The Supply Networks Category

Extending Procurement Information Architecture to Provider Ecosystems (Part 2) [Plus+]

Let’s recap where we ended up with conclusion of the first installment in this series. A range of application vendors are trying to build out native platforms or sit on top of others flexibly. For example, Coupa hedges its bets by building on top of AWS, but also partnering with IBM (on SmartCloud) and showing up on SuiteApp.com. Providers are also trying to develop healthy B2B ecosystems that are creating B2B activity and, as a result, “liquidity.” There’s no way to better monetize that liquidity than from B2B e-commerce networks for source-to-pay (S2P) on the buy side and both attract-to-order and order-to-cash on the sell side. All this talk of liquidity reminds us of a different time and place in the procurement and supply chain world: the “marketplace era” from the late 1990s and early 2000s. This time, however, there are many technology differences that will make the vision of liquidity a reality faster than many will imagine. But not without a key application rub that should be top of mind for all procurement and IT organizations.

10 Supply Chain Areas Needing Gene Therapy: Supply Network Information Models — The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 4) [PRO]

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In the previous post in this series, I began outlining 10 supply chain provider areas that could benefit from the infusion of a robust supply network information model. In this final installment in the series, I highlight the remaining provider areas, the convergence in supply chain intelligence and analytics and look at x potential providers that span multiple adjacent services and solutions sectors in business process outsourcing (BPO), management consulting, supply market intelligence, business intelligence, content management and others.

10 Supply Chain Areas Needing Gene Therapy: Supply Network Information Models — The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 3) [PRO]

dna

In these final two installments of this series on supply network information models, I will outline the gaps in 10 different supply-side process areas and technology solution types that would greatly benefit from supporting the key attributes of these models. More importantly, by tying each of these areas to a common robust information model, they’ll be able to integrate with each other more easily and support the needed process integrations. I’ll also discuss the extent that supply chain information networks like E2open, GT Nexus (Infor), GHX, Elemica, Elementum and others can play a key role in building the digital DNA needed to support modern supply networks.

Extended Supply Network Information Models: The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 2 — Why it Matters) [Plus+]

dna

In part one of this series, I wrote that “a supply network data model must live at the heart of any supply chain” and how “the required data model implicit in running a true global supply network is as fundamental as the data model change required to move from an on-premise traditional enterprise class application to a true SaaS multi-tenant application”. In this follow-up analysis, I want to share my rationale for this argument and what it means to practitioners and providers — and the blurring of those two roles as their worlds converge. The premise is simple. If a manufacturer is going to operate a global, multitier supply network, and if that manufacturer wants to digitize that supply chain for improved efficiency and effectiveness, then it should possess an IT system that has an underlying data model that mirrors the physical network. More specifically, a supply network information model should have five distinct characteristics.

Extended Supply Network Information Models: The Missing DNA in the Digital Supply Chain (Part 1 — A Backstory)

supply networks

A supply network data model must live at the heart of any supply chain, whether that model is used for projects in supply network design, bid optimization, supply risk management, supply market intelligence or other areas. The problem is that no single solution or even class of solution offers up this robust data model that can be used in so many areas.

‘A WIP a Week’ — Our New Series for Contingent Workforce and Services Procurement Professionals

talent management

From a contingent workforce and services procurement perspective, work intermediation platforms (WIPs) represent new sources and ways of engaging contingent talent and services. To raise awareness and help to educate our contingent workforce and services procurement audience on this topic, we will be starting a series we are dubbing “A WIP a Week.” Every week, we will select and briefly profile a different WIP on our site. In addition, from time to time, we may also do deeper-dives, for our Plus and PRO subscribers.

Spend Matters View: Realizing Accenture’s Future Supplier Network Vision (PaaS Fundamentals)

supplier management

I’m glad Accenture put supplier networks at the core of its future vision for technology in its recent white paper: Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One. But the supplier networks of tomorrow will look very different than those that are most common today. Tradeshift, which is pitching a future network vision at the core, is perhaps the first active participant in this space today to leverage some of the early thinking and network capability in practice with platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach.

PaaS is critical to understand how we’ll build and deploy connectivity hubs between buyers and suppliers at all tiers of the supply chain, as well as applications that support communication. But what is PaaS in the context of a network? As I’ve noted previously, future business networks will be supported by cloud computing models that include PaaS, an approach which will become increasingly productized and prevalent starting this year.

The Supplier Network of Tomorrow: Accenture and Spend Matters on the Future of Procurement Technology

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What will the future of category management look like? Accenture has a strong opinion on the topic, and shares it in their recently published brief, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, when introducing the concept of the “virtual category room.”

The notion of extending category management into a digital age is a complex one, especially considering many organizations are still barely crawling in building out category management teams outside of only a few top areas of spend. Yet the technology to support a new type of category management thinking and capability is not that far away. In fact, much of it is already here – it just needs piecing together.

Think Distance and Not Global in Procurement Around the World

Is global procurement as a stand-alone area of practice and expertise dead? I would argue a resounding, “Yes.” Global procurement has become simply procurement, albeit with one key exception compared with regional supply chains: distance. Factoring distance into the procurement equation, by targeting the intersection of the traditional supply chain with sourcing and procurement areas, is more important than ever. Read on to see the 4 specific areas for examination as distance replaces global in international procurement and supply chain management.

McDonald’s and Deforestation: Supply Chain Traceability vs. Visibility

We recently started to cover McDonald’s recently announced commitment to eliminating deforestation throughout its supply chain. The announcement pays more than lip service to the opportunity, in part because if will cascade across multiple tiers of suppliers rather than just tier-1 or direct suppliers to the fast food giant. There’s also a number of other rather curious elements to the program that warrant further analysis, one of which is contained within the Supporting Addendum McDonald’s Corporation Commitment on Deforestation that explores the difference between how McDonald’s is defining traceability vs. visibility.

New Intesource Tools Modernize Procurement In Grocery Retail & Restaurant Verticals [PRO]

Back in March, I provided an analysis of the Intesource Innovation Conference in Las Vegas. The e-sourcing provider had announced at the event that it was releasing its new supplier relationship management solution, which I had the chance to preview and wrote about in that initial Plus article on Spend Matters. Today, I continue my coverage of Intesource with more in-depth analysis. Intesource is heavily vested in supporting sourcing and procurement for companies in the retail and restaurant business – specifically grocery retail stores.

Supplier Enablement and Onboarding Lesson: Use Carrots, Not Sticks!

Spend Matters recently spoke to a P2P process owner at a Fortune 500 beverage company. The hour-long conversation turned out to be a treasure trove of tips and tactics for improving the supplier enablement and onboarding process for e-invoicing and trade financing. Today, we continue the analysis looking at how this organization got more from the careful use of carrots rather than sticks as it brought suppliers up and running with Taulia (after previously using Xign). With supplier enablement and trade financing programs, this large food and beverage company found that carrots (and frequent, active and friendly communications) tend to work better than sticks, especially with strategic suppliers.