The Procurement Category

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Why Marketing Contributes to a Terrible Spend Culture

marketing spend

Notwithstanding the obvious differences in personality, the mutual look of incomprehension when the CMO and CFO try to explain to each other what they actually do, marketing and finance have never been particularly pally. It’s not just the stark difference in their background, it’s not even the daunting task of proving ROI on an ingenious marketing campaign to a number-crunching CFO, or the danger in committing company funds to some radical idea based on a marketer’s sudden, Steve Jobsian flash of insight into the minds of customers. The things that can cause an ugly spat between marketing and finance are actually much more prosaic.

The State of Procurement (Part 3): Solutions and Procurement Technology

platform

Jim Wetekamp is the former CEO of BravoSolution. In Part 1 of this series, he addressed the state of people in procurement, starting with the CPO, and in Part 2, he examined the state of the technology selection process.

“How is the technology space in procurement evolving?” A few months ago, I delivered a presentation and related article entitled, “What Procurement Needs.”  This overview focused on the key demands that procurement is seeking to fill to best serve their organizations and drive sustained value. Those needs for strategic, intelligent, integrated and holistic solutions are what are largely shaping the evolution of the procurement landscape today.

Beyond Logistics: 6 Non-Traditional Categories Where Companies Should Apply Sourcing Optimization

What exactly is sourcing optimization, and where can it be applied, besides the obvious areas? Earlier this month, Spend Matters analysts Michael Lamoureux and Tom Finn teamed up with Garry Mansell, sourcing optimization general manager at Coupa, on a webinar on this very topic, “Sourcing Optimization in New Categories: A ‘How-To’ Guide.” As the webinar title suggests, this isn’t about logistics or MRO, but rather some more non-traditional categories — six to be exact — where sourcing optimization can bring significant savings.

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What is Market Intelligence, and is it Relevant to Procurement?

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As procurement takes on increased strategic importance within companies, purchasing professionals are being asked to do even more with their limited time. This is especially true when sourcing direct materials, which requires keen attention to many changing economic factors outside of the organization. To make the best decisions possible without falling behind, procurement must ensure it has access to and effectively uses supply market intelligence. To help practitioners understand why, this three-part series first outlines the key pillars of market intelligence, explaining why companies seek out this capability. It then explores why market intelligence matters to procurement, and concludes with an analysis of why businesses should seek help from a third-party provider to build out a market intelligence program.

The State of Procurement (Part 2): The Process of Selling into Procurement

“How did you like selling to procurement?” Another dimension to this question, which I discussed in Part 1 of this series, is related to the unique situation that the end customer is also the anointed steward of the best practice for purchasing technology. Don’t get me wrong: all the traditional sales and relationship development approaches and strategies still matter. Have you built trust? Do you understand their decision criteria? Have you mapped the competitive, stakeholder and points of influence? Despite all of those points of insight, however, more often than not you will end up on a scored, side-by-side evaluation matrix that removes emotion, influence and trust from the equation. And that’s just fine.

The State of Procurement (Part 1): People First, Starting with the CPO

“How did you like selling to procurement?” This has been one of the most frequently asked questions I have received since stepping away from BravoSolution, following our acquisition by Jaggaer in November 2017. People usually ask in a tongue-in-cheek way, expecting the response will be negative — comments about outdated and non-business-focused processes, burdensome and often overlapping or conflicting checklists, constant demands for discounts and the like. To be honest, there is some of that. But there is also so much more. Selling to procurement is to know procurement today. And it’s a complex being.

Professional Development in Procurement: Rationale and Strategies

One reader who wrote in to Ask Spend Matters last year posed an interesting question that fell outside of our editorial team’s wheelhouse: “What are the most pressing professional development needs for sourcing and procurement professionals today and for the next five years?” While we’ve fielded many of the procurement strategy and technology-focused questions we received, we thought our friends at MRA Global Sourcing would be perfectly suited to provide a compelling answer to the above. Read their response below!

With shifting market conditions, technological advancement and other factors, the procurement function is changing rapidly. If supply management professionals and their companies don’t keep pace, they’ll be at a serious disadvantage. As procurement evolves, so do attitudes toward professional development, and the way workers build their knowledge base. Let’s examine the state of professional development, and what’s on the horizon.

Preparedness for Data-Driven Procurement Lags Among Manufacturers, New Study Finds

The term “digital transformation” — whether applied to procurement or another field — is bandied around frequently, but as far as the average company is concerned, that transformation is still not in the near future. In a survey of more than 100 senior executives, LevaData found that although nearly all of them agree that data-driven procurement is critical to value creation, cost reduction and efficiency, only half think that their own procurement teams are ready to make use of predictive tools.

Commodities Roundup: Platinum and Palladium, Market Volatility Takes its Toll and China Shoots to Beat Steel Capacity Cut Timeline

procurement solutions stocks

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what matters.

Healthcare Matters Merges with the Mothership

healthcare

Healthcare Matters is merging with Spend Matters to allow healthcare procurement and supply chain professionals to find industry news, updates, relevant insights and knowledge in a central location on a single site. Healthcare Matters content will now be found on spendmatters.com under the header Healthcare Supply Chain Management.

Creating a Legacy at SAP and Beyond: Where Barry Padgett Plans to Lead Ariba

The new year has brought procurement professionals an increasingly complex technology landscape to keep track of, and several new names to remember, too. One of those names to know is Barry Padgett, who took over as president of SAP Ariba in January.

Succeeding Alex Atzberger, now president of SAP Hybris, Padgett stands at the helm of a business network that connects more than 3 million buyers and suppliers transacting $1.6 trillion annually. As he begins to leave his mark on the cloud software giant, Padgett sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Jason Busch, managing director, SolutionMap and strategic advisory at Spend Matters, on where he hopes to lead SAP Ariba in 2018, what customer areas he’s targeting and the biggest lessons he has learned about creating a platform business.

Commodities Roundup: Chinese Steel Prices Drop, Copper Price Rises, USGS Releases Annual Mining Survey

copper

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our team at MetalMiner scours the landscape for what matters. Here's what happened this week.