Category Archives: Procurement Strategy & Planning

Plastics Markets Calm Despite Volatile Crude and Capacity Shifts


Prices for most plastics will continue rising during the fourth quarter, thanks to surging raw material costs, capacity issues and a rebound in crude oil. Observers are mixed on the current market state. In late August, Plastic News’ Bill Wood asserted domestic plastic production was actually down most of 2016 and will likely end the year flat.

The Zen of Spend


As an old Zen Buddhist riddle goes, “If you seek it, you can not find it.” To paraphrase, you'll be miserable if you seek happiness only through specific outcomes rather than attaining happiness merely as a byproduct of living life fully. The same concept applies to cost savings. Procurement groups that only focus on finding purchased cost savings as their raison d’être will not be happy, nor will the stakeholders who own the spending where savings are generated.

How Mature is Your Procurement Organization? Use This Tool to Find Out


What technology solutions does your procurement organization use? Procure-to-pay? E-invoicing? Are supply chain practices connected to your company’s accounts payable processes via a cloud-based network solution? Or, is your organization still relying largely manual processes and paper invoices? The answers to these questions can shine a light on the maturity level of your procurement organization.

Calculate Your True Savings Target Using Predictive Analytics


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Maulick Dave, of GEP.

One of the most popular KPIs used to measure the performance of a procurement organization is savings realized. However, the magnitude of the savings projected at the goal setting phase for the year, or at the start of a sourcing project, is often looked upon with skepticism. How can you verify such cases and set a practical savings target that will improve your planning and decision-making abilities?

Preparing Buyers For Difficult Supplier Conversations — We Check out Rapid Ratings’ New Offering

Supply Chain Fraud

Rapid Ratings has released a very cool procurement content solution that I had a chance to kick the tires on. It’s called a “Financial Dialogue Report,” and basically it packages up Rapid Rating’s FHR (Financial Health Rating) score, CHS (Core Health Score) and supporting FHR components and data analytics into a scripted conversational guide that buyers can use to support their discussions with suppliers regarding “data of concern.”

Worried About Third-Party Risk Management? Your Procurement Team Can Help!


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Wayne Weil, director, performance improvement at Alvarez & Marsal.

One of the hottest topics in the financial services regulatory world is third-party risk management (3PRM). While regulated firms scramble to meet new guidelines, they may be surprised to find there is a group within their organization that has been working to accomplish many of the same goals for years: the procurement organization. The people, processes and tools found within most procurement organizations can provide a powerful complement to the compliance organization’s third-party risk management aims. As firms grapple with developing compliant 3PRM programs, they would be well served to partner with their procurement teams to jump-start the implementation, as well as to capture the additional hard-dollar benefits that have been the yardstick for success in traditional vendor management.

5 Reasons Your Marketing Procurement Strategy is Doomed

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Peter Portanova, senior project analyst for Source One Management Services.

Marketing Spend: The last bastion holding out against procurement’s advances. Looking toward this previously untamed category, you dust off your copy of “Sourceror’s Guide to the Galaxy” and pick the ideal strategies for wrangling this seemingly unmanaged spend. You are riding a high from recently optimized spend in the MRO, HR, and IT categories, where your tried-and-true classic approaches have proven themselves time and again. The expectation for marketing is no different; however, like dominos, countless strategies topple, expectations are not met and stakeholders are disappointed with your efforts. So where did you go wrong?

Procurement Agility Requires an Entirely New Platform-Based Approach

on-demand workforce

The single greatest consumer trend today is arguably the digitization of our everyday lives through cloud-based services served up over the internet to our mobile devices. This digitization trend has also worked its way upstream into B2B value chains, where cloud-based digital assets are increasingly wrapping themselves around physical assets and human assets to create new cloud-based services of all forms:

  • In the logistics supply chain, new platforms (e.g., Uber and Lyft) are disrupting how transportation assets are used
  • In the human value chain, new labor platforms are helping buyers discover and engage contingent workers across many channels
  • In the capital intensive asset supply chain, the internet of things (IoT) is developing new sensor-based architectures to intelligently monitor critical assets
  • In the financial supply chain, technology such as the blockchain will help create new levels of transparency in the flow of financial information

Business enterprises don’t want themselves to be “digitally disrupted” by others, so they are looking out for new supplier capabilities that they can serve up as new customer-facing services in this “everything as a service” (XaaS) world. This then becomes a defining moment for procurement, supply chain management and IT professionals who need to keep up with their internal stakeholders to become innovation-focused "gate openers" rather than control-focused "gatekeepers" — and do so with the same or less budget!

Procurement Waste: Why it Matters in Light of Brexit


Procurement organizations are reportedly wasting billions each year due to inefficient practices. U.K. companies, specifically, are losing $79.5 billion a year, according to research from blur Group, a cloud software and managed services solution provider. That’s nearly $218 million wasted each day due to what blur Group called procurement fraud, unmanaged contracts, maverick spending and inefficient internal management and delivery processes.

UNSPSC Adoption at eir: Benefits & Lessons Learned


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Anthony Ryan, head of procurement operations at eir, in which he discusses overhauling the telecommunications company’s commodity structure to the UNSPSC taxonomy.

Our spend analysis process was not easily extensible, difficult to administer and did not deliver the clearest picture of spend. The need for a standardized method to categorize items was obvious, moving to a structured taxonomy such as the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) presented a logical solution.

Ariba’s Alex Atzberger on Why We’re Entering a ‘Golden Age of Procurement’


In the first part of this Spend Matters Conversation, Founder and Head of Strategy Jason Busch talks with SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger about how to understand the digital supply chain. This second installment explores how this relates to procurement and what strategies organizations can implement.

BravoSolution & Puridiom Acquisition First Take: SWOT Analysis, Customer, Partner & Competitive Considerations

Tradeshift Baiwang

BravoSolution, a procurement technology suite provider historically focused on delivering analytics, sourcing, supplier management and contract management solutions to private and public sector customers in Europe and North America, recently announced its acquisition of Puridiom, a procure-to-pay (P2P) technology provider. In the coming quarters, the transaction will broaden BravoSolution’s organic footprint and provide the organization with greater control over the future of developing an integrated source-to-pay (S2P) suite instead of having to rely on partner solutions to fill missing gaps. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides a BravoSolution customer, partner and competitive landscape analysis and considerations based on the transaction, as well as a SWOT analysis (with the Puridiom asset).