The Procurement Strategy & Planning Category

Ask Spend Matters: Is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Right for Me?

A reader recently wrote in with a question about how to find group purchasing organizations (GPOs) or purchasing consortia. This individual is a U.S.-based sourcing manager at Heidelberg, a multinational company that provides equipment and services for the print media industry. The reader told us that his company is thinking about bidding out for copiers next year, and he became interested in looking into GPOs after hearing about them at a local ISM meeting. However, a casual internet search for GPOs yielded no shortage of results.

Procurement Technology Solution Selections: It’s Time to Show Your Hand to Providers [Plus+]

In this article, we make the case for letting your providers know who their competitors are early on in the selection process and why this ultimately works significantly in your favor. In prior articles, we have talked about the importance — necessity really — of sharing information about yourself and your goals with providers, all in the context of selecting procurement solutions.

An Entrepreneurial Take on Supplier Relationship Management: Best Practices (Part 3)

Forward-thinking executives are reacting to this faster rate of change by challenging their teams to be more entrepreneurial. This concept, as applied to procurement, lies at the heart of the latest State of Flux report on supplier relationship management (SRM). There is perhaps no industry that is immune to technology-enabled disruption. Successful procurement leaders, State of Flux argues, will need to become entrepreneurs. Below, we’ll look at a number of best practices that can be distilled from the report.

Unlocking Hidden Cost Savings Through Third-Party Payrolling: Does Your MSP Go All Out for You?

As companies rely more on non-employees to fill mission critical-roles, procurement leaders are realizing that their business objectives are not always aligned with those of their managed service provider (MSP). One scenario where this can be the case is the MSP’s rate of third-party payroll utilization — the percentage of spend for contingent workers who are W2 payrolled by a third party but sourced directly by the client. This article explains how an effective MSP maximizes third-party payroll utilization to drive cost savings and value for an organization.

How Are Your Peers Doing on Supplier Relationship Management? (Part 2)

Last week, Spend Matters began covering the recent report from State of Flux on supplier relationship management (SRM), “Entrepreneurial SRM: Solving the Value Puzzle.” Part 1 focused on defining SRM — what it is, what it isn’t, and the six most important components of SRM, as according to State of Flux. The State of Flux report provides a host of interesting data on how organizations are doing on their SRM efforts, which will be the topic of today’s post. How does your organization compare in this regard to your peers? Are you ahead of the pack or somewhere in the middle, or do you have some catching up to do?

The Hidden 80/20 of IT Spend: Where to Mine for Savings

sourcing technology

This Wednesday I'm participating in a webinar titled “The Paradox of IT Spend: How to Influence the Biggest Cost Reduction Opportunity and Claim Savings.” The gist of the event is that there are significant savings in tackling what some may consider “sacred cow” categories within IT spend that are not so sacred at all. But what are the best opportunities, and how much in potential savings is on the line? The answer to the first question is more nuanced, as it centers on targeting budgets (and suppliers) based on the cost of maintaining systems. The answer to the second question, however, is simple: lots.

Jaggaer-BravoSolution Merger Analysis: BravoSolution Customer Recommendations [PRO]

Jaggaer announced Wednesday it would acquire BravoSolution, a Europe- and North America-based provider of strategic procurement technology solutions (and, on a more recent basis, e-procurement capability). This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides guidance and customer recommendations to help procurement groups navigate the merger, primarily for organizations already using or considering using BravoSolution. It also provides insight into commercial, technology, and deployment and support considerations surrounding the combination of the two providers, as well as select alternative providers in some of the markets in which BravoSolution competes.

This is the first in a detailed series of Spend Matters PRO research briefs and commentary on this transaction. Our next research brief will cover 10 questions that the acquisition should raise for BravoSolution customers to form a basis for understanding the acquisition and what it means for them — and where they sit in the customer pecking order based on industry, geography and other considerations. We will also compare the modules from both providers in the strategic procurement technology areas and explore how they compare on a highly granular basis. Finally, we will explore implications for the competitive landscape.

In the meantime, BravoSolution customers who want to understand how BravoSolution, Jaggaer and Jaggaer Direct compare on a granular functional basis and from a customer satisfaction perspective in each solution area, as well as how competitors performed, should consult our Q4 2017 SolutionMap Vendor Deep Dive reports. See spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management, strategic procurement technology suites and procure-to-pay suites.

For highly granular comparative analysis looking at both providers' capabilities in each modular area in which there is overlap, as well as curated peer ratings and alternative providers for each functional area, BravoSolution and Jaggaer customers (and consultancies advising customers) can inquire about PRO and SolutionMap pricing for 2017, expiring at the end of December. Subscriptions include access to the entire Spend Matters PRO archives covering both providers, representing more than 100 research briefs.

Those wishing to tailor an even deeper view of Q4 2017 SolutionMap benchmark insight to their specific organization — based on more than 700 source-to-pay functional benchmark scores and analyst-based vendor ratings, as well as more than 300 customer peer reviews to improve technology provider shortlist and selection processes — can inquire via the above link.

State of Flux Releases SRM Report: What is Supplier Relationship Management Really? (Part 1)

What business doesn’t want more innovative suppliers? According to research from State of Flux, supplier innovation is a goal that eight out of 10 companies are actively working toward. From a study of 372 companies representing more than 25 industries around the world, State of Flux found that getting this innovation strongly depends on how well they manage their key supplier relationships. Put more simply, businesses need to master supplier relationship management (SRM).

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — Being the Solution, Not the Problem

Today’s enterprises can no longer rely only on traditional intermediaries for sourcing and engaging talent. This is especially the case when it comes to the specialized, often scarce skills of high-end knowledge workers. At the same time, businesses need low-friction, low-overhead, end-to-end and often project-specific processes that can support speed, flexibility and agility — often enabled by emerging technologies. Technology, however, is just one part of the puzzle. At least as important — if not more so — is initiating and sustaining change inside the enterprise. Adopting new talent models is not about making incremental improvements to your existing approaches, much less disrupting them entirely. Instead, it’s about ushering a new and potentially transformative innovation into the enterprise.

Creating a Successful Third-Party Risk Management Strategy: What You Need to Know


It’s almost 2018 and time to think about updating — or creating — your risk management program for next year. Financial health ratings firm RapidRatings recently held a webinar on the most important factors to consider as you plan your risk strategy. Presented by Brian Sica, director of sales operations at RapidRatings, “Developing a Third-Party Risk Management Strategy for 2018” takes a broad approach to the topic, starting with alignment to business objectives before progressing to the actual planning and execution of the program.

A Different Sort of Influence: 16 Areas Where Supplier Management Can Help Engage Your Stakeholders Strategically (Part 1) [Plus+]

Supplier management is too often an afterthought in the eyes of procurement and its stakeholders. Yes, it's important to collect supplier qualification information through the sourcing and onboarding process, and then also monitor the suppliers against their contracts to get what you paid for and to reduce supply risk. But shouldn’t there be more to supplier management?

Progressive organizations are beginning to use supplier management (and third-party management more broadly) as a better overall governance structure for how to best externalize the enterprise. This is especially true as supply markets get digitized (and disrupted) and supplier innovation can be brought to bear beyond cost/spend savings.

“Innovation management” is indeed one of the areas where a supplier management approach can help procurement influence stakeholders, but there are 15 other ways, as well. Having a broader palette of value creation (for which we’ll discuss six major value streams) will not only help improve spend influence but also improve the quality of influence to help elevate procurement’s value proposition.

New Research: Using Collaboration in Bringing Competitive Advantage to Your Supply Chain

If your organization wants to create competitive advantages through its supply chains, collaboration is crucial, according to new research from the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. The findings were presented in a white paper, End-to-End Supply Chain Collaboration Best Practices, written by Mike Burnette, managing director of the institute. Burnette and other supply chain faculty at the university interviewed 17 leading companies in eight industries to determine the best practices that help organizations achieve success through collaboration.