The Spend Management Category

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Why Mid-Size Companies Need On-Demand Solutions to Conquer Tail Spend

Procurement has firmly entered the tail spend era, and with necessary tools now available to tackle this persistent purchasing problem, supply organizations are finally consolidating costs, cracking down on unauthorized spend and clawing back lost time to deliver real value to their businesses. At least, that’s what the picture is starting to look like at large manufacturers and corporates. Within the typical mid-size firm, however, addressing tail spend still eludes many procurement organizations. The issue is less a challenge of capability than finding a solution that fits their unique business needs.

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Private Equity Procurement Optimization: Spend Visibility is Foundational for Accelerated EBITDA Improvement

Procurement optimization has become one of the most important EBITDA improvement levers for private equity firms and their operating partners. With investment valuations on the rise, private equity firms are increasingly relying on implementing operational efficiencies to quickly accelerate savings and maximize profits — and focusing in on procurement is becoming the “go-to” strategy. In addition, extended hold times of portfolio companies and lower management fees due to less capital being deployed on a regular basis has led to PE firms to ask their operating partners to do more with less.

Unlocking Deeper Value in the Procurement and Finance Relationship (Part 3): The Top 10 Impact Areas for Procurement’s Involvement in FP&A [Plus+]

invoice

In the second installment of this series, we discussed procurement’s role in helping finance professionals and budget owners use spend data to improve the FP&A process and general business planning. Now in Part 3, we get specific about how to tackle this beast with some specific recommendations that we’ve seen proven out at both advanced firms and at firms that are further back in the bell curve of procurement maturity.

Unlocking Deeper Value in the Procurement and Finance Relationship (Part 2): Spend Planning and Analysis [Plus+]

e-invoicing

In the first installment of this series, we discussed ways to align procurement with the finance function, starting with financial accounting and then moving into cost accounting. Although cost accounting has one foot in the financial accounting world in terms of tracking costs and having them flow to the general ledger (GL), the more important side of cost accounting is its part in managerial accounting and total cost management.

Managerial accounting is about analyzing financials to make good business decisions. It includes analyzing historical costs and spending, but only in the context of improving future spending and reduce total economic costs. One aspect of economic costs is opportunity costs, and procurement must work hard with finance to understand the procurement ROI that comes from strong management of external spending led by the procurement organization. This ROI is measured in triple digits but must be demonstrated with hard numbers.

More importantly, however, procurement’s ability to partner with finance to better influence future spending is the most practical way to influence financial and business results. This comes from procurement aligning well with finance within the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) processes that occur in finance. Hopefully, FP&A is more than just basic budgeting at your organization. Done well, it provides the critical linkage to not only financial planning but also strategic and operational planning that drive success for budget owners, broader stakeholders and shareholders.

Given the importance of FP&A, we’re going to focus on this collaboration area and how to apply it to spend management, which you can think of as “spend planning and analysis” before the spend actually occurs, as opposed to traditional “spent analysis” of spend that already happened. This focus upstream is fundamentally about transformation and changing procurement’s role in the planning and budgeting process. Luckily, this area creates much higher quality of spend influence, which drives proven levels of spend savings.

What Amazon Business Has Learned About Managing Tail Spend

“Amazon, like any other organization, is not immune to the challenges you all are having with tail spend.” That was Jeff Oar, head of customer success, enterprise, at Amazon Business, speaking on a recent webinar held by Spend Matters (and co-hosted by our own Pierre Mitchell). If one of the 800-pound gorillas has a tail spend problem — and we say that as politely as possible, given the fact that Spend Matters and Amazon Business joined forces on the indirect spend research study underpinning this report and the webinar — chances are, your organization is, too.

Coupa Opens New Middle-Market Front with P2P, T&E Packages on AWS Marketplace

BuyerQuest

Coupa is more aggressively targeting small and medium-sized businesses, using Amazon’s reach and infrastructure to sell its spend management solutions directly online. The San Mateo, California-based provider announced Monday its procure-to-pay (P2P) and expense management (T&E) solutions are now available on AWS Marketplace. Prospective users can now purchase, migrate and begin using Coupa’s spend management solutions directly from Amazon Web Services’ online software store, provided their company fits several criteria.

A Tale of Two Case Studies: Centralizing and Getting Spend Under Management in Fast Food and CPG

Centralization of sourcing operations and overall spend has literally been at the center of debate in a number of ways for procurement practitioners.

A few months ago, our editor at large Sydney Lazarus answered a reader’s question on the very topic. In her reporting on whether centralizing or decentralizing sourcing structures of procurement organizations is the way to go, she wrote that “company size, location, expansion rate, purchasing category and industry are all factors that affect whether a more centralized or more decentralized structure is better.”

Several of those factors played into two case studies from BuyerQuest focusing on how a large quick-service restaurant corporation and a CPG organization used e-procurement technology to confront their centralization challenges.

Almost Famous: Ivalua Acquires Directworks

Confirming the spend management industry rumor mill, Ivalua today announced its acquisition of Directworks. The deal lends serious credence to Ivalua’s tag line — “One Suite. Infinite Possibilities” — as it has the potential to establish Ivalua as the market’s only native, end-to-end S2P solution.

In terms of indirect spend know-how, Ivalua is a thought leader and its software is top drawer. On the direct side, Directworks goes deep, delivering Ivalua an arsenal of hard-won intellectual property based on battle-tested experience.

Taking Control of Your Unmanaged Indirect Spend

AnyData Solutions

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Scott Dever, vice president of member development at Corporate United.

Targeting areas of unmanaged indirect spend is a key way procurement leaders can deliver value and maximize savings, and ultimately extend their reach and influence. Traditionally, this unmanaged spend has challenged procurement for a number of reasons. Decentralized decision-making and fragmented buying creates a lack of visibility into spending, supplier proliferation and limited opportunities to support competitive sourcing. But increasing spend under management enables teams to realize many worthwhile benefits, including incremental cost savings, supply base consolidation and reduced risk.

Managing Employee Spend Strategically

BuyerQuest

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Guy La Corte, general manager, Americas, at Concur.

Employees have access to and are spending more of your company’s money across more spend categories using more payment methods than ever before. And for finance and procurement managers, it’s increasingly challenging to track spending in a world where employees are paying supplier invoices directly with company checks; booking and managing travel directly on their mobile devices; using their corporate, ghost, virtual, corporate or even personal cards for just about everything; and vendors are marketing directly to them with upgrades and offers. This employee-initiated spend has become the largest unmanaged spend category in almost every company’s financial program.

A New Spend Metric: “Touched Spend” — Do We Need It?

AnyData Solutions

One of our Spend Matters Plus clients, a procurement manager in the energy sector, sent me a note asking about a new benchmarking metric that he recently saw being collected by CAPS research called “touched spend.” He sent me the following definitions below and asked me to weigh in on them, given my tenure at The Hackett Group running procurement research related to benchmarking, for sourceable spend, managed spend and also "touched" spend.

Navigating The Path From Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics [Plus+]

spend visiblity

Spend visibility is foundational to any procurement transformation because to better manage supply, you have to manage spend. Spend is what you pay and supply is what you get, and to manage spend you have to see it. Yet too many procurement organizations work hard to put basic spend analytics in place but don't have a broader vision, strategy and roadmap for strategic supply analytics (i.e., the analytic capabilities to support strategic supply management). We use the term “supply analytics” instead of “procurement analytics” to reflect procurement’s increasing role in managing broader supply outcomes than just its own performance – especially in direct procurement. This Spend Matters PRO article is designed to provide you such a roadmap. It is not a step-by-step, one-size-fits-all approach because every firm will have a different experience. It is, however, a map that can guide you through plotting out your supply analytics journey.