The Supply Chain Category

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.

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.

Tradeshift: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Tradeshift is a cloud platform that connects buyers and suppliers with the goal of digitizing supply chain relationships, processes and information, while also enabling everyday procure-to-pay activities. Its capabilities span the buying of goods and services through to financing and payment — and significant capability in between, especially in the invoice-to-pay area.

In addition to providing its own procure-to-pay modules, Tradeshift offers an open integration framework that allows other technology firms (and customers) to integrate and/or development third-party “apps,” primarily centered on supplier connectivity, transaction enablement and collaboration. Tradeshift can even integrate alternative procure-to-pay providers in cases where specific enabling capability is desired.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Tradeshift, both as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider and also as an e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology vendor. It is designed to provide facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether they should consider Tradeshift for both traditional “in-the-box” procure-to-pay requirements as well as unique marketplace/platform type digital initiatives.

Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Tradeshift as a complement to other procurement and finance solutions. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

APICS Becoming ASCM: CEO Abe Eshkenazi Details the New Direction

marketing procurement

APICS announced recently it was launching a new supply chain organization that would push the industry association out of its niche for talent development and into corporate transformation strategy. Called the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the new organization seeks to create a fully encompassing group for all professionals who touch the supply chain. More than a rebrand, the creation of ASCM signals a shift in strategy at APICS as well as within the businesses of the customers that the association serves, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi told Spend Matters in a recent interview at the APICS 2018 conference in Chicago.

An Introduction to Sourcing Business Intelligence (Part 2): The Leap from Sourcing Analytics to Supply Intelligence [PRO]

data analytics

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO research series, we defined and explored the concept of sourcing business intelligence (BI), an emerging focus area for an increasing number of procurement organizations. Sourcing BI is not a “tool” like a spend analysis application module or a general purpose BI tool — like the visualization tools Qlik, Tableau or Sisense. Rather it is an enabling approach to sourcing, supplier management, total cost modeling/should cost analysis and related initiatives like clean sheeting that focus on the ability to incorporate increasingly rich external market, commodity, category and supplier intelligence with existing internal data sets, process flows and activities to enhance savings, compliance and organizational resilience.

Much of this activity is occurring within category management where managers are trying to move from historical descriptive analytics to “outside-in” predictive/prescriptive analytics that yield true intelligence rather than just subscribing to tribal best-practices sharing and generic data-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings in the marketplace.

In Part 2 of exploring sourcing business intelligence, we first will set some context about how to make the leap from sourcing analytics to broader supply intelligence. “Supply management” is bigger than “sourcing management” — and similarly — “intelligence” is bigger than “analytics.” By understanding this evolution, it helps us set up a deeper discussion into how artificial intelligence relates to analytics — with an immediate focus on sourcing, but a longer-term focus on broader spend/supply.

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.

Key to Supply Chain Innovation? Early Adopters of Technology Do Well, Study Says

SciQuest

With disruption upending every segment of business over the past decade, it may not be surprising that new research ties technological innovation to high supply chain performance. A 2018 web survey by Adelante SCM and BluJay Solutions found that over 80% of companies that identified as “innovators” or “early adopters” of new technologies also ranked their organization’s performance as slightly or significantly above average.

With Business Up But Politics Volatile, Uncertainty Is the New Certainty for Procurement

Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2016

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at TYGES International.

Life should be good for procurement professionals these days, if conventional wisdom is to be believed. Companies are hiring, spending and facing growth-related opportunities/challenges not seen in almost two decades. There’s renewed confidence with the business-friendly policies, and there’s a sense that a 4% GDP growth can be the new normal for the U.S. economy. But reality is not quite as rosy. From vitriolic trade negotiations to overnight tariffs, sanctions and currency fluctuations, companies are facing levels of volatility not seen in decades.

Intelligent Trade Finance: The Road Ahead

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Biji John, product manager, trade finance, at Finastra.

The trade finance industry is undergoing a unique moment of transformation. There is a virtuous circle between how the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution will enable trade financing, and how this in turn will power the innovation and adoption of these technologies in “Industry X.0.” In our last post, we explored ways in which AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform how trade finance is done. Here we explore some of the hurdles that banks face on the road to true intelligent trade finance, and provide some practical examples of banks that have overcome these challenges and serve as prime examples of intelligent trade finance in action.

A Big Green Idea: How Procurement Can Balance Profitability and Sustainability

External forces — from climate change to shifts in generational expectations — are causing businesses to take a hard look at the sustainability of their supply chains, and procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to effect environmental and financial change for the greater good, speakers said at Procurious’ 2018 Big Ideas Summit on Thursday in Chicago. In presentations from leading procurement professionals and supporting technology providers, speakers encouraged attendees to reconsider what was possible in the supply chain, including common misconceptions about sustainability.

Why Supply Chains Should Put Curbing Global Food Waste at the Forefront

More than 2 billion tons of food worth $1.5 trillion could be wasted in 2030, according to the Boston Consulting Group. It’s not an unrealistic estimate considering the 1.6 billion tons worth $1.2 trillion lost just three years ago. Food waste is a concept so vast and systemic that one must go beyond the individual impact and look toward how entire companies involved in the process – from production to consumption – can actively work in a way that helps solve a global crisis while attaining tangible business benefits.