The Suppliers Category

Efficio Panel Debate: Good Banter, Robot Jokes and 3 Points About the Future of Procurement

Last week in London I participated in one of the livelier and more spirited panel debates on the future of procurement (skills, technology and more) in recent memory. The event, held at Efficio’s offices Thursday to mark the release of its latest report, “Procurement 2025: Is Digital Transformation Driving More Effective Procurement,” included not only a handful of esteemed panelists and facilitators from the procurement/CPO, consulting and academic ranks, but also a robot — which led to many robotic process automation jokes throughout the discourse. If Efficio does something like this again, ask them for an invitation — you won’t be disappointed!

Here are three points that stuck in my mind from the different panel discussions and chats that I had.

Gary Hare Talks Amazon Business and Turning the Internet into the ‘World’s Largest Supplier Network’ (Part 2)

“I think the market is going to move from being buyer-centric ... to supplier-centric. [Suppliers] need help going digital,” says procurement veteran Gary Hare. “We really have no choice if we want to get this right.”

Hare’s assessment came during a discussion about Coupa’s purchase of Aquiire and the future of e-procurement shopping, which he says involves a way of outworking Amazon Business and turning the internet into "the world’s largest supplier network." He knows the issues because until 2009 he led Vinimaya before it rebranded as Aquiire. Hare, now the CEO of Vurbis USA, talks about the future of e-procurement in Part 2 of this Q&A, which has been edited. Part 1 ran Monday.

So You Want to Build a B2B Marketplace: 8 Business Scenarios & Case Examples (Part 2) [PRO]

Just what is a B2B marketplace and, most important, why would you, as a procurement organization or distribution/business intermediary, want to build one? This Spend Matters PRO series provides insight into these and other questions. Part 1 and today’s installment begin by segmenting the market into (and defining) eight business scenarios they can enable that go beyond standard procure-to-pay or storefront/e-commerce enablement, which include “private” and “public” marketplace models.

Thus far, we have explored four models: Digital Trading Company (“buy/sell” models), Extended Bill of Material Orchestration, Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) and Distributor “Value Add.” Today, we turn our attention to four additional B2B marketplace concepts: Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Innovator, New Business Intermediary, Industry Captain and Supply Chain Steward.

For each of the eight areas we provide a summary description of the marketplace concept, technologies (off-the-shelf) that can enable it, selected vendor shortlists, best-fit industries that it can support and best-fit spend categories (if applicable). Later installments in the series will provider deeper insight into the following: what you’ll need to build one, technology vendors to consider capable of providing marketplace technology/infrastructure (based on SolutionMap benchmark data), and whether a marketplace, for procurement organizations, is a substitute (or not) for traditional cloud-based source-to-pay applications.

Spend Matters is involved in technology strategy and RFI projects for organizations building — or evaluating building — marketplaces using “off-the-shelf” technologies. Contact us to learn more.

Sustainable SRM Is Focus of 10th Annual State of Flux Report on Supplier Relationships

gig economy

Many businesses have come around to the idea that sustainability is not just a hashtag or a marketing ploy but something that can help a company advance its business goals. But as organizations dive into all the ways they can save energy and use friendlier materials, they soon realize there are only so many they control. Truly leveraging sustainability requires close collaboration all the way down the supply chain to find mutual incentives for all, according to the latest report by State of Flux, a global procurement and supply chain consultancy.

Supplier Relationship Management Needs a Jolt of Technology, State of Flux’s SRM Summit Finds

Procurement has made significant strides in supporting supplier relationship management initiatives, but poor investment in technology could limit the potential benefits those programs can deliver in the years to come, according to State of Flux, a consulting firm that specializes in SRM and which held its annual SRM summit in Chicago on Oct. 23. Over the decade that State of Flux has monitored SRM maturity, procurement organizations have made considerable improvements in several areas — but not in adopting and using technology dedicated to SRM.

Coupa-Aquiire Deal Highlights Key Change: Marketplace E-Procurement Models Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All Anymore

marketing

Spend Matters’ recent coverage of Coupa’s purchase of Aquiire details Coupa’s acquisition rationale and the general wisdom of its decision — but the deal also calls attention to a useful context that evaluators of “Amazon-like” e-procurement systems would be well served to understand. As these systems are tailored for different industries, they should be evaluated for how they differ, not how they're the same. Let's look at three types of marketplaces spawned by the Amazon model.

Amazon Business Prime Updated: Analysis and Procurement Recommendations (October 2018 Update) [PRO]

AnyData Solutions

Earlier today, Amazon announced a host of enhancements to its Amazon Business Prime offering. To help procurement organizations understand the implications of these added capabilities, this Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an overview and analysis of the new solution components and offers recommendations to procurement organizations already using or considering Amazon Business.

The emphasis of this PRO analysis centers on the spend visibility/analytics, e-procurement (guided buying) and working capital/payment capabilities of the October 2018 Amazon Business release. While some of these areas are likely to be less interesting for organizations that already use a third-party e-procurement solution that integrates with Amazon Business (either via punch-out or API), Amazon’s enhanced invoicing, working capital and payment components can be applied to all potential users.

But perhaps most important, these enhancement offer some signals of how Amazon may continue to build out the capabilities of its Prime business solution. Let’s delve in.

Supplier Inclusion: Moving Beyond Spend to Measure Impact

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Brian Peters, Gilead Science’s director of procurement, and Steven Wuerth, Gilead Science’s senior manager for supplier inclusion and data analytics. 

Supplier diversity can have positive impacts on businesses and communities, but history suggests that program implementation has been difficult and, in some cases, borderline ineffective. In CVM Solutions’ 2018 State of Supplier Diversity Report, only 32 percent of respondents rated their supplier diversity programs as very effective,2 up 7 percentage points from their 2017 report3. This white paper by Gilead, a biopharmaceutical company with suppliers worldwide, contains reflections and learnings from our work to progress Gilead’s robust supplier inclusion program and to move beyond spend as “the” historical metric for supplier diversity so we can inspire and measure a broader impact.

Why Platforms Need to Monetize Their Supplier Ecosystem

Because P2P solutions started giving away supplier portals, cash flow optimizers, analytics, support, etc., they closed a revenue door. Trying to build a sustainable business model when half your ecosystem is not monetized is very challenging, even as P2P platforms add features and functionality. Sure, many platforms are trying to figure out payments, and that is something that scares the bejeebers out of them due to regulations and compliance rules. (Don’t pay that blacklisted vendor or person, or else.) But payments is not a profitable business for platforms, it’s a service.

Creative Supplier Governance: Key Points From a Sourcing Leaders’ Lunch & Learn

SciQuest

At a recent Chicago Sourcing Leaders Lunch & Learn, one theme was clear: The sourcing department includes the “cool kids” of the enterprise. Hosted by solutions provider Scout RFP and Zebra Technologies, pioneers of barcode scanning technology, the Lunch & Learn featured a sampling of the Zebra product line and a practical presentation from Dawn Tiura, president and CEO of the Sourcing Industry Group, or SIG. She described the qualities of the “cool kids” and shared her insight on the importance of having a formal supplier governance program.

South America’s Gold Supply Chain Poses Big Risks for Procurement, Report Says

If your company sources and buys gold, then the message from some recent research is loud and clear: Watch your step in South America. The market there and its role in the global gold supply chain is a tremendous cause for corporate concern, according to a Thomson Reuters white paper. Evidently, the promise of huge profits based on higher gold prices — and fueled by rampant corruption — have created a vast supply chain problem on the continent.

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Back to the myConnXion Future: Connecting Buyers and Suppliers

digital business transformation

As disruptors in the supplier management space, our team set out with a simple task: understand the challenges suppliers face, so we can help them better collaborate with buyers in global supply chains. We started hearing from many small and diverse businesses that it was difficult to engage with large corporate buyers. As a small, minority-owned business, we’ve faced some challenges ourselves, but wanted to confirm our thoughts with general findings from other organizations. To gather these insights, our product innovation team conducted a focus group with buyers and suppliers and received some interesting feedback.