Category Archives: Supplier Management

SciQuest 14.2 Update: Total Supplier Management – Sophisticated Supplier Lifecycle Management Solution Renewed

SciQuest has released version 14.2 of its Total Supplier Management (TSM) solution. The bulk of the high-end SLM (supplier lifecycle management) and SIM (supplier information management) intellectual property contained in its 14.2 TSM offering was originally obtained through the AECsoft acquisition nearly 4 years ago, and the AECsoft’s .NET architected solution has now been almost entirely moved over to SciQuest’s Java-based framework as well as received a solid UI/UX scrubbing. Hats off to SciQuest for accomplishing this.

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3 Overlooked (Yet Obvious) Metrics Pointing to Supply Chain Risk

Spend Matters welcomes this post by Paul Noël, SVP of procurement solutions at Ivalua. Almost every edition of the iPhone is accompanied with news stories about weaknesses in Apple's product supply chain (see: the recently reported iPhone 6 screen and staff shortages at Foxconn). Before executives in your firm take notice and come down the hall asking how “supply chain risk” is being addressed in your company, you may want to prepare a few things.

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Supplier Performance Assessment – A “Good to Have” or a “Must Have” Process?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Meghana Rajamane of GEP. Once you have a competent supplier on board is the job of procurement done? Most companies today are tending toward complex supply chain ecosystems with an increased dependence on key supplier relationships to satisfy and delight their customers. Given this environment, it is imperative for an enterprise to be able to assess supplier performance. A supplier evaluation process is a must today for maintaining compliance, increasing competitiveness, identifying inefficiencies and driving improvement measures that impact the process.

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Lessons and Key Takeaways From Taulia’s Customer Conference: Tips, Insights and More

Last week, Jason Busch, founder and managing director of Spend Matters, spent two days at Taulia’s Customer Conference. Jason also facilitated a panel with two CPOs and a P2P process owner, each of which offered a candid take (and different perspective) on bridging working capital strategy and invoice discounting and adoption in the supply base. In this Spend Matters Plus analysis, Jason shares some of the key takeaways and lessons learned from the event talking with Taulia customers as well as those on the front lines of deploying invoicing and trade financing solutions. His observations are divided into three sections: accounts payable/procurement, the supplier perspective and external forces impacting (and driving) adoption.

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Local Sourcing: Exploring Enablers of Supply Chain and Procurement Localization

- September 8, 2014 2:25 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supplier Management, Supply Chain

Earlier this month, Spend Matters published a story highlighting Auto News’ coverage of supply chain and procurement localization at Magna International. On the surface, supply chain localization seems simple – work with local suppliers in the areas where you do business globally. Supply chain localization is far from easy – in fact, its requirements and practices are often incongruous with some procurement and supply chain trends leading to greater centralization of efforts and management.

Moreover, without the right structure and design – not to mention technology – the supplier localization efforts can overwhelm individuals (e.g., category managers) tasked with global oversight of specific sourcing and related supplier management efforts.

So what enablers can procurement and supply chain organizations turn to as they move toward localization given this context? There's a bunch. Read the full post to find out what they are.

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Local Sourcing and Localized Supply Chains for Magma and the Automotive Industry

- September 5, 2014 6:30 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supplier Management, Suppliers, Supply Chain

Auto News recently reported that Magna International, one of the top three auto suppliers based in Canada, has been rethinking its supply chain of late, noting that “local strategy and efficiency improvements as key cost-saving measures within its supply chain.” In particular, supply chain localization was one of three trends within Magna’s supply chain identified by Carrie Van Ess, vice president of procurement for the Americas, at a recent industry briefing. Van Ess said a new supply chain model is emerging in which “goods are produced, sold and consumed in the same geographic region,” according to the article.

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Strategic Sourcing and Driving Spending with Small Businesses Don’t Have to be in Conflict

- September 2, 2014 2:28 AM | Categories: Commentary, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Management

Regardless of whether it’s public or private sector, I would argue that the basics of strategic sourcing (i.e., aggregate and consolidate spending with fewer suppliers to create leverage in negotiations and more strategic relationships overall) are in conflict with the drive to encourage supplier diversity. But they don’t have to be. Here’s why: strategic sourcing does not only have to focus on demand aggregation and sourcing strategies based on driving down price with tier one suppliers.

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Compras y el desarrollo de la economía

- August 28, 2014 6:44 AM | Categories: Industry News, Public Sector, Supplier Management

En estos días se dio a conocer la firman convenio de colaboración Inadem y Ternium mediante el cual Ternium fortalecerá sus cadenas de valor a través del desarrollo de sus proveedores. Esta noticia lleva a dos reflexiones, el suministro como motor de desarrollo nacional y la colaboración gobierno - empresas.

English translation: Inadem and Ternium just signed a collaboration agreement to strengthen their value chain by developing their suppliers. This news leads to two reflections -- the supply as an engine for national development and the collaboration between government and companies.

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What is a Keelvar – and Why Would You Need One?

- August 28, 2014 2:00 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supplier Management

Define Keelvar. Nope, it is not an Australian animal. Nor a tool used in advanced woodworking. Rather, it is a European company (headquartered in Ireland with an office in London) with a really clever approach to comparing and analyzing supplier responses – qualitative and quantitative.

This firm deserves a look whether you are just sending a survey to a group of suppliers (incumbent, hot prospects, cold calls, or mere phonebook leads) and you need to somehow assess their responses in a way that is better than a chaotic pass-the-spreadsheet around fashion, or if you go deep in analyzing the detailed breakdown of items, shipping lanes etc., while considering award impact on your existing suppliers (might not be wise to change spend and quantity too rapidly), as well as what you can do to drive more participation from local suppliers, reduce capital tied up in goods in transit etc.

Notice that I’ve avoided the O-word: optimization. This can and will scare many off. But it’s really nothing different than what you already do – likely much of it in your head if you’re an experienced buyer, and the category and items are relatively uncomplicated. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Thomas Kase, vice president, research, takes a closer look at Keelvar and how procurement organizations can begin to apply more advanced sourcing approaches to basic markets.

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Insight for CPOs: How Might CEOs Address Procurement’s Failings?

- August 20, 2014 2:11 AM | Categories: Procurement Strategy & Planning, Supplier Management

In Part 1 of this series, Peter Smith, managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, discussed the new Proxima graphic e-book titled "Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie." Peter believes that the empowerment of the budget holder and business stakeholder, giving them a greater role in the overall procurement process, and the emergence of a consequent stronger commercial capability across the organisation, will be the most significant development in the procurement world over the next 10 years (in terms of strategy and organization at least). That of course will have some major implications for procurement functions and people - but it's a topic for another day. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter gives four reasons why he is confident in his prediction.

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Lessons From Beeline – Areas to Prioritize in Global Services Procurement (Part 2)

In our discussions with Beeline and their customers earlier this summer, we learned about and explored a number of emerging priorities in global services procurement. A number of these customer requirements are already being partially or fully supported by Beeline and other leading VMS providers – other requirements are still on the roadmap or in their early days on the product release schedule. In the first installment in this series, we considered the increased scrutiny that companies are giving to specific geographies where they will or will not host technology, as well as related access permission issues. In the second installment of this Spend Matters PRO series, Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director, and Thomas Kase, VP of research, turn their attention to the following areas of emerging interest in global services procurement efforts: deeper technical integration between VMS and others systems; security in a mobile world; emerging audited processes and control mechanisms; regional requirements; and cultural observations.

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Insight for CPOs: Proxima Lays Out Procurement’s Failings, But Are the Answers Here?

- August 15, 2014 2:31 AM | Categories: Procurement Strategy & Planning, Supplier Management

Procurement outsourcing specialist Proxima deservedly received a lot of coverage with its Corporate Virtualization study that was published last year. As you may remember, it analysed the accounts of large firms and discovered that on average 70 percent of their revenues were spent with third-party suppliers. That was more than most of us steeped in the industry expected, and compared with just 13 percent going on staff costs. Given those statistics, that raised a whole host of interesting questions about why procurement doesn't have a higher profile. Surely senior executives can see how vital it is for that 70 percent to be spent well? Now Proxima has produced a “graphic e-book” titled “Drowning not waving – how Corporate Virtualization has got business leaders out of their depth... And where the real opportunities lie.”

Spend Matters UK/Europe managing director Peter Smith was CPO for three large organisations covering both private and government sectors before he moved into advisory work and – eventually – running the UK/Europe site. In a new series for Spend Matters Plus, he will be writing regularly about key strategic – but non-technology related - issues of interest to the CPO, procurement director or other senior people in the profession. If you're a CPO but not a Plus subscriber, contact us to inquire about a free trial

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