Category Archives: Spend Management

The Final Four: Lowering Costs in a Historically Low Energy Market – Webinar on Feb. 1

With current energy markets being at a 10-year historical low, how can you capture the value created by this environment and incorporate it into a comprehensive strategy? Joing Insight Sourcing Group’s Tommy Greer and Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell for a webinar that will discuss how high-performing procurement organizations are managing their energy spend and the top four ways that you can drive down energy costs. Register today!

Coupa Buys Contractually to Improve Contract Management


Coupa has acquired cloud-based contract management solution provider Contractually. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Spend Matters believes this was not a substantial acquisition in financial terms. From a capability perspective, however, the acquisition appears clever on multiple fronts, even if Coupa is not acquiring a standalone contract lifecycle management (CLM) provider. The acquisition adds collaboration and authoring capabilities that reduce contract risk, reduce errors and increase efficiency.

Offering Agency Management Support: How to Get Marketing Spend Under Management in 2016 (Part 4)

marketing spend

Marketing is all about generating demand for the organization’s products. Thus, value to marketing is any activity that has the potential to increase demand. The primary activity marketing undertakes to increase demand is advertising. This activity is primarily accomplished through contracting agencies with the creative talent (the “magicians”) that marketing believes has what it takes to produce the magic that will increase demand with the fresh and innovative campaigns and messages these creative types will generate. Thus, a big part of marketing is agency management. Often the greatest value that procurement can bring marketing, at least in marketing’s view, is any process, methodology, technology or resource pool to help marketing better manage its agency relationships. If marketing already thinks those relationships are good, procurement can still help foster more successful agency relationships. How will procurement accomplish this? In this installment of our six-part Spend Matters Plus series, we take procurement practitioners through how to clarify and pitch the value message of certain management processes for marketing, ultimately helping marketing close the loop between what was created and what was delivered.

How to Rein In Maverick Spending

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Lars Ola Petters, CEO of Palette.

Being a maverick can sometimes be good in business, but not when it comes to procurement. Maverick spending is a major challenge for finance professionals, with recent studies showing that, on average, one-third of all purchases in organizations are made without the knowledge of the procurement department.

Engage Executive Support: How to Get Marketing Spend Under Management in 2016 (Part 3)

marketing procurement

How best to connect with the marketing team? As a procurement professional, you probably hear this over and over again from bloggers, analysts, consultants and even vendors who stress that a new initiative will not be successful without executive support, and engaging with marketing is no different. Even if you talk the talk and walk the walk (as we analyzed in the first part of this series), and come bearing great suggestions to address marketing’s value drivers and increase the overall return from the marketing spend (our point in Part 2) — even if you can use this newfound knowledge to get marketing to lower the drawbridge and invite you into the foyer, it doesn’t mean the wizards of wondrous words are going to take you seriously or invite you back to dine in the great hall. One has to remember that marketing has a right to be cautious, and maybe even distrustful, of your new value-generation messaging because the last time procurement came knocking, it was to cut costs, which is not necessarily beneficial to marketing. Thus, it’s only reasonable that they would want some c-suite assurance that this time it’s different. So how do you get the right executive support? That’s what we’ll tackle in our third installment of this Spend Matters Plus series.

Master the Marketing Way: How to Get Marketing Spend Under Management in 2016 (Part I)

marketing spend

Much like packaging, logistics and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), the marketing spend category straddles the boundary between direct and indirect. And we all know that it has a substantial impact on sales and revenue — allegedly, at least. The reality is that, while every marketing dollar spent can have a huge impact if spent appropriately, the direct commercial impact is notoriously difficult to assess, and the value per dollar spent even more difficult to quantity. However, organizations can no longer afford to ignore this “sacred spend cow” category, as every dollar spent needs to count in an inflationary market. Marketing needs procurement to squeeze every penny of value out of agency spend to not just lower total costs but also maximize revenue uplift and brand enhancement. However, this won’t happen as long as a moat separates procurement from marketing. Thus, in this series, we have distilled the approaches and practices we’ve seen adopted by leading practitioners and present a step-by-step plan to help procurement gain marketing’s ear, trust and support in helping marketing manage its spend for maximum performance. In this first installment, we break down why you need to walk the walk, talk the talk, get educated and “live the marketing life” — all of which should help loosen marketing’s drawbridge and ease it down across that moat.

Spend Compliance via Supplier Compliance: 50 Shades of Pay (Part 18)

Supplier compliance

In the previous three installments of our miniseries on spend compliance, we introduced an overall framework for spend compliance analytics and then dove into contract compliance, payment compliance, budget compliance and process compliance. In this edition, we’re diving into supplier compliance and how to unlock some latent value there. We’ll assume you’ve already done some basic spend analysis to identify when you’re paying different prices from the same supplier for the same item, but obviously supplier compliance runs deeper. How? Read on.

Spend Compliance via Process Compliance: 50 Shades of Pay (Part 17)

Spend compliance

In the last installment of this miniseries, we explored spend compliance through the lens of contract compliance, payment compliance and budget compliance. In this edition, we dive into the topic of process compliance. If you can create smart controls in the right processes, you can eliminate the most frequent root causes to spend non-compliance. Since the source-to-pay process has three concurrent value streams of cash, information and the physical goods and services, there are multiple ways that incorrect process management and information can impact spend performance and value chain performance. So, follow the process errors, and you’ll follow the money left on the table. Let’s take a look.

Oil Prices and Risks Abroad Dampen Business Travel Growth in 2015

business travel

U.S. businesses will increasingly spend more on travel this year and next, but growth in spending is softening due to the drop in oil prices and global economic conditions, according to the latest Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) BTI Outlook for the third quarter of 2015. Overall business travel spending is expected to grow 3.1% in 2015. Next year, that growth is predicted to rise 3.7%, the report said.

The Future and Promise of E-Procurement

All technologies follow a natural progression, beginning with conception and followed by iterations of improvement. In some rare cases, these iterations compound until they accelerate to the point of exponential innovation. In the last couple of decades, we’ve seen more technologies — from computing power to rocketry — reach this upper echelon of development. Now it’s procurement’s turn.

The Spend Visibility Curve: Start Here

spend visibility

A few weeks back, I participated in a Spend HQ webinar, The Spend Visibility Curve: Where Do You Stand. During the discussion, I introduced a spend visibility maturity model that I’ve been thinking about for some time – and which I’ll introduce today and cover in more detail in subsequent posts in this series. At the core of the model is more of a definitional question itself: What is the difference between spend analytics and spend visibility?

Proactis Moves the Spend Control Conversation to the Boardroom

conference room

Proactis, a UK-based spend management and e-procurement provider, already has a unique offering of cloud-based software solutions but is now looking to move its spend control conversation to the boardroom, offering an end-to-end platform and complementary suite of services encompassing its cloud-based software solutions, as well as an internal team to support customers’ implementation and operational processes, to streamline interactions and collaboration between buyers and sellers. This Spend Matters PRO article takes an in-depth look at where Proactis stands today in the market and how it intends to grow in the future. We discuss the provider’s current strengths among procurement technology solutions, including spend control and invoicing tools, and why we think the company is a standout in the market.