Category Archives: Suppliers

What the New Wal-Mart Storage Fees and Payment Terms Mean for Suppliers


Wal-Mart suppliers don’t appear to be too happy with the retailer’s latest fees and extended payment terms, which could prevent them from being paid for months. Do Wal-Mart suppliers have a right to be angry? Is this move by Wal-Mart ordinary among large corporations? We reached out to David Gustin, cofounder and editor of Trade Financing Matters, to help explain the significance of this news.

Bringing Procurement Briefs to the Entire Organization

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi.

One of the biggest themes of this blog series has been how procurement will benefit from the increase of information. However, all of this increased intelligence won’t be beneficial to the average business user if they aren’t guided on how to use it. A 4 year old behind the wheel of a car will not be able to see the benefits that a fully licensed driver would.

The next wave of procurement will involve giving internal buyers and external suppliers the guidance and lessons they need to become better at procurement themselves. As procurement professionals move into the role of teacher, they will enjoy moving out of the role of babysitter. Instead of wasting time on administrative tasks, correcting other user’s mistakes and working in an inefficient system, all users of the company’s procurement system will have the education they need to work efficiently and make critical business decisions regarding procurement.

C2FO Working Capital Outlook Survey Q&A

In May of 2015, C2FO released the results of a survey of more than 1,000 US business owners’ thoughts on improving working capital efficiency. The survey explored trends associated with financing, working capital deployment and late payments.

In this Q&A, we explore the key questions and analyze how the responses point toward some important insights into buyer and supplier relationships.

Visionworks Customer Service Gets it Right on Second Try


Good customer service goes a long way and I commend businesses that realize this, even if it takes a couple of tries to get it right. Such was the case for Visionworks, which recently righted a major wrong I wrote about back in June. When the scratch coating on glasses I purchased in spring 2014 began to flake off for the second time in 1 year, I learned the problem was a well-known supplier defect. At first my local store refused to replace my lenses because my warranty had expired. But after I took to Spend Matters to address the issue, Visionworks began to take a different tone.

Analyzing Accenture’s Concept of the Virtual Supplier Room

virtual supplier room

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.

How AGCO Built Its Business Case for Global Supply Chain Risk Management

supply chain

AGCO is a Duluth, Georgia-based, multi-business unit global manufacturer of agricultural machinery. With an addressable procurement spend of around $7 billion, AGCO’S procurement function was fragmented and spread across the many business units, which led to business challenges when external events – such as earthquakes – disrupted the supply base. These events sent buyers scrambling for available capacity without any sense of teamwork or collaboration. When a competitor proved that a center-led supply chain risk management (SCRM) approach was more effective at securing supplier capacity, this drove AGCO to adopt its own strategy, as well as an organizational change to a matrix layout. Organizations that want an inside track on building or accelerating a business case for investment in SCRM are likely to find the Spend Matters paper, A Case Study in Global Supply Chain Risk Management: How AGCO Implemented an SCRM Solution to Save Millions, useful in their efforts.

How Has a Supplier’s Cost Structure Changed Over the Past Decade?


Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell and MetalMiner’s Lisa Reisman offer their perspectives on how a supplier’s cost structure has changed over the past decade. From regulatory impacts to labor productivity gains and volatile commodity environments, these shifts have dramatically impacted the notion of the “supplier’s cost structure.” Learn how these 2 experts consider several factors and chime in with your own questions to take the discussion further.

Procurement Problems and Possibilities: What the Greece Debt Crisis Means for the Supply Chain

World transportation

Greece’s trade partners are no doubt worrying what the country’s debt crisis will mean for them in the coming days, weeks and beyond. Imports and exports in and out of Greece will likely be impacted immediately this week (if not already) and those that do business with Greek companies may have to look elsewhere for supplies and for selling their goods. The Spend Matters Network analyst team has offered their expert opinions on what this situation means for procurement. How will suppliers working with the Greece government get paid? Will they get paid? And what happens if Greece exits the Euro? Our experts weigh in on these procurement questions.

When Companies Continue to Work with Problematic Suppliers – Is This Normal?

Eye chart

I learned a surprising and fairly upsetting lesson about sourcing this week. Call me naive – I am still a rookie in the procurement world, after all. But, what I learned is that companies knowingly work with suppliers that provide defective products and services. Or at least one company does: Visionworks. I bought a pair of glasses from the company last spring, and since then I have had the lenses replaced when the anti-scratch coating began chipping off. However, the coating is again flaking off my "replacement" lenses, and Visionworks says I am out of luck, despite admitting their suppliers sometimes create batches of scratch coatings that are "defective."

Can SupplierPay Link Supplier Diversity to Early Payment?


US-based supplier diversity programs often represent one of the true success stories of niche-based initiatives that can have real impact with limited budget and resources. Most programs at larger companies still only have a single or handful of dedicated resources and budgets – at best – for supporting technology and data enrichment to manage and track supplier credentials, and reporting pales in comparison to other procurement solution areas. Yet the quantification of program results, including those in which diversity improvement is mandatory in government supply chains, often speaks for itself. Might early payment programs, either by requirement or encouragement, be the next logical step to link to supplier diversity efforts?

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.

The White House and SupplierPay: More Bark Than Bite


When it comes to encouraging the use of e-invoicing, payment or trade financing standards and expectations, government moral suasion is terribly ineffective compared with government regulation and policy. Consider the case of the White House-led SupplierPay initiative compared with regional initiatives centered on e-invoicing adoption in Latin America. My colleague David Gustin recently opined on the topic on Trade Financing Matters – read on to hear what he had to say about it, specifically how the program lacks real teeth.