Category Archives: Supply Management

Announcing New Webinar: Building a Successful Business Case for Procurement

procurement business case

Presenting your business case to the CFO can be a daunting task. These positions are increasingly demanding more nuanced ROI, with smaller "I" and even smaller "R." In the procurement sphere, presenting a business case doesn't have to be nerve-wracking – if you follow our lead. Join us Tuesday, September 22, at 12 p.m. CDT for the webinar, The Seven Deadly Barriers to a Successful Procurement Business Case, with Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and Dipan Karumsi, KPMG managing director, operations advisory services.

Supply Analytics Will Become Routine, Predictive: Accenture

supplier network

You won’t get any debate from us that supply analytics must form a key basis of future procurement technology investment. But whether supply analytics, as Accenture defines it in its recent report, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, becomes as routine as the authors argue is open to debate. A lot will have to happen to make this vision a reality. What Accenture describes is complicated and daring. It’s also going to prove, perhaps, the most challenging tech vision suggested in the paper to realize.

Are SMEs the Weakest Supply Chain Risk Link?

risk management

Late last month, I took the same side as Stephen Allott, crown representative for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the UK Cabinet Office, in a pub debate in London, in which we argued for the motion that procurement is doomed for a variety of reasons, including the failure of many procurement organizations to effectively manage supply risk. Then, coincidentally, on the flight back to the US, I read an article in a UK publication reporting that a majority of SMEs are not prepared to manage supply risk. A curious coincidence? I’m not so sure.

Google Maps for Strategic Supply Analytics

businessman hand touch virtual graph,chart, diagram

While you may use Apple or Google Maps to get from point A to point B, you will need something similar for your procurement organization. Enter Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and his “road map” for a broad and strategic approach to supply analytics. Hot off the press research now available for download: Navigating the Path from Tactical Procurement Analytics to Strategic Supply Analytics tackles the shortcomings of basic spend analytics and how to view the “big picture.” Spend visibility is the cornerstone of any procurement transformation, and we have the tools you need to better manage spend and supply for the betterment of your organization. Get your copy today!

How Finance Can Help Procurement: A Countdown on our CPO Website


Over on Chief Procurement Officer, we recently began a countdown series of the top 17 ways finance can help procurement. Authored by Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell, the series, or wish list, is based off a snap poll Spend Matters and the Institute for Supply Management conducted regarding the alignment of procurement and finance organizations within a company. The series hits on the least important to most important ways procurement would like finance's help improving supply and spend management. (No. 1 will be the most important.) So far, Pierre has hit on tips Nos. 17-15. You can read the full articles over on Chief Procurement Officer, or read on and follow the links.

How I Became a Temporary ‘Staffing Supply Chain Anthropologist’ at VMSA Live 2015


Before getting down to business for 2.5 days of working sessions, VMSA Live kicked-off last night with a vibrant networking reception for attendees, representing all parts of the staffing supply chain (including contingent workforce managers, VMS and MPS professionals and staffing suppliers and other service providers). When I entered the reception hall, it occurred to me that I was walking into a kind of microcosm of the whole intermediary staffing supply chain, and it was an incredible opportunity to just talk with, listen to and hear the perspectives of those practitioners who – in their different roles – are actually making that staffing supply chain work every day. If there was such a thing as a “staffing supply chain anthropologist,” then that was what I tried to be last night. I was interested to see what I would learn and what kinds of inferences I might draw from a random ethnographic sampling of thoughts and opinions. So what did I, the accidental “staffing supply chain anthropologist,” take away from this evening?

New Research: Supply Chain Risk Management – Managing the Unimaginable


Even with the an airtight risk management strategy in place, situations that may be out of your control (political unrest, natural disasters, labor violations, corruptions and more) can hinder even the most prepared organization. What is one to do? Download Proactive Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) in an Uncertain World, and find out.

The Fundamental Problem With Contingent Workforce Management Today

Business Budget Spreadsheet

In today’s global economy, firms like Amazon, Apple, GE, P&G and Walmart all compete on how well they manage their extended supply chains and associated spending on critical goods and materials. But, in an increasingly services-based economy where nearly everything is becoming a "service" (including all the non-production elements associated with creating a product), applying the same rigor in managing external services spending should also be important. Yet, Spend Matters has found that relevant best practices and principals in managing materials spending are not well applied to services spending – particularly in the area of contingent labor.

Supplier Enablement For Trade Financing: Initial Steps

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When it comes to trade financing (receivables financing and payables financing), there are numerous elements involved in onboarding and enabling suppliers. These efforts go beyond what we might typically consider for standard procurement and A/P-centric on-boarding processes. As we noted in the last installment in this series here, onboarding often begins with the implementation of a plan “to tier the supply based into logical tranches for targeting – by size, willingness to take a discount, APR rate, risk, geography, industry, diversity status, etc.”

Recalls, Big and Small, Impact Food Waste (Waste Matters! Part 7)


No matter how large a food recall is – whether it is localized and involving a limited amount of product or a nationwide recall affecting millions of units – it has an impact on how much food goes to waste in the US. And, I’m not talking about just the food involved in the recall. Recalls lead to food waste due to a matter of consumer perception as well.

“Eating the Cost” of Wasted Food – And Sometimes, That’s OK (Waste Matters Part 6)


Food is wasted at grocery stores. This is a fact of the food supply chain. We have talked about this in previous posts in this series, sharing expert insight from Kevin Brooks, senior vice president of marketing at iTradeNetwork – a provider of supply chain management solutions for the food industry, who explained many reasons how and why food gets thrown out. Today, we continue this conversation, with Kevin pointing to the importance of quality produce for grocers. In the end, quality is often more important to retailers than (an overabundance of) quantity.

The (Extreme) Complexity of the Food Supply Chain (Waste Matters! Part 5)


The food supply chain isn’t like other supply chains – it is far more complex. This point became increasingly clear during my recent conversation with Kevin Brooks, senior vice president of Marketing at iTradeNetwork – a provider of supply chain management solutions for the food industry. Kevin told me that in other industries, product orders remain fairly stable – not so in the food supply chain. The clock is ticking, and suppliers need to deliver perishable foods fast, but changes to POs and other issues make that task difficult.