The Spend Humor Category

‘More people in the tools, lower risk, faster processing, better results’ — Roy Anderson sums up procurement’s future (Part 3)

“Use your suppliers to get the work done more efficiently, effectively and start to manage the overall supplier base like an orchestra leader,” procurement veteran Roy Anderson says, laughing at the image — but not the lesson. “That orchestra leader can’t play every instrument and certainly isn’t going to sing every song, but has to be able to have the structure and the reporting and the analytics to be able to manage it more effectively.

“That’s the future. A virtual procurement operation living on a marketplace of capabilities is the future of procurement.”

In Part 3 of Anderson’s conversation about his career and digital changes in the industry, he talks about being at Tradeshift (“where ideas win”),  how “every CPO has a bandwidth problem” and the promise of AI.

Anderson, who became Tradeshift’s CPO and digital transformation officer in September, sat down with another procurement veteran, Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, to share some laughs and lessons about how the industry adapted to technology over the last 40 years.

The following is the last of a three-part series of their conversation, which has been edited for clarity. Part 1 ran Monday, and Part 2 ran Wednesday.

‘I Have Plenty of Stories’ — Roy Anderson Details Procurement’s Digital Roots and Its Future

Procurement veteran Roy Anderson understands the current digital revolution that holds so much promise, and some pain, for businesses because he’s been a leader of it for over 30 years. From Raytheon in the 1980s to building procurement software from scratch to today’s AI buzz, he has a story for every step of the way:

“Moving to a printed requisition was what [stakeholders] thought was automation.”

“Simplify the process. ... Eliminate the excess and then automate the mundane. … It’s still valid today, on how to do business.”

“As I did strategic sourcing, I found problems. I have plenty of stories around problems you find. ... Your current suppliers know bad things have occurred, but they always want to stay quiet.”

Anderson, now with Tradeshift, sat down with another procurement veteran, Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, to share some laughs and lessons about how the industry adapted to digital changes over the last 40 years. The following is the first of three-part series of their conversation, which has been edited for clarity. Part 2 will run Wednesday, and Part 3 on Friday.

What Procurement’s Talking About at the Thanksgiving Table This Year

Spend Matters has very special powers.

We were able to travel into the future and become a fly on the dining room wall, joining several procurement practitioners gathered around the Thanksgiving table.

What is Procurement mad about this year? What are their concerns? What do they want to see changed? Here are some highlights of Procurement’s Thanksgiving 2017 discussion.

Star Wars Mouse Pads and a Golden Pencil: What’s the Strangest Purchase You’ve Been Asked to Approve?

Earlier this week, I moderated a webinar with Procurify customer Lynn Gabriel, COO of Mainstream Fiber Networks, about her experience with implementing spend management technology for the first time (watch the webinar here). In explaining the change management process, Lynn mentioned the importance of helping employees understand cost savings measures within the organization and told a funny story: one of her employees submitted an approval for a $30 Star Wars mouse pad, insisting that it would help him be infinitely more productive on the job. (Needless to say, it was not approved.)

How Do Procurement People Buy Flowers? Or, Using Procurement Smarts in Everyday Life

Procurement is basically shopping with a strong emphasis on value. Does that mean procurement people also better shoppers in their everyday lives? To find out, I asked around the office: “What have you recently used your procurement smarts to buy for yourself?” Take, for example, flowers. They are ordinary and yet can be exorbitant in cost. And despite what it may seem, this is a complex purchasing category.

Managing Your Tail Spend on Amazon Prime Day (Good Luck)

According to a recent study, about 47% of organizations' total spend is unmanaged. Zycus surveyed 725 procurement leaders and found that even though just over half of them considered their total spend under management, only 19% considered spend management to be a "key focus area" over the next year. But of course, cost savings remains a priority, based on the report's findings. Also, tail spend is still a nagging issue. And although platforms such as Amazon Business have made it their mission to help solve some of the issues above, man are those hard to focus on when Prime Day comes around!

ERP or Best-of-Breed (BoB)? Here’s How to Quickly Settle That Whole Thing

Even though Spend Matters declared the "ERP vs. Best-of-Breed" debate dead way back in 2014, the issue has a funny way of rearing its head. Sure, IT organizations are still somewhat biased towards ERP suites and business units/functions still prefer BoB solutions that will help them accomplish their goals, but asking "ERP or BoB?" is fundamentally a losing proposition. Why?

What Type of CPO Would Donald Trump Be?

Donald Trump

There’s been an awful lot of debate among both liberals and conservatives on what type of president Donald Trump would be. But I think there’s an even more fun question to ask: If Donald Trump were a chief procurement officer (CPO), what would he be like? I actually think we can begin to arrive at the answer from looking closely at his views on policy — and candidly, it looks like he’d actually be a somewhat effective, if unloved, CPO. Here are some reasons why.

Where’s the Beef? The Economic Ravings of an Insatiable Statistical Lunatic

beef

Full disclosure: I am a below-average consumer of beef. But the continuing increases in beef prices and the recent change in country of origin labeling — not to mention the confusion around grass fed, vegetarian feed only and organic labeling — have me miffed, have made me crazy. So, where to begin?

A/P and A/R Hook up in Best Procurement Parody Video Ever

Like most folks, I like watching fun videos that really highlight a pain point in our business lives. The conference call one here is the perfect example. And this procurement video of negotiating a dentist appointment is a classic. In the P2P world though, Coupa just did one of the best I’ve ever seen.

ICYMI: How Procurement Sometimes ‘Juices’ Results, Looks For A Quick Fix

procurement

What do weight lifting and weight lifting supplements have to do with procurement? A lot, according to Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and head of strategy, and Richard Lee, CFO. So much, actually, that the two teamed up to pen a six-part series on the topic over the holiday season. We wanted take a second to highlight this series in case you missed it on the site late last year during Christmas and New Years. Check out all six parts!

Adults Spend $1.2 Billion on Halloween Costumes, Wal-Mart Gets a Tsk-Tsk and Other Haunting Holiday Facts

Wearing Halloween costumes isn’t just for kids. A total of 68 million American adults are expected to dress up for the holiday this year and spend a collective $1.2 billion on their costumes, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey. What’s sad is that we are reportedly spending all this money on costumes that may not be very creative. For the 11th consecutive year, the NRF said a “witch” is the most popular adult Halloween costume. In other news, Wal-Mart is facing criticism for a controversial costume it's selling for kids. Check out this post for 2015 Halloween spending statistics and other holiday facts.