise strategy, but only a truly strategic procurement group can actually help influence the business strategy. So, let’s consider a future case study in the making and consider the situation with office products retailer Staples.

Collaborations Within Competition

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Abinaya Govindarajan, of GEP.

True to the popular adage “unity is strength,” more and more companies are coming together to compete effectively in the global marketplace. This article explores some of the areas within the automobile industry where this unity has led to cost-effectiveness and looks to identify the recipe for success in such programs.

How to Establish an SRM Program That Really Works

supply chain talent gap

How can procurement discourage dysfunctional corporate behavior and seize the opportunity to shift its supplier relationship management (SRM) focus from tactical savings to real cost reduction and obtain maximum value from the goods and services acquired? This question forms the core of a new series by Spend Matters UK/Europe on SRM, which has emerged in recent years as both a topical issue and a genuine priority for CPOs.

Integrating Operations and Tax Planning Into a Procurement Operating Model

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Stefan Kramer, manager in the Operations Advisory Practice at KPMG.

As procurement organizations evolve, they commonly adopt different procurement operating models (POMs) at different stages of their development. A global KPMG survey of chief procurement officers (CPOs) found that 83% of organizations changed their POM within the last 5 years and just over half of them over the previous year. In this context, the paths that procurement organizations follow appear to be similar: moving from a decentralized to a center-led model.

How I Spent Oktoberfest Going to School on German Procurement Practices

German procurement

A few weeks back, I had the good fortune to spend two days in Munich during a time that just happened to coincide with Oktoberfest. Of course, there was absolutely no relationship between the visit and the festivities at the time. And getting into a small “tent” — part of the activities with the Volksfest if you have the right friends — together with some colleagues from a startup in town was a complete coincidence as well. Or, that is what I tell my wife at least.

EPA Clean Power Plan, MATS Rule and Procurement: Analysis and Implications

Analysis Word Shows Investigation Analyzing Or Research

Earlier this week, more than 20 states and a host of industry groups officially filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan. Before that, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s new “water rule” in all 50 states. Both of these developments came after a late June ruling in which the US Supreme Court struck down EPA-directed regulations for limiting mercury and toxic emissions from coal and oil power plants – known as the MATS (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards) rule. From a procurement and supply chain vantage point, that ruling was arguably the most important decision the nation’s highest court has made in the past decade. Not only does it cut to the very heart of procurement’s mission to manage costs, but it has direct linkages with energy sourcing and category management. This Spend Matters Plus brief analyzes the implications of these three EPA-driven regulations for procurement practitioners and supply chain organizations and provides recommendations for both manufacturers and non-manufacturers on how to take action around policy and regulations.

The Myth of the Monolithic Sourcing Suite: 5 Different Types of E-Sourcing Solutions


Even though it will annoy a lot of vendors, I’m going to say it: Source-to-pay (S2P) suites may be here to stay, but top performing procurement organizations continue to select and use multiple sourcing technologies for different purposes — and they will also pay a premium for specific needs. This Spend Matters PRO brief breaks down the different categories of e-sourcing tools that companies are buying, lists specific vendors in each category, provides pricing ranges for various types of solutions and makes recommendations on how best to use different solution types — and where.

Does Your Inventory Replenishment Model Fit With Company Objectives?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Daniel Martinez of GEP.

Most companies do not have a complete understanding of how important is to select the correct inventory replenishment model. As such, inventory remains a nightmare of chief executives and finance professionals due to the perception that they are handling inventory planning and management in the wrong way. Companies are not operating “on the curve” in order to optimize the balance between services and inventory levels.

How to Build a Category Workbook

open book

Attention category managers: This Flashback Friday post is just for you. We reached into our Ask the Expert archives to bring you a detailed presentation from Xavier Olivera, editor of Spend Matters Mexico/Latin America, about how to build a spend category workbook. Xavier walks listeners through how to create this “knowledge guide” to a spend category that can serve as a supporting document to your procurement organization and fellow category managers. Check out the full webinar, Ask the Expert: Do You Know How to Build a Category Workbook, in this post!

MIT Program Can Help Fill Supply Chain Talent Gap

supply chain talent gap

Businesses are having a harder time finding talented workers to fill supply chain management roles. A report issued last year said 1.4 million supply chain workers would be needed by 2018, meaning roughly 270,000 new supply chain jobs would open up each year. This growing demand and lack of available talent is why the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has decided to expand its supply chain management program.