Category Archives: Supplier Management

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.”

20 Procurement Myths, Debunked 1-by-1


Pierre Mitchell has officially* wrapped up his procurement myth series over on Chief Procurement Officer. Pierre, our chief research officer, has knocked down 20 myths, one at a time, surrounding procurement, explaining why and how these theories came to be and why they are absolute rubbish. Check out the latest – and final – myth in the series, Supply Management is a Department: Procurement Myth No. 20. In this post, Pierre argues that procurement is more than just a single department within a company, separated from all the others with functions and values that only stay within said department.

Looking for Justification for Lousy VMS Penetration (Part 2: Is There a Reason For This?)


In a recent study conducted by Spend Matters and the Institute for Supply Management that explored the state of services procurement technology adoption and best practices focused on contingent labor, we found that less that 50% of respondents were either using a specially designed solution from their MSP or a best-of-breed vendor management system (VMS) to manage contingent labor spending. The largest percentage of respondents are “kludging” an approach with ERP or e-procurement technology. This begs the question: Why? We search for an answer.

Buying Everything as a Service – Don’t Miss Our Webinar This Thursday!

man-hands-working-technology-large (1)

In an increasingly services-based economy, procurement organizations should stay on top of the latest everything as a service (XaaS) trends that are increasingly having an impact on their organizations and ultimately their commercial relationships and agreements. If they aren’t keeping on top of the latest trends with regards to buying services, whether contingent labor, SaaS, BPO/MSP, then they’re not going to really earn a seat at the table with their counterparts in IT, HR, shared services and others. As such, the Institute for Supply Management Services group asked me to do a webinar on the topic this Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT with the help of Mark Trowbridge at Strategic Procurement Solutions. Register here!

Coupa Introduces Supplier Information Management


Earlier today, Coupa announced its latest module: Coupa Supplier Information Management (SIM). While I will leave it to the supplier management professionals at Spend Matters to cover Coupa SIM in more detail after they’ve seen the product, it’s worth sharing some of the highlights of the announcement before we’ve had a chance to look at the tool given the critical nature of such a module to an integrated procurement suite.

What Are You Really Measuring? Effectively Managing Supplier Performance

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jim Kiser of GEP. You can't manage what you don't measure. This is an old adage that is still pretty accurate today. Really, if you don’t put in place the criteria to measure something you don't know if it is improving or getting worse. Managing for improvement in today’s business climate is essential, and with regards to supplier performance management, you have to measure to see what is improving and what is not.

Does IBM Emptoris, Coupa Announcement Raise More Partnership Questions Than Answers?


Earlier this week at Empower, the annual IBM procurement event, IBM Emptoris and Coupa announced a broader sales and distribution partner agreement, one built on top of a previous partnership between the 2 vendors. The IBM team told Spend Matters that the 2 providers have approximately 6 clients in common right now, including a large financial services client. The partnership goes beyond a distribution agreement from an IBM perspective and also includes joint API-based and pre-built connector development that is in progress.

McDonald’s and Deforestation: Supply Chain Traceability vs. Visibility


We recently started to cover McDonald’s recently announced commitment to eliminating deforestation throughout its supply chain. The announcement pays more than lip service to the opportunity, in part because if will cascade across multiple tiers of suppliers rather than just tier-1 or direct suppliers to the fast food giant. There’s also a number of other rather curious elements to the program that warrant further analysis, one of which is contained within the Supporting Addendum McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation that explores the difference between how McDonald’s is defining traceability vs. visibility.