Category Archives: Supplier Management

Contract Management Research: Let’s Talk About Risk

contract lifecycle management

When contracting, it's all about risk mitigation. Procurement organizations are searching for new and innovative ways to be efficient and effective in identifying and mitigating commercial risk. Enter contract management. Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, presents the research brief Contract Management: Understand How to Focus on the Right Thing, now available for download complimentary of Spend Matters. We take a look at Apple's supplier contracts to provide you with the takeaways on driving good performance within the confines of budget. Get your copy today!

From Tactics to Strategy in Supply Analytics: Your Tour Itinerary

supply analytics

Gather 'round, procurement scouts: We've just received the itinerary for your next adventure. Increasing spend visibility is the goal for any progressive procurement organization, as it directly leads to better management of supply. Enter Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, with the roadmap: Navigating the Path from Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics. Get your copy today!

How to Establish an SRM Program That Really Works

supply chain talent gap

How can procurement discourage dysfunctional corporate behavior and seize the opportunity to shift its supplier relationship management (SRM) focus from tactical savings to real cost reduction and obtain maximum value from the goods and services acquired? This question forms the core of a new series by Spend Matters UK/Europe on SRM, which has emerged in recent years as both a topical issue and a genuine priority for CPOs.

How I Spent Oktoberfest Going to School on German Procurement Practices

German procurement

A few weeks back, I had the good fortune to spend two days in Munich during a time that just happened to coincide with Oktoberfest. Of course, there was absolutely no relationship between the visit and the festivities at the time. And getting into a small “tent” — part of the activities with the Volksfest if you have the right friends — together with some colleagues from a startup in town was a complete coincidence as well. Or, that is what I tell my wife at least.

SIG Dispatch: Supplier Master Data Management on Steroids or ‘I Want to Pump Your ERP Up’


At the SIG summit yesterday, a large global manufacturer (that will go unnamed until we get permission) got up on stage and presented a long chapter from its procurement technology transformation effort and specifically, in detail, how vendor file/master data management (MDM) tied into it. The organization, which has grown both organically and through acquisition, has multiple ERP systems and “at least seven” different instances of SAP. We might call this a tale of supplier/vendor file MDM on steroids. But with apologies to Arnold, this is far more than just “pumping your ERP up.”

New Webinar Announcement: Advanced Case Studies to Optimize Your Catalog Management


Catalogs often get a bad rap, but the most progressive procurement organizations are using advanced smart catalogs to support complex category-specific requirements in the supply chain. These processes are replacing "old school" catalogs as a way to better engage stakeholders with more advanced approaches to preferred suppliers. Join Spend Matters and jCatalog for the webinar Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Advanced Case Studies in Smarter Catalog Management on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. CDT. Register now!

Hot Off the Press Research: Optimal Prioritization in Contract Management

contract deal

Brand new research is now available from the Spend Matters team! Contract Management: Understand How to Focus on the Right Thing, by Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, takes a look at Apple's supplier contracts to highlight what are the best aspects of the contract to hone in on. Get your complimentary copy today!

How Do Supplier Management Systems Fit With E-Invoicing?

supplier management

One of the fastest growing areas of the procurement and accounts payable (A/P) technology automation market is a sub-sector that many describe as supplier or third-party management. As with the other areas we have explored, supplier management is an area that has material overlap with e-invoicing. Initiatives for this technology can support the capture and maintenance of a range of supplier management data. However, e-invoicing is not a substitute for broader supplier management programs outside of A/P-specific, vendor file-centered programs. Separate programs, which require their own workflow and systems, may include programs centered on several related factors.

This article is based on content from the Spend Matters Perspective: Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits. Authored by Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, with input and guidance from Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin, it provides a foundation for organizations considering or already putting in place an electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) or purchase-to-pay (P2P) program.

Supplier Relationship Management – It’s Not Just Managing the Supplier

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Chris McClory, manager of operations advisory at KPMG. When organizations think about supplier relationship management (SRM) they often zero in on management of supplier performance and the enforcement of service-level agreements. This focus stems from a common assumption that SRM is primarily about direct interaction with the supplier. However, KPMG’s experience, reinforced by our findings from a recent study conducted with Professor Robert Handfield at North Carolina State University, indicates that internally-focused activities require at least as much focus.

What a Devalued Chinese RMB Means For China Sourcing Strategies

Chinese yuan

We recently received a note from a reader with questions regarding the latest China currency devaluation and how sourcing professionals ought to engage with their Chinese suppliers. The questions included: 1) Should I be approaching all of my Chinese suppliers for a 3.5% price reduction? 2) Should I expect to get it? There are several ways to answer that question. This Spend Matters Plus article begins with the narrow answer and then expands into other aspects of China’s currency announcements.

Analyzing Accenture’s Concept of the Virtual Supplier Room

supply chain talent gap

For anyone who has seen a virtual or simulated environment for training or other activity you know it’s really an adult educational version of the Minecraft game kids play. But many of these applications are in fact designed in a world where asynchronous and structured communication is the rule rather than providing a sandbox-like environment for different parties to collaborate. Yet the vision that Accenture outlines in its recent paper, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, for “virtual supplier rooms” takes the concept of an online collaboration and learning environment that incorporates both internal and supplier participants many steps further than what is available today.

Virtual Supplier Rooms Will Drive Procurement Innovation: Accenture

virtual supplier room

A recent paper, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, explores the future role of the procurement function, including duties, charter and what it will need to leverage and deliver to meet expectations. One of the 5 areas Accenture says will define the future of procurement technology is a concept it terms the “virtual supplier room.” A critical component of the virtually integrated enterprise, this room will, “enable the company to virtually interact with strategic suppliers to share insights and ideas, as well as collaborate on innovation programs via common social media methods. It will also provide uncharted suppliers with an avenue to collaborate with the company on possible future innovations.”