The Procurement Category

Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey: Industry 4.0, Employer Loyalty and Business Ethics

millennial

Young professionals across the globe are unsure about their ability to adapt to Industry 4.0 technologies and increasingly critical of business ethics, Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey finds. For its seventh annual report on the millennial generation in the workplace, Deloitte researchers surveyed 10,455 college-educated professionals from 36 countries who were born between 1983 and 1994. The researchers also surveyed 1,844 respondents born between 1995 and 1999, who fall into Generation Z.

Commodities Roundup: Base Metals Hit a Downtrend, The Future of Iron Ore

direct materials procurement

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 mattered this week.

Are Reverse Auctions a Threat to Good Supplier Relationships?

auction

Can reverse auctions — and e-procurement in general — sour a good supplier relationship? One of our readers wrote in with this question, worrying that reverse auctions may put pressure on supplier margins to such an extent that it is detrimental to the buyer-supplier relationship. In a reverse auction, suppliers compete for the buyer’s business by underbidding one another. This increased competition among the supply base ought to lead to lower prices for buyers, although it also runs the risk of undermining a supplier relationship that has taken time and effort to build. What’s the point of developing a strategic supplier relationship if you’re going to use an automated auctioning process anyway?

Recruiting an Executive Search Firm in Procurement: 7 Questions to Ask and Evaluation Criteria [PRO]

interview

Talent makes procurement happen, and executive search firms play a critical role in bringing new talent into organizations. But when it comes to recruiting senior talent, few procurement teams we’ve spoken to take anything but a relationship-driven or ad-hoc approach to selecting executive search firms. The same relationship-based approach is also common with senior HR staff, CFOs and even CEOs, who often lead the selection process with executive search firms when they plan to hire a new chief procurement officer (CPO).

At Spend Matters, we are big believers in evidence-driven approaches to decision-making, as one can see through our SolutionMap methodology. In the case of procurement talent management and recruiting, this often starts with selecting the best possible executive search firm, especially hiring a CPO, VP and director-level talent. We recently assisted in the hiring of an executive search firm, but when tried to find an evidence-driven set of criteria for assessing such firms, we came up short. So we created a model ourselves, following the general theory suggested by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kanheman for optimal firm assessment.

In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, we share our framework for selecting executive search firms that specialize in procurement, using an evidence-driven model to support the best chance for positive outcomes. The frameworks comprises seven RFI questions to ask potential executive recruiting firms, scoring criteria for each question and a scoring matrix.

Tackling the Real World Complexities of Spend Management for Organizations Living in Change

No two organizations procure and pay for the goods and services they need in exactly the same way. Yet few solution providers today offer the functional depth, flexible implementation support and domain expertise needed to address the complex spend management requirements of organizations living in change. Some solutions address broad, generic challenges with a pretty screen, but with little sophistication, depth or configurability. Others provide the bare-bones experience, meeting the minimum of functionality requirements albeit for a low cost, but with little evidence of proven results. It is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all spend management strategy, and for organizations facing real world spend management complexities, these generic offerings fall short.

What Makes Them Great: A Collection of Spend Matters SolutionMap Analyses

No procurement software vendor is perfect for every business scenario. Even if a technology provider has outstanding capabilities in some areas, companies that can consistently perform above multiple functional or customer benchmarks are rare. This is why specialist solutions continue to successfully challenge big name providers, winning customer showdowns through unique approaches to meeting organizational needs. To help our readers understand what sets these unique vendors apart from the rest, we launched in June a new SolutionMap column, "What Makes It Great."

Commodities Roundup: Zinc and Copper Prices Plunge, the Specter of Automotive Tariffs and Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel

Nissan

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 scoured the landscape for what mattered this week.

2018 Trade Mania Roundup: Who Wins, Who Loses and Who Should Cut the Cheese

sustainability

Without a doubt, global trade in 2018 has seen the most fireworks since, arguably, the Great Recession — or even before. As much else in the world has for the last year and a half, the story begins with U.S. President Donald J. Trump and his administration’s actions on the trade front, namely how it has chosen to review the country’s approach with its existing trade partners. The search term “trade war” has likely seen thousand-percent spikes in the first half of this year compared with past years, going by the key events of 2018.

HealthTrust: Healthcare GPO Provider Summary — Introduction, Summary Analysis, SWOT and Customer Engagement Tips [PRO]

Through a combination of organic growth industry consolidation, three group purchasing organization (GPO) providers have come to dominate the healthcare market. These providers — Vizient, Premier and HealthTrust — control nearly 75% of spend in the healthcare GPO market. Despite this level of consolidation, the three competitors have, in certain cases, targeted different markets and introduced unique offerings. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an overview of HealthTrust, including a general introduction, key points analysis, SWOT framework and customer tips for getting the most out of engagement. For background on the GPO market, check out our two earlier briefs, An Introduction to Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Group Purchasing Organizations: Supplier Perspectives and the Evolving GPO Landscape. For general context, perspective and analysis of the healthcare GPO market in particular, see our recent three-part series: Part 1 (Background, History and Introduction), Part 2 (GPO criticisms and market consolidation/bifurcation) and Part 3 (Key Takeaways, Emerging Paradigm Shifts and Customer Recommendations).

Spend Matters Fireworks: Top Posts From the First Half of 2018

Each year brings new procurement trends and surprises, and 2018 has been no exception. As we celebrate the halfway point of the year this Fourth of July, we’re taking a look back at the 10 most popular articles on Spend Matters during the last six months — call them our “firework” posts of the year. Below, we count down to the No. 1 most-read article of the year, leaving the best for last, just like the finale of the typical July 4th fireworks show.

You Ask, We Answer: Procurement’s Burning Questions From the First Half of 2018

We kicked off Ask Spend Matters last July, and throughout the course of this past year, our readers — you! — have sent us dozens upon dozens of fascinating questions on topics ranging from big data to tail spend to group purchasing organizations to services procurement. Answering your questions has been both illuminating and fun, and we only hope that you have learned as much as we have. Today, we look back at the Ask Spend Matters articles that we published in the first half of this year. You asked about professional development needs, spend management vs. e-procurement, high-volume, low-dollar spend and more — and we answered.

The Impact of Steel Tariffs on U.S. Jobs and the Squeeze on the Pockets of Consumers

trade

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Prince Fiifi Yawson, analyst at Mintec.

In June 2015, President Donald Trump announced in his candidacy for president, “We need a leader that can bring back our jobs, can bring back our manufacturing.” Fast-forward to June 2018 and the U.S. economic growth rate has risen, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.8%, its lowest level in 18 years. It goes without saying that Trump has brought back some jobs, but is this a continuing trend?