The Services and Indirect Category

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 3) [Plus+]


Our first takeaway: focus on media value. Media is often the largest spend in the marketing budget, and the real challenge is to not look at how to reduce the price point of media buys, but how to develop methodologies to measure the value of media specific to the strategic requirements of the brand and business. As we’ll soon explore in more detail, technology and analytics beyond generic spend analysis is key to understanding media value.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 1) [Plus+]


Like MRO, packaging and logistics, the marketing category straddles the boundary between direct and indirect spend. And we all know (or so marketing folks claim) that it has a substantial impact on sales — allegedly, at least. The direct commercial impact is notoriously difficult to assess, although the new breed of analytics-driven spend analysis tools targeted specifically at marketing spend (e.g., cross-channel, competitive insights, etc.) and campaign performance can help. But put these in the agency parking lot for a minute. We’ll get into them later in this analysis and series.

For now, let’s focus on the marketing category as one among many — what makes it unique, what makes it similar and what are important trends.

Legal Sourcing and Billing: Category Sourcing, Maturity Models and Services Procurement Linkages (Part 1) [Plus+]


Around 2005, while working for Procuri, one of the authors of this article was involved in a large legal services e-sourcing project (with reverse auction at the end) for a Fortune 10 firm that spanned law firms across the U.S. At that time, we included a substantial amount of spend segmentation into the event. From my experience and research, we were one of the first to engage in a procurement legal sourcing effort of this magnitude.

Upwork Skills Index: What Do the Fastest-Growing Freelancer Skills Mean to a Procurement Analyst?


Upwork, a leading online freelancer marketplace and enterprise freelancer management solution business, released its second quarterly Skills Index report this week. The first report, Q2 Skills Index, was published in July. Each report identifies the 20 fastest-growing skills among U.S.-based Upwork freelancers in given quarters year-over-year. We run down the latest Top 20 here, also unleashing our "inner statistician" by suggesting how to best hone the report findings — and why procurement should care.

Sponsored Article

3 Must-Do Steps to Move Beyond Cost Savings

Spend Matters welcomes this sponsored article from Chuck Baren, Vice President of Professional Services, Americas, at SAP Fieldglass.

The days are gone when an external workforce management and services procurement program’s success was measured simply by the previous year’s cost reductions. The new table stakes are a tightly integrated procurement environment in which spend across categories and platforms can be used in real time to identify and rapidly adjust to market trends — all within the cloud.

Model and Manage Total Costs – 10 Services Procurement Secrets (No. 3)

Modeling and managing total cost is an important best practice for procurement organizations expanding their services procurement efforts. In the direct supply chain, cost management is religion. From modeling the total cost of individual parts or components – including raw materials, labor, value-added elements, etc. – to factoring in inventory carrying costs and general working capital, total cost is the direct procurement king. But in services procurement, we typically only build limited visibility into total cost both from the buyer and the provider (cost breakdown) perspective.

Why the Staffing and Contingent Marketplace is Failing Procurement [PRO]

We recently started our analysis of the services procurement market by looking at the evidence showing how the staffing marketplace is failing procurement organizations. Today, we turn our attention to the “why” and the various sets of factors that are holding back organizations from gaining more value from their services procurement spend. This value includes greater savings, of course, but also reduced risk, increased compliance, better talent management and time to focus on innovation, continuous improvement and business outcomes. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, goes beyond the standard “fox watching the henhouse” issues with the traditional MSP/staffing market. Finally, to conclude this series, we will offer a prescription for changing the market from the inside out with procurement-led initiatives.

The Evidence: How the Staffing and Contingent Market is Failing Procurement [PRO]

There’s an incumbent ecosystem in the services procurement universe that has made a business out of delivering the bare minimum to keep customers satisfied and maintain the status quo. No, we’re not referring to the “tools” providers, but the sad fact is that within the more capable vendor management system (VMS) tool sets today, much of the more advanced capability in these solutions goes untapped or is only partially used. Who is to blame? It’s easy to “shoot” the messenger – staffing firms and the incumbent MSP, but the blame rests with numerous other parties as well, including consultancies, outsourcing firms, staffing researchers and, perhaps most serious of all, procurement itself. In this 2-part Spend Matters PRO analysis, Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch highlights the contributing factors to how and why the staffing and contingent market is failing procurement.

Beeline Acquires OnForce, Setting Up A Divergent Talent Philosophy to SAP, Fieldglass and Ariba (For Now)

Earlier today, Beeline announced it had acquired OnForce, one of a select group of vendors on the periphery of the vendor management system (VMS) market targeting the recruiting, on-boarding and management of what are best known as “freelancers” in the global talent market. Terms of the deal were not announced, but we expect it was a strategic rather than a financial-led acquisition (i.e., the transaction was not just a question of adding accretive revenue) which would suggest a premium multiple on revenue.

impacore: Keeping McKinsey, Bain, and Other Consultancies Honest With a New Services Procurement Model (Part 1) [Plus+]

But professional services procurement is without a doubt still one of the most challenging and fascinating category areas for procurement executives, leaders, and functions to address, for a number of reasons. It’s always interesting, therefore, to hear of new ideas and approaches. One such approach is coming from a relatively young German firm, impacore, founded some four years ago, who are promoting a novel solution.

Last Chance to Register: Services Procurement Secrets Revealed This Afternoon

The manufacturing, food and CPG industries have gotten progressively "smarter" in the past decade by using market intelligence on pricing (from market indexes in contracting to statistical forecasting) to manage commodity risk and exposure - and drive better procurement outcomes. Yet most companies are still sourcing and managing services-based categories, (e.g., contingent spend, consultancy services, legal spend, marketing) without even 10% of the intelligence they have around spend in their core business! Join Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell, and special guest Roy Anderson from Metasys as they discuss Services Procurement Secrets: How to Use Category, Market, and Pricing Intelligence on this afternoon's Spend Matters Pop-Up webinar from 1-1:30pm Central.